Sunday, August 11, 2013

song and dance


She danced without music in the hall with low ceilings. You'd bump your head if you were tall, then slump to your wooden chair temporarily stunned and blinded. You'd get dirty looks if you interrupted and scooted your chair. People would shush hush, give you an evil eye, and make a mental note for a sound beating outside as you walked in the dark if you scooted. Especially when she danced. And without music. Crowds would clap and if you caught her on an elixir night she'd flash a bony leg aimed towards the low ceiling in-between claps. The men all cheered. Except this one fellow in the same corner - always hidden behind a stiff canvas, drawing and drawing, bursts of cursing, his head far from the low ceiling.

The footlights shone a white glow coming up from the stage as though hidden in her skirt, but you could tell the reflection was from misty candles hidden behind those huge porcelain clams. They were brittle, and if you busted one with your mug it was a week's pay to replace. The effervescent candles could not vaporize the stench from petrified drink spilled over the century forming shellacked patches on the wood floor. Near closing time you'd rise to leave, but you'd bump your head, fall exasperated and light another cigarette, staying until you got bounced.
All in all, a fun evening. Oh, before I forget, one time I asked a group of men huddled in the cold about the fellow stapled in the corner. That man painted by the name Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

9 Comments:

Blogger Helen said...

Phil, you brought the entire scene to life ~~ glorious!!

8/11/2013 10:10 PM  
Blogger Berowne said...

Nimble and quite skillful...

8/12/2013 5:08 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

There's a low archway at WM where we bump our heads...always...

8/12/2013 4:16 PM  
Blogger Trellissimo said...

Low ceilings are much worse than low company, eh?! :)

8/13/2013 5:58 AM  
Blogger Sharon Bradshaw said...

I love this, Phil, thank you. I felt as if I was there in the painting.

8/13/2013 1:46 PM  
Blogger Doctor FTSE said...

The picture lives! Great atmosphere.

8/13/2013 2:50 PM  
Blogger Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Whoa, talk about a rough place! Methinks I would not be tough enough to try to have some fun there.

8/13/2013 6:58 PM  
Blogger ~T~ said...

Well, that's what Henri gets for not paying a model to stand still.

8/15/2013 3:25 PM  
Blogger Helena said...

Wonderfully crafted! I was taken right in there.

8/15/2013 7:24 PM  

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