Tallahassee, FL – January 5, 2012
We danced in a parking lot at three in the morning, a light rain for company. Leila wore my jacket and I shivered. We stepped in puddles and laughed. We moved our hips to the pop, pop, pop, tump of a bachata song that we always dance together, at least once, wherever we are. The DJ didn’t have it so we ran outside and spun on asphalt to music blaring out of a car’s speakers, moving for no one but ourselves, pretending to fall in love for three minutes, relishing the touch of leads and follows that are almost unconscious.
My hand across her shoulder-blade, a twist of my rib cage, a tap on her arm, and we moved.
I didn’t think of my alarm set for the morning, the one that would wake me up after a few hours of sleep. I didn’t think of my equipment stacked in a pile, ready to load, or the Looksha waiting next to my dad’s truck. I just danced and spun and felt the rain on my shoulders, felt Leila’s body catch every tap of drum, felt the comfort of the familiar, of home, and drank it down a deep as I could, drank it not because it will be gone tomorrow, but because it felt so delicious in the moment.
The song ended and Leila and I wrapped each other in our arms, full of joy, no longer pretending to fall in love, just two close friends happy for a moment together because seven months apart remind you that those moments are what makes life beautiful.
We said goodbye and I drove back to my house where the Looksha sat like a bright yellow smile in the darkness.
“You aren’t finished yet,” it said.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “We leave in a few hours. I just needed one last dance.”
Tired of my rendition of the story? Want a little less dancing and a little more paddling? Here two other perspectives, one from my hometown in Tallahassee (http://www.visittallahassee.com/blog/2013/jan/04/daniel-alvarez-tallahassees-intrepid-kayaking-voya/) and the other from my adopted hometown of Two Harbors Minnesota (http://www.twoharborsmn.com/event/article/id/24375/publisher_ID/39/) where it is probably -20 degrees now.