Friday, August 10, 2007

The Dancer

It did not start here. It will not end here. Sunday night. Six years ago. Nothing on tv. Bored. Looking for a little diversion. Get in my car. The Yellow Car. Big old 1984 Chevrolet Caprice Classic. 305 engine. Power windows. AC. Kumbia Kings on the stereo. You know. Selena's brother's band. Drive one mile. Dense fog by the river. Just over the tracks. Near the Cargill soybean processing plant. Sign says 666 days without a work loss accident. Park the car in the street outside the bar. Just a DJ tonight. No cover. The rent-a- cop nods to me. Walk over to the bar. Order a Bohemia. Lime wedge and a packet of salt. Maybe 20 people in the place. Holds 249. Slow night. Sundays are like that. People come and go. Order another Bohemia. Old man walks in. Well dressed. Tall. Long gray hair. He orders a tequila. Walks over to a table where there are four young women. Holds out his hand to the blond. She gets up. They walk to the dance floor. The song is La Puerta Negra. Los Tigres del Norte. The guy is a good dancer. Dances a few more rancheras with her. Then dances with the other women at the table. Some cumbias and a few merengues. Then he orders another shot of tequila. Dances with all the women in the place in between shots. I am watching this guy. This guy can dance. Smooth. An old face. Hawk nose. Dark eyes. Seen a lot. Lived a lot. He walks out. Saw him two other times at that place. Later I tell S. about the old dancer. She says she thinks it is her father. She never met him. He has been dead for twenty years. Parents split up before she was born. Mother moved north from Jalisco. Says her father had a reputation as a ladies man. As a hard drinker. As a great dancer. He was tall. I don't know what to say. Could have been him. Probably was. But there was a dense fog that night.


Blogger Beth said...

Beautiful, Fred. What a great story and so well told, in your inimitable style. Maybe it was him.

8:20 PM, August 11, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thank you Beth! I think it was him. When the fog comes off of the river things happen....

9:44 PM, August 11, 2007  
Blogger MB said...

A dense fog can change things. Blur the details or bring them out. Spooky and beautiful. I was just about there with you.

4:58 AM, August 12, 2007  
Blogger Fred Garber said...

Thank you! Next time the fog comes off the river....I will look for you.

7:20 PM, August 12, 2007  

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