Creative Non-Fiction Short Stories. :) Travel, Oldsters, Love, and Compassion.
His set is winding down, but the guy with the guitar has a few more songs in him. The women who were singing along with his 90s rock covers have already headed home. There are a few other patrons, most watching basketball, so he plays a few songs he’s been meaning to practice. A couple enters and moves to the bar. The man has a scattering of hair still remaining, and the woman has a mane of gray that she touches like a teenage girl. They are smiling and laughing, they leave their coats, and he leads her to a semi-abandoned part of the sportsbar. There just enough room to dance. The guitar player is plucking a medium-tempo version of Pearl Jam’s “Black,” which isn’t exactly apt for a tango, but the music doesn’t matter. They are happy to spin out, to return, to put their arms around each other. She is happy to have him lead.
I am watching them like it is a dance recital full of my loved ones. I can’t break my gaze, even when my friend tries to tell me something. Instead, I wonder about their story–have they been married long? Have they just met? Will I be so bold if I get the gift of a long life? And they never notice me watching, which is part of what makes this scene so lovely for me. They aren’t dancing to be seen, they are dancing to be free. I keep humming along. I think I’ll keep humming that song and remembering those smiles for quite some time. I wish them the best.