ONE OF THE DANCERS.
She was one of the vaudeville dancers
he supposed. He had drawn back the
curtain and she was sitting there on
the stall one leg crossed over the other,
in that skimpy dress, white lace up shoes.
He had apologised, blushed, was about
to draw back the curtain when she said:
Oh, no leave it be. And he had and stood
there, slightly open mouthed, mind ticking
over, eyes stuck on her fine legs crossed.
They were nice legs he thought. Her dark
hair, parted in the middle was not well
brushed; it seemed as if she’d just got up
from a bed. Maybe she had. She gazed at
him, her eyes looked foreign. Odd to think
that, he thought. He wanted to drink her in.
Take in each aspect of her just sitting there.
I’m on soon, she said. Yes, definitely an
accent, he thought nodding. I’m a dancer,
she said. O right, he said. He thought as
much; the dress and shoes, the way she
had about her. White ankle shoes. Lace ups.
Not the sort to wear out in the street, he
supposed. Are you to watch the show?
She asked. Yes, I am, he said, looking at
her lips, the way they spread under her
nose, held in place by her cheeks, he
thought. What would his mother say about
her short dress? Far too short, shows her
backside almost, she’d have said scornfully.
Yet he still gawped at her. Her ankles, knees,
thighs. What a feast for the eyes, he mused,
trying to look away, but held bound, fixed
as if by some glue. The tassels on the end of
the short dress moved as she stood up. She
stretched her arms. Shook her legs back into
life as if they had died. Must be ready, she said.
Warm ups. Yes, of course, he murmured, and
turned away, walking off, carrying the image
of her and her shoes and dress and her dark
hair into his mind. Fixed there. Captured each
aspect of her being, placed in some room of
memory, for later viewing, in his secret seeing.