Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Next in Line

Twirling and demonstrating great foot work, a Fancy Shawl Dancer, age 11 I figured, made her way around the arbor. Running up behind her, Clay snatched the shawl from her and slung it onto his shoulders. For a geezer, one nigh onto 64 years seasoned, he danced damned good as I drifted behind a tree embarrassed.

Looking to my watch, I counted off the minutes until security was called and my friend hauled off. My right hand fondled the pocketed magic shotgun shell. I heard it tsk-ing me, its voice muffled by denim. I retorted, “Yah, I know, what good am I out here and you in my pocket?”

Walking by, a kid said, “What?” I motioned him away and my jaw dropped. The small crowd of spectators laughed and clapped while Clay danced his heart out. Smiling sweet and sincere, his or her intention was obviously benevolent.

A woman ran out and placed a blanket on the grass in front of Clay. People came out and tossed money on it. Dancing shawl-less, the girl was undaunted. Her hands were out and holding the corners of an invisible fringed shawl. Was I alone in feeling humiliated on Clay’s behalf?

“OooH Weee folks, look at that elder go. Who knew? Spunky old dude, eh? Come on Nobs, pony up the dough. Might be needed to pay for a ride to the hospital if a heart attack sets in,” said the announcer. “Yah, good way to start the Pow-Wow and boost our medicine.”

The drum played all the harder as the last round came up. Other dancers had moved to the edge of the circle in honor of an elder’s presence. When the song ended the woman came back out and retrieved her blanket. Putting all the money in Clay’s hands, she applauded my buddy when he took it to the young shawl dancer and handed it to her.

Walking effeminately, Clay made his way from the circle and I hurried to him hoping for containment of some sort.

“Jovee, Jovee, how about we take you home young lady,” I said, my voice loaded with anxiety.

“Mister, is age making your memory bad? My name is Aura and who are you to bother me?”

“I’m Migizi, Clay Silver Otter’s friend. You know him?”

Clay, Aura I mean, was heading somewhere fast and I tried to keep up while talking. Attempting to guess her target I saw the campground bathroom. Perish the thought, Clay as Aura, going for the women’s toilet.
Clay paused before entering the restroom, yes, the women’s.

“Sure, I know him, who doesn’t? So here you are Mr. Migizi, in the skin. I heard plenty about you from Clay,” said Aura before going through the door.

I backed off a good 10 yards, no guilt by association for this ole coot. Horror and relief made a fist and punched me in the arm like a friend as I waited to hear screams of females coming from the toilet. A mom and her teen daughter came walking out. They must’ve been getting dressed to dance.

The mom turned back and yelled in, “see ya later Aura, have fun.”

“What the hell?” I asked and the gals acted as though I wasn’t there. I wasn’t addressing them but still, sheesh.

So out comes Clay and says as Aura, “Come on then. I guess we got some talkin’ to do but first, you gotta dance.”

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