January 26, 2015: Muse

The bar was empty last night.
Incoming storms will do that.

The silent television hanging in the corner ran words about the storm – warnings to stay inside, to stock up, prepare for the worst.

The bartender poured me another drink and left the bottle.

The snow was on its way – the night was cloudy and cold. A breeze blew down the street.

The jukebox turned on. “Watertown” trickles out of the low speakers.

He went down to Watertown expecting all his sin to be washed clean.

I sat and watched as the only other person in the bar swayed her hips to the music.

There were only two of us there, but we occupied our own spaces, our own realities.

She moved her hips more and more as the song began to build.

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend…

The bartender wipes the counter in front of me and nods towards the dancer.

You’re going to want to watch this. She does quite the performance.

She began to dance more openly. Hips moving and hair moving. Eyes closed.
She wore camouflage pants and a bright pink top.
She smiled slightly, moving her hands to the music. Air guitars and drums, stomping feet.

Outside the wind began to pick up. Snow started to fall.

In the absinthe bar on Bourbon Street he heard a foreign voice call his name
He said, “Son, I see your weary eyes, and it looks to me like you’re running from your shame.”

The snow started to fall more and more. People were in the streets now, dancing under the street lights.

The bartender winked at me and sat down, watching the show.

Her body swayed and the music grew louder until it was thundering against the windows.

Crowds gathered in the falling snow, dancing and laughing. Some danced with each other, others by themselves.

Don’t go down to Watertown expecting all your sins to be washed clean.

Her dance became a primal motion, animalistic, a pagan prayer.
She began to laugh and spin, the music causing the bottles to clatter and vibrate.
She’s a blur of hot pink and camouflage.

And monarchs to behold the swelling scene…

The song stops and she drops to the floor.
The bar and the street outside were overcome with a dreadful silence.
The snow stopped and the dancers shook off their daze and started home.

The bartender helped the woman to her feet and she sat next to me.
I poured her a drink, raised my glass to her, and we drank to each other.

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