by Betty Mermelstein
Marty had the glass door to
the frozen foods open, picking out her lunches
when she cautiously did a double take through the
door. Oh great, she thought. Theres
Nate. If I look way in the back of this
freezer maybe hell go away. She bent
over shoving her hand into the boxes, causing an
avalanche of chicken enchiladas and teriyaki rice
Marty! I thought that
was you! Nate said cheerfully as he skated
over to the open door.
Marty didnt even look
up. Hi, Nate, she said wearily,
stooping to pick up an herbed chicken with
Hey, I know,
Nate suggested. Why dont you let me
take you away from all those boxes and well
go out to dinner. He gave her a big grin of
hope. So many teeth, Marty thought. But
they are his, she admitted. There were some
their ages who were getting tooth implants,
bridges, even braces. Veritable little factories
in their mouths.
practically moaned. You know I only have
time for dancing now in my free time.
there a lot, arent you, at the Moose Lodge?
where the lessons are, Marty replied matter-of-factly,
triple stepping over to the bakery island.
Marty picked up a container
of muffins, one of brownies, and a pie. Having
never been married, as was also the case with
Nate, no one was there to remind her that sugar
eventually rises like yeast on the body. Hence
the dancing of late.
So, if youre so
wrapped up in it, what do you like about it?
Marty asked. Oh, you know, the exercise,
the flow of two partners together, the
She really wanted to check out and
really wanted to end the conversation.
Why dont you
see for yourself? The group dancing lessons are
Friday, seven to eight. Only costs five bucks!
She waved as she maneuvered her cart up to the
check out line.
No surprise that Marty
watched Nate walk through the Moose Lodge door
that Friday evening. She took in his attire and
decided he didnt look half bad in his polo
shirt and Dockers. The sneakers would never
work. Hell be stuck to the floor like a
lizard skimming over fly paper, she thought.
People were pairing up to form a circle: those
who came as a couple, smilers standing in
anticipation of being chosen, twosomes who
usually partnered up. Marty joined her other half
of a twosome and observed Nate craning his neck
for her. She gaily waved in relief, momentarily
forgetting that the instructor rotated partners
like socks on a circular clothesline in the wind.
Nate acknowledged her and strode up to the only
woman left: seventy-five year old Millie.
The Dancemeister asked
everyone to take positions for the tango. This
was the last night for tango, which meant it was
the fourth night, which meant it was not the
beginning night. Nate wouldnt have a clue.