Monday, October 14, 2013

A Glorious Fall Afternoon

A glorious fall afternoon. We picked ripe orange cherry tomatoes, clinging to the late fall vines. Bug smushed them in her mouth, and sometimes her hands, slippery seeds clinging to her shirt and chin. We picked peppers from bushy, vining plants-- bell, italian sweet, poblanos, and brilliant red thai hot peppers. A few curling late season string beans, Little Bug picked a fat yellow one and crunched on it. I cut bunches of herbs for drying. We lay on our backs in the grass, looking at the clouds. A monarch butterfly fluttered past, the smell of the herbs fragrant around us. Bug lay on her back next to me, her head pillowed on my arm, content, giggling at nothing in particular, commenting on this or that with complete sincerity, in Bug language, twisting to look into my eyes to make sure I was following. I was, every word.

Later, we went dancing, the Sunday milonga at Oasis. Bug and I went early, we had dinner there. When our pizza and quesadilla came, she was eager, climbed up onto her chair, reaching above her head to her plate, munching happily on pieces I cut for her. When her hunger was assuaged, she climbed onto my lap, watching me eat. Then she wriggled down, reached for my hand, and led me onto the dance floor. We danced, forwards and backwards, her giggles filling the room as she pulled us in circles until we were dizzy. Dad came later, her face lit up when she saw him, and she leaned her head on his chest, their faces so alike. They danced together, a dance of silly colgadas and volcadas and lots of laughter. She fell asleep on his shoulder. She looked at us when he put her in the stroller, but closed her eyes again. Seeing me free another tanguero took my hand, and I didn't refuse. My sweetheart took another partner. But the next tanda we danced together, and the next, and then the compacita without letting go of each other. We kept dancing through the song after the compacita that wasn't tango at all.

Little Bug was asleep when we got home, and the bed was ours.

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