Tag Archives: dancing

Jennie – A Story of Connections

Jennie’s strawberry blonde hair seemed to attract the wrong kind of guy, so she’d given up on them. She focused on her dancing and sculpting, her two passions in life, and spent free time making small terrariums out of old, useless objects. Her most recent creation, a small vine in an old light bulb, was a hit the last time she had the girls over for sushi. They each wanted one, but it would take Jennie another year to go through that many light bulbs.

Her luck with men seemed to be common knowledge in her life. Her friends, neighbors, even acquaintances seemed to know about it. Acquaintance meaning her associate, August, who sold some of her sculptures in a small gallery just down the street from the  vegetarian restaurant where she now sat waiting for, according the August, the “Man of her dreams.”

Jennie had always said she wanted to marry rich. This man was a vet. She didn’t even know how much a vet made. Was he August’s vet? Did she actually bring those little black rats to a vet when they were sick? Jennie shuddered a bit but couldn’t complain; her work seemed to sell fairly well at the little gallery that smelled a bit like a pet shop. But hey, the income padded the small checks she got from the theater where she danced, so she couldn’t complain. Sure, August was a bit of a flake, but she’d known her since college, where she’d excelled and August had eventually dropped out.

The clock over the bar read 7:04. With the schedule Jennie had to keep, combining dance practice, staying fit, her clay studio time and the small events a human being needs to survive, she was a busy woman and stuck strictly to a schedule. If this man, this veterinarian, didn’t show up soon, she would order without him. She had no problem eating alone in a restaurant; she’d done it plenty of times before and could easily do so once again.

The waiter approached. “Can I get you something to drink?”

7:06. “Yes, I’ll have a glass of the house wine. Red.”

He nodded and walked away. She checked her phone for texts. Nothing. After a quick check of her purse, she found the small notebook she kept where she transcribed ideas, either for sculpture or terrariums, and started a sketch of an old kitchen jar from the 1970s she bought at a secondhand store last week and scribbled light drawings of the plants she would fill it with. The waiter brought the wine and she checked the clock.

7:10.

She sipped the wine, checked her phone again, and went back to the sketch. Once she was satisfied with that, she flipped back a few pages to some drawings she’d made of a homeless man in the park the other day and worked on them a bit, perfecting them for a sculpture project she had in mind.

7:13.

The waiter walked by and she flagged him down to order her dinner.

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A Future Star

This original print, along with many others, is now for sale on my Etsy.

Under the Juniper Tree

<play> for a better reading experience

“Meet me under the juniper tree,” was all that the note said, and so as she reached the summit of the hill on her vintage green bicycle, she saw a picnic blanket, basket, and an opened bottle of wine.  And, of course, her boyfriend.

“Cute,” she said as she approached him, leaving the bike propped against the tree.  The blanket, an old plaid one from the sixties they’d bought at a yard sale, was held down on each corner by different objects:  his journal, the wine, a stack of 45s, and the old battery-operated 45 player they scored at a thrift shop.  He moved the needle over the 45 already on the player, and Woman by John Lennon started playing as he stood up and reached his hand out.

“Care to dance?”

She took his hand and they danced under the juniper tree, the wind blowing through the prickly leaves, berries dropping here and there, one landing in her hair.  He reached out and pulled it out, fixed her hair where it was messy from his fingers, and then returned his hand to its original position on the hip of her plaid t-shirt dress.

“You’re something else, aren’t you?” she asked.  He smiled.  “Don’t get a big head over this.  It’s impressive, yes, but still, don’t get cocky.”  Her smile told him he was doing a good job.  “So what’s the occasion?”

He thought about it as they slowly rotated, moving from sun to shade and back again.  He finally shrugged.  “No occasion.  Just felt like it.”

Her arms squeezed a little tighter, making him exhale a little, move his hand up to the back of her head and into her hair, and he brought his lips to hers.  She made a tiny sound, letting him know the feeling of excitement in his chest was shared.

The 45 finished playing, and he stopped kissing and released her, returning to the blanket and opening the basket as she just stood there, a bit dazed.

“I got us hummus, pita, and of course, for you, green olives.  Blech!” he said as he opened the jar and some of the liquid spilled on his hand.  He placed everything on the blanket as she walked over, took her flip flops off and sat, knees together and feet under her.

“How thoughtful!  Try one.”

“No.”

“Have you ever had one?”

“As a kid, yes,  Gross.”  He squinched his face so she understood he didn’t like them.

“Just try one.  For me.”  He looked at her, she pushed out her lower lip, letting him know he didn’t really have a choice.  He opened his mouth, and she threw one at him, missing completely as it rolled down his vintage brown shirt, leaving a small trail of wet brine.

“Nice,” he said, smiling at her as he dabbed at the trail with a napkin.  He picked up the olive and threw it into his mouth.

She watched.

“Well?”

“What?”

She laughed.  “You like it, don’t you.”

“No!” he said with a sound of defensiveness in his voice.  She smiled.

“You don’t have to admit it.  But I know you do.”

He put out the food as she poured the wine into plastic cups.  They ate in silence for a while, taking turns removing the berries from the hummus as they fell from the tree.

“This is nice,” she said to him after a sip of wine.  He smiled at her and refilled her cup, and then his.  She spread more hummus onto her pita and then passed it over to him.  He took a bite and was surprised.

“There was an olive hidden in there!”

“You’re welcome,” she said with a curt smile.  He laughed.

“You’re trouble, you know that?”  She nodded.

He spread some hummus on a piece of pita and took a bite.

He thought about it for a few seconds, and after much deliberation said, “Can you pass me the olives?”

After a know-it-all smile at him, she passed him the olives, and a berry bounced right off the bridge of her nose, making both of them laugh.