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“Bob! Bob!” the woman next to me instructed loudly, “Tell her why you wouldn’t marry that one lady last year!”

Obediently, the man across the table, Bob, gruffed, “Oh her! That was the damnedest thing! She told me if I wanted to marry her, I couldn’t go to dances anymore! ‘Well,’ I said, I don’t reckon I can do that.’”

Looking at the woman who commanded that he tell the story, Bob reminded her, “June Stewart was her name. You remember June, don’t you, Helen?”

“Course I do,” Helen replied.

With pearl-gray hairs carefully slicked back for his night out, Bob earnestly admitted, “See, I’m looking to find me a woman to marry. But she’s gotta like to dance.”

Then, as if revisiting a special memory, a long pause followed before he said softly, “My wife, Louise, died 12 years ago. I’ve been single ever since.” He sighed deeply, and then stated, “I thought I’d finally found someone, you know.” Glancing in the direction of the floor, Bob shook his head and then completed his thought with, “But June there, she didn’t dance and had no intentions of learning. Can you imagine that?”

Helen nodded in amused yet complete understanding.

In Dallas on business, I’d wandered into the dinner club nearest my hotel with hardly a glance at the sign announcing it was “Country Seniors Night.” I looked around. Crimson Crooners, a country band, was setting up. Nearly all the tables were full of seniors, obviously here for the dance.

As the band struck up a lively two-stepper, the couples, holding hands, made their way to the dance floor, snapping their fingers, swaying, swooning and bobbing all the way to their spots.

Not at all inhibited—neither by personality nor by their arthritis, silver hair or deepening laugh lines—the seniors danced. Oh, how they danced!

And were transformed by it. There was something indescribably alive in their dancing, a radiance of sorts. I watched, mesmerized and enchanted by the animation: faces glowed, eyes sparkled, lips eagerly mouthed the words, limber shoulders swayed to the rhythm, quick feet moved to the beat of the music. All movements defied the dancers’ ages. My eyes drifted to Bob, who moments ago I had seen, now dancing with his partner.

The table next to mine grew so crowded that it overflowed, and I was soon included in the throng. Now returning from the dance floor, Helen looked at me and said breathlessly with a grin, “That’s a great tune, isn’t it?”

“Sure is,” I replied and then complimented, “You’re really good out there. How long have you and your husband been dancing together?”

Pleased at the praise, she confided, “With this husband, just17 years. My first husband passed away. He and I had well over 30 years of dancing together!”

With a look of satisfaction, she added, “When Clem asked me to marry him, I told him he had to promise me that we would go dancing once a week—no excuses!” From his seat beside her, Clem chuckled and chimed in, “She sure did! But that was easy to promise. I mean, I get to hold my gal in my arms and dance, too. What could be better?”

Looking around the room at these happy and exuberant seniors, I wondered if it was dancing that caused them to “gussy up” and brought them out in such great numbers. Or was it the socialization, the fun and connection of being in each other’s company? I decided to ask.

“What’s so special about dancing, Bob?” I asked.

“Great exercise. Great fun,” came his reply, as though it needed no explaining.

“So is swimming, even walking,” I responded.

“No, no!” Bob said defiantly. “Nothing compares to dancing! If it weren’t for dancing, we’d all be sitting home on the couch watching TV. That’s no way to live!”

He pondered for a moment and then added what I think was perhaps one of the most important reasons so many came that night: “Dancing keeps me young. Don’t feel any of my aches and pains when I’m dancing!” With a whimsical expression, Bob professed, “Out there, I’m young again. Just feel more alive. I’m ageless when I’m dancing!” Sounds of agreement circled the table.

The band started to play a twangy tune. Immediately Bob stood up and announced, “Let’s dance, boys!” His eyes scanned the crowd for a partner, but stopped when he noticed a petite woman smartly dressed in black slacks and a white blouse heavily studded with multico-lored rhinestones. She stood near the entrance of the room. At first he looked startled, but that look was quickly replaced by a coy smile. In a hushed tone that held both surprise and delight, he declared, “Well, I’ll be!”

“Look at June!” Helen exclaimed, “She finally came in.”

Bob, the once-gruff 76-year-old “boy”, now stood meekly in front of June, his head lowered, his cowboy hat off, held with both hands. They stood together talking, until June gestured toward the dance floor. With a big grin on his face, Bob escorted his June to the dance floor, draped an arm around her, and slowly and delicately directed her moves to the romantic ballad now being played...






接下来,他好像重温一段特别的回忆一般,静默了好一阵子,才轻声说道:“我的妻子路易丝12年前去世了,从那以后我就一直单身。”他深深叹了一口气,接着说:“我以为自己总会找到另一半的。” 鲍勃的目光投向舞池,摇了摇头,继续吐露心声:“可是那个琼,她不会跳舞,也没打算学。你能想象吗?”









海伦一副知足的样子,继续说道:“克莱姆要我嫁给他的时候,我要他答应我每个礼拜都要一起去跳一次舞,不许找借口!” 坐在她旁边的克莱姆呵呵笑着,插话道:“她是这么说的!不过,要答应这个很简单。我是说,我也能把我的女人揽在怀里跳舞啊,还有什么比这更好的呢?”










2011-02-15 11:20 编辑:kuaileyingyu