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Charles' Stories Stories by Charles Croes, true Aruban :)

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Old Wednesday, September 7th, 2011, 10:25 AM
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Default The dance – the thing

The earliest I can recall noticing her is when I was just a boy. That is when I became aware of her.

Everywhere we went, she seemed to have also been invited, perhaps not - anyway, she was always there. At the beaches on Sunday I noticed her under the shadows of the palms. Playing with sand and laughing and looking at me as if to say – “Come here shy boy, let’s play”. I was a boy and confused by my youth, I just looked at her carefully. I was just a shy boy. Time passed (At least boyhood years did) and finally I decided to let go. It was at a countryside party – the Cunucu of my father’s friend, and there, inside the room just by the backyard windows, a man was playing an Aruban Waltz on an upright piano while accompanied by the lovely scraping sound of a Wiri while to the side an other man strummed a guitar and the three of them played with a simple elegance that put the wind at bay. Everyone danced and there she was – looking at me. With all in me that was worth to be considered brave I went to the Kwihi tree where she stood quietly and asked her hand to dance to an Aruba Waltz. She let out a breath that wordlessly said “Finally” and walked with me to the smooth cement floor to join the others. We spun like two gangling marionettes on knotted strings, sometimes I held her hand but mostly we just looked at each other and at that early age, I knew that this would not be the last dance, and it wasn’t. That night, I thought of marionettes and let myself go to a slumber-land that was most profound and that would be one of many to come. And when we danced, we twirled and talked and I told her of myself and she of herself and I was led into a wonderment and fairytale place with her stories.

At the earliest age she made sure I understood that she lovingly called her father “The Sun” and her mother “The Moon” and talked about them in such loving terms. They had lived everywhere but loved here the most and looking into my young eyes she said I should not worry and promised me to be here for me always – I believed her – after all, I was boy and boys believe things, don’t they? Happenstance being what it is, we went to the same schools and whispered secrets at lunch – then giggled at the silliness. At the beaches we skipped into the water and laughed in the wetness of the sea as we looked at those that just were never so fortunate as to have friendships such as we did and more often than not, felt badly for them in not knowing this kind of thing. Yes – ‘thing’ is what it was.

Life pulled us into different directions, at least me, but I always remembered dancing the Aruban Waltz with her. I would remember that time of special and so very soft memories. Time was a poor opponent to my desire to be – or at least see her once again, so I went to her place. I walked to the Kwihi tree and there she was, still waiting as promised and holding her hand out once again for our twirling and spinning and laughing and love. I knew that it was love – and I could finally utter the words as we spun. I said over and over again “I love you and love you and love you so much- love me back for at times I feel obsessed”. She responded “I do and it is not obsession but it is a ‘Thing’ that is in you and it is that ‘Thing’ that you see in me that I see in you”. Thereafter my thoughts and dreams once again became those of a child when I closed my eyes and I saw the twirling and spinning and dancing of the two of us. It was endless and it was good. I tried so often to tell others of this love but knew I fell short and said so. It became my prose to say “I wish so much I could tell you just how much I love her but I can’t” and all the while – dancing and spinning and twirling - an aging marionette with renewed strings to hold secure a dance of love.

“She changed”, they told me, I saw it not. To me they said “You are not a boy anymore” of this I am sure – yet there is a ‘thing’ in life, a special ‘thing’ that holds things together and in that process blinds us to change and holds on to childhood memories – for that I am thankful. I am thankful for it allows us to dance – she and I – perhaps a bit slower than then – but to dance and to twirl like aging marionettes. And I know that at the end of this ride through our universe that she will be there for me as she promised when we were just kids at a Cunucu yard dance.

This was something I had to share with others close to me and I did. To those most intimate and perhaps more real, I said – “At the end of my days, She waits for me while standing with outstretched hands under a Kwihi tree and on that day, I will consummate that love” I asked to be understood and thank heavens that I was for as I lie here, body ailing more than it should, my spouse brushes my hair while children hold my hands and she says in soft voice – “Fear not for finally – you will go to her and dance forever into an eternity of happiness. Wait for me as she did for you. I am your spouse and have borne your children but she gave you life after your mother did. Aruba is under the Kwihi tree my love, go dance and I will try as best I can to let them know just how much you love this soil, but I know they will not understand.

be well
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