By the Light of the Spanish Moon
The young Spanish man put his arm around my waist as he turned me towards him. His brown eyes locked into mine. I looked down at his tight black pants and heeled boots. He stomped his foot and forced my eyes back to his. My skin tingled. My heart beat fast. The world around me disappeared. Only this man and the music existed.
Cradoc and I were drawn to the Bodega Nachomar, a small bar in the port of Estepona, by the sound of live flamenco music, the first we heard in the quiet off season along the Costa del Sol. A few metal tables, covered with red checkered cloths, were set up under the covered outdoor portal. A heavy-set blond woman sang slightly out of tune into a hand-held microphone while she leaned on a high stool as a stocky man next to her played flamenco on his guitar. An older man with a cigarette dangling from his mouth, waved me closer. “Sit and have a drink,” he said. I shook my head and stood to the side. I watched a couple dance in a small area between the tables. Cradoc stood further back on the sidewalk so he wouldn’t feel obligated to buy a drink. In a circle around the clearing of the make-shift dance floor sat two British couples, a waitress and a few local Spanish people who clapped their hands to the music.
The song changed and the dancing man glided towards me. He shook his long, black curly hair behind him, stopped, took the stance of a matador, his pelvis thrust forward with one arm held out to the side as the other reached for me to join him. I hesitated a moment. Then I put down my backpack and let myself be pulled into his web.
I emptied my mind of the fact that I had no idea what I was doing and let the spirit of the dark tones of the music enter my body. I didn’t care how I looked. In my mind my black sneakers were replaced by black strapped shoes with two inch wide heels so my stomp could be heard clearly. My jeans turned into a tightly fitted long sleeve red polka dot dress that flared out in a wave of ruffles below my hips to my ankles. My pony tail had been transformed into a french twist with a yellow silk rose tucked behind my left ear. My lips were blood red and red hoop earrings dripped from my ears.
With my head held high, I raised my arms and splayed my fingers, the dancer’s eyes still locked into mine. My arms moved as his did, swirling in the air, in wide fluid circles. I flipped and swirled the imaginary fabric of my dress. I felt his hands on my waist guiding my movements and I surrendered to his touch. There were no steps to follow, only a way of life to move into.
I wished the music would never stop, that I could move this way forever, with someone’s gentle touch on my waist moving me forward in my life.
But the music did stop. The small crowd applauded and the waitress gave me the thumbs up as the dancer bowed to me. I grabbed my backpack and floated towards Cradoc.
“That was great,” he said.
“It was. Did you take any photos?” I asked.
“No, I didn’t even think of it. All I kept thinking about as I watched you was how much you love to dance.”
“How long did I dance for?”
“About five minutes.”
“I had no idea, it could have been one minute or thirty. I was possessed by the music.”
We walked to the marina to watch the “super” full moon rise over the Mediterranean. This event, when the moon’s so close to the earth, last happened eighteen years ago. I thought about how my life had waxed and waned since we first tried to move to Europe, a short time before the last super full moon. Only now, like the moon, was I back in my full power.
A quote I read recently by the author Diane Ackerman came to mind: “There are moments on the brink, when you can give yourself to a lover, or not; give in to self-doubt, uncertainty, and admonishment, or not; dive into a different culture, or not; set sail for the unknown, or not; walk out onto a stage, or not…Resist then, and…there is only what might have been.”
I reached out my hand to Cradoc and we walked back to our apartment guided on our way by the light of the Spanish moon.