by Jake Sarnowski
Angelina stared at her Aunt, spinning effortlessly again and again, her dress blooming out around her, the gentle folds blowing the dust off the ground into small clouds around her feet. Angelina’s father was beyond her, strumming his guitar with such fervor that the strings were in danger of breaking beneath his hand. His face was a deep red, the drenching sweat giving his rough, pock-marked face a smooth and shiny appearance. Angelina wanted to spin like her Aunt. She wanted to see the world pass by her, a single blur, and know that all the eyes were transfixed on her.
As her eyes followed her Aunt, Angelina started to turn in place, bringing her head around as fast as she could and holding it to the last possible second so she wouldn’t miss a moment of her Aunt’s magnificent dervish. Then she felt her mother’s heavy hands on her shoulders, forcing Angelina’s own twirls to a stand-still.
"Mama, I want to dance." Angelina looked up at her mother, whose eyes were straight ahead.
"It’s not proper. No es correcto, mi niña." Angelina followed her mother’s eyes across the floor to her father. He was smiling broadly as another member of the band took a long trumpet solo. His smile was for her Aunt, who never stopped spinning.
Asking for a refill on her water, Angelina took another Dramamine and placed it on her tongue, feeling the bitter taste. The sharp distaste usually helped to keep the nausea at bay, and by closing her eyes with a deep breath the room would feel stable again. The bartender brought her another glass and she gulped it down quickly, anxious for the pill to take affect. Won’t they play something faster?
She held the bottle of Dramamine in her hand and noticed how light it was getting. She’d have to get more before the end of the week. She absently let her eyes and mind wander when it came back at her again, the dizziness. Every object in the bar came at her at once. Picture frames, glasses, tables, people, bottles, even the band- they all attacked her with their individuality. She shut her eyes quickly, taking a deep heavy breath and fighting the sickness. There was just too much, too many lines, too many shapes, too many things in this place to take in.
She finally heard the band begin to play something for her. Stumbling off her stool, she nearly pushed her way through a couple who assumed she was drunk. She found her way to the floor’s center and stood, waiting for the intro to finish and the tempo to take its course. She felt the beat, felt every rhythm of the room and began to dance. The couple she practically knocked over now stared in awe at this woman dancing like a whirlwind in the middle of the floor.
As she spun to the music the world around Angelina blurred into a sea of color, a haze where nothing was definite, nothing demanded anything from her. The dizziness sank away to the bottoms of her feet and was flung away. The sound of the lead singer came from all around her, wrapped about her like a blanket and repeated in her head. Volare