Thursday, May 08, 2003

vignette: finale

The coin toss decided matters and we began. We would be the first to perform in the final round. Our last rivals, the Dohnanyi twins, inscrutable in their matching feathered masks, bowed perfectly in unison and stepped away.

The audience around us faded into a blur of gowns and tuxes, their cheers and applause drowned by the swell of strings, the rearranged Bartók concerto we selected for our last dance; at first almost inaudible, ethereal luminescence, then suddenly everywhere - Midori and Kyung-Wha Chung dueling on violins, both long gone but as real as ghosts, savaging the strings, exorcising their sorrow through joyous craft, inviting our bodies to move.

I fought to fight my tears as András took my hand in his.

“Ready, my love?” he smiled the smallest of smiles.

“Yes.” I said, feeling the upswing of the tempo. “Now.”

I felt myself rise through the air, lifted by my husband’s strong arms, arching my back where his hand met my body, then spinning from the heights and back on the floor, where my feet moved to the texture of the music – angry, pained, aching from loss and unmet desire.

Our muscles moved in tandem, guided by rhythm, mirror images made exquisite by endless practice. We knew when to move, no longer thinking but simply moving, breathing, twisting and turning, embraced by the sound, caressed by the invisible.

At one point, we abandoned the choreography, moving like puppets whose strings are suddenly cut, reveling in the freedom of pure motion yet still bound by the omnipresent violins and the dead men that played them – circumscribing circles and patterns where none existed, using the floor and the air as our canvas, our bodies as brushes, our hearts’ palette for an abundance of colors.

And I was lost, lost in music and the dance and victory did not seem as important as it was before.

There was only motion.

And the man I loved.

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