pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

Waltzing Matilda -- Romantic Interlude (11/27/04; WC: 577)

Waltzing Matilda -- Romantic Interlude

There are loyal hearts; there are spirits brave; there are souls that are pure and true.
    -- Bridges

At the campgrounds the next night, Lupe, one of the Indian women, is eyeballing Paul Peter longingly. If anyone else notices, they refrain from making any comments, which is highly unusual for this group. Finally, Despina, supine with her head resting on her log, can't take it any more.

Getting up, she expectantly holds out her hand, saying, "PP, give me your keys. I think we need a little mood music."

"Hormones running a bit hot?"

"Not mine. I'm just doing a community service, here."

Bringing the jeep close to the outer edge of the campfire circle, she pops in a tape, only to be greeted by raucous music. Three tapes later, she inquires, "Don't you have anything in here you can dance to? The labels are all gone."

Bruno disappears, then comes over, offering her a tape. Tipping it toward the fire, she smiles up at him. "Perfect. PP won't like it, though."

"I hear you like the dance."

"No, not really. I was just being polite that first night."

Paul Peter utters a rude sound. "Polite? You call that polite? You were pasted securely to him in a most impolite manner."

"With that one exception."

Bruno holds out a hand. "May I?"

Charmed, she pushes in the tape, takes his hand and dances.

"Ah, you valtz. Americans no like much the valtz."

Tales from the Vienna Woods is followed by The Blue Danube.

Finally, Lupe asks Paul Peter to dance.

"I don't do that kind of dancing."

"Far too civilized for him," quips Despina in passing.

Thus goaded, he arises and does a hammed-up parody of Bruno's graceful swoops and swirls, even more exaggerated than Yule Brenner's version in Anna and the King of Siam, dragging his hapless partner precariously close to the flames,

"Don't take it out on her, PP. Just say 'no', if you don't intend to dance. You'll scar her for life."

Cu appears suddenly, and Bruno, pleading lack of breath, hands Despina over in mid-twirl. Cu, a fast study, follows Bruno's exact movements, fluidly, not choppily like Paul Peter. At the end of the tape, breathless, giddy, laughing, they collapse against the log.

"That's the first time I've ever heard "Waltzing Matilda" sung as a waltz, not a march, she comments in English.

"Usas español."

"Quién sabe como se dice waltz en español?"

Nobody responds.

Great. Well, ignorance loves company, 'tis said. I guess I'm not the only one who doesn't know the Spanish for all the words in my English vocabulary. "Pues, este baile que se llama the waltz en inglés usa un ritmo 'UNO, dos, tres, UNO, dos, tres, UNO, dos, tres... Pero, aquí in los Estados Unidos, se canta la canción Waltzing Matilda con un ritmo con cuatro even beats a the measure, 'UNO, DOS, TRES, CUATRO, UNO, DOS, TRES, CUATRO, UNO, DOS, TRES, CUATRO, como marchan los soldados del mundo. Por eso, se llama un march en inglés."

Cu, sprawling like a rag doll dropped forgotten after playing, eyes her hopefully, but with no glimmer of understanding.

"Oh, es imposible explicar algo sin palabras!" Exasperated, she finally sings the chorus as a march, clapping the beats and acting very military, then as a waltz, twirling and swooping as she sings.

Alberto appears from the shadows, copying her.

Winding down like a Victrola in need of a hearty crank or two, she settles beside Cu, not quite touching. (this leads to the fire ants piece in my notes...)

Last updated 11/27/04.

Word Count: 577
Reading Level: 5.0

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