The Dance Hall ‘The End of A Hundred Year Waltz’
“Terry has a green handkerchief in his shirt pocket. Find somebody else who has a green handkerchief and give it to Bonnie and she can wave it around in front of him. That oughta get his attention,” giggling, Carol tells her sister.
“Why? How’s that gonna turn him on?” Theresa asks her, at a champagne brunch at the dance hall, in Lexington.
“If we do things like that enough times, you know, keep pestering him, get in his face with stuff like that, maybe he’ll come around.”
Walking from the bar area with a glass of champagne in her hand, their cousin, Susan, sees them.
“Are you’s still harassing that poor man? My God, his mother just passed away, last week. Don’t you have any sympathy or any sense of decency? How long are you going to keep driving him crazy? You know he hates stuff like that.”
“It’s fun,” Carol tells her, giggling.
“Fun?! You find out someone he works with has a nickname called Kid, so then you start calling him, Kid. It drove Terry so crazy his bosses didn’t want him working there anymore. You cost him his job, a lot of money, and a damn good pension. And your still at it. What the hell’s wrong with you?”
Carol shrugs it off. “Oh, we’ll find him another job.”
“How long have you been doing this stuff?” Susan asks her.
Carol gets a strange look on her face. “A few years. At least,” she giggles again.
“It’s been longer than that,” Susan reminds her. “I remember eight years ago, when Terry was working as a maintenance man at a hotel. He moved a light fixture on the ceiling at his house, over about twelve inches, and then you had one of the secretaries at the hotel he worked at, to ask him if he could move a light fixture in her condo over twelve inches. He never knew you were behind that, either.”
“Agh… we’ll make him laugh about it and make him think it’s funny… and… it’s been a lot longer than eight years.”
“Funny? You got Pat tampering with his vehicles! That dumb ass belongs in jail. I heard he’s been monkeying around with the electrical system on his vehicles so he gets an electrical shock whenever he touches it. I don’t think that’s very funny.”
“Or how about all of those times you had someone spying on him and eavesdropping on his conversations. Then, you had other people repeat parts of his conversations when he was someplace else. You’re making him paranoid. You’re driving him crazy.”
“Or the time you had his mail delivered to the wrong address, so you could open up his mail to see what was inside?”
“I’m just trying to get his imagination working, in a different way,” Carol explains.
“You’re fucking with his head is what you’re doing.”
“We’re doing it to a lot of guys. How else are we going to get them to do what we want? All of us women have to stick together. And Pat helps.”
“The only reason Pat helps is so that he can act like a big shot, he doesn’t care about anybody but himself. He could care less what happens to people. Some of the women are that way too. As long as they get what they want, they don’t care if they make someone feel bad.”
Bonnie, another sister, walks up to them. “Don’t let the men on to anything. Keep them distracted. Change the subject when they start talking, or do whatever it takes to throw them off guard. Don’t let them have their way,” she tells them.
Terry comes back from the bathroom at the champagne brunch. He wipes his nose with his handkerchief, subconsciously noticing its color, and sits down on a bar stool at the bar. Bonnie comes fluttering up next to him.
“Hi, Terry! How nice it is to see you. How have you been? You’re looking wonderful today!” She’s waving a green handkerchief around.
Terry sees the green handkerchief and unexplainable neurons begin exploding in his head as his mind and brain starts thinking about things he doesn’t understand. His head feels like it’s going to explode. He suddenly starts thinking about a thousand different things, a thousand different coincidences – that are just a little too coincidental. He pretends to be nice to Bonnie, though he really wants to slap the hell out of her for playing these games with him.
The inside, front part of his brain and forehead begins to feel warm and then very hot.
And then very, very hot. “I’m getting a head ache. I was just on my way out.”
“Oh, that’s too bad.” She smiles happily and waves the green handkerchief around in front of his face as he gets up off of the bar stool.
“Okay! Bye! It was nice talking with you. You look great!”
Terry’s small son is sitting next to him, and he jumps off of the bar stool and follows his dad out of the door.
Harold and Laura, Laura’s sister Lucy and her husband Froggy, and Theresa and Joe are sitting at the bar several bar stools down from them and laughing up a storm. The juke box is playing old country and western songs and Froggy likes to dance. His thin, lanky body moves around the pool table just in front of the bar. He shuffles his feet quickly and moves his arms around wildly.
“Look at him!” Theresa tells the others. “He’s a dancing fool!” She chuckles at her own joke.
“That’s my Froggy,” Lucy says determinedly. As she smiles, her teeth are visible near both corners of her mouth but her upper lip hides the ones in the middle. Laura can’t help but laugh at him.
“Lucy! Come dance with me!” Froggy yells at her.
Being short, thin and agile Lucy turns and leaps off of her bar stool and quickly races to him even though he’s only several feet away from her. The two begin shaking their arms, asses and elbows around to the beat of the music.
“Look at them. They’re having so much fun.”
“They’re like that all of the time.”
“I could never do that,” Joe tells them. “That’s not for me.”
“You don’t like to dance?” Laura asks him.
“Not like that.” He replies with a smile on his face and starts to move his arms and elbows around in a circular motion and making funny faces.
“That’s too bad,” Laura tells him. “Harold doesn’t like to dance either.”
“I don’t mind the slow ones. These fast ones I just can’t get the rhythm of the beat down. I look like some kind of monkey jumping around.”
“Well, you’d fit right in with these two,” Laura quips making Theresa and Joe burst out laughing.
“You couldn’t look any worse either!”
“I don’t want to look like those two,” Harold tells them. “They sure like to dance, though, that’s for sure.”
“There just having fun. They’re not hurting anyone.”
Laura’s sister, Lucy strolls up to Theresa and whispers in her ear
. “Don’t you ever fucking call my husband a fool again. All right?” Lucy stares into Theresa’s eyes without fear, and loathing. “All right?”
Theresa’s stare and stance is frozen and she doesn’t move or know what to make of this sudden development. “Oh, Lucy, I meant like a crazy fool or a nutty fool. In a good, fun natured sort of way.” She wiggles her shoulders and smiles a full smile at her.
“I’m warnin you.” She points her index finger at her and wiggles it at her, as her small frame starts to walk away. She smiles only enough to where just the corners of her mouth creep up, she turns and disappears into the crowd.
People around her hear her and become uncomfortable, and in a short while several people decide to leave.
“Hey, hey,” Joe tells her. “That’s my wife you’re talking to!”
“Lucy’s my sister-in-law, and Theresa was my sister before she was your wife,” Harold yells at him. Intensely, Harold shakes his head back and forth, making his greased back hair shake from one side to the other. “And I’ll tell her, or you, any God damn thing I want to.”
“The hell you will,” Joe tells him starting to get red in the face and beginning to wear an odd smirk. “Don’t piss me off.” Harold looks back at his brother-in-law and warns him. Just as quickly, he suddenly looks away.
“That’s it. I’ve had enough of this,” Joe says turning to Theresa. “I’m ready to go. Now.” He stands up and starts walking towards the door, unexpectedly stops and turns around to look at her. “Are you coming?” Theresa quickly rushes up to his side, and the two leave with their arms tightly wound against each other’s waist. “No. Don’t go! Harold! What did you go and do that for?! God Almighty…” Laura looks at him with disapproval written all over her face.
“I heard the whole thing. So don’t tell me anything. Theresa made a comment that Lucy took the wrong way. Joe didn’t have to say anything. It was already over with!” Harold tells her sternly.
“I’ve got a good mind to tell that meddling ass hole myself.” Laura’s eyes are getting as big as saucers listening to him. “Come on. Let’s go. You’ve had enough, too. Come on.” She holds out her hand for his and she seems calm and friendly, even smiling. Harold looks at her, at first still mad, and then with reality sinking in slowly realizes she’s right. Suddenly, Frank walks in through the side door of the bar looking somber. “Terry was in an automobile accident with another car. Terry and his son were both killed. So were two people in another car.
” Gasps of disbelief are heard around the room. “Oh, my God! What happened?” “Who was in the other car?” “People from another state. I guess he didn’t stop at a stop sign and T-boned the other car.”
“He looked pretty upset when he left earlier. I wonder if something was bothering him.” “Where’s Bonnie? She was talking to him, ask her.” “Bonnie!” Someone immediately yells.
“What were you and Terry talking about before he left? Did he say anything about something bothering him?” Bonnie looks peculiar. “No! Nothing!” She lies.