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Terri, now lacing up her skates. Michael watching. And over loud speaker in indoor cool mist skating rink: Jackson Browne:
Every one I know Everywhere I go People need some reason to believe
Terri smiling. A glow that warms entire ice rink. She and Michael skating in circles. He is enthralled. She is beaming. They are ice skating. A cool mist that somehow, someway warms them. Like they were some kind of northern people, despite Terri's gentle southern draw. She and Michael skating in circles.
And from those slow, lazy, circles around cool misty ice rink; pretty Terri keeps skating as Michael fades: and she hears a tune tapped out on a floor that’s turned from ice into well worn wood. Tap dancing. An old black man in corner of. . . .it’s a cell. . .he bows and taps out:
Once I lived life of a millionaire Spending my money, I just didn’t care Took all of my friends out For a very good time Buying bootleg whiskey Champaign and wine. . . .
Terri watches and old man says, “Mr William Robinson. They call me Bo Jangles. I am pleased to meet you ma'am."
Terri nods. He says---someday there will be a song. . .and to rhythm of tap dance Terri watches and hears:
I knew a man Bojangles and he danced for you In worn out shoes With silver hair a ragged shirt and baggy pants The old soft shoe He jumped so high, jumped so high. .
And then to rhythm of tap. Terri heard noise that had somehow been lingering at edge of something far away. She heard:
“This is about sanctity of life.” But distant clamor of noise and hollow mish mash of words spoken about some one other than her fade into dust and then nothing as Mr Bojangles keeps dancing. He taps out:
I met him in a cell in New Orleans. I was Down and out
She heard her poor, sad parents and brother from far, far away: and she forgave them.
Mr Bojangles tapped out
He talked of life, he talked of life. . .
And then they were ice skating again! She and Michael. And all noise from far away not only gone, it was forgotten.
And then Mr Bojangles: she heard him tap:
He let go a laugh, he let go a laugh Shook back his clothes all around!
And then with all clamor of background noise gone, just like on a bright, clear Easter morning, leaping up from circles of that ice rink, beaming like she did when she first walked thru that kitchen door:
Mr Bojangles gave her a nod. And Terri Schiavo tapped out her own dance.
Roger Wright can be found on his salon.com blog CHURCH FOOD CHICAGO. He connects things in strange ways.