Rain Dancer – Ch. 4 “Heartquake”
“Yes Philip, the other Mexican restaurant is great, but not as good as this new one I’ll introduce you to today” he said to his co-worker friend as they walked toward the conference room where they were scheduled to hold a meeting. Philip responded “what’s wrong with our normal one? You always loved that place!” He stopped outside of the conference room and turned toward Philip “our normal one is ok, but it’s not one to give heartquake or something. I’m tired of the inconsistency there and finding un-chewable chunks in the carne asada.” Philip grinned and continued looking back at him as they entered the conference room “did you just say heartquake? Haha! What the hell is that? It sounds like what you get as food poisoning is setting in!” He answered “heartquake is not something bad! It’s something good. In fact, it’s beyond good so much that it can’t be defined!”
He slammed the door and leaned against it with his back and watched as Philip sat in a chair and placed his meeting materials on the meeting table. “That’s what she gives me, Philip. Heartquake.” Philip raised his eye brows and looked at him over the top of his glasses. “You mean the girl you met the other day? What happens when you experience this ‘heartquake? Did Alicia used to give you that?’”
“Yes her, and we have a date tonight” he answered and then opened the door for a moment to tell the other meeting attendees that he needed one moment before they join and he closed the door. Then he looked at Philip and began explaining while slowly walking toward him “heart quake is a moment, hmm, but more importantly it’s an incredible sensation! It’s when all of the world around you simply stops and the only two things that exist are you and whatever is giving you heartquake. It’s like a state of shock maybe, and you’re not even sure if all you’re seeing is in color or in black and white because it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you continue gravitating toward the other part and merge with it. It’s like the moment before achieving one’s destiny Philip, and the heart starts beating hard. In fact, I think it can be heard beating! And it’s a rhythm, ahhh, between each two beets you feel pulled a little closer to your destiny, like bump bump…” as he takes two steps forward “bump bump” and then leans on the table toward Philip and calmly says “and the thing is, I’m not sure if it’s her that causes it, or simply the fact that she reminds me of Alicia. It happened the first time I saw her on the sidewalk outside the club and in the first moment I saw her on our lunch date” as he holds his chin and looks toward the floor with a confused face.
Philip laughed a little and said “ you’ve gone mad just for the fact that you haven’t had any in a while my friend! I hope you get it soon or even I could be in danger of you wanting to ‘merge’ with me, haha!” He looked away from Philip and replied as he walked to open the door and allow the meeting attendees in “no Philip, you’re too tall. You know I prefer shorter. And you’re an ugly man, Philip; an ugly man!” Philip replied “not according to your mother, my friend.” They both laughed as the door opened and the others entered.
Daytime quickly grew into evening.
“I’m probably giving her way too much control over everything” he said to himself as he sat in his car waiting outside of the Detroit Institute of Arts. It was now 7:51 p.m. and she would be arriving any minute. He remembered their earlier phone conversation in which they discussed the plan for the night as she said “I imagine you’re the kind of guy that likes to make the plan for the evening and knock a girl off her feet, so why not try something different and allow me to plan this one. What you think?” He wittily replied “anything I could do with you while NOT on your feet has to be a good thing, but ok, you go for it. If I’m not impressed there may not be another date.” She laughed and said “well, this plan will definitely be in a public place so you don’t get the wrong idea, mister! Meet me at the DIA at 8:00, okay? And dress casual for this plan!” and the call suddenly ended. He looked at his phone and laughed “ok then, I’ll see you there.”
He sat and waited in the empty parking lot, envisioning the possibilities of the evening “oh no, this will not go well at all. She’s not from here and didn’t realize the DIA is never open this late. She will definitely be distraught when she realizes it and the evening will be ruined” and he started formulating the backup plan that would save the evening, but he was suddenly surprised by someone tapping a key on his car window. It was her! He exited his car, or almost fell out of it actually, as he looked up into her beautiful smiling face. There she stood smiling, holding half full plastic shopping bags in each hand “so, we gonna do this?” she asked. The heartquake moment hadn’t occurred this time because his thinking was focused on the situation at hand. He felt sorry for her and replied “I’m sorry. I don’t think you’ve noticed the place is already closed.
“Someone is being a bad date and not having faith in his planner tonight” she said as she smiled and held up a set of keys and jingled them sarcastically. “Would you be willing to try having faith in something tonight, young lad?”
What was he to do now, and how to jump back into this with full spirit? He suddenly changed his direction toward the institute building and began strutting and maintained a stare back at her and loudly began singing a Proclaimers song “When I go out, yeah I know I’m gonna be. I’m gonna be the man who go goes along with you!” and he stopped and made a ridiculous face while continuing to stare back at her and her surprised wide opened eyes. “AAAAA!” she screamed and then began doing an exaggerated model on the runway strut past him as she loudly sang “If I get drunk, well I know I’m gonna be, I’m gonna be the man who gets drunk next to you!” and she stopped and looked back at him like “well??” He ran to her and took the bags from her hands and held his arm out, gesturing that she place hers in it. She did, and they began walking toward the entrance in perfect pace, together singing “But I would walk five hundred miles! And I would walk five hundred more! Just to be that man who walks a thousand miles to fall down at your door!”
They were laughing hysterically even after entering the building and approaching a security booth where a large black guy wearing a security uniform sat smiling as he watched them approach. “Good evening Miss Tara. I see you brought a guest this time” he said with a deep, but peaceful voice. She replied “it’s just Tara. You’re like family for me so remove any sign of formality” she said as they hugged and she kissed his cheek and then asked with a smile “there are no security checks scheduled in Europe tonight are there?”
He answered “only if I hear screaming. Haa haa…” as he looked at her male companion and jokingly gestured with his fingers pointing to his eyes as if saying he will be watching him. She then held her companions hand and began leading him toward the European painting section of the institute. He was finding it difficult to absorb the moment, as it was almost unbelievable they were the only ones there. It was so quiet and peaceful aside from the sound and echoes of them walking.
“We’re here!” she said and took the shopping bags from him, removed her Blackberry from one, and placed the bags on the floor in front of a painting. Then she initiated a playlist of classical music on the Blackberry and placed it on the table in front of the painting. “Make yourself comfortable” she said and pointed toward two red velvet pillows on the floor. He sat on one and quietly watched as she removed her long black coat to reveal a simple, but cute yellow and black outfit that adorned her splendid figure. Every part of her looked like perfection tonight. From her beautiful eyes and lips to her smooth brown shoulders and beyond… How could any of the art be enjoyed in this place while such a perfected goddess stood in plain view? But, then she pointed at the painting and said “this is my favorite one, recently anyway. It’s Rembrandt and titled ‘The Visitation’ from 1640.” His eyes turned toward the painting and he began analyzing it as she continued speaking. “It’s Mary, newly pregnant with Jesus and Elizabeth, nearly giving birth to John the Baptist. It’s related to one of the most beautiful events of the world, ever, but whenever I look at it for too long, I begin crying, because I see their faces and then foresee how this is related to one of the saddest events of the world as well.” He just sat with an expression of awe as he listened to her and could clearly see her passion related to this painting. Just to show his interest, he knew he had to ask or say something so he asked “did they have peacocks in that part of the world, back then?” and he immediately wished he could have asked something better, but she answered “you noticed! Rembrandt placed that there to symbolize Jesus’ immortality, as there is a myth that peacock flesh never decays!” as she looked into his eyes and suddenly became quiet. His focus completely returned to analyzing her beauty and he asked “can I take a pic of you with your favorite painting?” She answered “of course!” as she sat sideways with one leg up on the table in front of the painting.
“Do I look exactly like ‘her’? The one you’re always thinking about?” she asked him. He didn’t expect that question so suddenly, but answered “there are similarities. I once considered her to be the most beautiful woman in the world, but you are clearly that tonight and every part of your essence has my full attention now.”
He sat back down on the pillow and she sat on the one next to him “It’s ok to talk about it. I won’t feel bad. I just want to hear how you describe things from the past. So, what have you seen in me that is different than her?”
He wanted to change the topic, but thought of a funny and true thing he could say “I have not seen the ugly look in you yet” he answered.
“Haha, that’s horrible! Now you’re calling her ugly?”
“Oh, no! And I don’t think any woman is ugly, actually! But, on rare occasion she had a strange expression manifest on her face, as if all of her brain power had been exhausted and needed a break as she seemed to stare into nothingness. It was so strange and didn’t fit in at all with all of her other looks. And the thing was, she appeared just as beautiful to me in those rare moments of the ugly look and it made me like her more! It felt like a confirmation that I would forever see her as the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m still not sure what was happening in those moments, or if anything was happening at all, but I loved the ugly look! And of course, I never told her about my coined term.”
Her: “The way you described that is intriguing!” and she noticed he was suddenly looking at her with a strong curious expression, so she asked “what are you thinking?” and he answered “I just saw it! You have the ugly look!” and she said “WHAT?” combined with a screeching laugh as she gave him a swift open handed smack to his shoulder.
“HAA HAA! I was only kidding! I don’t think you have the ugly look actually!” and she stared at him with potent angry eyes, yet obviously not angry and began to say “someone’s not getting a….” and didn’t finish the sentence. He smiled and his eyes opened wide “someone’s not getting a what?” and she began doing her signature event of holding her hand up and staring at her finger nails as she clicked them and softly said “sometimes I can’t look into your eyes, because I like them too much.”
He leaned closer to her, softly wrapped his hand around hers to stop the clicking and said “I must admit, that I often feel like I never want to stop looking into yours” and then used his other hand to touch the side of her face and turned it toward him so he could see her eyes.
Him: “All I can see in them beautiful brown spheres, yet fail to find words for. I’m not sure if the sky is falling, or perhaps the rise of a great and powerful city that I’d never want to step out of” and he felt the heartquake begin and it was more intense than he ever felt before. His heart began the rhythm, bump bump……. Bump bump…
Her: Staring into his eyes and beginning to lean toward him, she partially closed her eyes and whispered “When in Rome….”