Under her spell. When I moved out of my marriage the first thing I did was to go dancing. My wife had lost interest in dancing and I was absolutely starved for dancing. I had not been allowed to go dancing by myself or with anyone else. At that moment dancing was what I craved. Falling in love was not on my mind. Leela had other plans. I moved out on a Friday. Saturday night I went to The Little Red Hen. The floor was jammed and I was in heaven. I danced with anyone. I just wanted to move to music with a girl in my arms. At the end of a song I was walking off the floor and I saw dark eyes flashing at me. If that sounds like something out of Scheherazade you're on to something.
So much to love about that performance, yes? Jaz had been watching me and she was giving me one hellacious mirada. I didn't know what that was back then but it was hella hypnotic. I asked her to dance like a moth to the flame. I was under her spell from the start.
Foule. We waded into the crowd.
The band struck up a buckle polisher. We were dancing slow and close. She danced like I never felt a girl dance before. Jaz was an elite tanguera. The way she moved her body was new to me. By the time I left that night I had her first and last name on a scrap of paper, along with her email. That was not her SOP, as I found out later. She had a pseudonym she used for dancing. No one even got her first name much less her email. And her last name. She had chosen her next victim.
Getting lost. Jaz and I became lovers and it was a bad idea. I wasn't looking for a lover that night. Neither was she. Jaz was looking for a fling. She had a history of flings. It was a bone of contention in her marriage. To Jaz a fling meant getting lost with someone. Her poster boy for getting lost was Chet Baker. Who else?
Chet sings Lost in each other's arms. For Jaz that meant dancing and hanging out in dives listening to blues. Or even jazz. Sex was more something hinted at than enacted. I was the one who insisted on sex, not knowing any better. Our sex, what little we had, was screamingly insipid. Drugs were the other key element in getting lost. We all know what Chet Baker used to get lost. Jaz used booze. Between the booze and the dives and the crappy sex she wore me out.
But she woke up my desires so long dormant in my loveless marriage. That's why Leela got me out of the house that night and made sure the two of us met. Now I wanted to fall in love, and when Cindy came along it happened just like that.