Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Por una cabeza

He is about a foot taller than me, and as we dance, his cheek rests nearly against the top of my head. He is embracing me in an unusual way tonight, with his free hand lightly cradling my neck. Suddenly he remarks, "I hope you won't think this is obscene..."

Uh-oh, I think.

"...but the scent of your hair is bringing back memories for me."

Oh, thank goodness! Um--maybe.

Aloud, I say, still warily, "Do you mind if I ask what kind of memories?"

At the time, I was using a shampoo with a distinctive herbal scent. Privately, I had wondered whether it smelled like I'd stuck my head into a vat of sage dressing--although I'd always hoped that between rinsing and the sweeter-smelling conditioner that I used, perhaps it wasn't actually as noticeable as I'd thought. I am fully prepared for him to say something like (possibly at best), My first Thanksgiving in America.

"The sea," he answers, to my surprise. "We used to holiday by the sea when I was a child."

As the song continues, I feel him occasionally lightly brushing his hand across my hair, like a harpist running his fingers over the strings, to stir up the scent. There are a number of liberties a man might take in the dance that I would object to, but tonight this is not one of them.