Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Mind Your Mines

Not everyone wanted to join the feud between the Sicilians and the Cubans, especially their immigrant kids who were born here and hadn't emigrated at all. They weren’t competing for jobs and didn’t comprehend their theological differences, but on account of their parents’ enthusiasm for the feud, required a discreet way, or at least a not-too-indiscreet way, to express that desire to do no harm. One look at Estelle Valdes in a halter-top and the Crisafi boys wanted to do a whole lot of no harm, and the plan was concocted, and invitations were palmed in the hallways, and dozens of kids covertly congregated at the abandoned mine. Come dusk dozens of teens descended a coal shaft in elbow gloves and flowing skirts, clothing they never got to wear above, designated for a ball below. Light became scarcer and scarcer as dances were traded and dancing talent was mocked, as hands rested on waists and couples swayed, and kissing became possible, though remained as intimidating a prospect as it was in the world above. It got so dark no one knew whom his partner was, and they stayed a whole half hour down in that pitch-blackness, everyone else dancing as Roberto taught Yelina how to play his guitar, and it was the most elegant thing no one ever saw.

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