She wants to dance, she longs to feel her body dancing, she lusts to dance. But her legs, her feet, are leaden. Her back, her groin beg, she feels that she's being torn apart. But she does not move.
In her head she exhorts her body, Stupid immobility! Sloth of flesh! Although she hasn’t made a sound she thinks any minute her thoughts will be heard by the lovely, liquid dancers, and she feels their condemnation intensifying her own. They dance by her, now the quickstep, now a paso doble, now the passionate tango—the magnificent tango—and she screams, wrenchingly, pitifully, hysterically, spewing anger and hatred in the primeval sound, condemning the dancers, god, and all evils, and most of all herself.
She has made no sound. She has not moved. Her body, her soul, is on fire. Surely they must hear her, there must be flame. A waiter places a glass before her, an elegant crystal martini glass.
She is startled.
“You look so lovely there, an island of peace in this maelstrom, yet sad. A beautiful woman should not be sad. I’ve brought you a cocktail. On the house.”
Still she cannot speak; but, slowly, she reaches for the glass, raises it to her lips, and drinks of the ice-cold, crisp, sharp gin. The waiter, exorcist, smiles sweetly, and moves on.
Her cerise dress reveals much but hides the bruises. More wait at home. But she won’t go home again, ever. Tonight—tonight she will dance.