sean connery & the cha cha cha

Have I got your attention?
Are you listening?
Yes. Absolutely, Ken. Sorry.
Just trying to multi-task.
What did you want to say?
He rests his flat gray eyes on me.
I used to be a black belt. In Judo.
I had private lessons. From Joe Robinson.
Do you know who Joe Robinson was?
A boxer?
No. He was an actor and stuntman.
Was he? Wow.
Do you know who his other student was?
For some reason I want to say Kendo Nagasaki
but Ken interrupts me before I can
Sean Connery, he says
You must’ve heard of him.
Sean Connery? I say. Yes. Absolutely.
Ken drapes one wasted leg over the other
and links his fingers round the knee
Do you think I will ever be well? he says.
We’ll certainly do everything we can to make you better
Yes, but what I’m saying is – will I be well again? Like I was?
I think the likelihood is that you’ve got an infection
but the antibiotics should help with that
and we’ll certainly keep a close eye on things.
Ken is not convinced
He kicks his foot up and down
and takes a sad, sighing kind of breath
I used to be a dancer, he says,
rolling his lips back over his gums
then releasing them with a smack
Did you? That’s fantastic
Ballroom, waltz, polka, tango, he says.
Have I got your attention?
Are you listening to me?
Yes. Absolutely. You were a dancer as well.
Do you know what my favourite was?
I have to think a minute
going through all the dances I know
Eventually I say: foxtrot?
No. It was the cha cha…
I wait
but he’s run out of steam or interest or both
and the unsaid cha
wobbles in the space between us
like an unpricked bubble
Do you think I’ll ever be well? he says

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