This is my second flash fiction story from Apocrypha and Abstractions, originally appearing there in June 2011. This story is based on a poem I wrote in college about my parents’ divorce. When I was a kid, my parents used to take me to a place called The Boogie Barn every Friday night. It was a family friendly live music venue with lots of kids running around, dancing, and popcorn and coke.
I always like watching mom and dad dance. Though she never went alone, I always imagined mom going there after dad left, overcoming her pride and getting up to dance with someone else.
The part about the cowboys is true. They paid young teenage men to dance with the elderly women. I can still see the dancers, young and old, twirling around the dance floor while Larry Gene played country songs with his band.
Here’s the story…
Daddy waltzed Mamma into divorce. Larry Gene Frye was on piano that night at the Boogie Barn, so Mamma went dancing.
“Howdy Ma’am, you wanna dance with me?”
The owner paid pale handsome boys in boots, tight jeans, shiny belt buckles, and big black cowboy hats to dance with the older ladies.
Mamma waved them away, but then Larry began to play Patsy Cline’s “She’s Got You.”
She stood up and waved a new cowboy over.
“Young man, for years I followed a man’s lead,” she said, “tonight you are gonna dance with me. Two step?”