Justin Stone's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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Location: missouri, el paso

The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Monday, December 04, 2006

Hello, Shiny

In my dream last night I am part of one of cinema's great musical numbers. It is a Depression-era picture, and at the outset of the sequence in question I am simply an extra, a fella in worn pleats and tattered fedora standing in a discontented crowd of sadsacks gathered in front of City Hall. We want to get a Rain Bill passed, but you know that wasn't happening, Rain Bills being near impossible to come by in those days. Well, one of the men behind me suddenly has had more than he can take and as fellas are wont to do he begins weeping, I mean letting loose loud rushing waterworks from his pinched face. And wouldn't you know it but right then a tiny little fella with a gigantic moustache in an arched window up near the top of City Hall starts laughing like it is the greatest, most comical thing he has ever seen and he shouts down at us, "Water your crops with that, Shenanigans!" Well, of course nobody takes kindly to being called out as a Shenanigan, I don't care who you are, and so as the cameras continue to roll something deep inside this soil-stained extra comes to sudden resolution and I bolt up the steps of City Hall, do a Soft Shoe on the top step, stutter step down a flight, flip back on me heels and wave me hands about, and I start singing "Hello, Shiny" and Hot Sally if the sadsacks don't turn red in the cheeks with endeavor and they start singing with me, all of us then skipping up and down the steps of City Hall in fleet-footed unison. I feel I am choreographing the dance as I go, but not even thinking about it, more like actualizing it, and the routine evolves organically, rapidly, madcap and daring, and Hot Sally if every man don't just keep right on there in perfect unison with me, moving, shaking, singing, doing the hotfoot, pretty much giving it all we got it, Sure as Someday Comes. And it don't stop there because suddenly women and children are running into the street from school houses and shops, each one of the lovelies twirling and high-kicking into perfect step, mouths rounded in harmony, and like that, in great waves of choreographed brilliance, the all of us sweep across Dalliance Plaza and up the wide fence-lined stretch of Stanley O.K. Dandy Boulevard and into Boogaloo Park (never more aptly named than now!) right down to the bank of the River Shimsham where the crowd gathers me high up into their arms as the song crescendoes mightily, holds quivering magisterial on that final note and snaps smartly to close as somebody smashes huge cymbals together and a hundred hands toss me into the welcome water. My friend hollers, "You're all wet now, Shenanigan!"

We were good. We were really really good. Maybe not every day, and maybe only really that once. But you should've seen us then, Honey. It was magic.