A dance act performed to the rhythm of a boogie-woogie,three voices:
narrator
woman
man

I’ve seen them dance.
Slow – slow – quick – quick.
Backward, forwards,
in alternating steps.
They roll their hips.
And dance the boogie,
The piano knocks on the Woogie bar. His shirt shines red and red her shoes, they turn in circles … he leads her into the solo, she swings away from him … and close again to a figure.
When did your dance start?

Hmhm… Twenty-five years ago. In which we raised three children, drove them through many turbulences, sometimes saw no more land and were torn away by the daily whirlpool and yet we reappeared leaning on one another`s body.

He grabs her hips.
And lifts them up.
Far above his head …
she holds for a moment …
and she’s back.
On the ground and …
Oops, a tripping step … One two three, he intercepted it. Excellent, my old man, perfect. And I follow you and the ripping rhythm. Although I’m tired …
Harmony is their secret.
That’s what she told me. The harmony of their footsteps.
And that one may still be surprised. And surprised. Loving gestures. Flowers, little presents, not just for the anniversary? Yes, all this of course, but even more, something that cannot be described with words …
three, four …
away from him, and
back slow – slow
clasped one’s hands
and by his
straddled legs
and up again
one, two, and before

She is so light, knows the sequence of figures… One touch of the fingertips is enough. Now. Now: Turn around, turn around … It’s as delicate as if it were floating away. But I hold her. Grab her waist, feel her breath on my neck, and rerelease her.

Three, four, alternating.
Now she follows him
the hand on his back.
Slow – slow- quick- quick.
And pushes himself away
spins as it turns
Turns…
apart from each other,
until he holds it again.

And on we go
in the same rhythm.

Who leads who? She’s taking him with her. He’s following her. Three steps forward and three back.

Give me your
Hand and
take me with you with
Love? an example of arithmetic. What you receive here, you must add there again. It’s simple! You just have to follow that logic.

“And the Boogie and the Woogie, all night long…”
the piano hammers
the rhythm, shrieks
the saxophone with it …
But then she called me: there was a crisis, she said, she no longer knew what to do, he had demanded that she could not meet. In former times, when the children were still small, these were not so noticed to her … I was just glad that after all these years, we always cut a good figure with the daily twists and turns. But now they are unbearable to me, his sober calculations, which were never anything but charged feelings.
And he grabs her
around the waist
she kneels easily
weaves the fingers
around his neck
Jump, three, four …
on his hips
That’s great. That’s great. That’s classy. That can only be …
No. You’re mistaking this. I didn’t want to admit it to myself for a long time, kept dancing in rhythm, though, if I stay in the familiar step, I will find my way back to him. One and one equals us. But the more I tried, the more I got out of step.
Stop … and go
Boogie – Woogie
screams the saxophone
Boogie – Woogie
the double bass growls

give me everything
and dance away with me.

But …

Yes, he is a wonderful person, I know, and I try it with patience, again and again, but as soon as I get closer to him, he shows me what I owe him …
one jump to the right
a leap forward
Throw yourself in the back
Get on your knees.

And up, three, four
the rhythm leaves
never you …

But what have you told me about trust and devotion?
Yes… And that he slurped me like an oyster every time, from the tips of his toes to … well … All right. Still, it’s not enough anymore. From the standard mode always the same only remains, the change step brings no more change.

She’s not focused, she messed up the move. Just wait, I’ll lead you to the beat … two, three, yeah, now she follows me, like in her sleep. And yet she hears another melody in her dream.

How tightly he holds me and lets me go and gets back on my feet and leads me into the solo: quick – quick
and come back
and now in the
Knees and again
Upstairs. Side by side …
Every morning when I open my eyes, his breath next to me, I ask myself: Was that all? And again I put on the red shoes … Three, four, five, six,
and throw away
come back again
up close and personal
and turn like
a gyroscope in
his arm.

And stop …
I told her to think things over and be reasonable. That she should look around: the friends have all separated … How he touches her hand, and how she looks at him, fleetingly, almost shyly, and smiles, into his eyes, and he back … you can’t play that, no, no, no. This tension without being tense. Light, like a tightrope walker, high in the air.

Yeah. No. Shut up.

Quick change
left and right and
whirl of it
And one, two, three.
the piano beats
and back to me
Stick to mine.
Shoulder firm and
Throw your legs …

You could talk to him. A journey alone. There’s a crisis everywhere.
And go
Boogie – Woogie
hammering the floor,
and drop me down
and high, left, right
and alternating step …
But there always remains one last question, which he wraps around me like a spider’s web: Why? And I hang on this thread and crawl back to him.

Where is she? Damn it. Damn it. She dances the boogie, whirls away, is mercurial, lively and tears me apart in her whirlpool.
And hip swing
and turn
you. Turn around. Hand
in hand …
She glides further and further away … Sometimes looks through me as if I’m not even there. Or a piece of furniture that’s been blocking her way for a long time. Tell me, what do you want? Show me the way, and I’ll follow you.
Right foot and

left foot and oblique
to the wall in this
Step and
my arms
go crazy, turn away
and return
calls the piano
and three and four
It’s over.


She turns out of his arms and stands, stands foot to foot with him, her arms stretched, holds the tension, her two breath goes wild, her chest lifts and lowers in unison. And there she says, “It’s over now. Loud, into the silence. Take off her shoes and go to the door. Go without turning around. Go into the grey morning.

Cornelia Becker

Cornelia Becker has written short stories, radio plays and lyrical prose which have been published in literary journals and on the radio (Aufbau-Verlag, Rowohlt, Eichborn, LangenMüller, etc.). In 2009, the audio book MagentaRot was published as a collection of short stories; only two years later, the volume of short stories Eintritt frei, Achter-Verlag was published. In August 2014 she published the novel Die Unsterblichkeit der Signora Vero in the LangenMüllerVerlag. She published the artist's book The Children of my Father in the BÜBÜL publishing house. (The book has been translated into Arabic since 2018.) Her novel Der raue Gesang was published by Contra-Bass-Verlag in the summer of 2017. She received awards and scholarships for her work.
Cornelia Becker

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