Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The writer Richard Ford wrote something about regret in one of his books. I thought it was The Sportswriter, but maybe I'm wrong. I wish I could remember the line in its entirety. I recall a few words. The idea was that " searing " regret, I'm pretty sure he used that word. Searing. That searing regret can ruin your life.

I have few regrets. But here's one. My wife and I and four friends went to see the Paul Taylor Dance Company perform at Jacob's Pillow in Becket Massachusetts. On our way home we stopped at a roadhouse. Place was just about empty. We got a table, ordered a few pitchers of beer. Then some people started coming into the roadhouse. Young, good looking, in great shape. Two, three, four. Five, six. Seven. Eight. Then it dawned on us who they were. It was the Paul Taylor Dance Company. About to unwind after the show.

One of the guys walked up to the juke box. Selected some tunes. Dropped in his quarters. Music filled the room. And the young men and women started to dance. These same people who had just performed for us, were performing for us again. This time it was a free show, and they were all doing it for the love of it.

We sat there watching them. I'm not much of a dancer, and I'm self conscious as hell. But my wife's pretty outgoing. And my friends were, too. But we just sat there. Drinking our beer and watching this show.

I cannot believe I didn't say, " Let's get up there and dance. We can tell people we danced with the freakin' Paul Taylor Dancers! "

Not one of us said that. Not one of us did that. And we'll never have that chance again.

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