The start is sudden and inauspicious; the crash of cymbals and banging of drums. It’s followed, though, by the twining of violins and flutes, and it’s the most intimate moment of your life. Your breath is his breath and your rhythm is his heartbeat and when he opens his eyes you can see into forever.
Then the fear hits you like the low throb of a cello. It’s too much, too close and you can’t have this, aren’t allowed it. So you lie and pull away.
What you don’t expect is for him to push back. Didn’t expect it, but it works for the two you. Pull and push, push and pull. His curiosity chases you, a trilling piccolo, and you duck and spin away, the light tinkling of the piano. A dance you call friendship and you think it’s exactly what you need.
And it may be at that, but it’s not what he wants. Every step he takes forward brings him closer in than the last, so your every shifts backwards has to take you a little farther away. You spiral around each other, movements becoming more and more frenetic as time passes. The blaring of the bassoon and screeching violas. And each close encounter is more violent than the last.
Sometimes he leaves, dead, gone, or just too tired to dance, it doesn’t make a difference. The strings play on without accompaniment, and you keep spinning, a moon without a planet, a planet without a star, a binary star without its match. Sometimes you’re the one who bows out a turn, leaving him there waiting. But none of it matters in the end, because you’ll always be partners again soon enough. This dance isn’t over yet.
You can feel the crescendo coming on fast now, feel it in your bones. The music’s rising, snares and cymbals long since given way to the rolling thunder of the bass drum and the deep reverberations of the gong. The steps are frenzied now, closer and farther away than you’ve ever been before. Soon, oh so soon, it will shatter, screams of agony, green rocks and red blood spilling across the floor.
But that’s not how the tension breaks. The crescendo comes as heat and sweat-slick skin, lips and hands, teeth and tongues. It’s a pain so exquisite that it only adds to the explosion of pleasure. Bodies moving closer and faster until a sudden burst, and a cacophony of music so loud you can’t hear a sound. And then
And all that’s left is the gentle strum of cellos.
You get up, ready to go. Practice has bred perfection, and after this you need to pull away so far it will take him years to spiral after you. The dance will start again.
But before you can leave, he grabs you. Beseeching eyes and the quavering note of the flute. He wants a new dance, sure that it doesn’t have to be this way.
Softly, a violin plays.