La La La La
It hit me in the middle of a dance floor, like a truck as we used to say, or like a whoosh of wind, which we never said, but what the feeling more closely resembles. Step out the front door on a pre-tornado evening, the wind hits just so, and the only way to walk is to lean into it. Before walking, though, that flitting moment where you are surprised by the wind and you get a little unbalanced, before you automatically tilt your body towards—that's the moment I'm talking about. That instant, the instant of impact.
That's what happened to me, in the middle of the la la la la song, the one that's so easy to sing while busting a move. Yes, I know you can tell I grew up in the 80s. It's important, that bit, because it's where my earnestness comes from, my desire for public service announcements and big hair. We were belting out the La La, La la-la-la parts. And I felt the wind pushing against me. I stopped and braced myself to lean in, though of course, there wasn't any counter force because the wind was metaphorical. So I fell into him and he caught me and instead of saying sorry or thank you, I sang out some more la la-s and he responded with la la la and propped me upright on my heels.
We laughed, each with a matching twinkle in our eyes, and sang the la la la la-s right on cue. The next song had other words, but when I couldn't remember the second line, I sang La la instead, and he noticed. Then he sang la la la la-la for the fourth line, and the whole chorus, except for the word strike. Then the chorus came around again and I sang all the words except strike.
We went to dinner the next night, and ordered the ahi lala, drank la la la-la la-s, and for desert, la la flambé. After the movie, we agreed the themes of la la and la la la were too dark for a first date, but perfect for a la la date. We la la-ed, after that, three times. I called in to work with my la la-s, and we went for chocolate la la-s and café au lala with lala for breakfast where he la la-ed and I la la-ed and we agreed to la la for the rest of our lives. But after the first La La things went a bit more la la than either of us could imagine. I called my mom, but she never talked la la la before so she was out of touch. I la la la-ed for days on end, and he slammed the la every morning and every evening so I knew la la la-ing would not work. Of course I tried la, and La, and LA LA LA. But it appeared to be irreconcilably la. So we la la-ed.
Wendy BoodeGraaff's work has been published in Critical Read, Across the Margin, Jellyfish Review and Oxford Magazine and is forthcoming in Lily Poetry Review, West Trade Review and NOON.