Eternities : Cosmo Dances

In the blue light of the cathode ray tube the knickknacks in Cosmo’s sitting room, just a few doors down from here, transform into Greek icons, waiting in that unconsecrated space for grace to descend. His wife, gazing into the void, abandons her knitting and lets her veined hands fall into her lap; her eyes see snow, black woods, the grey curdled sky. Chills and alarms, the far off eerie descant of wolves. He has not come home yet; or, if he has, has not yet made his entrance. Outside in the twilit street the green Rambler Classic, dreaming of Kenosha, rusts quietly away : bought with the money won as a prize when Cosmo danced Cossack style in the Town Hall comps decades ago. Now he can only shuffle, step after tiny step, down to the shops and back again in his singlet and slippers, with braces holding up the coarse woollen trousers he always wears. Hair sprouting from his ears, his nose, his chest and a smile for everyone. He’s a kazak, a free man, an adventurer and when he comes at last through the rear door into that blue-lit interior the icons bow down to him, his wife’s eyes fill with tears and the room itself becomes a window into the Land of Hyperborea : a small Rumaiic village in the Caucasus over which the sky clears, the black woods retreat and the sun shines on the cold blue wastes of winter snow. Then the years fall from his shoulders and knees like leaves from a tree; and in the forgotten air of the Orthodox, on the first of the twelve days of Christmas, with arms held across his chest and legs kicking out horizontal along the floor, in the beauty of his wife’s adoration Cosmo dances.

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