Amigo might as well have been a cat. Every night at the restaurant it was the same, when the place filled up, Amigo speeding through a heedless throng, a heavy tray in his hands, held aloft. He never lost control of the tray no matter how heaped. All of him was slim and hard and he smoothly split a path through the crowd, a cat in the tall grass. He noticed the lady in the green dress. She was a regular and he always noticed her because something about her reminded him of his mother.
Later that evening Amigo was at a club with his friends but he recognized her the instant she entered. Paused in the entrance she looked like she wanted to bolt, like she was there on a dare. Until that moment he had forgotten all about her. He must have been in the back of the restaurant when she left because now that he thought about it he had not seen her leave. Had forgotten about her until this minute and now she was standing in the doorway of his salsa club. Without thinking he reached for the tattoo on his shoulder. The tattoo was the outline of his mother’s hand.
Just like every Sunday after work Amigo was with his friends. In a huddle they cavorted until the music started and then they cruised around and propositioned partners. Effortlessly Amigo crossed the room and materialized in front of the lady in the green dress. Wordlessly, gracefully he held out a hand.
“No! I can’t dance!” she said, startled, waving off the stranger.
Amigo did not move. Instead he stared into her anxious eyes, and then decisively he reached and curled his fingertips into hers, like a carpenter’s joint. He touched her so lightly she could not be sure he was doing what she could clearly see him doing.
The music was resonant with steel drums and dueling electric guitars and a big slouch of a man singing, rumblingly.
Amigo drew her to the dance floor. With one hand hovering near her hip, he was not even touching her yet somehow he guided her. His expression was intense. For his part he could feel her body following. He knew exactly what to do with her. Knew precisely how to strum her ignorance.
He had them so they faced each other. Their feet were stepping to the drums, their torsos an inch apart, arms out, palms touching palms, they were clapping against each others hands, the sound was raucous like castanets. She could hardly believe she could keep up with him. He was making this happen, he had led her into this, had made it somehow so she could follow. She was exhilarated and it seemed it was only her and Amigo in the glittering room.
When the music stopped Amigo bowed his head slightly, and turned away. She thought she saw a tattoo of a hand on his shoulder.