Whirling. Small, bounding circles in the noonday sun. She’s the kind of crazy dog his granddaddy would’ve shot then claim she’d run away.

Empty skies, blazing heat. A gray privacy fence, trees, cicadas, the rotten smell of the pool next door. In a scrap of shade, chugging the last of a Lone Star, his fourth on an empty stomach. Screw banks and foreclosure notices.

Wrench off the koozie labeled “HIGH ON STRESS,” drop the bottle in the grass next to the cooler. Everything looks bright, vivid.

The little dog stops dancing, comes up to stand in front of his lawn chair, staring.

“I know you,” she says. Her amber eyes hold his gaze and she edges closer, trembling. “You’re a dancer, too.”

He reaches to touch her. A nervous lick and she backs away with a little Michael Jackson shuffle and head bob. She whimpers, begins to dance again in crazy circles, unpredictable rhythms.

He has another Lone Star. Cicadas are applauding in the trees. He looks up at a sky paler than Paul Newman’s eyes. There is no rainbow there, not even a used one. From somewhere near by, the opening strains of “Gimme Shelter” begin their haunting riff, and suddenly dancing doesn’t seem like such a lousy idea at all.

He rises from the chair and pirouettes toward his partner, awaiting him in the blinding sunlight.

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