Story type: Essay
Very soon now I shall be strong enough on my cyclone leg to resume my lessons in waltzing. It is needless to say that I look forward with great pleasure to that moment. Nature intended that I should glide in the mazy. Tall, lithe, bald-headed, genial, limber in the extreme, suave, soulful, frolicsome at times, yet dignified and reserved toward strangers, light on the foot–on my own foot, I mean–gentle as a woman at times, yet irresistible as a tornado when insulted by a smaller, I am peculiarly fitted to shine in society. Those who have observed my polished brow, when under a strong electric light, say they never saw a man shine so in society as I do.
My wife taught me how to waltz. She would teach me on Saturdays and repair her skirts during the following week. I told her once that I thought I was too brainy to dance. She said she hadn’t noticed that, but she thought I seemed to run too much to legs. My wife is not timid about telling me anything that she thinks will be for my good. When I make a mistake she is perfectly frank with me, and comes right to me and tells me about it, so that I won’t do so again.
I had just learned how to reel around a ballroom to a little waltz music, when I was blown across the State of Mississippi in September last by a high wind, and broke one of my legs which I use in waltzing. When this accident occurred I had just got where I felt at liberty to choose a glorious being with starry eyes and fluffy hair, and magnificently modeled form, to steer me around the rink to the dreamy music of Strauss. One young lady, with whom I had waltzed a good deal, when she heard that my leg was broken, began to attend every dancing party she could hear of, although she had declined a great many previous to that. I asked her how she could be so giddy and so gay when I was suffering. She said she was doing it to drown her sorrow, but her little brother told me on the quiet that she was dancing while I was sick because she felt perfectly safe. A friend of mine says I have a pronounced and distinctly original manner of waltzing, and that he never saw anybody, with one exception, who waltzed as I did, and that was Jumbo. He claimed that either one of us would be a good dancer if he could have the whole ring to himself. He said that he would like to see Jumbo and me waltz together if he were not afraid that I would step on Jumbo and hurt him. You can see what a feeling of jealous hatred it arouses in some small minds when a man gets so that he can mingle in good society and enjoy himself.
I could waltz more easily if the rules did not require such a constant change of position. I am sedentary in my nature, slow to move about, so that it takes a lady of great strength of purpose to pull me around on time.
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