Ed and Hank, 4th update, (part 4)
Sunshine on a cloudy day… part 4
Out for dinner...
Note: Part 4 of 4 parts. Disclaimer: Hank told their story to Annie Proulx. Jack and Ennis are all hers. Ed and Hank belong only to each other. $$: Nah... All you need is lurve. Comments: Always appreciated.
4th update, part 1 is here:
4th update, part 2 is here:
4th update, part 3 is here:
Everything else is here:
on a cloudy day...
Out for dinner…
“Good spit-take, Iris.”
“Hank… ya gotta stop imitatin' Ruth surfin' tha' internet… Or I ain’t never gonna be able ta face her again.”
“Yeah ya will, Ed." Still laughing, Hank looked back at Iris, "Ya okay, Iris?”
“Jeez…” Iris struggled to stop laughing and coughing, “It was either gonna come out my mouth or my nose. Went for the lesser of two evils. For me at least. Sorry, Hank.”
“Here… have a napkin.”
“Thanks. You shouldn’t make a girl laugh like that when she’s drinking.”
Ed frowned at Iris, “Woman.”
Iris started laughing and then coughing again, “Good one, dad… Ugh… That time it did start out my nose.”
“Do you remember the only time yer dad ever did a spit-take? Was righ’ at this here table. Three of us sittin’ ‘round it, jus’ like this, ‘xcept it were dinner, not breakfast.”
“How could I ever forget?”
“C’mon… don’ go bringin’ tha’ up, Hank.”
“’S funny, Ed.” Hank turned to Iris, “Doubt ya ever knew how long we’d been arguin’ ‘fore that… musta been off ‘n on fer a couple a years… ever since ya started visitin’ us here after ya gone off ta college… I thought Ed should tell ya ‘bout us ‘n he said no way was he ever gonna tell you ‘bout us.”
“Why should I have had ta tell Iris ‘bout us if’n you never even told yer folks outrigh’?”
“Yeah… but ain’t like ya ever wanted me ta tell my folks”
“Well I don’ understand why you wanted me ta tell Iris.”
“’Cause I was ‘fraid she’d figure it out on her own ‘n it’d be harder on her if’n it happened tha’ way.”
“Okay… okay… enough you two. It doesn’t really matter anymore, does it?”
“Well tha’ were all on account a you, Iris.” Hank laughed, “Shit… the way you made tha’ announcement… Near dropped my teeth.”
“Boy… I was full of it back then. Thought I knew all there was to know about anything and everything. Up to and including love.”
Hank grinned, “Still remember wha’ ya said, word fer word…Ya said, ‘Any fool can see plain as day tha’ you two love each other. So stop pretendin’ ya don’ jus’ ‘cause I‘m around’.”
“Yer dad hit me full-on with tha’ spit-take.” Iris and Hank laughed helplessly for a minute before Hank recovered enough to speak again, “After yer dad stopped coughing it were so quiet tha’ ya could hear the beer drippin’ off me ‘n hittin’ the floor.”
“The look on both your faces… I wish I had had a camera… Then… remember Hank…? You were the one who finally broke that silence…”
“I did, didn’t I? Real eloquent-like too. Think I stuttered out something along the lines of, ‘Uh… Iris… I… uh… we…’”
Iris laughed, “Yep. I think those were your exact words. And I said, ‘Don’t worry. It’s okay by me’.”
“And then yer dad said… C’mon, Ed… say wha’ ya said…”
“Only spoke all a two words… Tell ya… I seen yer dad turn red a whole lotta times… but I don’ think I ever saw him turn quite tha’ shade a red ‘fore or since.”
“Wha’d ya ‘xpect after m' own daughter just outed me at m' own dinner table?” Ed tried to frown, but failed, “Jus’ wish ya had waited ‘til after dessert, Iris.”
“I could’ve sworn we still ate dessert.”
“We did. But ain’t like I tasted it. Real waste a good pie.”
“Never even asked ya, Iris… How did ya know? Way yer dad was when you were ‘round… wouldn’ hardly even look at me… cain’t imagine tha’ ya seen us doin’ somethin’.”
“Well… like I said, any fool could have seen that you two were in lurve, it was plain on your faces whenever ya did look at each other. Which wasn’t often. But I was watching out for it too… after mom told me.”
“Yer mom?” Hank was surprised, “Ed, ya never told me tha’ ya told Nora.”
“I didn’. Least-wise not way back then. 'N I never did tell her outrigh’.”
“Wha’d yer ma say ta ya, Iris?”
“Lemme think… It was right after I had gone off to college but before I started visiting you two here. She sat me down and told me that she thought maybe you and Hank were more than friends. She told me sometimes men loved men and women loved women the way that men love women and women love men.”
“Guess tha’ were clear ‘nough.”
“Well… it got the general idea across to me anyway…”
“She said that might be how you and dad felt about each other. She also told me that people who felt that way weren’t always treated very well and usually had to hide it… ‘specially in these parts… so I shouldn’t say anything to anyone else about it.”
“Did she tell ya how she knew ‘bout us?”
“Nope. She never said anything about that. I think she just didn’t want me being surprised by anything I might see or notice and I bet she didn’t want me getting you in trouble by saying something to the wrong person.”
“Well… tha’ was real nice a yer ma, Iris.” Hank turned to Ed, "Think we owe Nora a whole lotta thanks fer lettin' Iris know 'bout us ahead a time."
Ed laughed, “Yeah… But it woulda been even nicer if'n Nora woulda thought ta prepare us fer Iris.”
“Hey… I think you should be thanking me, dad. That was about as easy on you as it ever coulda been. All you had to do was get two whole words out… ‘Okay then.’”
“You’re welcome, dad.”
Hank and Iris started laughing again, “Guess yer dad hasn’t changed much, Iris.”
Ed, Hank and Iris turned to look as Bill opened the kitchen door and walked in, “Looks like ‘m late ta the party.”
“Nope. Just in time. Help yer self ta some coffee ‘n some muffins. Iris made 'em.”
“Thanks. They look real good, Iris.”
“Muffins are about the best I can do. Couldn’t make a decent pie to save my life. Guess I failed you there… huh, dad?”
“Ain’t nobody perfect, Iris. I don’ hold it against ya none.”
“I appreciate it, dad.”
“Thanks fer havin’ us ta dinner last night. Me ‘n Betty had a real good time. ‘N tha’ Indian food were real tasty.”
“Glad you liked it. There’s some leftovers if you want a snack later. Just help yourself.”
“Migh' take ya up on tha' offer. ‘N lemme know if’n ya need help movin’ tha’ stove in order ta clean under it.”
“I might take you up on that offer. I never made paneer before. Didn’t realize the milk would boil over like that. Yuch. What a mess.” Iris laughed, “Shouldn’t all you country-folk know about stuff like that? Coulda warned me...”
“This here’s a ranch, Sunshine, not a dairy farm. Don’ gen’rally make our own cheese.”
“Was jus’ like we were all starrin’ in our very own episode of ‘Green Acres’ with tha’ sorry attempt at cheese-makin’.”
Iris laughed, “I think I’ve been insulted… I thought the paneer turned out pretty good. Edible anyway. And at least I didn’t make ‘hotscakes’.”
“Long story, Bill... Purty much all tha’ woman in tha’ show ever cooked was hotcakes. Called ‘em hotscakes. Served ‘em mornin’, noon, ‘n night. ‘N ta give ya some idea how not good they were... think her husband even used ‘em ta fix his tractor once or twice.”
“Well, glad you didn’ make 'hotscakes' this mornin’, Iris. These muffins sure are good.”
“Betty said anytime this mornin' was fine if’n ya wanna go see tha’ quilt. Jus’ give her a call ‘fore ya go on over ta make sure she’s ‘round.”
“Great. I cain't wait to see it.”
“Yeah. I think she’d like that a lot. Well… Jus’ came in ta say ‘howdy’… Think I’ll be gettin’ back to work. Mind if’n I take another muffin with me, Iris?”
“See y’all later.”
“See you later, Bill.”
“See ya, Bill.”
“Be out in a minute, Bill. Hey Iris, ya wanna go fer a ride when ya get back from Betty's?”
“I’d like that a lot, dad. Ya wanna come along, Hank?"
Ed spoke before Hank could answer, “Nope. He ain’t allowed ta come. Want ya all ta ma self fer a change. ‘Sides it'll be a relief ta talk ta someone withou’ worryin’ bout every word bein’ writ’ down ‘n then plastered all over tha’ internet.”
“Might be at that dad. Think I’m beginning to know how you feel.”
“Ain’t tha’ bad. Is it? Ed…? Iris…?”
Ed ignored Hank and gave Iris a kiss on the cheek, “How 'bout we try 'n meet up 'round 'bout lunch time? If'n yer gonna be late jus' call."
"Sounds good, dad."
“Hey… wha’ ‘bout me?”
“Wha’ ‘bout you?”
“Don’ I get no kiss? Think Iris knows damn well tha’ ya kiss me.”
Ed turned a little redder than his now-seemingly-permanent rosy glow, then bent down and gave Hank a quick, but not too quick, kiss on the lips, “See ya later, dumbass.”
“My eyes…! My eyes…!”
“Cut it out Iris.” Ed turned two shades redder than before then headed out the door.
“See ya later, dad.”
“Well, tha’ only took…” Hank looked at his watch, “How long ya been comin’ here ta visit us? Twenty-some years? Twenty more years ‘n he oughta be professin’ his love fer me out loud righ’ in front a ya.”
“Stranger things have happened, Hank.”
“Tha’s fer damn sure. Never in a million years thought yer dad would out us ta them neighbors.”
“Dad really did that? I thought maybe you made that up so you’d have something to write about. Seemed a little over the top to me.”
“Nope. Don’ make stuff up… he really did that.”
“Yeah. Guess I shouldna said yer dad ain't changed. He has changed... a whole lot this past year. He’s still his self ‘n all… Jus’ diff’rent too. Hard ta put inta words. Ain’t complainin’ none though.”
“I can see it too, Hank. And I wouldn’t be surprised if dad says he loves you in front of me in... let's say... ten more years at the most. Or five. Or maybe even before I leave.”
“It’s possible. Sure wouldna thought it were possible last year at this time.” Hank frowned, “'N I sure wish ya could stay longer. Been real nice havin' ya around.”
“I wish I could stay longer too. Not really looking forward to going home this time.”
“You decided what yer doin’ yet? ‘Bout movin’ in with Alex…”
“Nope. Well… yeah… I’ve got to talk to him. Tell him how I feel… that I’m not ready to move in together. ‘Cause I’m just not. I know it'll hurt Alex. And I don’t know what’ll happen from there... but I have a feeling that it might be the end of things.”
“Sorry ta hear tha’, Iris. Ya gonna be alright?”
“Yeah... No... I dunno…" Iris smiled, "How's that for a clear-cut answer? Don't worry, Hank... I'll be fine."
"Ya never know, Iris… you still might fall in lurve someday...”
“Like I said before… stranger things have happened. Not gonna live my life waiting for it though. Never have.”
“Yeah, but maybe ya gotta give yer self a chance too. ‘N sure… in most ways it’s somethin’ tha’ jus’ finds ya… somethin’ ya jus’ fall inta… but I think part a it is tha’ ya also gotta be willin’ ta take tha’ first step off a tha’ cliff. ‘N takin’ tha’ first step calls fer a mighty big leap a faith.” Hank smiled, “‘Course it helps ta be isolated up on top a some mountain fer a l'il while so’s there ain’t hardly no way ta escape it.”
“I think I know what you’re saying, Hank. And maybe I’m more afraid of taking that leap than I realize. I may have hit the ground a little too hard after my very first fall…"
“That the one that left them scars you were talkin' bout before?”
“That’s the one. And it’s a lot harder to step off that cliff again when you know what it feels like to hit bottom.” Iris laughed, “Maybe now’s the time for that ‘I Will Survive’ song… Nah… it's still not quite right…”
“…uh…” Hank hesitated, but knew he had to say it, “Guess you were right ‘bout 'Corlinda the Queen a the Shepherdesses' endin’ up with Robin Hood. Way they looked ta gether last night ‘n all.”
Iris laughed again, “I sure was. But it’s Clorinda.”
“You okay with tha’, ‘Maid Marian’?”
“Yeah. I know you don’t quite believe me, but I am, Hank. It’s good to see Bill so happy. And I really like Betty. Told you it was just a dumbass song that got stuck in his head.”
“Still don’ think I were entirely wrong. But I shouldna been teasin’ ya ‘bout it neither.”
“It’s okay, Hank. Really. And you were right about me still having a thing for Bill… When a city girl comes to the country, a good-lookin’ cowboy’s bound to turn her head some. Even if she knows better. And before you say anything… I do realize that I just called myself a ‘girl’. Seems like I revert back to girlhood the minute I step onto this ranch. Silly crushes and all.”
“Ain’t silly Iris. Think maybe ya see a little a yer dad in Bill.”
“Oh my God… Maybe that’s it. Falling for a guy like dad. How could I not see that? Well that just took care of it for me. Crush over. And now I definitely need some therapy.”
“Don’ think ya need therapy, Iris. Don’ think there’s nothin’ wrong with fallin' fer a fella who's kinda like yer dad. ‘N it ain’t like he looks like yer dad or nothin’.”
“You trying to talk me back into something?”
“No. I ain’t. Guess it sounds like I am. But… ya know… Bill’s the kinda guy ya grew up ‘round. Know ya love the city… but the way ya feel ‘bout Bill’s prob’bly got somethin' ta do with ya bein’ a little homesick fer where ya came from too. Even though all ya ever wanted ta do was get ‘way from it. ‘N even though ya know it ain’t wha’ ya really want.”
“Think maybe you’re right, Hank.” Iris sighed, “Then again…”
“Maybe it’s just that he’s one fine-lookin’ fella.”
Hank laughed, “Or it could be tha'.”
Later that night…
“Do ya think maybe we shoulda gone with ‘em? Goin’ ta see tha’ band at the bowlin’ alley woulda been fun. ‘N I’d sure like ta see if’n Betty succeeds in gettin’ Bill out on tha’ dance floor.”
“If’n Betty cain’t get Bill out there she won’ have no trouble gettin’ Iris ta dance. Iris loves ta dance. Ain’t too late, Hank. If’n ya really wanna go we can head over there.”
“Nah… Tha’s okay. Think I got a better idea. C’mere Ed. I ain’t kissed ya proper-like all day. ‘N I’d sure like ta show ya my ‘preciation fer tha’ kiss ya gave me in front a Iris earlier.”
“If’n I do come over there… ‘n I ain’t sayin’ ‘m gonna… you gonna write ‘bout it?”
“No more ’n usual. Which ain’t in no kinda detail.”
“Don’ know if’n ‘m comfortable with tha’ no more.”
“So we ain’t never gonna do it no more?”
“Ain’t what I meant. Jus’… don’ wantcha writin’ ‘bout it. Or else we gotta ask Iris ta stop readin’ it all ta gether.”
“Gotta write ‘bout it some. Tha’s part a the joke. Figurin’ out ways ta let them folks readin’ kinda know wha’ we’re doin’ while managin’ ta avoid writin’ ‘bout it real specific-like.”
“So… our… when we… …it’s just all some kinda joke ta ya?”
“Ya know damn well tha’ ain’t wha’ I meant. You tryin' ta pick a fight?”
“Jus’ don’ feel real comfortable… Knowin’ tha’ Iris knows wha’ were doin’. Even jus’ kinda.”
“Didn’ bother ya before when ya knew some folks were readin’ ‘bout it.”
“Little diff’rent when it’s my daughter, dumbass.”
“Well… why don’ we try this… IRIS, STOP READIN’ NOW!” Hank held out his arms towards Ed, “Okay, Ed… c’mere.”
“How do I know she’s really gonna stop readin’?”
“Don’ ya trust her?”
“’Course I do… but still… How’s she s’posed ta know when she can start back up readin’ withou’ readin’ the parts she ain’t s’posed ta be readin’?”
“I could write, IRIS, IT’S OKAY TA START READIN’ AGAIN, or we could put somethin’ else ‘cross the page ta let her know when she’s s’posed ta start ‘n stop readin’. Line a asterisks or somethin’ like tha’. ”
“I dunno... She’d still know wha’ yer writin’ bout… Jus’ by readin’ tha’ or seein' them asterisks.”
“Well… Think 'm only gonna be postin' a couple more things 'fore we go anyways… Then won' be able ta write much fer at least a l’il while. ‘Course weren’t plannin’ on all these updates neither ‘n there they are. Jus' gotta see wha’ happens.”
“I think I need ta think on it some. How ‘bout ya just don' write 'bout it this time?”
"So... ya wanna play some Tiddly-Winks or somethin'?"
"Tiddly-Winks, huh? Think maybe 'm more in the mood fer Checkers."
"Okay. Checkers it is. C'mere, Ed."
The next morning…
“How do ya figure Nora found out ‘bout us? Way back then I mean. When she talked ta Iris ‘bout us.”
“I dunno… Like I said… I never said nothin’ outrigh’. Thinkin’ back… Guess it musta been righ’ ‘round the divorce. When she told me wha’ had happened with her tha’ summer ‘fore we got married ‘n how she hadn’ been happy since. She asked me if’n I’d been seein’ another woman… all them times I came here over the years… Told her no, there weren’t no other woman. She said it were okay, I could tell her. Said she’d understand ‘cause she’d been missin’ the same thing… wantin’ the same thing. Reason she wanted the divorce… Wanted ta go 'n see if’n she could find it.”
“Guess I never shoulda resented Nora as much as I did.”
“Then she got kinda mad ‘n told me tha’ she didn’t believe me. Said she weren’t stupid. She could see how happy I’d get ‘fore I’d go ‘n how sad I’d be gettin’ back. ‘N then I got kinda mad back at her ‘n I said, I weren’t lyin’… there weren’t no other woman… there was jus’ you. ‘N she said, ‘Jus’ Hank, huh?’ ‘N I said, yeah… Just Hank. ‘N tha’ were pretty much it.”
“Tha’s all? Think she put two ‘n two ta gether jus’ from tha’?”
“Maybe not. Coulda been tha’ plus me never even startin’ ta see no one else after the divorce. Think movin’ in with ya mighta been a big ol’ clue too.”
“Yeah. I think. If'n ya wanna know fer sure why don’ ya jus’ call her up ‘n ask her?”
“Tha’s okay. Talkin’ ta Nora still makes me nervous. I’d rather be like all them so-called ‘news’ shows ‘n jus’ speculate.”
“Suit yer self. Hey… how ‘bout ya show me how ta find a video on tha’ tube thing?”
“Whatever. Wanna find tha’ ‘My Girl’ song.”
“’S easy… lemme show ya… Here it is."
"Tha’ were quick.”
Iris knocked on the already open bedroom door, then yawned, “Morning dad. Morning, Hank.”
“Hiya, Sunshine." Ed smiled, "Almost afternoon though.”
“Morning, Iris. Glad ya managed ta sleep in this morning. Ya have a good time last night?”
“Yeah. I had a real good time.”
“Didn’ even hear ya get in.”
“It was pretty late. We closed the place down.”
“Do some dancin’?”
“Yeah. Betty and I did anyway. She couldn’t get Bill out on the dance floor. Not even for the slow dances." Iris grinned, "And... as it turns out… once you slow dance with another woman a whole lotta cowboys suddenly wanna dance with you. Who woulda thought?"
Hank laughed, “Ya didn’?”
“We did. Just the Box-Step. Betty led. She’s a real good dancer. I can certainly see what Bill sees in her.”
Hank laughed, “So your dad outed me ‘n him ‘n Bill ta the neighbors ‘n now you ‘n Betty outed yer selves ta the whole town...”
“Not the whole town… just the folks at the bowling alley.”
"Be the whole town quick enough." Ed frowned, then shook his head and laughed, "Guess that'll give folks somethin' else ta talk 'bout fer a l'il while..."
Hank grinned at Iris, "Sounds like ya got yer self a dilemma, Iris. Now yer gonna have ta decide which one a 'em yer gonna steal from the other."
"What're ya talkin' 'bout, Hank?"
"Just ignore him, dad... Hank's just kidding around." Iris looked past Ed and Hank and at the computer, “What are you two doin’?”
“We were gonna look at a video a them Temptations singin’ ‘My Girl.’ Hank helped me find it.”
“Here… lemme hit play.”
“Here Hank… if you click on this it makes it bigger.”
“I did not know tha’.”
“I like their suits.”
“Won’ ever get me inta no suit. Don’ wantcha crematin’ or buryin’ me in one neither.”
“Which is it, Ed? Cain't remember... did we ever decide?”
“Kinda like the idea a cremation 'n spreadin' our ashes ta gether up on our mountain.”
“Tha' sounds real nice, Ed."
"'N maybe we could put some a them ashes near tha' big ol' cairn we built when I first come ta live here permanent-like. You'll do tha' fer us won' ya, Iris? Ya know where tha' cairn is 'n I can draw ya a good map a the mountain.”
"'Course I'll do that for you."
Ed hesitated, turning to Hank, "Wha' would ya think a puttin' some kinda marker near tha' cairn? Or on it? Somethin' solid-like... with our names on it. Know someone migh' take it down some day... but jus' 'til then... jus' fer however long it'd last..."
Hank leaned towards Ed and gave him a kiss, "Like tha' idea a lot, Ed."
"I think that's a great idea, dad. Let me know what you want it to say. Besides your names I mean. It should say something else too. Like an epitaph."
Hank laughed, "Yeah, maybe something like...
Ed and Hank were two cowboys in LURVE
No matter tha' some folks thought they were pervs
And despite a l'il strife
They had a great life
At least once Ed got up the nerve."
"Think ya better work on it some more."
"Okay... How 'bout this one...
Ed and Hank may both be dead
But it were a wonderful life tha' they led
They rode horses all day
And they rolled in the hay
Then later they’d move to a bed
"Or how 'bout...
There once was a cowpoke named Ed
Who fell for Hank heels over head
Ed fought God above
For the man that he loved
And then they lived life until they were dead."
Ed and Hank were two old queers
Who were happy despite Ed's fears
Now their ashes are scattered
In all the places that mattered
So there's really no reason for tears
"Okay, Hank... Okay... Think we get the idea..."
Iris laughed, "I like them all."
"Me too." Hank kissed Ed again, who had turned a lovely shade of red, then turned back to the video, "Better start it over... Missed most a the song."
"Like this song."
"Me too, Iris."
“Nice rear view of that one guy.”
“What? I can’t appreciate a man’s back and shoulders?”
"Boy… That is one stiff audience."
“Sure is. How can they just sit there without moving? It’s as if they don’t even know what they’re watching.”
“I like their dancin’. ‘Specially that sideways move on one foot and then the skatin’ forward move. Think you could do tha’ fer me Ed?”
“Prob’bly. If’n I wanted ta.”
“Hey… I think maybe them two fellas like each other…”
“Which ones, Hank?”
“Right at the end there… stop it at about 2:22. Couple a seconds after too. Tha’s jus’ the close-up though. Look… lemme turn it back… ya can see it earlier too, around 2:08. Sure looks like love ta me.”
“Sure does. Looks like it might even be lurve.”
Ed put his arm around Hank’s shoulders, “Know it is fer me.”
“Did you jus’ tell me out loud in front a yer grown-up daughter tha’ ya love me?”
“Nope. Told ya I lurved ya. ‘Sides…" Ed whispered loudly into Hank's ear, "Think she mighta knowed already.”
Iris laughed, "You think, huh?”
“Lurve you too, Ed.”
“Hey… what about me?”
“We lurve you too, Iris.”
Ed put his other arm around Iris' shoulders, “Sure do, Sunshine.”
“Well… I lurve you two dumbasses, too. So I guess there’s only one thing we can do…”
“Wha’s tha’, Iris?”
“Dance. Here… let me start it over. You two be the guys in lurve and I’ll be the lead singer. Don’t worry dad… I promise just to lip sync.”
“Like yer voice, Iris. Ain’t no reason ta lip sync.”
“Okay then… but I think I should apologize to Hank in advance. Sorry, Hank.”
“Well… I already got yer dad dancin’ like there ain’t no one watchin’… so’s you migh’ as well sing like there ain’t no one listenin’.”
“Yeah… singing and dancing are the easy ones. The real trick is that other one… to love like you’ve never been hurt before.”
“Alex didn’ hurt ya, did he Iris?”
“No dad. Hey… this song is real nice, but too slow... Find that ‘I Will Survive Song’, Hank... so what if it’s not exactly right… ”
“Okay… Won’ take but a second… Here ya go.”
“C’mon, dad… Hank… It's disco time. Let’s do the Hustle to it.”
“Don’ think I remember it.”
“I don' know it, Iris.”
“Well…I don’t think I remember how it goes either. Okay... forget ‘I Will Survive’… see if you can find the Hustle, Hank…”
“Here it is.”
“Remember, dad? I wanted to learn it before I went to that dance? Mom was trying to show me how, but I just wasn’t getting it. It must have been after the divorce ‘cause I don’t think you were living at home.”
“Yeah.” Ed laughed, “I remember. I came by ta pick ya up ‘n instead we all ended up dancin’… rolled up the rug ‘n pushed all the furniture outta the way in the livin’ room. Practiced ‘til ya had it down good. Think tha’ were the only time yer mom ‘n I ever danced ta gether.”
“I never thought about it before… how on earth did mom know that dance?”
“I dunno, Iris. You’ll have ta ask her tha’ one.” Ed smiled and shook his head, “I do remember droppin’ ya off at the dance tha’ night though. Ya fergot yer sweater in the truck. Went back ta give it to ya ‘n I saw ya with a boy… he were holdin’ yer hand. Wanted ta run over ‘n grab ya ‘n take ya home… but I knew I couldn’. Knew I shouldn’ even walk over ‘n give ya yer sweater. So I didn’. First time it really hit me… tha’ ya weren ‘t gonna be my l’il girl forever… you were growin’ up ‘n there weren’t nothin’ I could do ta stop it.”
“Thanks for not bringing that sweater over to me dad. I would have been so embarrassed.” Iris hugged Ed and kissed him on the cheek, “And don’t worry, dad… I’m still yer girl. Always will be.”
“C’mon you two… 'm way ahead a ya here… Travolta 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8… Eggbeater… Chicken…”
“Ya look like an idiot, Hank.”
“Well then stop watchin’ me ‘n start dancin’ so’s you two can look like idiots too.”
“Hey, dad… Help me push this furniture outta the way.”
"Okay... Ya ain't still 'fraid a dust bunnies are ya?"
“Ya ready, Sunshine?”
"Okay then... Travolta 1 2 3 4..."
"Dance as though no one is watching you.
Love as though you have never been hurt before.
Sing as though no one can hear you.
Live as though heaven is on earth.
And do the Hustle.
Do it. Do it.
- Mark Twain
(Lesser-known complete version of this quote.)