They were playing this beautiful waltz when we first met.

I don’t even know how we were invited to that cotillion, full as it was of glitz and glamor and last names tracing back to the Mayflower. But we were, and both standing aloof, when the live instruments struck up the tune. The next thing I knew, we were together, lost among the beautiful melody and motion of the moment.

Even after the original, volcanic “us” became the prosaic, everyday “we,” I still think of the waltz when I see you. But I never did learn what it was called, even though I can still hum it to this day, and often do.

I’ve hummed the bars I can remember to the few musically inclined people I’ve met on my travels, always to the shaking of heads and the shrugging of shoulders. Over time, the trail grew fainter as the day to day took its toll on what had once been. Sometimes I think that the impromptu waltzes that sometimes break out in the kitchen, untrained voices substituting for clarinet and string, are the one thing that we can still share unadulterated by the pettiness that so often creeps into our lives.

So when I heard those lilting strains drifting out of the old State and across the street, I had to investigate. I had to know, though sometimes I now wish I had continued on my afternoon walk.