Heroine of the hula hoop

A girl in front of her house was doing hula hoop tricks today. She reminded me of a flapper — maybe Josephine Baker, the way she stared dead ahead and smiled — perhaps knowing she had it down and that she would beguile onlookers.

The hula hoop never stopped moving, regardless of where it wound up — seemingly precarious but staying put, like a plate on a stick in a vaudeville act. What kept it gyrating? It reminded me of those yo-yo tricks, where the yo-yo appeared motionless, like a hummingbird probing for pollen.

I began to think of sci-fi films because the hula hoop brimmed with condensed energy and kept hugging the girl’s body like an electric bolt around a coil. It spiraled down her blue jean legs and up again over her waist; across her out-held arm and back down to her other arm, ultimately holding steady between her shoulders — as if she were Atlas, taking on the weight of the heavens but with no hint of struggle.

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