Reflection (I)

September 1, 2011

Sunset Park
We had been dancing in the apartment for an hour. Then a song came on that made a neat incision into my chest. At the end of the song I cried. It was a surprise—the tears, not the dancing. Or maybe the dancing and not the tears.

Midtown
We danced with the sunset surrounding us. My partner soared, and I remained earthbound.

1 train
I swayed with my eyes shut. When I opened them, the handsome man was standing before me and said, “I like how you dance.” “Thanks,” I said, and suddenly it was our stop. When we parted at street level, I was convinced he was a serial killer.

Park Slope (I)
I told the look-how-my-teeth-be-gleaming dancer that my name was Mel. Too late did I remember I was supposed to say Elizabeth. To the next dancer I said, “Mel—lizabeth.” He explained that he’d learned how to freestyle by watching music videos and having intense mirror sessions. He did not need to exert energy to be heard above the music, the zen of his physicality was that great. “Good night, Melizabeth,” he said, then dipped me.

Park Slope (II)
I succeeded in slipping through his graspiness every single time, and for that reason alone, his drunken maneuverings could not ruin my night of spazziness.

Soho
“Dance to the thing you love most, dance to him, to her, to it, this choreography is about emotion, about loss, about embracing that loss with every fiber of your being, and if you can’t bring yourself to feel the fucking emotion, then get the hell out of my class.” So I danced to my dog.

West Village
“You did that like you needed a cigarette after.”


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2 Responses to “Reflection (I)”

  1. orientalish Says:

    “So you’ve danced those shoes to pieces again, he joked. Actually, I don’t know if he was joking. All I know is that just before I went and met the new shoemaker, I had danced, really for the first time in my life, to a song in which death comes like a special prize following a life that’s been paid for dearly…I shouldn’t have gone to the shoemaker’s after dancing with Paul, I should have waited at least one more day, then the old man would still have been alive. It was my fault that he was dead.”
    Herta Muller, “The Appointment.”

  2. Beth Says:

    I loved the photos, and love your words. It all makes me want to be in a younger body again, but in my imagination everything still moves like the wind, frictionless; like thoughts and emotions still do.


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