dancing

by mickharris

getting back into the groove

of having any kind of desire for people that don’t exist solely in my head for frantic rub-off sessions

is interesting

i’m trying really hard right now not to question that

or name it

because what if i ruin it?

what if it just goes away

 

a week ago when i was cleaning out my papers, thinning all the old health insurance bills and scraps of memories that i desperately needed to keep years ago and now don’t remember what the fuck they were

i remembered how to dance

i showed my cat, who happened to be the only one awake at the time

how to swirl hips across a doorframe

how to arch your back and point your toe, move your ass up and down in a pose

not quite pin-up

not quite vixen

it is important, too, to look bored

or like you’re staring in

or down at a body part

don’t put too much personality into it

just enough to get them up out of their seats and in the chairs around the lights, and you

 

i was excited on all fours jiggling my ass with little back snaps to the music in my ears

this i remember now

this i can still do

it didn’t flood back, it just opened, like a hatch

that i’d shut awhile ago

no filthy memory or clinging gloom

just happy realization that this is a skill set i could still use

if i had to

(if i wanted to, which i think i do, which is another conversation entirely)

 

to have a memory that is not attached to a lack of

money

time

energy

people

love

interest

is a significant gift to give myself

it probably means something just for me

but i like that, i like that it could be something that is just mine, that there is no context for anyone else in the world except that the slow clap of fleshy cheeks makes me joyful, at last, instead of bored or sweaty or tired or angry, or all of those things at once

it’s still for an audience, of course, you don’t just practice these things to get good at them so you can continue to do them for your cat or the mirror in dinosaur pjs and a green lantern t-shirt, unshowered, you do them so people will watch – you do them as if people are watching, the committee, the voiceless and faceless people who follow you down the street when you put one foot in front of another and pretend just for a minute that you’re an assassin, a badass, a supermodel.  you do it for them, and they love you for it, always.

they do judge, oh, they do

when you don’t, or when you fuck it up

you are the most important thing in the world to them, why else would they be watching every single thing that you do, why else would it disappoint them so much when you fall, or fail

but until then, you are absolutely golden

and brilliant

 

i think about that committee a lot, i think about it until i am certain i am the only one who has it, that no one else in the world could possibly live like an intractable jury has to weigh in on every decision and motion they make

but then there are times when i’m not so sure

i see someone second-guess, or look around when they do something great (or stupid)

and i wonder

do they watch you, too?

do they watch you worm your way onto boozy soft wood

stomach-first

hooking heels over splintered edges

to writhe for a dollar?

are you also important in how you drink or speak or fuck or shit or feel?

 

i think you are.

but that doesn’t mean i can talk to you about it, about any of this shit

people don’t like to admit that they’re afraid

or that everything we do is largely calculated to impress someone

(in)visible

much less each other

we don’t have time to consider each other, that’s too exhausting, not when the lens is so close to our skin

and can blister us in the sun

 

 

 

 

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