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I’ve done this dance as long as I can remember

(not the foxtrot. We did that in Gym and I was awful)

This dance of give and give and be who they want and not who they don’t and when they step on your toes don’t say a word because they might leave you and dance without someone else, someone who doesn’t complain when they step on their toes. So even if your toes are raw and bleeding and you can barely stand up, you keep dancing, because the only way to win is for the dance to last Forever

But

Inevitably it gets to be too much and you realize how messed up this dance is and so you leave. It’s always better to be the one who leaves. And if you should find yourself in that old familiar black hole, well, you’ll figure that out when it comes

They used to have these dance marathons for charity on sitcoms where the couple who stops dancing last is the winner and they’d dance all day and all night and wacky funny things would happen. But really what happens when you lose if you quit dancing is that you get so damn tired and bitter and hopeless and then that’s all your children know of life

They need to know it is not healthy at all to dance all night and all day no matter what the cause. They need to know the Baker bunion is not inevitable just because every other female in the family has it. And so, you sit and rest. You know now in your bones that there are a lot of ways to win, not just dancing forever. Know that bone that is your bunion has been trying to tell you this all these years but you wouldn’t listen. Maybe you thought you deserved to live that way. Maybe you taught them they deserve to live that way. But not anymore.

I was so afraid she’d disappear and never come back. And she did. Afraid if I said even the littlest thing out of line and I was right.

I was so close to invisible I thought I’d found heaven when I heard those words that day. To be so watched you must do everything right and yet not seen at all. And so I see them dancing the dance. And I hope I show them that the way to win isn’t to never stop. That it’s just a silly show and at the end of the day the best part is getting to rest with your feet up at home with the people that love you. And to choreograph your own life to your own song with an audience of one.

Cha cha cha