This will be, sort of, my last post about pre-dating. The next one on this subject starts with the best sentence I’ve ever uttered.
But this short story describes the last step before I could really “put myself out there.”
At our church in the summer, services are organized by members. This August Sunday the service featured a gorgeous flamenco dancer on the hardwood of the choir loft, in two of the intervals in which we normally would have just music.
She transfixed all of us. We looked to the choir loft fastly. She stamped her declarative feet. She held dramatic poses, Spanish arabesques. There was as much pause as guitar and those silences held us rapt. The music was plaintive and joyous, her dancing was full of life. Her belly showed, gorgeous chocolate skin. She knew exactly how beautiful she was.
How often do you find a single point around which other aspects of your life have turned? The lever or wedge, the first slow domino?
That could be me, said a voice. During her second number, it said, HANG ON, that is me. I can move. I can strut. I can command attention with a slight curve of my pinky or a thrust hip. I can be subtle and I don’t mind making a statement.
I remembered Marie’s search. Who am I? What do I like?
The flood took me by surprise. I ignored the sermon, responding to the wave:
I love fuchsia and red and black.
I love the shawl I bought at Teotihuacan.
I love music, I love to dance.
I love my perfume.
Through the hour it swelled:
I love my child.
I love my body.
I love beans.
I love dark chocolate and all kinds of wine.
I love talking late into the night about intense and light lovely topics with someone cute.
I love to kiss.
I love watching the leaves fall, and my hammock.
I love to read.
I love Dave Eggers, though he doesn’t deserve it.
I love the New Yorker and This American Life.
I love a good movie.
I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
I love yoga.
I love that I can do anything when I start with a chopped onion in olive oil.
I love the equity in my home.
I love creating art and mixing materials and gazing at what I’ve done.
I love the feel of wood.
I love the smells of metal.
I love my pointy black boots.
I love rice...
I can do it. I knew in my heart and I felt it in my feet and my belly. The next evening after storytime I looked for all the flamenco classes I could find. Maybe that would take too long; I looked up salsa meetups, but those people were young. Then I realized if I was out learning to dance I could as well be out flirting with boys instead of just browsing at them. And some of that might lead somewhere. I already had a sitter every Thursday for support group; if she could handle another $28 a week, my kid would not suffer.
I was off.
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