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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Saturday, Mar. 09, 2019 @ 5:26 pm
Potluck and Ballet
“I’m adding you on Facebook so that I can invite you to a potluck on Friday night.”
“Yes, please. I’ll be there.”
I ride the train out a few stops and walk through the chaos of Friday night on the Drive. I continue walking out into a quieter part of the neighbourhood, character houses and overflowing gardens. I find the house, open the latch on the low white picket fence, and walk up to the front door. I glance in through the living room window and listen for her Kiwi accent. I hear her laugh, so I test the door and let myself in.
I find myself in the midst of a radical lady crew. These women climb, ski, surf, make cherry pie from their own canned cherries, and cut their own hair. They’ve planted trees, and they’ve been to India.
“Hi, I’m Julia.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Shannon.”
“Ohhhhhh... you’re Shannon. Oh. My. God. I’m so sorry.”
My story precedes me.
I share a bit of my current situation and then deflect to get the conversation moving onto something else. What follows is a comforting evening of talking and connecting with each other. Is this a preview of my new life? House parties with well-travelled people. Summer porch sitting.
I could have a social life.
In the morning, I notice that the remains of the bouquet are sad and limp, and that the water has turned into a swamp.
I pull on my boots and march out to the compost pile and dump the entire thing out.
I immediately feel a sense of great relief.
I am late and miss the bus. I get on my bicycle and rip over town, flying past traffic stalled bumper to bumper on the causeway. The sun is out, and I am gloriously happy. I arrive in thirty minutes – half of the time that the trip would be on the bus.
I enter the ballet studio.
I stand at the barre.
I start to dance, and it all comes back to me. My leg goes up into the air in a straight line, the inside of my foot turned up to the ceiling. My toe then goes down to the floor, and it presses into the floor and draws around into the proper shape.
We move to the centre. I jump up and down on the spot with my arms held out above my imaginary tutu. My feet are light and my toes pointed. I turn and I spot the mirror, catch my eye, as I turn and turn and turn across the black dance floor.
This feels good. All of this. Cycling around the city. Trying new things. Meeting new people.
Today, I am happy.