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The Birthday Dance - Friday, Dec. 20, 2019
Friday, Oct. 04, 2019 @ 7:59 am
Work overflows. Projects are handed off to me to lead. I am capable and people trust me. I take on more and more. I wrangle telecons with all of the other consultants (men) to coordinate the construction of a new hospital wing. I volunteer to coordinate the non-profit program in the office. I am participating in a year-long leadership training program. I am mentoring an engineering student at the technical institute. I am on two committees for my professional organization. I receive calls from recruiters on a weekly basis. I’ve leaned in. This is flow.
Monday, I climb alone at the gym. I do footwork drills up and down the wall. Everything feels like it’s coming together, and my fingers amaze me with their strength.
Tuesday, I go to hot yoga. I bend and sweat and my heart races. I study the smooth skin of the God-like man beside me, his muscles lush and his body softly layered with a beautiful layer of golden skin. I am strong. I see my shoulder muscles in the mirror. Sweat drips from my elbow and onto the floor. I walk home in a tank top, the cold air bringing up goosebumbs on my skin. Dry leaves blowing around. I smile at the row of Italian men who sit in chairs outside of the coffee shop at night.
Wednesday, I go for drinks and oysters with Robyn, Bre, an Taryn. The server is a younger guy, and he is charming and tattooed and has a wonderful smile. I like being here, with these women. It’s nice. I drink a pint of beer and then cycle to the climbing gym, meeting Russell. I am slightly drunk, and I hug and kiss him as I cinch up my harness. I am loose. I am limber. I climb intentionally and with fluidity, the light dusting of alcohol opening up my mind to new possibilities. I tie up to a rope that hangs in front of a 5.10d. Russell raises an eyebrow at me; the climb is a grade above my skill level. I chalk my hands and shrug my shoulders. I climb the route, the small green crimps feeling surprisingly large in my pinched grip. It feels good. It flows. I struggle at the crux and then figure it out, moving up the wall to the top. I look down at him and give a thumbs up. His eyebrows raised in a sort of cartoon surprise expression.
Down on the gym floor, I am beaming. I can’t stop smiling. He looks at me and laughs, “Oh, look at you, all smiley. I’m impressed. You did well. Your climbing has improved so much lately!” I smile and smile and smile. We cycle home, and I’m STILL smiling. I cycle over a mouse that dashes across the seawall and scream and laugh and then we’re kissing outside of his apartment and I don’t think I’ve ever been so content/confident/happy.
Thursday, I go to swing dancing lessons. I dance well. I am confident in what I have learned, and I can follow many things that I haven’t yet been taught. I learn all of the guy’s names and they all seem genuinely pleased to dance with me. At the social dance after the lesson, a stream of men ask me to dance. It’s beautiful and old-fashioned. An older man, Dave, is especially charming. I love dancing with him - it’s smooth and fun and I want to make love to him if this is the way that he guides himself during sex. A younger man, Benjamin, is super hipster and self-aware and communicative. We dance well together and fit well together, and I love to feel his hand on my upper back, and we always laugh a lot. I’d date him for sure. He would be an attentive lover, a cuddly sleeper.
Russell arrives during the dance, and I see him sitting off to the side. A song ends, but I’m asked again to dance, so I look over at him and smile and shrug. Eventually we find ourselves standing beside each other between songs. “Would you like to dance now?” he asks. We go onto the dance floor and he is cheeky and refuses to do any of the moves that I’ve been learning. He throws me in a series of tuck turns and does all of these variations on the promenade to teach me to not anticipate but rather to follow. There is heat and tension between us, and I’m happy and this is fun and I realize that I’m dancing with my lover.
Sometimes we only show the good parts of our lives. The highlights reel. But lately, for me, that fantasy is all real. Life is a steady stream of highlights. I am fulfilled and excited about life and feel supported and loved and empowered. There are bumps, but I am resilient.
Documenting this, this day-to-day existence of work and socializing and taking advantage of living in an incredible city. I was sad to leave my house in the mountains, but I was rewarded with this. All of this beauty and love and adventure and opportunity.
This is what exists on the other side of the abyss.