Saturday, September 8, 2012

and now i hate flowers

when i was sixteen, i was cast as the lilac fairy in my ballet school's production of the sleeping beauty. the only other role that was more important was the actual sleeping beauty, so all in all i had done pretty well for myself, and considering that at sixteen and still a virgin it was basically the most epic thing that had happened to me thus far.
i lived, breathed, and slept the fucking lilac fairy for five months. i watched videos of famous ballerinas who had danced the role. i meticulously planned my stage makeup specifically for the role, spending hours in the bathroom every night after getting home from class and rehearsal (even though i was kind of failing my math class but, priorities, priorities, right?). i practiced my bows in my bedroom mirror, envisioning the bob carr theatre in downtown orlando equivalent to that of the met, people graciously throwing long-stemmed roses onto the stage while screaming BRAVO, BRAVO and ENCORE for my thirteen curtain calls.
i was the lilac fucking fairy.
so it was at this show, this one time where i knew the planets had aligned and i had withstood bleeding toes and tendinitis and chronic hip problems... this one time i had the storybook all to myself, in the lights and the fog and the glitter and the tutus, all to me. this was me, this was my story of perseverance and dedication and grit. me, drowned in the bright lights that soaked into my eyes and lifted me out of my skin. this. was. me.
and at intermission, my father came backstage with flowers and little gifts and cards and told me that his back was hurting and my little brother was getting fussy and they were going to leave because i had already danced half of the show and that was about it, right?
i smiled.
i hugged him.
i watched him walk out the backstage door.
and i ran to my dressing room, threw myself on the couch, and wept.
i was so shocked, so unbelievably shocked that they weren't staying til the end. that they wouldn't just stick around and see me through. i was shocked and confused and hurt...
but i was mostly just sad.

you can't make people stick around until the end of the show, and moreover, who would want that? all the flowers in the world would never make up for the lack of interest in my passion... and so i had to let it go and concede that some things in this life are not worth that kind of pain. where you have to make people love you and the life you love. i wouldn't want to hold people against their free will just so i feel better, more secure about their love for me. someone else will come along and feel that for me free of charge, just because they do.

which is exactly what happened. thank you to the one who has stayed til the end, with a bottle of perfume in his hand, and genuine excitement in his heart for my dedication and perseverance. i love you for so many things, but this being one of the most dear.

we. always.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

ocean's exhibit

i went to sea world this one time and was in this clear tunnel, see through to sharks swimming (flying, whichever one) overhead and all i could look at was the guy's shirt in front of me, me sitting there pretty in my mother's arms, legs wrapped around her waist.
all i wanted to do was touch it. it was white and mesh and it looked stretchy like crabtraps under the water, i wanted to put my tiny fingertips in between the mesh and pull, pull til there was no space between me and the space between his skin and the shirt, til wewerethisclose and my hand was beyond my ear, and see what it did - see if the shirt would snap from my hands or collapse under the water and the sharks and the imagination of it all...
but my mom slapped my hand away right before it made it there, and i was just a foolish four-year old, in pigtails, thinking the pattern on his skin was the coolest corner of the room i had seen thus far. and in the back of my head, golden curls and all, i knew, i KNEW i wouldn't have known what to do with that fishnet had i the chance to touch it.
application, application.