what if the pages stay pressed?
January 9, 2002 05:40 PM

Last night my body was suddenly able to shimmy fast.

this ruined puzzle is beige
with the pieces all face down
so the placing goes slowly

See. I've been learning belly dance from a video in my bedroom. My strain of perfectionism is so strong that the humiliation of being less than exact on the first try is more than I could take in public. Some people have complicated pasts and real, serious pain. I have ridiculously high standards for myself. And a fear of crowds and bodies pressing against me [enochlophobia; it has a name]. These are my concerns; maybe not dire, but serious to me. Most of the time.

Anyway. My feet and hips froze in the shimmy that is not the same as the shimmy you learned in tap or jazz class when you were thirteen. I could do it at half time, but full speed made me feel like a lewd Italian cartoon set to Mozart. You know, tournee of animation.

And despite failing over and over. I kept doing it. Over and over. Until.

There I was, actually doing it fast, doing it right. Purely by accident.

The boy calls it incremental development. I call it magic.

I was so excited I had to chase the usurper minicat up and down the hall for several minutes (he is still scarred by the experience; this morning, he dashed every time I moved my feet). The original ubercat was, of course, nonplussed.

i've written a note
it's pressed between pages
that you marked to find your way back

There's an amazing woman I know who talks about not looking with desire. That, you know, the practice is worth itself. That you can just respond to what's there in front of you [on stage, she means]. And that response-response-response is what makes you worth watching. Worthwhile. Not virtuosity or intent. Openness.

I've always been ambitious. But drive doesn't necessarily. Not all the time. Sometimes what drives is, well. Surprise. The things that aren't yet and aren't guessed and aren't even maybes.

it says "does he ever get the girl?"

Surprise. You could call it that. Or something else.

You could call it magic.

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