Picking at the Past

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(Authors note:   Had some things to get out after our lesson last night and, for some reason, this format just seemed like the better option than my usual narrative.  Hope you enjoy the change of pace)

It was never “our” dance.

It really belongs to another instructor and me.

The feeling of moving with her was so much different.

Strange that it is the same steps but it clearly isn’t the same dance.

To be honest, I prefer the original to the sequel.

But I do it anyway.

Partly for the show, for the thrill of standing in front of an audience, for the applause.

Does that make it wrong?

Is it the wrong reason to dance?

We have two other routines that belong to us.

I’ll be doing those as well.

I can tell the difference.

I can sense that following in someone else’s footsteps is not what she really wants.

That she feels constrained because it isn’t what she picked.

And she does it for me because I enjoyed it.

Is she doing it for the right reason?

Part of me wants to respect the past and let this dance live on in my memories.

But I want those moments in the limelight when all eyes are on me.

We practice and it all goes OK.

It isn’t great but it isn’t terrible.

Another student tells me how much she loves that routine.

She’s always kind that way.

It should make me happy.

But I don’t feel anything.

Just a vague sense of something being out of place.

Ghosts of the past coming back perhaps.

I know before she left for good that she told me to continue doing the Quickstep.

She didn’t want me to give it up on her account.

She could feel the happiness that the dance brought me.

But part of that was doing it with her and she’s gone.

What remains is a shadow of what was.

Many times, I curse my feelings and emotions.

They run away from me and lead me to places I don’t want to go.

But to feel nothing is worse.


My emotions prove to me that I’m alive.

Dance usually brings those out.

But not yesterday.

Because it isn’t our dance.

It belongs to another.

It may belong in the past.

Yet, I won’t consign it to the past just yet.

I will honor her words and wishes and her by performing it again with another.

Because I want the thrill.

I want the rush.

I want to hear them call our name.

I want to feel the anticipation as the music starts and we take our position.

I want to feel the energy of the crowd as we move through the dance.

In the end, I just hope to feel something.


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