I (Still) Don’t Know.

Image“Eeire” is not quite right. “Freaky” makes it seem a little overblown… maybe “serendipitous?”

Yeah. Serendiptious.

That’s what I would call looking up to realize that in a city with hundreds of thousands of vehicles registered, you’re behind the exact same vehicle that prompted a blog post several months about signs from the universe. The same car, same license plate proclaiming with that loaded phrase that carries so much weight with me.

And nipping at its heels, the same unanswered questions, the same desire to find some hidden, emotional significance, the same residual feelings that leave me feeling raw and wrenched apart.

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Hires, Pliers, and Nose Rings

She screwed her eyes tight, shutting out the light, trying to shut out
the realization…

SNAP.

“There. Take a look.”

She opened her eyes.

Blue eyes she didn’t recognize stared dully back into her own. It was
a cleverly painted face, individuality concealed under a thick
shellack of conservative pale foundation, Feminine and Sexy all
covered up with non-offensive and subtle tones. Nondescript earrings
and a slick, severe bun, meant to be noticed and then promptly
forgotten… Gingerly, she fished the broken half of her nose ring from
her face. The empty hole glared at her.

Her eyes dropped to her suit: pressed, starched, crisp, corporate
and fresh from its plastic garment bag. She didn’t know the child in
this costume, this bland business face…

His arm around her shoulders jolted her out of her reverie. “You look
so grown-up!” he said with a proud laugh, his smiling face appearing
behind hers in the mirror.

She turned to her father, holding the wire cutters in his hand and the
other half of her nose ring.

Déjà vu hit her in the form of another face, another tool, another
state, and another state of mind…

***

A dusting of freckles lay sprinkled across her tanned nose, and her
face was screwed up in a look of intense concentration, willing the
pliers not to slip…

There.

She stepped back to survey the results. She turned her head from side
to side, examining her nose ring that she had just pinched closed, her
uncontrollable curls fanning out in all directions. It was July in
South Carolina, and the heat hung on the air like a shroud… any
attempt to control her hair was simply an exercise in futility.

She sighed and smoothed her vintage apron over her cloth skirt.

Kind of a wild outfit, but what the hell. Fashion is negligible, I’m living amongst a damn circus, she thought wryly.

The thought made her breath catch in her throat for a moment.

I can’t believe I’m here, I can’t believe I’m doing this. I’m so lucky. I’m so
damn lucky…

***

“—Lucky.”

“Huh?”

“Spacing out already, nice. Try not to do that in your interview,” he kidded.

“Sorry,” she said, forcing a grin, “I was a million miles away for a
minute there.”

“I said, ‘You sure are lucky.’ I can’t believe you got an interview
in Chicago in a field you’re not experienced in,” he said, shaking his head. He clapped her on the shoulder. “Welcome to the working world.”

With a teasing grin and another shake of his head, he headed for the
garage, wire cutters and the twisted metal remnants of a gypsy
identity she knew and loved in hand.

“I just wish I knew what I was working toward,” she said to the empty
house and the warring factions of her mind.

Soy Lo Que Bailo

Photo by Sharon Quinn

“Soy lo que bailo*” — I am what I dance.

I have danced in studios from coast to coast and country to country. I danced Saidi in Japan, I spun canes in Spain, I choreographed with girls in Canada. My body and mind broke down together in a studio in San Jose, I slept cheek to cheek with the studio floor in the heart of San Francisco, I became divinely inebriated in Sacramento.
Through the red, pulsating, intolerable haze of frustration, the true meaning of “patience” dawned on me in a New York studio; I saw the living embodiment of the word “dedication” as it related to training and persistence while watching my teacher in Vancouver.
I realized the inadequacy of the word “depression” in some and felt a sense of elation that defies description in many.

I have danced on stages. I have performed for audiences in the hundreds and sometimes for no one at all. One stage saw me become an alcoholic writer, another saw me wear masks — both literal and figurative — to play the Hindu goddess Kali. I have been a snake, a man, a flapper, a monster, a whore.

I have dragged my anger and my frustration onstage and subjugated it into my dance. I have let my energy, love, and excitement ooze out of my pores, feeling it multiply ten-fold the more of it I give in sacrifice to my audience. On other stages it took every wile and ounce of self-manipulation I possessed to convince myself that yes, Megan, you deserved this opportunity to dance, no, you didn’t have a choice in the matter, and now would you please take your damn place on the floor and wait for your music to start?

I have met someone’s eyes when I danced and realized that I was about to take my place in wonderful and terrible difficult love story, and that my part was already written. I have choreographed pieces about falling out of love before I realized my unconscious cast me in the lead role for a reason.

I took risks on some stages; some I played it safe. I have left everything I had on same stages and have taken regret with me off of others. I have sacrificed my blood, sweat, and tears; I’ve broken up with boyfriends and mentors before ending my love affair with dance. I’m a failure and a success story rolled into one slightly crazy, often too imaginative main character. Hi, I’m Megan, and I’m an addict… the problem is just that my addiction is also my salvation.

I have felt the music pull me onto me feet, my toes in the grass under a patchwork tent; I have danced lit only by the dim glow of the stars. I have felt tears run down my face and bump into my smile, I danced with the divine.  I have danced in hallways, on rooftops, in kitchens, in hotel rooms, on beds. I have danced in on a bus, in a car, standing up and sitting down. I dance in my seat, I dance in my head…

My life is continuous movement, perpetual growth, and pursuing expansion.

“Soy lo que bailo*” — I am what I dance.

*Quote from Maria Pages