Sooner Rather Than Later

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It had been a long night at the studio. I walked out: tired, sweaty, and thirsty. At least I got to end the night doing what I loved. Contemporary. I love to improv and just move my body with the music. No counts, no form, no spacing, no solos, no worries. It wasn’t like ballet or jazz. It was real. I never felt more connected to music than when I danced contemporary. That is why I love dancing.
If only my parents could understand. If only they would talk to me. When I dropped out of Law School to dance in the New York City Ballet, my parents never forgave me. “All that money wasted… So disappointed… you wont be able to dance forever…be more like your brother…” That’s when I hung up the phone. I hated it when they compared me to him. Mr. Perfect. Ugh. So he graduated top of his class at Harvard. Big whoop. What’s so great about that? What’s so special about being in the top tenth percentile of MENSA? It just means he’s a massive egghead that loves to prove you wrong. Trust me, I know.
But then again, my brother is the only person in my family that talks to me. When he attends meetings in New York he’ll take me out to lunch and we’ll catch up. It’s nice. He tells me what’s new with the family, how he is, and all about his encounters with other smart people. Luckily when that topic comes up, lunch is usually over. He’ll call every once in a while, but our conversations don’t last very long.
I’d tried contacting my parents, but it was no good. They never responded to my letters, never answered my phone calls, and didn’t bother sending me a Christmas card. It hurt. The only family I had now was my brother, the other dancers, my roommate Tina, and her cat Leo.
Tina’s nice. She’s a little spacey… but nice enough. She is a struggling artist, just like me. Some of her paintings decorate the walls of our shabby little apartment. I like them. Sometimes she includes me in her art. I remember one time she dumped a bucket of purple paint on a canvas, put on a contemporary song, and told me to dance on it. By the time the song was over, I was covered in purple paint. I didn’t think it looked all that special, but Tina loved it. She hung it on her bedroom wall.
Tina’s cat Leo is a cutie. She found him in a back alleyway in China Town and took him in. It was always fun to play “hide the cat” because our cranky landlord didn’t like animals. I had never had a pet as a kid; my parents thought they were too much work. I loved going over to my friend’s houses just to play with their pets. I wanted one of my own, but I couldn’t afford it.
I actually can’t afford that much… You don’t get paid much to be a dancer. Which is also why I’m a bartender on the weekends. The tips are good. The drunken idiots however, not so good. I can’t even begin to describe how annoying it is to have obviously married men come on to you because they want to look cool in front of their buddies. It’s even worse because none of them are even attractive. They’re the grimiest, sleaziest, most disgusting creepers in the great state of New York.
One day I’ll get a better job. One day I’ll be a famous dancer and I’ll quit the POS job I have now. I’ll have a nice townhouse of my own, with a dog named Lucky. My parents will come visit me every so often, so proud to have a beautiful talented daughter. I just hope that day comes sooner rather than later.





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