Thursday, July 26, 2007

At the barre......

I wanted to be a ballerina. I really did. "Seeesopewfect!" Mrs. DiMarco swooned, cigarette breath on red lips, into my face. My face started to blotch, to swell. I knew I was going to be tortured, jabbed with those long pointy fingernails, suffocated slowly. It was so hot in here. And my skint knee was bleeding through my pink tights, an abstract orange blossum spreading there. Why did I use all the bandaids to make book-binding for my soon to be best seller: "The Mystery of The Moving Pictures".......

I was five.

I wasn't the oldest and I wasn't the youngest. I was next to the thinnest. "It's never too late to start, dahling, you have the body of the swan at night......" she purred as she wrapped the sepia colored measuring tape around my neck, my chest, my 18 year old waist, my thighs, my shins, my ankles. Her teeth showed a little as I climbed up on the scales. Her teeth showed a lot three months later. And she hissed. And pounded that damn stick on the floor "One and two and one and two and one and two and three"......"Tuck your buttocks in, and suck your stomach in and point those damn toes!" I couldn't even pat my head and rub my tummy at the same time........

I was not quite 19.

There is safety in numbers. Three tuition bills. Three checks on the first of the month. Three late bloomers at the barre. They took our money. Kimbies was just there for the sport. She couldn't be bothered to be fitted for shoes, and wore pink Isotoner slippers instead. They let her. I hung from the barre. Stretched. Flew through the air. After class, we would stop in at the Oyster Bar next door, for raw ones on the half shells and a few cold brews, all balletesque in our leotards and cut-offs. It was wonderful. And then we got the bright idea, to meet at the Oyster Bar first. Before class. To loosen up. That was wonderful ,too. In our world.

We got kicked out.

I was 26.

He held me at the waist for just a moment. And twirled me around and around and around. A pretty plastic toy on the top of a blue velvet jewelry box. The band was banging out a remix of "Oh Suzie Q, I like the way you walk, I like the way you talk, I like the things you do"..... His eyes traveled back in time, to that year, to another girl, to another world. And I dreamed of being free.

It was just another Friday night at the bar. And he felt like he was 21 again.....

And I wanted to be a ballerina......

40 comments:

skinnylittleblonde said...

Aw girl...you didn't just dream of being free, but those moments of being lost in the spirit of dance... you were free! I soooooo cannot wait to dance with you again!

Orhan Kahn said...

That was, as I always say, simply beautiful!

Why did I use all the bandaids to make book-binding for my soon to be best seller: "The Mystery of The Moving Pictures"

That is just adorable, seriously.

david mcmahon said...

Loved the post Visiting Hours. Suspense and surprise, all in the space of two paragraphs.

Wish I could write like that ....

Cheers

David

singleton said...

slb...And we will! On the porch, the tiki deck, the dusty rumored dance floor.....and we'll be free, and smile, and laugh, and do helicopter arms and windmills and cartwheels and slinky snakes... and we'll be ballerinas again, in a beer-thirty sorta way! ILYSVVFM!

orhan....when you're published and famous and I have an autographed copy of your works piled protectively on top of my mantle, I'm gonna send you a copy of "The Mystery of the Moving Pictures" and you're gonna say..."before she wanted to be a ballerina, when she was little, she wanted to write just like me..." and i'm gonna say, "that's true...."

singleton said...

David...Clink! Ahhh, but you do!

eric313 said...

Beautiful stuff Singleton

I'm dead but typing--had a tetnis shot today and a bunch of other things done. It was procedure day.


I wanted to be an astronaut

when I was young

The stars

tell stories

like you

eric313 said...

I'm clinking you back
real time
every time

Can't help but
sit in the time machine
and smoking one down

I'm history

Tonight
I will be born...
everytime

real like that

clink

singleton said...

eric...yeah, it's like that...

I so hope you feel better, poked and jabbed another lousy day in history,
and the cure,
the fix,
the tonic that soothes
your soul and the rattlesnake bite,
is working it's 8-ball magic
and finds you in the morning

real like that

Orhan Kahn said...

Aw, you're too beautiful.

Blue said...

Dancing with strangers again, eh Singy? You embrace life like no other girl. I love it!
As for being a ballerina, all girls are. All girls are princesses too, right!
Can I come to the porch party? Miss You by the Stones has to be one of my all time faves, and the Some Girls album is all worn out here. I am loving that album to death.
xo
Blue
Tink! To dancing with strangers.

savannah said...

as i read this lovely piece...in the background...read my mind by the killers...
perfect...absolutely perfect.

peace out, sugar

Angela Marie said...

Singleton! This was beautiful! Your writing... I love it! How you make me laugh out loud, get choked up, teary eyed, and then crying.

We are all ballerinas!

I will meet you at the bar!

david mcmahon said...

Thank you. Adding you to my blogroll now ....

Just realised, there is a strange similarity between the picture on this post and the picture I've just posted on my blog, titled `The Buck, er, Bug Stops Here'.

Keep smiling

David

singleton said...

Orhan....:)

Blue....You absolutely better come to the porch party and I just climbed off of Amazon.com when the lightening hit, pricing a new copy of Some Girls! Oh yeah, the house is gonna rock! Clink!

savannah...ok, now If I could just get my speakers to work, I could join you! peace, girl

Angela Marie....:)I bet you have these tattered ole shoes in every closet, drawer, and cubby at your house.....Yup, let's drag 'em out and meet at the bar!

David....I will check it out, it's amazing how much I've missed in a handful of days!

peace~love~it's Friday, Folks!

JR's Thumbprints said...

...and ever since I was a little boy and my parents asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow?"

I answered, "I want to teach convicted felons for the Michigan Department of Corrections. That's my dream."

My song of the day, "Freebird."

karma lennon said...

That was beautiful!!! It's nice to dream and dream big.

SpongyBones said...

My pink shoes won't fit me anymore ... besides the hair on my toes lurks out the top of them.

Have a great weekend!

benjibopper said...

this was a great post. gotta love credence - they always make me feel young too, remind me of underaged drinking parties lipsynching and airguitaring travelling band.

Cre8Tiva said...

i wanted to be a ballarina also...then discovered modern ballet...broke my neck at 23...dance was done...now i paint...blessings, rebecca

she said...

oh! this dancing spirit inside of so many

waits til it's safe

then creates her own stage

-always gets the last dance.

encore!

oh! this writing spirit inside of so many

waits til it's safe

then creates her own page

-always gets the last word.

encore!

eric313 said...

Singleton
my great friend, I just wrote skinny the marathon commnet in which I also nominated her for the Creative and Thougthful award--and at the same time, nominated you for both, too.

Go get them!

Go to the page, right click the icons on the post, not the sidebar, and save them as pics. Post them here, please. You so deserve more than that for all your help and inspiration and what I've learned to write by hanging around with you. Not to mention, seeing how you live your philosophy and how reall you are in your unreal way. And by the way the letter to skinny response is all about the shit I've been doing. You can read it, too.
---
Glad she's alive! I don't known when we'll be able to party, but it will b soon, I hope.

PS: could you draw a girl who's arms and legs are different colors, like she was put together by parts, like a frankenstein hippie girl, with little tribal tattoos where the stiches should be and all. She would go great with the "she's alive" poem I wrote the other night. And she'd be a hell of a statement.

This is not direction at all! It's only a suggestion. I'm sorry! Don't get pissed at me!

I coldn't help but tell you my vision, you know. I'm like that, sometimes, how do you and SLB say it... prophetic?

Peace~love~Clink!

singleton said...

jr....Wow! yeah I believe that one! Freebird is a perfect song for Friday! Clink!

Karma....always gotta go big! Pssst.....where did your blog go?

spongy....got any pink flip-flops? It's Florida ya know, you can get away with anything!

Benji....LOL! I thought I was still under-age drinking!

singleton said...

cre8tive....OMG, Girl! Whew! And you paint like a ballerina now.....Bless you too!

she....this would be another one of those days when I just love you! Your words dance down the screen and make me wann join 'em!

Eric....Your rambling, rambling, rambling and I'm scrambling to keep up with you, we need to get you a 7 my friend and funnel this energy into "take home" lines! And it's Friday, hell week has gotta be over~And thank you for the sweet noms, I love that we can all prattle around on the porch and go home with souveniers! Peace, man, in the end, it always wins......Promise!

eric313 said...

I hope so! I here with you, sing, even if I'm at the college.

prattle E scratchin lines
everyone one of them
is a fortune of love
every line
is a roadmap to peace
prattle E
prattle on...

OK. Let me get something together real fast! The post will come today.

mindy said...

and i wanted to be a ballerina too. i still do.

eric313 said...

done. New post successful!

singleton said...

eric....ta!dah! That post rocks! And yeah, I know where it came from......the winds blowing over Peace Creek, the barefoot noise on woodensteps when the party's over, the tiny wads of paper with a zillion lines, more important than any phone number, scribbled on their backbones.....Take home food from the porch! I love it!

mindy....And I still do, too! Of course, that is exactly how I broke my little toe at 2:00 in the morning back in december ~ doing a grande je te' through the friday night hallway!

peace~love~swan lake, my friends...

justacoolcat said...

I'd say it's your words that have the grace of a swan. Beautiful.

eric313 said...

hey momma
the sky gods
have blessed me with
mushroom power today

just fell from the sky, I dipped them in penut butter and devoured them three minutes ago

can't wait to write!
good dros, too

my god
its full of stars

skinnylittleblonde said...

Mwuah!

singleton said...

justacoolcat....TY! :)

eric....mushrooms and peanut butter? :) keep writing, bro, they're working!

SLB:.....Muah!A big fat slider! Love you girl!

eric313 said...

Yeah, it's worn off. You should see the poem on my response board!

Was hoping to party soon with you and everyone. Maybe I'll host a treehouse extraveganza!

Maybe I'll host the west wind
god knows, it needs a home!

Mine is beyond the north wind
so cold it kills me to be there

But it helps
when friends

are just keystrokes away


Are you there?

singleton said...

Eric....catch the west wind, in a mayonaisse jar, filled with fireflies and light the way......
I'm scooching off for a clink, a twirl, the blues, dancing with ghosts.....
and yes, we're just keystrokes away.....
dancin' in the southern wind....

kimbies said...

Oh I dont wear isotoners anymore my feet are graced with beautiful ballet slippers, and sleevless gowns, we learn alot as we grow!!! meet you on the dance floor!!! love Kimbies

singleton said...

Kimbies...God, I love you....busted on the isotoner story! And yes, my sister love, I will meet you on the dance floor, counting hours, faces, songs.....And oh yeah, wait til you hear the gab!

eric313 said...

Sing
just jumped by and wanted to wish you ggod night. Hope you had fun. I wrote and read a lot of stuff, you know how that is. Gotta keep the ideas going.

Thanks to you too for listening earlier and not judging. I'll give you the rundown some time in an email,

Speaking of which, I should check it!

drips of paint said...

beautiful dance with your words... I slowly walked into the time machine too watching your dance

lovely stories..

singleton said...

Eric....You were on a rock and roll, and it shows, great middle of the night works being born! And no, there are no judgements going down here, too many times in too many spaces I've seen the faces change with the shoes. "It is what it is" and we never ever know when it's our turn to trade places. Peace, my friend.....

Drips...It's so funny, the time machine. I have such little concept of time, sometimes I think it's a lazy round circle and just like getting my days and nights mixed up, I mix up my yesterdays and nows.....
Peace for this beautiful day....

skinnylittleblonde said...

G'morning Sister... thunderstorms rattling my roof...unplugging computer & thinking of you. xoxoxox

singleton said...

slb.....ILYSVVM! I'm rattling the roof with my own thunderstorm! And I'm always thinking of you!