I step forward because I don’t want to stand still. I straighten my posture, I raise my chin and I slide my right foot forward leading with my toe. A slow breath fills my lungs and expands my chest. I open my mouth and pull my lower lip in and glide my tongue back and forth, back and forth. My flesh is moist as I exhale and await the next move.
I step forward again, this time leading with my left instead of my right. A backwards waltz or frontwards foxtrot. One, two, three. One, two, three. I rise onto the ball of my foot before lowering back down, hovering my heel just above the steady earth. I pause and listen to the music, relying on the rhythm to carry me again.
I close my eyes and cautiously slide to the right. I start with my feet together, heel to toe, before pushing myself along the same plain. No longer forward, though still ahead of before. I tighten my stomach and clench my jaw. I curl my hands into fists, knuckles whitening and nails pressing sharply against bare flesh. One, two, three. One, two, three.
And then I stop. The music still plays, the room still sways and I halt. I let it all swirl around me, this choreographed life rustling the air about. I stop, still hearing the movement. One, two, three. One, two, three. I stop and I keep my eyes closed, too scared to lift my lids and see how far if at all I’ve come. Forward is forward though when you twirl it ends up backward. So I halt my steps and wait for the movement to settle, to calm. I pause, I stop and I wait.