“When music sounds, all that I was I am”
– Walter de la Mare
Once a month, I go ballroom dancing.
I book the babysitter, pack my tattered shoes into my purse, and shift the van into drive. I leave behind all my various names and titles, and head to the one place where I don’t need them. Whether or not I have a name matters little here.
I step onto the wood floor, vast and gleaming under the chandelier lights , and the hidden piece of myself rises once more to the surface, painting me in colors I rarely wear.
My fingers tingle as the first notes sound. The beams are firm yet forgiving under my heels, as I move toward the chivalrous partner extending his hand to me.
I float and glide, twirl and snap, carried along by music and hands and vibrant energy. For a few hours, the “me” that once was, is again.
No one knows me here, and I don’t mind. Unknowingly, they all see a “me” of whom even I rarely catch a glimpse.
So I play the woman of mystery for an evening. Let them wonder. Let them speculate. I’m happy to give them a story of their own making, and keep reality at bay a little longer. Soon, I’ll hang up my satin slippers and return to where I am needed, to those who have given me my names and purpose.
But for a moment more, I shall be swept away by the melodies… I can be big and bold, and swift and mysterious.
I will see my reflection in the tall mirrors, and recognize that woman once more.