I guess you could say I tend toward being a claustrophobic person. I can go in elevators… stuff like that doesn’t terrify me, but sometimes I feel trapped… inside my own body. In predictable waves, I become assaulted by the sensations of immobility. My breath restricts. I tighten, resist… and everything around me gets ugly.
You could put me on a deserted beach… with empty miles of mind-blowing color, soothing sounds… and there’s a good chance I’ll feel crowded by the one other person there. To sit peacefully next to someone is sadly, a struggle. I often wince at being touched and if I think someone wants to touch me… but they haven’t just yet… oh, that’s the worst. So many hazardous moments.
And then I found it. That narrow, little stage where strangers stared openly at any part of me… and I felt more freedom than anywhere else. I felt I could move in any direction… and I did. I rolled on my back… and wrapped my legs around them. I wiggled my hips, waggled my ass. I hung upside down… and spun in circles through the air. Sometimes I was flying… sometimes I was melting. However I was feeling… I just went with it.
Actually, it sounds kinda funny… we moved to the country : ) Am now living in a sweet spot where the redwoods meet the sea… it’s beautiful but we got no strip club!
btw… I was married and already had a son + stepson when I started dancing ( my body was still banging though ; )) At the time, it was something I really wanted to do and looking back, I think it was something I needed to do. I am very fortunate to have a husband who really understands me.
For me, dancing was a great experience. I loved every minute of it. I worked at a great club. Management was cool, we got good crowds coming in, and I loved the other girls. I loved dancing on stage, I loved hustling, and of course… I loved the money, too.
I’ve always been kinda wild, very adventurous… and after staying home with my little boys for a few years, it was a perfect place for me to go. I was like a tidal wave of energy, unleashed.
I wouldn’t say I got it all out of my system… but life just moved along… and I along with it.
I had a full stage to play to and I made the rounds. Down the length of the stage, making contact with both sides… then all the way around the circle at the end. Who was going to egg me on? Who was going to catch my eye? Who was going to stand out in the crowd and draw me to them? Around I went, until I felt satisfied that I had everyone’s complete attention. Then I grabbed hold of the pole… and I was flying. They were still throwing money. They were calling out to me… but I no longer heard them.
I defied gravity. I felt powerful and incredibly alive. My little outfit seemed to just slip away… and my skin gleamed, smooth and unreal. My touches of glitter and gold sparkled under the lights… and when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirrors which were everywhere, I saw someone quite apart from my ordinary self. I had become a mythical creature. Someone mysterious and unknowable. I was like the girls I’d once watched, with such interest and desire. It felt like a lifetime ago.
Growing up, my father was always taking away my mirrors, while my grandmother seemed intent on shoving them in my face. When normalcy required my mom and I to stand before the looking glass together… we panicked. If I was having my hair brushed, we squirmed and fought. When clothes were tried on, I became angry until she walked away. When I got a scrape or a splinter, the medicine cabinet was never opened. We didn’t want to go there.
This was the pantomime my family endlessly engaged in. Everyone always gesturing toward my likeness. Then throwing their hands up and averting their eyes, to signify where complicity ended and began.
The person I was learning to hide from was myself, and when I was with my grandfather… there was nothing to see. No hint of a reflection that resembled me. The world just disappeared, and I along with it… leaving only a steady heat of resistance, smoldering beneath the structure of my body… a mere substance which had life in it moments before.
I am not beyond good and evil. I’ve felt my legs wrapped tightly around both. My spirit flying, always… somewhere nearby.
Nietzsche said all of life is a will to power… that every living thing seeks to discharge its strength onto another. When I read that, years ago… the thought hit me hard.
I didn’t want to discharge my strength onto another. I wanted to discharge my strength… into another! It would be a perfect statement, if only I changed that one little letter… of that one little word. What a different book it would be. What a different world.
I put the book down then. It was only the third page, but I’d heard enough.
ever since i can remember. at different times, i gravitated more toward different art forms. and u?
I learned when I was small. Without anyone telling me… I just knew. Already, I had the mind of a tyrant and the freedoms I restricted were my own. I would only allow so much feeling through… before I clamped down, triggered the defenses… and cut off the air supply. Inside my mind, was the only corner dark enough to hide in… and there, the positions of self-preservation were enforced with a miniature iron fist.
All those long nights… lying. Motionless in bed. I didn’t allow for a single thought or movement. I was waiting, with baited breath… for the struggle to begin. I knew they were coming. And yeah, I was just waiting to get worked over.