On the Train: Good Thing I Get Off at the Last Stop

This is what it looks like to fall apart. It’s not necessarily messy. There isn’t a drunken break down in front of the family around the dinner table. It’s a slow inexorable disintegration, not of epic proportions, but of small minute and internal pieces. It looks like I’m falling asleep. It looks that way to everyone. It looks that way to my kids, to my husband, to my parents, to the guy sitting next to me on this train. My eyes are closed, so it makes sense that they think that.

I started falling apart a year ago, after I took my most recent gig teaching dance to eager little bunnies and lanky little lads. Now, I understand what I’ve got right now is the second coming for an ex-dancer who was nearly professional like me, but the funny thing about this second coming is that it revealed my true self, a petty, jealous self. The eager little bunnies that stare doe-eyed at me as I teach them about Trisha Brown, about Accumulation, Alignment, Dynamics, look exactly like me.

Their deep brown eyes and wild brown hair gyrate menacingly as they attempt to understand what it means to work hard, to push themselves past the breaking point, still clinging on to the hope I’m certain only youth can hold on to, while also keeping mental distance from yours truly. At some base level, they already understand that, for the majority of them, they will stand where I am 16 years from now, nearly-professional, having only danced in the background of one music video when they were 22, and even then, they would have only shook their ass for some Youtube star singing a very forgettable autotuned song.I don’t blame them. I think the little dancers can tell that when I close my eyes, I’m not sleeping. They can tell my atoms are falling into each other, one by one, creating a dark core inside me, a dark core that pulls them in if they get close.

In the end, my gravity will erode their hope.


On the Train – Where I envision the inner lives of my fellow commuters, completely unbeknownst to them. Every now and then, they might catch me staring a bit longer than makes them comfortable, but I’m just coming up with their backstory (Although I admit that’s about the same amount of creepy).

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.