13:23 - Saturday, Oct. 30, 2004
Sometimes people apologize later; sometimes they don't. The people who do must think that if they do, it will clear their consciences, or somehow stop my younger self from making cognizant adjustments to my teeth, my back, my legs. My smile. They're still here, those adjustments.
For example, I still don't dance. I think I used to. I took ballet when I was three. My dad took video. And in these videos, I am the youngest in my class. (My parents believed that reading early and playing the piano early meant I matured early, and accordingly signed me up for classes at least an age group ahead. When I started taking a singing/improvising/piano-playing/dancing music class, I was two, and there was a boy there celebrating his ninth birthday.) In ballet, the age difference was only a year, but I couldn't coordinate yet the way everyone else could. I also lacked, then, the embarrassment level necessary for not doing performances that consisted of no ballet steps; rather, consisted of me stomping my pink ballet shoes and jerking my bony elbows around, looking off into the distance with a grim lip-poofing frown that I was positive looked appealing.
My dad shows these videos now and always captions the viewings with, 'And so begins the time we knew Hannah could not dance.'
And so it does, and although I don't remember why I quit ballet, I'm certain it was because some other student or teacher put a well-meaning hand on my shoulder and told me I was too clumsy, or dreamed too often, or didn't pay attention, or wasn't trying hard enough.
From that point forward, any dance I did was referred to, lovingly, as 'dorky' or 'stumbling'. After a few years of that, no dance I did was referred to as anything because I never danced again, and continue not to, even surrounded by Boulder hippies whose idea of dancing is flailing around wildly and ungracefully, staring off into space with the same poofed-lipped dance face that I used to make when I was three. Even surrounded by Nick, who dances like a super-bipedal epileptic break-dancer.
Last night, we went to a drag show at the Buddhist college about a mile away. Our roommate was going to be dressed in my clothes, bra, and shoes, lip-syncing '99 Luftballoons' in German. There were going to be brownies and fancy sparkling fruit juice. Afterwards, there was going to be a dance. I had told Nick beforehand that dancing was out of the question for me, but he was welcome to dance with as many drag queens as he chose, and I would be perfectly content with the brownies and sparkling fruit juice. As it turned out, he was tired after the show and didn't want to stay and dance. (Maybe he was intimidated by the degree of booty-shaking he was dealing with. Some boys looked better than any girl present in their fishnet stockings and silky scarve-dresses, with purple sparkly makeup that made their browbones shine. Nick was wearing a sweatshirt and khakis.) I wanted to stay, but not to dance. We left.
Out by the bus stop, Nick suggested we dance to keep warm until the JUMP came. I refused, so he danced, periodically stopping to ask me to dance with him, periodically starting up again when he was shot down. After five repetitions of this, I settled it in my head that I was probably not as bad as I'd built myself up to be over the years and reasoned that it was just Nick and me and the bus stop, so I danced.
'Man,' he giggled, 'You look pretty dorky when you dance.'
The end. I am just so sick of it by now that the merest mention incites mental riots and tedious diary entries. Nobody told any of the drag queens that they looked dorky when they danced or said to them 'You would be SO pretty if you wore less makeup!' I get this all the time: 'You'd be so gorgeous if you wore a little makeup/stood up straighter/chose your clothes to fit your frame (note to everyone who has said this: my clothes fit my frame a year ago, but now that I have lost 25 pounds, they don't anymore and I can't afford new clothes, so shut up)/didn't bite your nails/didn't wear those awful sneakers/etc. etc. ETC.
It wouldn't matter so much if dancing didn't look so fun. If being able to be in a room with a hundred people and move however you wanted to powerful music didn't look absolutely awesome and almost on another mental plane to someone like me who will run everything and its possible outcomes through her brain before she does anything. To me it looks like it must feel like sleeping. A break from thinking. A break from worrying.
22:46 - Thursday, Oct. 28, 2004