She’s onstage, dancing with the corp de ballet in Waltz of the Snowflakes, a beautiful scene in The Nutcracker. She stands out so much. She should blend with the rest of the body, as dancers in a group are supposed to do. Yet, for everyone else, they cannot see otherwise. She is a snowflake, like any other. Unlike snowflakes, she is not unique. Only to me she is. For me, I can see her because I can see her in myself.
I don’t know her name. I have a booklet with the names of all the performers. She could be Sarah Vines, Maria Walkden, Beverly Walker, or even Eliza McKinney.
I’ll give her my name then: Amber.
Amber dances beautifully on stage. Her movements are fluid and in time with the rest of the dancers. When I look at her face, though, I see the same face I look at every morning in the mirror: face pale with mental mistreatment, eyes filled with scraps and pieces of herself she once loved but cannot salvage, and lips that smile but die away like ash in the wind.
She’s too much like me, and I can’t bear to look at her anymore.
I know how she feels, and I’m tired of feeling that way myself. I can dance, certainly not as well as her, but I dance nonetheless. I dance because I love it. It’s a momentary escape from what I feel, this inexplicable, nonsensical thing that starts in the core of my mind and radiates outward, until I withdraw from even myself.
I’m tired of people asking me what’s wrong. I’m tired of people asking me if I’m mad at them due to my apathetic sadness, which makes no sense. I’m so goddamned tired of it all. I feel like I’m too young to be feeling this way, but this disease, this damn mental cancer I wish would sometimes kill me, doesn’t discriminate against even toddlers.
I want to withdraw in my dancing, where nothing is wrong, where no one thinks there is anything wrong with me, where I don’t even have to fake how I’m feeling. For that moment, I feel nothing but fleeting joy.
Don’t ask me how I’m feeling. Don’t assume it has anything to do with you.
Just leave me alone. Please. I’d feel much better if you didn’t talk to me at all about my feelings; I don’t want to talk about them.
Why the hell would I?