Credit: Omar Z. Robles photography
I just had had another dream. I feel like this is important too. It started out terrifying and turned positive.
I’m living in a large, unnamed city that seems a lot like 1970s-1980s New York. Dirty and dangerous. I’ve decided to learn how to dance. It’s very important that I learn to dance, in fact, it’s a matter of life and death. I see a newspaper ad for an excellent dance studio and call them to enroll in their program. The only problem is, the studio is in a walkup tenement in the most dangerous part of town.
I’m afraid but know I must make it there. I try to stay on the main avenue, but obstacles on the sidewalk keep getting in my way. Areas with bombed out buildings, ripped up sidewalks, mountains of trash and rubble. The only way past is through a long, dark alley. Cautiously, I enter. I look around and see shadowy figures in the distance. They look male. Probably gang members or rapists or even murderers. I turn around and find another way. The alley is wide and has other openings, like a maze. I go through another alley and see more sinister male figures in the distance. I feel alone and vulnerable and scared. I look around frantically, trying not to look too afraid. The figures are getting closer. What if they can smell my fear, like wild dogs? Finally I find another way. I begin to run, determined to make it out of there and back to the avenue.
Somehow I don’t get lost. Soon I’m back on the main avenue. I run past a tenement building with a rusted fire escape. It’s covered with snow, even though there isn’t any snow on the ground. An old black man asks me for assistance climbing it. He says he has to get into his apartment but the steps are too slippery. I stop, hesitate, think about helping him. But I don’t have time. With my foot I kick some of the snow off the first few metal steps, apologize for not being able to do more, and begin to run again.
Soon I realize I’m not just running, I’m floating about two feet off the ground. I become aware all I need to do is will myself to get where I’m going. Without thinking, I begin to dance. Gravity doesn’t seem to exist anymore. I leap and bound and spin and do pirouettes in the air. I bound weightlessly through another long, dark alley. There are gang members there too. They stop and watch me and soon they are dancing too. Everyone who looks my way begins to dance.
I’ve forgotten all about making it to my dance lesson. Everyone is flying through the air, leaping and spinning and throwing our arms in the air. There’s no fear or despair or fatigue or worry. The whole world is dancing, and it began with me.