I write to keep me sane. I write so that my words may outlive my life. I write to find redemption

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dancing Backwards in High Heels

After two weeks of spinning dark tales of men gone mad I offer a woman’s perspective.

The three words offered this week are:


Dancing Backwards in High Heels by Sara

Vanessa Hartgrove had been rushing for the last eighteen years. This was one of the parts about being a feminist no one mentioned to her in college. You had to run- always, everywhere.

If you wanted it all you had to be at the gym early ( looks matter), the office late ( face time counts), and not forget to squeeze in meeting a life partner so you could raise two point nine happy, well adjusted children that you would lie to everyday when you swore “You can do it all.”

Doing it all took its toll. But all things in life did, she knew now.

She was forty three years old, and tired. Exhausted down to her bones, would be a more apt description. In her loss column was a failed marriage (Jerry liked them young) and a kid who smoked weed (rehab had taken care of the Oxycotin problem). It was far from the picture she had painted in her imagination for herself when she left Yale two decades before.

Still she didn’t look like a failure. No one would guess, upon first glance, that the world had beaten her down, that all her days as the competent employee, mother, wife had made her a bitter, restless woman.

As she hurried from her office building toward a cab, with rain splicing down over the city street making it so she could barely see more that the flash of familiar yellow and headlights, Vanessa knew she looked damn good. The fact that she slept only four hours a night did not show on her face, how she gave up on ever being happy didn’t reflect out of her eyes. Her disillusionment was her best kept secret.

“Share a cab?” the man asked as he slid into the backseat next to her.

A quick, offended retort sprang to her lips before he turned and met her eyes. A smile curved his lips as recognition darted into his eyes. “Nessa?”

Harold Ratson. She hadn’t seen him since they kissed goodbye before he headed off to Chicago, the summer after graduation. They had both been so eager to start their “Real Lives”-she laughed now thinking about that. They hadn’t even cried as they stood in the airport. No big teary good bye for them. They had been too full of themselves to imagine they wouldn’t be moving on to bigger, better things.

Her life had gotten bigger, that was for sure. But better? Vanessa seemed to remember thinking the way his lips felt when they kissed the pulse point on her neck was the best single sensation she ever experienced back then. Nothing had been ambiguous when they were young. Everything was now.

She smiled at him, her life started to slow down. “Harry.”


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