BY TRACY GLYNN

Graduate of Employment Preparation Programme 9

It was the performance of her life. She was alive. Her new journey would begin.

Bittersweet was the day tangled sunlight forced its way through the mangled Venetian blinds. Rose lay sprawled on the unmade bed thinking about religion. The one time ballerina would dance no more yet Rose had given the performance of her life. Rose was alive. Her new journey would begin.

Of course she had seen the movie “The Red Shoes” and there had begun her dream. Rose thought she could be so many things.

When she was twelve she used to dance around her school hall all alone dreaming. In her own world smiling. Dad was the school caretaker whistling around the corridors with his jangling keys. As a teenager she always watched the old black and white movies. Rose loved them, escaped into her own world then with cups of tea and crisp rich tea digestives on a Saturday matinee day listening to Mum in the kitchen.

Of course later on in life it became the Saturday matinee with white wine and cigs along with the love affairs of nameless enveloped faces. After the griefs and partying in her 20/30’s she tried the counselling, the CBT. Physician “Heal thyself” Rose thought. Still “Life does not happen that way”.

Rose sold her soul and creativity for the lure of money and stability. Then not knowing how it would rip her soul apart and begin so many different episodes of life trying to find fulfilment. She worked for a private equity company for twenty long dreary years. At first it was fun but constant changes blighted the one time happy community. That killed her soul with normality. Still, what had been the life she left behind and what drove her soul to the madness on that terrible day?

Sensitive souls lying with a broken bird amongst the blowsy roses.

“When will you marry me” he said. He would bring me a rose stolen from someone’s garden and stick it in my hat. He gave me my first taste of cherries infused with wine.

Succulent, rosy black cherries, reminding me of that wine-infused seductive kiss, our mouths passing to one another. Lazily ecstatic from sun-drenched afternoon delight, in our eyes gloriously unborn naked. Behind me he stood his arms strong as melted iron around looking into the dusty smeared mirror.

“Look at us” he said. A moment of joy I will never forget. I was in love for the first time.

Her drinking became the problem. He called it her 11am to 12am slot when she would talk, dream with him out the window listening to music.

Tom Waites Christmas card from a hooker, Serge Gainsbourgh “Telephone” I loved it…fun for us both. Je taime… need I say more. Arno, Arron Neville “Use Me”…his choice meant in love. Six days and seven nights by Sting started out as one thing and became another…………..he will know. “He will never win scrabble for my heart my dear.”

They had one last week of passion. On Monday he said ” sit down” over the phone…”it’s over”.

Madness ensued. The mind can become too full of our love and hate partners unbalancing. Tuesday Rose turned up announced. He opened the door. Her duvet, pillows, throws, towels, tables, things now stained with dirt. His boxers on the floor by bed, “the things” black knickers on it.

Two weeks later Simon my friend downstairs is dead the day before my birthday.

Hot demonic anger ensues enflamed by both losses so the day before her birthday she pulled the knife on him.

Thinking…

Screaming…

Shouting…

Analysing…

Thinking…

Her thoughts not theirs for once.

The Dancing had been her one time trusting soul. That was no more. Her new journey would begin with tiny controlled footsteps. Did I mention she was a onetime ballerina? Maybe of life as we all are dancing little steps along the way.

So dance ballerinas dance while you can as you never know what is around the corner.