Updated: Sep 5, 2022
Sometimes she crawls into my bed, runs her fingers along my bare legs, my belly, and around my nipples, hugs me from behind as if to keep me warm, then strangles. When I black out, she takes my hand and drags me into a dance, unconscious. She’s a natural dancer: her movements are smooth, fluid like water; she is sensual, irresistible, but not everyone is lucky to have her as a partner.
She always comes when I’m not expecting her, jumps on me like a tigress, enters my body forcefully like a man who takes what he wants, and makes herself at home. She makes me do things I don’t want, she makes me say things I don’t want, with her in me I’m not myself anymore.
We dance. My back arches, my joints twist, but I feel nothing, nothing, it’s the dance that keeps us going all night until the only thing that remains is an overwhelming exhaustion, and a desperate, hopeless feeling of a butterfly with tattered wings.
“My name is Melody,” she said when we first saw each other. “We can dance together.”
“I suck at dancing,” I replied.
“I’m here to change your mind,” Melody insisted. “Relax and trust me."
She looked like my reflection, only better, more confident, a woman with experience. I thought I could learn from her and become stronger. But it was not the dance that I wanted.
The more we dance, the more I forget; my friends and family, my whole life disappears in the haze and gathering darkness. It’s Melody’s face that remains, my face, because we can’t exist one without the other. With her, I’m not myself, with her, I’m whole. Even when she walks away, I can still feel her presence.
She leaves me in the bed, panting for breath, with no recollection of what has just happened. No memories, no feelings, only sweaty armpits, headache, swollen tongue. I’m alone and there’s no one to help. I don’t even know if she visited me last night. Does she exist or is she a figment of my imagination?
What was my life before we met? Was I myself then? I want to ask Melody, but we haven’t spoken in awhile; whenever I see her nowadays, she keeps her silence. Not everyone is lucky to have her as a partner, but I have drawn a lucky lottery ticket. She is my malady. Melody. My dance teacher.
The cover: "Dance Opera" by Edgar Degas