So here I am, 10:50PM Eastern Standard Time, on a Tuesday night, in June, sitting at my computer. My finger tips are sticky and smell like turpentine from putting liquid bandage on the blisters behind my ankles. Which ache from the sting of liquid bandage and from the blisters my unbroken in Teknik shoes are still giving me. I have on gray pants cut into capris, I pale blue athletic tank, no makeup, no jewelry, mismatched trouser socks, like stocking but only knee high, and patterned, one purple and black striped, the other blue and white checked, and my new black mesh suede and leather split sole dance sneakers with their hard rubber bottoms.

Under the computer desk I'm pointing and flexing my feet, attempting to bend the shoe as much as possible and hating myself for slipping so out of shape. I've only just made quick word of relacing my expensive Bloch dance shoes wqith elastic laces instead of woven, and with every flex I wince as they rub, through my trouser socks and liquid bandages against my blisters, which I know will soon become callouses so it won't just for to long. The bottoms of the shoes are still smooth and cool against my hand, so I know I'll have to find sandpaper down stairs to rub on the bottoms until they are textured enough to get some grip and I don't slide around on stage.

For it feels like hours a day I stand on tip toe, in ballet turn out, from the hips, not the thighs, something I was always good at, arms in first position, waiting. Sometimes I wear the dance sneakers, sometimes my jazz slippers, or my teknik slippers that cut my ankles, sometimes I do it bare foot. I just stand there and wait. Until I can't do it anymore. Until my ankles ache too bad. I don't actually time it, I don't allow myself to count. I don't want to know if I'm getting better because I'm so afraid I'm not. But I can feel it. I am getting better, each time I'm up a little longer, I just know it.

When I'm not doing that, whenever I'm out somewhere, the grocery store, I walk turned out, I stand in lines practicing, moving my body slowly up and down by turning my ankles, not letting my heals touch the floor. I do simple barre routines holding onto racks in stores while Bria tries things on. I'm waiting. I know I'm getting better because I can feel it, I don't need the exact numbers, because I know I'm getting better.

I go through my clothes in all my dressers and closets and boxes and find all my dance clothes. Track pants, stringy athletic built in bra tanks, short shorts, trouser socks, tight zip up hoodies, leg warmers, yoga pants, shrugs. All in shades of pinks, purples, reds, blues, black, and white. I'm waiting it wear them.

I start stretching. Trying to fix the problem in the way my back bends, even though the doctors have said its too late, that if it had been discovered when I was younger therapy would have fixed it but now, I'll never bend quite right. But I work on it anyway, I'm hoping I can at least improve it some. I sit on the floor with my legs spread and try to put my head down. I can do it when they're in butterfly position, and I can even get my whole legs on the floor like that, which most people can't do. It doesn't even hurt, its really comfortable, but when my legs aren't bent, my back doesn't go straight and I can't bend. I have to slouch, I'll never be able to touch my toes without bending my knees they tell me. So I work like crazy even though it hurts so bad, in my back and sides and the backs of my legs when I try to, I stand and arch my back and bend really slow until I can't anymore. I wait to feel if I'm getting further, but I don't know if I am. If it weren't for my back, I'd have been the perfect dancer, I have the right body, not to tall or too short, long long thin limbs, tiny muscles that barely show, but work all the same, no hips, not much of a chest, a longish neck, a perfect turn out, pale skin, if it weren't for my back, I'd have been amazing. So I sit on the floor with my legs out and try hard to straighten it, even though they say I'll never be able too. I'm waiting for the day when I will.

I don't know what it is, the stage, the lights, the music, the rush. It's the feeling like you really really belong somewhere for once. When I spin out there, I can feel it, like everyhair on my body is standing up, like goose bumps, but warmer, like nothing else you could ever feel. I feel like my bloods boiling, but in a sort of cool calming way. More like its bubbling, like chilled champagne, or a carbonated pop. It's not the audience, because I get almost as much of a rush standing in the studio at the barre practicing all alone as I do on stage, it's just the energy. It's this pure emotion, pure force feeling. Adrenaline rush, all the blood to your head, dizzy, but dizzy in a good awakening cooling way. Like ice on your forehead or muscles releasing a sort of tension. So that's why I do it. And that's why I'm waiting. Until August, so I can feel it again. I'm better. I can feel it already.