Our dance teacher told us to behave like paint. “Paint doesn’t talk,” she said. Another teacher told us we danced because we couldn’t find boyfriends, and maybe he was right. They said to be prepared for the real world, like we weren’t already part of it. I was 17 the first time a cop car slowed down behind me, the officer rolling down his window and shouting, almost flirtatiously, “I’ve been looking for a boy who looks just like you.” I could only respond with silence.
Our teachers didn’t tell us to fill each movement with personal energy. They didn’t say what would matter most would be our conviction. But I learned these lessons anyway. I turned easily to the left but not to the right. The black Lululemons I could steal. I had no money, no technique, and no more desire to be good.
Cason Sharpe is a writer based in Toronto. His first chapbook of stories, Our Lady of Perpetual Realness, was published in 2017 by Metatron Press, and his subsequent writing can be found in various places online and in print.