The Dancer

Title: The Dancer
Medium: India ink, micron marker
Size: 19″x24″
Year: 2004


There is a beat, a time specific cycle of washing machines and dryers. Lights were not dimmed, nor was anyone following him. I concentrate on what is not. He concentrates in synchronizing his schizophrenic beat. His movements are patterned, calculated, and repetitive. Conforming to some dated social idea. His clothing –ordinary: a mechanic or a construction worker. There are speckles and dried up paint here and there. Although he can’t see them, he likes to belong somewhere else with his gold-rimmed glasses. I wished I wasn’t there to witness his drunken steps. His hysteria frightened my love of the mundane. And then he speaks. Narrating the sermon he once was, illustrating the scene with his desperate stuttering words: a boy in his tailor made suit and tie was led by his mother in his first dance. As we were washing off the daily build up on our clothes, he is washing off the time between him and his youth, the space between him and his late mother. The dance was a manifestation of love. The dance was a manifestation of love. It was his Mother’s pride. It is what he cherishes today. It is what he lost. I didn’t feel sympathy. Rather, I was embarassed by my presumptuousness. I am wordless still today. And his smile lingers on.

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