So we're all here together again... the five of us. Six really, if you count the
teacher. And you really must count her. She's the epitome of what we're all here trying to achieve.
She's one of those rare people who appear to live, not only inside their heads, but inside their whole
bodies. Self-awareness as much in each toe as behind the eyes.
She's slim, too. And supple. Five years my senior and looking like I'm the elder by a decade.
Over and over she shows us the steps. I believe they're simple, truly I do... But somehow I still don't quite 'get' them properly.
I try... and what should be graceful and supple and flowing and sexy is transformed into
straining muscles and sweat and cramp and....
My arse is.... not the most unobtrusive part of me. It gets right out there and
demands to be noticed. And the looks it gets aren't usually admiring, either. It's
big. It's unshapely. Basically, unless you are a pervert of the Jake Stonebender type,
I have a horrible bum.
And when I try to dance... It... gets in on the action and
steals all my scenes. I whirl left, it wobbles right...I snap my hip...and my bum floats vaguely to catch up as soon as it notices.
I ignore it and struggle manfully on.
We practice the Egyptian Walk, and Ms. Graceful looks, as she always does, totally
together, collected, calm. She watches each of us, and tonight she (oh glorious
victory!) compliments me on having practised this week. Which I did. Till I cried from
frustration and aching tired muscles.
I'm glowing with pride...
..but now she's getting out the zills.
Remember the old insult "he's too stupid to chew gum and walk at the same
time"? That's me, only it needs to be rewritten slightly. "She's too
dumb to Egyptian walk backward and play zills at the same time"
It's doesn't quite have the same ring to it, somehow...
Well, you try walking backwards, with each step being made up of three separate
movements, and chiming tiny finger cymbals on three of every four beats.
I can do either, alone. The walk is harder then the chiming, but I can manage either fairly handily.
But both at once?
I can't do it. My feet stop walking, my fingers get into a huge tangle.
I feel stupid
So what do I do?
What? Try harder?
Don't be silly.
I'm trying as hard as I possibly can, right now. I'm covered in sweat, my face is
screwed up in concentration. My legs are shaking from being held half bent for the last hour.
I groan loudly. I roll my eyes. I stumble. I grin around at everyone. I emphasise my trouble
And everyone laughs.
And you know what?
They're not laughing at me. Not even at my ... spectacular bottom.
Even Ms. Graceful is laughing.
And you know what else?
It makes them like me.