She was dancing. As she had done for years in her own home, and as she had recently begun to do in hoards of undulating bodies, she was dancing. Not to look cute, not to get play, not to impress these sweating strangers. She danced because this feeling, as her limbs moved and her body swayed and her hair fell, a black river down her back, this feeling was beautiful. She smiled without thinking, lifted her arms above her head, and she danced.
When she wasn't closing her eyes, she could see friends in the distance, acquaintances near by, holding up drinks, smiling and nodding their heads. She turned her body in a spiral and dug herself deeper into the crowd, avoiding guys touching her hips, giving her the eye. Most of them saw her large, effortless movements and complicated twists and didn't even try to approach her. A few of them would come close and ask her questions, try to hold her hand, and she would only smile while shaking her head and move rhythmically away, escaping their requests, their expectations, their aggressive lips and awkward bodies.
She was on a date with the rhythms and beats that filled this dark room, flirting with the energy that came off of every living body, drunk on nothing but the waves flowing through her body, telling her to move, to glide, to give in to the night and to the feeling of her very own existence.
Pure, unadulterated joy rippled through her limbs, and she could feel small explosions go off in her body, a thousand Pop Rocks at once, as she listened to the beat. She felt no need to talk. She felt no need to find someone she knew. With this crowd of heads and shoulders and limbs, she was having a conversation. She was telling her story as she shook her hips and bent her legs and kicked up her feet. Like whispers, the air around her moved with her body, following her movements and filling the room with all the things she could not say with words.
Release. With every beat vibrating through the floor and into her skin, she let go, just a little bit, of all the weight she had carried with her for so long. With every upward motion of her arms, she felt her past leave her and she was lifted up with the immensity of her joy. The immensity of her freedom and happiness and confidence. And hope.
As the music flowed through her, as her fists pumped the air and as she looked around her and saw all the bobbing heads and moving bodies that filled the room, she felt hope. The universe was full of people just like her, looking for life and love and themselves. She had been forced to join their journey, shoved from the smug sidelines where she had become so comfortable, so sure.
And once she had stopped trying to get away, once she had accepted her fate and pushed her hair back from her face, wiped her tears and looked around, she had been surprised. She found fun where before she only saw stupidity, kindness where she had expected none, earnestness and validity in every face, in every encounter. She had stumbled, so easily, into a journey that was long, but one that was beautiful and kind and lined with amazing people from all forms of life.
She knew that sometimes she would fall, sometimes she would cry and feel disheartened and alone. Sometimes, she would wake up in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar horizon and feel so far from home. But she would stand tall. Lift her chin and find within her a deep love for herself, for her neighbors, for the strangers who she would encounter throughout the day, and for the world. And at the end of each day, when the evening tucked the sun away and the stars came out and music started pumping, she would dance. No matter what, she would keep on dancing.