Dance yourself clean.

[Do something for the joy of doing it, all on your own]

The Performer was so called on account of their habit of performing. In this they were not alone. Many performed, but only one was the Performer, and that was this one. Others had actual names, rather than vague, gender-neutral descriptors. The Performer didn’t really see the point in a name, really.

Their chosen medium was dance and their chosen style unique to say the least. Unique to the point of sometimes not being recognised as dance at all. Not that it mattered much to the Performer. They knew what it was they were doing. What others thought about it was a passing concern at best.

One day though they did feel like putting themselves out there a bit, if only for something to do. Luckily for them they lived in an age where there was a vast and open area available for performances, in which just about anyone could see just about anything they wanted if they had the presence of mind to go out looking for it.

The Performer struck out into this vast and untamed no-man’s land of creative energy and carved out a little performance zone just for themselves, towards the back. It was away from everyone else it was true and they probably could have done a better job of drawing attention to themselves if they’d wanted to, but they hadn’t. It wasn’t too late for it, but still it wasn’t something they paid much mind to. They mostly just danced.

Off in the distance they could see much fuss and commotion as other performers – each doing their own thing in their own way – drew crowds of varying sizes and gained varying levels of popularity and acclaim. The Performer thought that once perhaps someone had glanced in their direction but it was sort of hard to tell.

One time someone did actually come to watch the dance and they said something nice before disappearing and never being seen again. It remained a pleasant memory for the Performer to cling to as the hours of silent, lonely dancing wore on. It gave them a nice warm glow.

The Performer was there for so long that the very landscape changed. What had been open before closed in a little, partitioning off, dividing. No-one really paid them any particular attention but they did end up being walled off, which was fine.

They had a door so people could go in or out (not that anyone did) and they had lights so they could see. It was fine, just different. Nothing stopped the dancing, except occasional breaks to sit and think of newer, fresher dances. Once these were thought up the dancing resumed.

Taking a moment to catch their breath and wipe the sweat from their brow one day they saw that one of the message-bots the caretakers of the vast performance place used to communicate with the inhabitants had approached their performance zone; the first sign of movement or life they’d seen all day. Or for many, many days, in fact. It trundled up to them, tilting its screen so it was easily visible before it flickered on and into life.

“This is an automatic message. Disinterest limits reached. No-one is watching. The lights will turn off in ten seconds,” said the screen. A digital counter in the corner of the display started counting down from ten.

The Performer shrugged. Worse things had happened, and it certainly didn’t seem like a good reason to stop. Why do anything for anyone else that you wouldn’t want to do just for yourself anyway? They didn’t need light to remember the steps, they didn’t need light to have fun dancing their dance, so it hardly mattered.

They kept dancing, even in the dark. If anything they enjoyed it more this way.

Because it was something they wanted to do, because it was something they enjoyed.

And nothing could ever harm this.

END

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