Saturday, April 9, 2016

Regrettable Moments 1: "Curtains"

Regrettable Moments

Welcome to my Regrettable Moments series of five super short stories. The first "Curtains" is set when I was eleven (1977). The remaining four are adult reflections. None are poached from the memoir, though the tone is similar.

I will post one every few days to a week until the memoir is out May 2. Enjoy!


I was keenly drawn by the allure of the stage when I was a young aspiring dancer. Elevated above the crowd, glowing under the bright lights, one is encouraged to express oneself openly and be admired and applauded by one and all, at least that’s the general idea of the stage.

But the stage also provides the ultimate opportunity to make a total fool of yourself and this was an opportunity I took good advantage of in those young aspiring years. 

In one instance, aged eleven, I found myself during a concert performance standing downstage left instead of upstage right, a yellow flower amidst so many purples and pinks. I danced on, thinking I’d gotten away with it, until the dance ended and the curtains began to close, and there I was, standing out front, soaking up the applause, on the wrong side of the sliding red velvet...

Under strict instructions from our Russian dance teacher not to move from our final positions before the curtains had closed completely, I didn't dare duck behind the curtain before it was too late, although I knew the instruction was meant for flowers standing on the right side of the curtain. Instead I stayed put, on the wrong side, waiting with painful patience for the slow, heavy curtains to fully close before I could turn heel and make a desperate dash for the wing behind me, only to find that there wasn't one...

I was a flower in a perfect panic now. As the applause began to falter, I turned back around and charged madly across the stage, to fumble furiously with the reluctant curtains, before finally being admitted into the sanctuary inside, only to find my Russian teacher waiting for me there with a greeting more befitting a weed than a flower.

And that's all I've got to say about the allure of the stage.


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