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The blind man taps his white cane tentatively, in every-widening semicircles, ready to move forward. The bespangled tightrope walker glances over her left shoulder, faltering briefly, as she prepares to walk backward. Neither blind nor suspended in midair, I come to a standstill, unwilling or unable to move forward or backward. In this limbo of motion I inhabit, all decisions are suspended as I review the possibilities. I hold my breath. I exhale in a sigh. I close my eyes for a moment, imagining that no one can see me. And indeed, when I open them, no one seems to be looking my way. I pirouette, take a bow, tipping an imaginary hat to an unseen audience. I improvise a tap dance, heels and toes clicking, waving my hat. I put my hat back on, close my eyes again and pretend to walk a tightrope, slow, careful, dipping dangerously for a long, breathless moment, but righting myself, both arms extended for balance. I look to my left, then to my right, and, dancing a soft shoe, arms crossing and uncrossing, exit stage right. In the wings, I take a long drink of water from a blue plastic bottle. I gaze across the stage, thinking I could have exited stage left instead. The stage lights blink off. I wonder how long I can continue to walk sideways in the dark. Whether if I open my mouth, you will even hear what I say.

Story by:

Jacqueline Doyle

10 April 2013

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