chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing
From the Round Table

They filed in in little couplets, the trust level different for the separate groups. The blond shared a look with his tall companion, and they moved off to one side of the seated leader of the group. Minutes passed, with the two males in the room casting wary glances at the other occupant of the room as they held a hushed conversation about her. She smiled pleasantly and waited for the door to open again. When it did, she made more notes about the second couple, the final 2 participants in this ‘round table’ project. She could not decide if they were together, or if it was coincidence that had them enter the room together. It did not matter. All would be clear soon enough.

She waited as the four of them settled as far away from each other and herself as the overlarge circular table allowed before making any comments. “I’d like to start off by thanking the four of you for participating in this month-long project. We…, that is,” she amended, “I understand you all have busy schedules. We’ll be meeting here twice a week, and I’m so very grateful to you all for taking the time out for this.” She sat down then, folding her hands on the top of the table.

“As you know, this is a sort of informal forum to discuss things in your lives—relationships. Friends, family, school… anything that makes you who you are. It’s a chance to discover-.” She stopped suddenly, and blushed. “It’s always intrigued me, the differences between people. I would like to see what makes us. What shapes us. If you have any friends that you’d like to come here too, I’m willing to have them join in as well.”

The room stayed quiet a moment too long. She cleared her throat nervously. “Ok then. In that case, I thought we would introduce ourselves. You know: name, age, something interesting or important to you. And, for a change, I thought we should tell something we are holding secret about our lives. Our secrets are a part of what shape us—why we say what we say to certain people. The things said here do not go out of this room. It’s just an exploration.” She smiled at the only other female in the room, sitting to her left. “Why don’t you start?”

A caramel colored hand reached up to push braids out of the woman’s smooth face, causing the myriad of bracelets on her arm to jingle merrily in the stillness. “Fine.” She sighed and sat up straight in her chair, leaning into the table slightly as her hands jingled down, out of sight in her lap. “My name is Nisha Sacarias. I teach some of the theatre arts classes and live in Sifu, on the third floor. I am probably the oldest here. 21.”

The blond interrupted. “23 has you beat.”

Nisha shrugged and continued, as if he had never spoken. “I’m a vegetarian, multiracial—to be ‘PC,’” she air-quoted, “and my deepest, darkest secret is I only chose to teach here because it was the quickest way to get out of my parents’ house and their close-mindedness.” Her eyes flashed as she bit off the end of the sentence savagely. She slouched back in her chair, a sudden lack of tension where there had just been so much passion. “Next?”

The stout fellow she had entered with spoke up next, his voice soft, but firm. “My name’s Alex Anakerov. Half Russian. My mother died a long time ago, my birth. I have lived in England until just recently. And, in the future, next year, I’ll be 22 and I’ll go back.” His hands moved along with his words, fluttering on the tabletop as if he was used to speaking with them instead of his voice. “I don’t have many secrets. Just that, when I was little, my Baba would show me home videos of my mother and pray I’d get my voice back so I could tell my father to stop lying to me.”

The wan blond to his left tapped paint-flecked fingers on the cool wooden table surface. “Everyone calls me Nix.”

“Phoenix--,” their leader tried to interrupt.

“Call me Nix,” he stopped her mid-correction. “Nix Cordell. Early twenties like everyone else here. The start of a new baby boom. I am trying to be an artist. I am told I may even be good at it, though I am not sure how good I actually am. My aunt and uncle raised me. And I have two lovers. I lie to them both.” He flashed an irritated grimace at the group. “All yours, Dog.”

Buíochas. Sotaire. Sin Dougherty. A pleasure to meet you all.” The gangly companion of the man introduced as Nix smiled in a perfectly measured way, an extension of the smooth meter of his voice. “I’m sure that being 20 makes me the baby here. My leannán tells me that I ought to be more graceful for a dance major, but it does not stick. That she puts up with me at all makes me love her even more so. A Mick like me doesn’t really mesh well with American life.”

Nix nudged him. “Deep secret, Dog. Don’t forget.”

Sin gave a halfhearted smile. “My secret?” he whispered. “My secret is that I watched my best friend die.”


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