Act 2. Part 6.  "... want..."

Act 2. Part 6. "... want..."

A Chapter by B MacGregor
"

I was twenty-three when I got my big break.

"

Act 2. Part 6.

“… want ...”

 

I was twenty-three when I got my big break. 

 

Dream and Detective left me wanting something, or someone for my very own. As for both of them, well, I couldn’t carry them any farther than I had too. They were too big to fit in my life. 

 

I like to live small, way small, like dollhouse small or suitcase small. Unnecessary things tend to crowd me. I’ve never been a fan of possessions.  All of my souvenirs fit nicely in a postcard box. 

 

Plus I’m a big fan of garbage. You know… useless things that carry a remote and comforting memory. Yeah, memories work best for me.

 

My priceless belongings include a broken string from my first pair of dancing shoes, the ones Trainer tied for me.  Or a color pencil that Dealer left behind, green, of course. A vial of sand from Playboy’s protected beach. A compass, it reminds me of Dame. I don’t know why I kept it.  I hoped its secret meaning would be revealed … it was.

 

I said goodbye to Dream and Detective.  They gave me a small ticket stub as a souvenir of their friendship, autographed of course.  It fit nicely in my postcard box.

 

Soon after I left the club, I got my big break in show business. 

 

I was invited to audition for a dance troupe. It was a traveling gig, perfect for my little suitcase world.

 

Thanks Dame for the referral. I guess that’s what the compass was for.  Direction when I needed it.

 

The audition went well, considering. 

 

The director and the associate producer fought over me.  The producer liked my look. The director, on the other hand, had their eyes on someone else: a scant, little thing with impressive and artificial credentials. The producer got his way, and I was in the show. Nice how money always wins. 

 

At the end of the audition, the producer told me he liked my spunk and tenacity. Remember, I’m the little engine that could. I was hired.

  

The traveling production was a nine month engagement, covering 24 cities scattered about the country.  It was a big stage production called, “Esmeralda’s Disco Fever.”  It was a dark gypsy musical set to old Disco songs.

 

Maybe you saw it?  I was in the chorus line, way in back, stage left.  I was the one with the big black afro, heavy sunglasses, and a yellow sequin jumpsuit. 

 

The show was a hit with baby boomers.  But, who doesn’t love Disco?  Who doesn’t remember the dance mania without a smile dominating their face? Disco defined a generation, perhaps two or three.

 

Our job was to remind our audience about the exclusive clubs, the beat, the scene, the quirky characters, and all the fabulous dances.  We were there to remind them they were once young and free.

 

At least I didn’t have to be the Disco Duck. But you know, I would have.  I would stoop so low to put on a suffocating and unattractive yellow costume.

 

I would have done anything to be on stage and receive the adrenalin rush with the curtain call.  Not from one intimate fan, but from a massive auditorium that bulged with people applauding the production"all clapping and cheering for me.

 

All of us deserve applause at some point in our lives, regardless of our flaws. We all deserve someone to applaud our efforts.

 

The crowd never failed to perform. The show entertained packed theaters night after night. The audience stood, waved, danced and clapped after each intimate performance. They were excited, struck by our talent. 

 

A talent is divine. It's the reflection of an awe inspiring passion. Whereas a skill is earned, it’s well-practiced.

 

Many of us in the chorus line were paired up for the more elaborate partner numbers.  My designated partner was spoiled and ill-tempered.  I don’t think he was thrilled about my interest… at first. Yeah, I know he wasn’t thrilled.  In fact, he didn’t like me at all.

 

He threw a huge fit when we were paired together. I suppose he didn’t like newcomers to the stage.  True, I was young, but in hindsight, I kind-of think he protested a bit too much. 

 

He quickly changed his tune once he got a load of my moves. I easily box stepped around him, he quickly learned to keep from being under my foot.  He had to think quickly, because I’m fast on my feet.  I could out dance him, and quite frankly, he struggled to keep up with the choreography.  I don’t think he was into Disco, or dancing for that matter.  But he needed the money. We all did.

 

He was more of an actor with a tap dancing foot. He had a good voice too, a crooner, slapping out a beat with his hyper, bouncing feet. He was a guy constantly moving.  You know the type, a guy with a jiggling knee and an annoying tapping pace whenever idle.  He was removed and had a nasty temper.  He routinely struck his fist against his thigh whenever he misplaced a step or lost the tempo. He abused himself when anything wasn’t perfect.

 

It had to be perfect.

 

He was distant and I saw him as a challenge, like a hunter stalking a wild animal.  He was a trophy.

 

I respected my prey for the tap dancing talent. Tap is fast and powerful.  It takes a certain energy to pull it off. It also requires someone to make it look effortless.  He could. I don’t think I could master it.  Then again, I never really wanted to. 

 

After weeks of temper tantrums, pouting, and self-righteous behavior, the rehearsals came to a close and we were ready to hit the pavement.  The show was about to go on, despite my partner’s spoiled antics.

 

When we left New York City, regardless of the countless hours spent in rehearsals, my partner refused to acknowledge me. However, by the time we got to Poughkeepsie, he could tolerate looking at me for short periods.  I admit during the shows he acted friendly and attentive. He was a good actor. 

 

I had a challenge ahead of me, a regular safari.

 

Just outside of Allentown, he was willing to listen to me. In Philadelphia, I had him smiling.  When we hit Toledo, I caught him giving me a sly wink.  And then in Nashville, he brushed my shoulder with his hand, accidentally? Perhaps not. He laughed at one of my jokes in Lexington.

 

I recall in Chicago, he offered me the only empty seat on the subway.  When we crossed the Mississippi River, he fell asleep on the bus with his arm clutched around me.  By the time we reached Iowa City, he woke and apologized for being drawn to me.  I smiled. 

 

Once we crossed the Nebraska state line he told me how amazing my face looked when I smiled.  I had him from South Dakota on. 

 

And because I worked so hard to get him to notice me, I fell for him… I fell hard for him.  That’s the problem with the hunt.  You stalk the prey for so long, you become attached.  It’s hard to pull the trigger without thinking about how much you enjoyed the hunt.

 

Yeah, the hunter fell in love.  I loved my prey.

 

I didn’t tell him.  I kept it a secret. Pretty sure he kept it a secret too.  We were greedy that way.  Both of us didn’t have the courage to say the love word.  Neither of us wanted to give up our control.  It’s a shame. 

 

In Montana, I thought I had him in the palm of my hands.  He was my partner, and pretty certain he was willing to be more. 

 

He was fascinated and mesmerized by me. Well, not by me per se, he was fascinated by my confidence, the person I chose to be.  He was captured by my inner strength and belief.  He was a sucker for my moxy. 

 

In Denver we got our first big break. I remember it well.

 

I asked him out for Thai food.  It was in an unfamiliar neighborhood.  I love Thai food.  I hoped he would too.   The truth is I missed it terribly.  The production road can be a lonely place without anything constant and familiar to ground you. Familiar food can sometimes provide distant comfort. It can make you feel at home despite the location.   

 

We met at the Thai restaurant.  He waited for me.  It was a rainy day in November.  November 8, I think. 

 

When I sat down he lit a nervous cigarette.  I noticed his foot rapping under the table.  He had something he had to tell me. 

 

I didn’t want to hear it.  I knew what it was just by looking into his eyes.  

 

He ran his hand through his puffed up hair. The hair spray broke reluctantly. Still nervous. 

 

I had to distract him.  I told him to put out his cigarette.  It stunk.  I lied. 

 

Secretly, I like his smoking.  It shows off his obsessive nature.  He made him seem deeper and removed. There’s something compulsive about a man who smokes... something greedy.  Smokers believe they defy death.

 

He told me he wasn’t going to put out his cigarette.  I yelled at him to put it out.  He said no. He blew the smoke in my face. The cigarette smelled worldly and removed, like a faraway country.

 

I demanded. He yelled.

 

That’s when I asked, “Tell me what’s next?”

 

He didn’t expect my question.  He threw his glass on the floor. It caused a scene. 

 

He turned to the table across from us, the one with the kid who watched our fight. He screamed. “What are you looking at?  Stop staring?” He threw his plate on the floor. It shattered into lethal pieces. 

 

I ran from the restaurant.  I didn’t want to be humiliated any further.  He ran after me.  See, I did have him in the palm of my hand.

 

Up until he caught me. 

 

He caught me in the fleeting rain.  He turned me about, abruptly. He told me his agent called him. He landed a leading role in an off Broadway play.  He was heading back to New York. It was his big break in show business.

 

I shivered.  I was cold from the rain.  I was cold from my broken heart.  It refused to pump blood through me.  It stranded me, leaving me alone to confront his goodbye. 

 

“I want you to be happy, Velvet.  Just like you want me to be happy.  This is my big break.  This is what I want.” 

 

It was my big break too, Shadow. It was my big, broken heart. The one you broke.  Remember. 

 

Why couldn’t you be a good Shadow and stay behind the bright lights on the stage with me.  Why did you have to find your way into the limelight?

 

Fame. Greed.  You want it all. 

 

I don’t blame you.  I would want it to, that is, if I was a perfectionist like you.

 

Goodbye Shadow.  I couldn’t give you what you wanted.  I know that.  I could only play in the shadow of your wants and needs, while you waited for the big break. 

 

Does it help that I love you.  There. I said it.  I told you.  I was honest… first.  I did love you, Shadow. 

 

But, and there’s always a but, I loved you because you were a challenge.  You were a conquest.  That’s the only reason I loved you.  You were nothing more than an empty trophy.

 

Goodbye Shadow.  You were a good shadow. Once loved, now forgotten.  Know this, nothing you did left a permanent mark on me. 

 

 



© 2010 B MacGregor


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Reviews

Aw this is beautiful. I'm amazed by how well you know your charecters! Its like you know them in person, like someone who lives nextdoor. And that really is the sole reason for a success of any story. There are no drifts in who Velvet is, and its lovely.

Posted 9 Years Ago


"He was distant and I saw him as a challenge, like a hunter stalking a wild animal."
Aha... I knew it
And this chapter made me sad... and now after reading all of it
I nearly forgot that she had been burned and scarred - I was focusing so hard on the characters lol
I love this story - honestly
As always, Keep writing :)


Posted 9 Years Ago


I'm not sure why, but I kind of like this. Some interesting word choices and the short abrupt sentences keep me awake. Change father to farther in the first paragraph.

Posted 9 Years Ago


so far i think is amazing and you have keep it interesting .. awesome job so far... keep it up!!

Posted 9 Years Ago



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Added on September 17, 2010
Last Updated on September 18, 2010
Tags: Dance, disco, smoking, love, mystery, romance


Author

B MacGregor
B MacGregor

IA



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