I was dancing at Body Choir, trying to thaw my fear-frozen body, letting the rainbow swirl of motion all around me melt my field of vision and loosen my mind. The drum was beating in my chest – ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum [skip a beat] ba-DUM! ba-dum. That big bang is a physical sensation inside me, like a hiccup, or a baby kicking. And it’s happening with alarming frequency. The room was dim and the music was picking up, and fuck it I’m going to dance through it, my heart started beating faster, I started to sink into the movement – eyes half closed, but still leashing myself in. I thought, if I die, I’m going to die dancing. And I danced harder, moving through the bodies; I saw the dark, swirling mass as the thing I’m afraid of, and I moved through the empty spaces between the bodies until I arrived at a truth: I’m not afraid of death. Once I’m gone, I’m just gone. No fear, no nothing. Of course, Blue. So why am I still so terrified? Because I’m not afraid of being dead – I’m afraid of the monster that’s going to kill me. I’m afraid of the clawed, sharp-toothed thing in the black forest of my body. Because I don’t know what it is. I can’t see it. And I’m out in the open, exposed, shivering and waiting for the tearing attack.

Fifteen minutes into the dance, I found myself sobbing in Roshni’s arms, relieved to be released back into myself, at least for this moment, in the one patch of these dark woods where I feel at home.


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