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little swans

published: 2011-11-14

The two girls run around the opera house on high heeled shoes that are too big for them. They wear black velvety and satin dresses, they fiddle with their hair, they put on pink lip-gloss.
As the dark engulfs us and the red curtain opens – the one the girls marveled at – I fell into the pitfalls of time.
There I sat, a little girl who watched men in blue leotards jump across the stage, studied the costumes and maidens in pastel colored dresses. I gasped when suddenly thousands of white tutus swirled across a misty stage and they looked like swans.
“We aren’t supposed to have binoculars here so don’t drop them,” my father said. Which is exactly what I did. A woman far beneath me screamed and for a moment the commotion disturbed the ballet. She thought the ceiling was coming down. It lasted only a minute or so. During the break my father said I was to apologize to the traumatized lady. I didn’t want to. But he made me tell her it slipped out of my hands, which wasn’t true. He laughed, she laughed with him, and all was fine. For them.
The girls play with the bottle of apple juice they are sharing. They drop it. The bottle breaks on the floor and juice splashes all over suede shoes. “I’m so sorry,” I tell the lady who’s shoes are ruined, “it slipped out of my hands.” And yet again all was fine. For them.

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