Inside the blanket 1/4
“Janet, are you all right?” Christine asks me while we are changing. “Yeah”, I shrug. She gives me a reassuring smirk and a pat on my back. “Get ready”, she says and walks out of the dingy room. I drop my clothes into my bag, and sit in front of the mirror. The wrinkled face of a woman in her mid-thirties stares back at me. The signs of ageing are quite obvious, the sunken eyes, the sagged cheeks, the dilapidated skin. I begin with covering up the blemishes on my face and then the various scars on my body that I have acquired over the years, an occupational hazard, as one might say. With each scar, a memory surfaces on my consciousness, despite my futile attempts to bury them. As I see the marks fading with the application of the concealer, I desperately desire one for my soul too. A sharp rap on the door breaks me out of my reverie. I throw my bag in a corner and then come out of the room, into the dimly lit hallway.
I stop in front of a wooden door. I can hear men. I try to imagine the people that might be gathered, some clad in business suits, some drunkards, some trying to escape their troubled homes, some homeless, vastly different, yet the same. I take in a deep breath, plaster a luscious smile and walk out into the crowd. I am greeted with jeers and leers. The room is filled with a smoke which hangs low and threatens to drown me, making me move faster, I join Christine on stage and grab onto the pole, my last straw. Then, my body starts moving on its own, it being accustomed to the music. It starts to twirl, jump, lean, turn, mechanically. I smile, give a wink, a kiss to the cheering crowd.