It was my last show. Melancholy feelings swept over me as I board the plane going from Salt Lake to St. Louis. I was tired from the previous week, for I had been working a show in Iowa and only had 3 days to recover. I sat down in 17A and noticed that this flight was going to be particularly full. There was already a plump man sitting in the aisle seat so I crossed my fingers–hoping that nobody would take the seat right next to me. A small, Middle Eastern man straight out of Terrorist Magazine shimmies his way to the seat next to me.
Of course his seat belt was intertwined with mine, which–mind you–had already been buckled around me. I hastily flipped mine open, untwisted the mess, and suddenly got a whiff of the worst smell that had ever creeped up my nose. Imagine a greasy Big Mac dipped in month-old bath water. I directed my face toward the window and covered my nose for the next 3 hours of my life.
We landed at midnight and waiting for our rental car was like waiting for the Indiana Jones ride in Disneyland–without a FastPass. I will now vow to never complain about Rexburg’s wind again because the wind in Missouri is curse-word-worthy. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dorothy’s tornado came around and swept up my suitcase and me that night.
After a somewhat easy load-in, we started the show around 2 pm on Friday. (I work(ed) for Spotlight, which is a company that puts on dance competitions.) We started out with the Petite Division and I’d only heard the worst things about these girls but I promised not to make any judgments until I saw their dancing. This was impossible because the wings backstage made it so you couldn’t see anything onstage unless you were poking your head around the curtain…which I did a few times the next day.
Saturday evening rolled along, and I was feeling very tired, very moody, and very DONE. But then, a little blessing from heaven ran up to me and gave me a compliment.
Your feathers are so cute. What’s your name? You can call me Gabs.
Oh my cute! This teeny little, 8-year-old, blond-haired gem would become my new BFF. She started calling me Pocahontas and following me everywhere. She was the spunkiest, loudest, most adorable little girl I had ever met. Here is a little “bird” dance she did for me backstage.
Sunday went by quickly because I had my little friend to impress. She loved everything I did, every bracelet I wore, the color(s) of my hair, my big fake glasses, and my red Toms. I felt like a celebrity.
She grabbed my hand and started running out to the auditorium, for her Senior Teammates were performing her favorite routine. It was called “In Da Club”.
My three-year-old baby sister knows every move in this dance.
Hmmm…All I know is I felt like I was watching a Playboy Bunny strip show in Vegas. I looked around and could tell there was an uncomfortable feel in the audience. Was my new best friend really a prosti-tot and would she turn into one of those prosti-teens? My heart dropped at this thought and I wanted to adopt her and take her home with me. I didn’t want her to turn into THAT. I wanted her to stay little, stay perfect, stay naive.
That night, it was time for her to go and her little friends ran up to me and said that her grandpa was taking her away and she couldn’t come back to say goodbye. They told me that Gabs was crying because she misses me too much. That night in my hotel room, I cried because I miss her too much.