A Ballerina in the Wild

I think I saw an off-duty ballerina on the subway last night. She was very thin but muscular, her lean quadriceps extended powerfully from her black dance shorts. Three toes on each foot, I could see because she wore Birkenstock’s, were wrapped in gauze – the big toe, the one beside it and the baby. From inside her tote she retrieved a Tupperware containing plain quinoa and spinach, no dressing, and ate it like she hadn’t eaten anything in the last several days. She got off at Dupont, and I felt a little depressed when the doors slid closed behind her.

I love the ballet, and I thought about the tickets that I buy so I can see it live at least once a year. How they relate to a tiny woman with her hair in a bun, eating quinoa and spinach with no dressing and six of ten horribly damaged toes. And then I pressed the thoughts into the spot in my brain that keeps me from thinking about the dolphins that get caught in tuna nets, and where the fuel comes from that powers my plane ride to Malaysia. I got out of the subway at the next stop and the doors slid closed behind me, too.

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