Sometimes life happens so perfectly you couldn't script it better.
It started out as a normal Saturday night. The calendar was triple booked with party possibilities. A few hour before party time and my phone rang. It was my pole dancing partner telling me that there was a pole dancing contest at the upcoming party. Was I planning to enter?
This was the first I had heard of the contest and it was 4 hours prior to the party. I hadn't practiced in months, but it was a chance to show my skills and first, second and third place prizes included my own pole. That was very tempting, but not worth the anxiety of performance. For about $100 I could go out and buy one. Was the competition worth that anxiety? Enter the start of my waffling.
I thought about the probability of entering and then decided it was pretty slim. Like I said, for $100 I could buy my own pole without the embarrassment of performance. Regardless I agreed to help my friend practice before the party. I brought a change of clothes and my shoes in case I changed my mind or was heavily coerced.
Practice went well. We even had a few minutes on the pole. I remembered how much I loved spinning around that thing, hooking my heel or calf on the pole and blasting off into the spin. It was at practice that I decided I would enter. I decided to perform first because I didn't want to get nervous or change my mind - and also so I could get it over with and enjoy the rest of the party/performances.
The moment finally arrived. The DJ knew my music and I was back stage psyching myself up. Three minutes on the platform, just me, the pole and Journey. The song started slow and I looked out into the audience of awaiting faces. I wondered if anyone would get my little joke with Journey. I picked "Don't Stop Believing" because it's become a recent community favorite. I wondered if anyone would hold up a lighter. Then it was off to the pole. No one outside of my pole class had seen my moves - not even my boyfriend. And now was the time to show off.
Walking and falling and catching in the spin. Hooking and falling and spinning and falling again. Strutting and circling and arching and spin. I was flying. It was fun! I was just starting to wonder how much time I had left when it happened. I was mid spin when something fell from the top of the pole and hit me on my head. It bounced off my shoulder and down my right side as I landed my technique at the front of the stage.
What had happened?
The pole was standing, but something wasn't right about it. My first thought was, could I still dance around it. I stopped for a confused moment, unsure what to do, and that's when I raised my hand to my forehead. It hurt a little bit. And when I looked at my hand, it had blood on it. My blood. I was thinking "that's not supposed to be like that. It's just a little blood though, I wonder if I can finish the song. But what happened to the pole, is it ok to use anymore."
Believe it or not, that's exactly what went through my head, before my friends in the front row jumped up and helped me off stage. It was a good thing, because almost immediately blood was gushing down my face.
I was stunned. A piece supporting the top part of the pole had become unattached and fallen on me mid spin. I didn't know if I if I was injured, and if so how bad. I sat in shock as my friends stopped the bleeding, gave me ice and painkillers.
- cut to later -
The pole was fixed and the competition went on. I recovered although I was still stunned at what had happened. I had been more concerned about slipping in my shoes and twisting my ankle.
- cut to even later -
The pain killers kicked in. The bleeding stopped and I had been examined by various medical professionals at the party - my head was barely scratched. No need even for stitches. And even more important. I was one of three finalists.
The idea was that the three finalists take a final round and the audience judges the best. There were prize packages for all finalists - so I was definitely going to get some good swag regardless. No one asked me to perform again. But I was feeling good and I had an idea up my sleeve.
They started my song and I stepped on the platform again - this time donning a motorcycle helmet for protection. As my song spun up (Journey again!), I inspected the security of the new rig. I took some test spins around the pole - with the helmet on. And then I went to the front of the stage. I opened the vision and looked out at the crowd. They were wide eyed with anticipation. Watching my every move. I snapped the visor shut and started to take the helmet off. The crowd went wild. This was the biggest shock of all. Only I of all the finalists could make this joke. Taking off the helmet would make me more vulnerable than taking off my clothes (which I had no intention of doing). And the crowd loved every moment.
Bareheaded, I proceeded to rip up the pole. Well not literally rip it up. But I had so much fun doing the tricks and techniques I had learned. I love the feel of the wind on my face. Falling and being caught by gravity and my locked arms. I forgot there was an audience. It was me and the wind and my blood soaked hair. I stopped for a moment and looked into the crowd. Lighters were a flame and a few cell phones were raised in reverence. I nodded. The song faded out. I saw it in their eyes. I was remembering that feeling.
That anything is possible in this twisted fractaled world.
Oh, and I won second place.