Allegro, Forte


The crowd is different than I’m used to. I can’t exactly put my finger on it but these people are different from me somehow. Maybe it’s because no one else is wearing glasses that I feel so out of place. I wore my favourite shirt today – the blue checkered one with embroidered sunflowers; the one Mom said made me look the most like myself. Everyone else is wearing clothes that I couldn’t even dare to glance at in a department store. I wonder how they can even move in those. But, they’re moving – gyrating.

The music is changing again and it’s a song I’ve never heard. The people around me are swaying to the beat. I try to tap my feet but I don’t get it. I’ve played the piano for fourteen years but I don’t know this rhythm. The tempo is not like any I’ve heard. It’s hard and fast and fast and hard. Allegro, Forte, Allegro, Forte. Sigh. My feet are tired and my head is spinning.

The lights are getting to me. I wonder if they could trigger a seizure. The colours are shifting too fast for me to follow. Blue, green, yellow, red, purple, pink, orange, yellow, white, white, white. The lights aren’t changing anymore. My eyes are shut as tightly as I can manage. All I can see is bright from beneath my eyelids. My heart is thumping now. Allegro, Forte, Allegro, Forte.

The smell is nearly overpowering. It’s a scent I’m not used to and I’m not quite sure I like it. It reeks of sweat and passion. It’s weighing on all my senses. I try to take a breath and it catches in my throat. I can’t get air in. The people are moving and all I can focus on is breathing – being. In, out, in, out. Allegro, Forte, Allegro, Forte. 

I want to move but my legs are as heavy as lead. The pounding is getting louder and I’m not sure if the sound is in head or from my chest. This is the furthest I’ve felt from myself. I need to go home.

Have you ever been to a place where you felt like you didn’t belong? What did it feel like?

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