This Is Me After Dance Class
Robert Lopez

It had been one month since we’d met, so it was okay now for her to clean and redecorate my apartment. She said she’d wanted to do this since the first time she came over, the night we met at someone’s going away party. I’ve forgotten who was going away or where it was they were going. A mutual friend asked me to a party and I said, yes, and so this is how we met and why it was okay now for her to clean and redecorate my apartment. She said there’s something wrong with me. She said she could see spending the rest of her life with me, but that doesn’t mean something isn’t wrong. I told her it was true. I told her that I’m allergic to dust, that if I tried dusting I could have an anaphylactic reaction. She said, that doesn’t sound right to me. I didn’t say anything. I looked out the window and tracked two old men walking three small dogs. I didn’t recognize the men or the dogs, couldn’t tell who might be allergic to what. She told me I shouldn’t be alarmed. She said, this is me after dance class. I always have an abundance of energy. I told her I wasn’t kidding. I said, my throat could close and I could suffocate and die. She looked at me straight in the eye, did a pirouette. She said, that isn’t the half of it. I considered what that could mean, the implications. I told her I didn’t know fractions, either. I told her a story about growing up, how the neighbors had two dogs and my father was allergic to both, which meant I was, too, because of genetics. I said, there are more things in heaven and earth. I said, it happens all the time.

Robert Lopez is the author of five books, of which the most recent are Good People and All Back Full.