For Anton

Once upon on time I knew I could fly. If I closed my eyes,wished hard enough, and said the magic words, I could fly. I knew because Anton told me I could.

 

Once upon a time, I knew I'd be the best prima ballerina, an Oscar winning actress and a millionaire. I knew I could do it, because Anton told me I would.

 

When we were young, my uncle Anton was my life coach, my playmate, my teacher, my inspiration and my partner in crime. He assumed in the most nonchalant way, that we would always succeed in whatever we had planned. So I had no reason to doubt it, as long as he was right next to me. I knew was good enough, probably better than most, because he told me. I knew I was smart enough, talented enough, because he told me. We played together, learned together and fought together. We finished each other's sentences, if we felt the need to talk at all. Whatever the other was feeling we just knew. At only 2 years apart we were twins in our souls. Inseparable for our entire childhood, now matter how crazy it got, he was my home.

 

When Anton left for college in Arizona I was 16. It felt as some vital organ in my body was being amputated. It was my first real heartbreak. I know my hysterical tears in the airport must have embarrassed him but he he didn't say anything. I felt lost those first few months without him so close by, like a phantom limb you keep trying to use. I was incomplete, not myself. I didn't know who I was, when I wasn't us. It was really hard to learn.

 

By the time he returned to the east coast, we weren't twins anymore but still more brother and sister than uncle and niece. I felt right again. But I had learned a little bit about being on my own. Not enough to like it, but enough to know I'd survive. Anton told me I would,

 

And then he left again, This time to Europe to perform in a musical. I was so very proud and so very sad. I was even angry. How could he leave me? These were our dreams, we were supposed to live them together. And I was afraid. I didn't dance the same after that. I kept feeling like I couldn't find the rhythm. Maybe I couldn't dance without my partner. Or maybe I just needed to look at his face to know that I had done it right. Eventually I stopped dancing and found new dreams, separate from the the kind of life we had planned as children.

 

Now we have totally opposite lives. I stayed close to family, he left the country. I got married, he came out. I drive carpools while he jet-sets through Europe. I don't regret our choices, only that we lost our friendship with them.  We see each other on every other Christmas or if he comes to here to work. We aren't twins, but we can still finish each other's sentences. I don't talk to him nearly as much as I want to, but I think about him all the time. I know this isn't a tragedy, we grew up, we grew apart. It's just .....Anton never told me we would.

 

Shavon Robinson "The Ovulator"

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