snakechahmah: (faking it)
[personal profile] snakechahmah
From writing activity over at [community profile] morbidaristocracy 

C is for Caution and those that throw it to the wind. That, can also be considered as carelessness with which one creates the caustic conditions that lead to catastrophe. See here. What happened at the “other club” could not be laid at her feet—not the human trafficking that her (deceased, not deceased and then definitely decreased) father had spiraled down into while Emcee laundered the funds through her club, the Katakomb Kabaret, nor the fact that Emcee escaped or the colossal betrayal that made it feel like she was bleeding out every time she thought of her once family. Those were circumstances beyond her control, defined by their destiny, something that they chose for themselves, but whose consequences were bequeathed to her in a fortune of guilt. Of confusion.

She’s not sure how long she let herself sit in the darkness of her colleague’s dance studio, lights off, doors locked. The trafficked women had been temporarily resettled with one of the few people that she (still) trusts. They needed to be safe before they could be made comfortable and as much as she wanted to be there in those first few traumatic hours, there were things to do, people to wake up, calls to make, contacts of contacts of contacts to reach out to and ask for favors for connections with social services provided by non-profits that would be…discreet (the last thing they needed was for ICE to show up at the club's doorstep.) It was the trafficked women’s mental health that she worried about most. Then it was how she would pay them as extra staff that might decide that they wanted to stay here and work for her. And she would take them in, of course. She could not say no. She wouldn’t. Then it was finding them a more permanent accommodation. Work training. Maybe some would need additional English language classes. They would all need clothes and basic necessities.

Then it was…then it was just crying into the silence. Sure, she could ‘hang in there'  but nagging doubts crept in about whether she was strong enough for this. How does anyone do this? Where's the manual?  She truly believed that most of the time, she could accomplish nearly anything within reason, but this just seemed impossible for a woman already battling her own demons. For a moment she wondered how her father had done something like this back in communist Germany when he hid dissidents at his cabaret. Where did he find the strength? Did he constantly worry that he would fail them? And then she wailed, the ghost of who he was and what he had become thrusting that emotional sword deeper into her soul, throat constricting, trying to keep herself, her heart, from shattering, or maybe just trying to hold the pieces together. She wondered, not for long, but long enough, she wondered what would happen if she just let the pieces go. Maybe she would just.stop.feeling. period. Part of her wanted that too, something like a on/off switch that would give her a numb reprieve from the constant onslaught of whirling emotion, neither of which she was prepared to control at least not in this guise. And especially not now that the emotional levies were breached. The feeling of betrayal was like a splinter that dug deeper and deeper into her mind every time she thought of it. 

But maybe there was salvation in defiance and perhaps that could be something as small as holding onto those shards that need to be glued together and promising yourself that you wouldn’t sacrifice who you are because of their darkness and the pain that they caused you. She knows that was a difficult thing to promise because she's made this one to herself before and she understood how much you had to fight to remain positive in the face of dark odds, but at least this was something that she had control over. She was grateful to have some returned to her. 'I can get through this.' It’s a quiet thought but it’s there competing to be heard above the horrible ones. 

Then she wipes the tears away with her sleeve, pretending that the darkness in the studio was a void and that nothing existed inside or outside of it. So tired. Sleep. She desperately needed to sleep. But her brain kept going, reminding her that there were police questions to deal with, bodies at the club, and lawyers to look up. There was a club that would need lots of damage control. Later, there would be staff to brief. There were rehearsals to manage since she couldn’t afford to lose the season, since losing the season meant losing the club, the staff, the dancers. It was enough to give anyone an anxiety attack, not to mention someone that was also traumatized but didn’t quite understand that they were, yet.

“Crawl forward if you can’t walk.” she whispered to herself. But keep going, keep going. Because there are people that depend on her to do so. Even though it should be impossible, even though it felt impossible. Wasn’t there a saying? That if you fake a smile then one day it would become real? Or something like that. In her trade, they had a similar saying.

The show must go on.

September 2017

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