The Vacuum

By: Melissa Ratliff

“Don’t you get nervous?” I’m asked this a lot. But honestly, I really don’t. The lights on stage are blinding. Everyone in the crowd disappears behind their glare (so, no need to picture them naked). Sometimes I hear noises. But more often than not, I wonder afterward if anyone even laughed. It’s like being in a vacuum. They’re there, but I don’t notice. I’m so focused on my partners – listening intently, offering gifts, reacting naturally, and somehow also remembering to be funny from time to time – that the world around me melts away. It’s like breathing. And it is exhilarating.

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