As I was driving home yesterday, I thought I heard the ominous shooka shooka of a rattlesnake in the backseat. But it was worse: The cheap tinfoil on my party leftovers was jangling at a fever pitch, threatening to break loose and unleash neon cake frosting and double garlic pesto sauce onto the upholstery. In those moments, no matter the crisis in the back seat, the driver cannot abandon post. You don't want to spook the other cars so you bear down, keep your hands on the steering wheel, put on your game face and soldier forward in spite of the completely disastrous situation unfolding right behind you. The show must go on.
A few weeks ago I saw a belly dance performance. As the beaming sorceress shimmied and sashayed, clacked her finger bells and whipped her hair into a trance, the live snake which was wrapped around her chest flicked his tongue, winked, and made a beeline for her backside. Listen: His head disappeared completely behind her. It happened fast, and it was not subtle. I saw it.
But this gritty goddess, ever the professional, grinned even harder, took a deep dark breath, and continued to dance for us with a renewed fervor, her tattered, barely-there tribal skirt snaking and rattling in an unholy rhythm around her trembling hips. As the music ground to a halt, her arms swooped into the air as if to cast one last spell, and I could have sworn that she locked her glowing fire eyes with mine, as if to say, "Girlfriend, we got this."
It takes more than a snake in the backseat to bring us down.
My name is Nasreen Yazdani. I used to write micro essays, one-liners, and other small, lighthearted things. Most of them were funny.