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Home: The Toast

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you’d be able to hold a wall sit for eight minutes without shaking.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, Lululemon stores would close instantly the moment you walked past them. They’d just drag down the curtains and put tissue paper over all the clothes and walk out into the afternoon together, eyes blinking in the sun.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, your right ankle wouldn’t make that awful popping noise every time you flexed your foot, the noise that drives you so crazy that once you hear it, you roll your ankle in a circle over and over again until it finally stops, as if you could possibly prove to your foot that you haven’t already caused it irreparable damage without even trying to or achieving anything physically spectacular, just by living for a couple of decades. It would just be your ankle.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, elegant older women wearing low-cut black tops would constantly be winking conspiratorially at you whenever you went out in public. You’d have no idea why. But it would be delightful.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you would be seated next to Janelle Monáe one night at a fundraiser, and you wouldn’t start crying until you were sitting in the car with the windows rolled up.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you would both have separate copies of Center Stage (even though you stream everything and aren’t sure how to work the DVD player on your new smart TV, if there even is one), and you’d always know whose was whose. Friends would say “Is it okay if we…?” because they’d figure that she’d have seen it a million times and be sick of it already, but she isn’t. She never is.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you would always know the exact right moment to leave a party. You’d never hear “You missed the craziest thing last night” again. You’d also never wake up on your host’s couch and see them smile tightly as they hand you your shoes.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you would have had a wonderful childhood. You’d cast your mind back as far as it could go, and all you’d find would be long, sunny afternoons and feeling safe in bed, with someone in the next room who loved you. You’d never get up to make sure the door was locked. Once would always be enough.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you would eat everything really slowly. Not too slowly, and not in that way where you’re clearly doing it as part of a diet but you’re too embarrassed to admit you’re on a diet so you just say “I think it’s really important to do things more mindfully” instead of “I’m on a diet and I’m don’t want to tell anyone.” You’d just eat like you were never in a rush. Like you always knew there was more food coming, if you needed it. Like there was always enough.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, she’d understand that when you said “Let’s go hiking this weekend,” what you meant was “Let’s find a level walk near some trees, nothing longer than three miles, and eat breakfast outdoors, but still in the shade.” You’d go on a lot of great hikes together.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you still wouldn’t be able to speak a word of French, but you’d no longer feel any embarrassment when you mispronounced something in conversation. “Pas de deux? What is that, again?” It would no longer occur to you to feel inadequate.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you wouldn’t smoke. At all. Not even on the weekends, not even when somebody else offered you one. You’d never have started, and you’d never have to quit. You wouldn’t be a dick about it when someone else smoked. It would just be…inert. You’d have a neutral spirit, when you saw it. It wouldn’t look like something that could help or hurt you.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you would walk barefoot across a lot of polished wood floors. You’d have contests to see whose feet looked more fucked-up on any given day. She’d usually win, but you have gnarlier toe hair and can sometimes boast pretty impressive callouses. She’d never get a pedicure with you for obvious reasons, but she’d always meet up with you afterwards, and she’d never fail to notice if you changed the color of the polish.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, nothing outside of you would have power over you.

If Misty Copeland were your girlfriend, you’d have impeccable posture. Mothers out with their scowling teenage daughters would surreptitiously point at you as an example, and you’d smile at the mothers, then half a second later shoot a sympathetic look at the daughters while slumping exaggeratedly. They’d snort out a laugh despite themselves. You would also have met Eartha Kitt’s daughter, who would say things like “My mother would have loved you.”

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