The Slow Dancers
The room was a perfect square and all its walls were white. There was no source for it, but the walls gave of a cold white light. In the middle of the room was a round stage. Five dancers stood on it, dancing to silence. No music, just a slow, steady expressionless dance, like solitary ballroom dancing. They wore suits and had short cropped hair. No one knew anything about them, but people came to watch them. Chairs were pushed up against the walls of the room, where people came to sit and observe. No one questioned it.
One day, a man walked up to one of the dancers.
“Why do you keep dancing?” he asked. “I want to know why you dance to no music.”
The dancers stopped. They looked at the man, and then began to dance faster.
“No!” shouted the man. “Don’t keep dancing! I have to know why you dance!” Other people had begun to gather around the stage now, asking the same questions.
“Why do you dance? You have to tell us! Why do you dance?”
The dancers kept dancing faster and faster. People began to climb up on the stage and pull at the dancers, until they fell off.
“Tell us why you dance!” said the original man to one of the dancers, who was now still, standing on the floor. And the dancer told him, in a hushed voice, why they keep dancing.
Now the room is full of people dancing. Slowly, to no music. People come to watch, and no more questions were asked.