6 Pages

Dance or Die

WithJim Leija

I always thought of you as a kind of imperious, Napoleonic figure. You were notoriously difficult, defensive, a little snooty, generally unpleasant. You were a fabulous liar. We’d make fun of you because you would make such outrageous claims, like the time you told us that you wrote romance novels under the pen name “Tami Hoag.” You claimed that you would write the novels and that your aunt would publish them in her name. We asked you to prove it. Of course, you couldn’t. You claimed you had an older boyfriend; claimed you

dressed as a woman when you were with your other friends. We were intent on catching you in your lies; on backing you into a corner and making you squirm. We enjoyed destroying your outrageous fantasies.