This story is about a ballerina who wanted to join the army. She practised hard everyday in her garage while her brother went out to buy beer. Spread eagles, pirouettes, swan glides across the tiny cobwebby room, faster and faster, harder and harder till her shoes drummed up an indignant patter on the wooden floor. Even when her brother returned, with a little more than just beer, she continued, with only a little moue at the corner of her mouth to show that she had noticed him at all. Later she washed the dishes and listened to Simon and Garfunkel.
She joined the army, or so she told everyone who knew her. She was there with the boys when they cut through emerald wet forests with mosquitoes thickening the damp air. She stepped through the puddles of dirty blood with light feet, her rifle slung over her back, the metal pressing against the delicate knobs of her spine. None of the boys looked at her twice, but she didn't mind. She was pretty when she smiled, she knew it, but no one smiled then. She didn't say much, ate her canned soup with the rest.
The war wasn't very useful. Lots of people were angry about it but they didn't help much either, even when they wanted to. They didn't really know what the boys and one ballerina were doing in the jungles of another country, of how they marched and were ambushed. Our ballerina even had to use her gun. No one seemed to notice her. Or maybe they were ashamed. She didn't know, and no one stopped long enough for her to ask. Some of the boys were shot down right there, and she was sorry. Even though they never spoke to her she had grown fond of them. She was that kind of girl.
There was once a ballerina and she joined the army. She went further than she knew existed, and came back happy and sad when her brother broke down the door and told her to make the bloody bed.