wabbit (the jack is silent) (jackwabbit) wrote,
wabbit (the jack is silent)

Of Mirages and Medicine

When I was a child, I was in choir.

And though I was never a stand-out, I could sing. Well enough that I always had a solo or two, but not so well as to have a leading role (well, okay, that had as much to do with the fact that I had much better things to do in rehearsal than pay attention, but whatever). When I lived in Illinois and was in my first actually challenging choir, the director decided I lacked proper motivation and pulled me aside one day to tell me that he was giving me a harder solo piece purely because he thought I could do it and I needed the challenge.

I responded as any dyed-in-the-wool tough guy with an image to maintain would.

I made his life a living hell.

I cut up any time I could. I disrupted rehearsal, and I made a game out of hiding from him for some strange reason, but I still never missed my cues.

I still had my pride, you know. Making myself a pain in the ass? Fine. Not doing my job? Unacceptable.

So he persevered. He kept on me and met with my mother and tried his best.

And when it came time for our performance that season, a kid with a lead role got the measles.

I shrugged and told the director I could do the part. He looked at me like I was crazy and shook his head. We didn't have understudies in this small kid's choir, of course, so he was up the creek. I spoke up again, having overheard all of this.

He looked at me dubiously again, but then shrugged and told me to go for it.

This was just before full dress rehearsal.

So I changed costumes and performed a lead role and also sang my solo, which thankfully was possible due to my new character not being in it.

I didn't miss a word.

See, I have a "freakishly good memory" (love you, Fringe and Olivia!) for the spoken word. I hear things in my head very easily. It's not perfect, but say something to me twice, and I can generally say it back to you.

And I can raise hell during practice for months and still retain everything that happened around me.

So I performed the role in the actual production, too. That time, I needed prompting for my first line, as I got the big eyes from looking at the audience, but otherwise I was solid.

Sometimes, I think about that experience and smile, because I'm reminded that most people aren't what they appear. After all, I certainly wasn't.

I'm also reminded that someone had faith in me*, despite my shenanigans, and I'm grateful, if embarassed, by how I treated that poor man (don't even get me started on the truly obscene [even to me now, and yes, I remember them] alternate lyrics myself and my friend Vinnie used to sing sometimes).

But other times, I think of something else.

See, I didn't get the measles.

Because I was VACCINATED.

The end.

*Funny, he must have really liked me or maybe he was just a sadist, because I suddenly remember that I was on the cover of the local community magazine with a group of other kids from the choir in a nativity scene (it was a holiday cantata, though not the usual one), too, and he picked which kids he wanted in the shot. My mother was at first elated, but two things burst her poor little bubble later: one, I played a shepherd (because of course I did) in the pic and two, my hair fell in my face (again, because of course it did) in the photo and once again I was in trouble for the usual offense of looking grungy and not being what I was supposed to be. Whatever, man, whatever. Gods, but I'm glad not to be a kid any more.

Tags: gender is bullshit, real world
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