when i was in fourth grade i joined the band.  i played the flute. 

actually, i can still play the flute.  kind of.  five years of band, two years of charlotte junior youth orchestra, many three-hour saturday rehersals, two wedding performances, and constant struggles with a cheap metal music stand don’t soon disappear from the subconscious.

i remember a christmas band concert.  fourth grade.  december 1990.  i was wearing a dress that involved faux black velvet.  and plaid.  and the metal clasp of my very large-bowed barette was definitely digging into my skull.  it was very cold outside (at the time i lived in cary, illinois, just minutes from woostock, illinois, where bill murray’s groundhog day and parts of wayne’s world were filmed).

after a few off-key ensemble renditions of silent night, jingle bells, and joy to the world, my band teacher approached the mic and announced my duet.  i was slated to play “oh come all ye faithful” with jasmine (sax).  i took a deep fourth-grade breath, shot one more furtive glance at my fourth-grade black patent leather mary janes, and prepared myself to praise the newborn king jesus christ with my fourth-grade skills.

but there was one problem.  jasmine was firmly glued to her chair, clutching her sax with white and sweaty fourth-grade hands and furiously shaking her head.  she was punking out.  punking out on me and the the newborn king jesus christ.  i was forced to be faithful all on my own.  and in fourth grade no less, when nothing is done alone — not lunch, not trips to the bathroom, not even crossing the street.

yet i survived.  both verses.  i was joyful and triumphant, dammit.


2 thoughts on “solo

  1. Vee’s literary genius strikes again

    Vee, I know I may have told you this before, but you should SO write a book that contains little stories like this one! I’m reading “In God We Trust – All Others Pay Cash” (the book the “A Christmas Story” is based on) and that’s basically what it is – a collection of little stories about his childhood/life. But the thing is, yours are WAY funnier and wittier!! I’m going to keep bugging you until you do it. Which will be a long time considering I plan to keep you as my psuedo-wife even when you’re married to Danny. 🙂

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