INTERJECTIONS, BLURTS, AND OUTBURSTS
Sorry to be so loud about it, but hey, look at the subject matter.
Dateline: College Years
Location: McGhee-Tyson Airport, Knoxville, TN
I am making my way to airport security. This is in the days when non-passengers could accompany passengers right to the gate (oh, how so long ago...), and after a nice visit with my maternal grandparents, my parents, and my little brother, I am more than ready to head back to school. I put my bags on the conveyor belt and walk through the metal detector only to set it off. I am made to empty my pockets, and, aside from loose change and keys, I pull out a pocket knife a boyfriend had given me.
My father, who is seeing me onto the plane, takes one look at the knife and practically yells, "A knife?!!!?? Where's your MACE???"
Oh, lovely. He's referring to the little canister Mom gave me when I went off to the northeast. The one that's packed away in my carry-on. The one that the security people are referring to when they say "Yeah, where is that mace? Hand it over, toots!"
I dig it out and hand it over, like they ask me to. I walk to the gate as fast as I can, with Dad after me saying, "What? What'd I do?"
You only had security take away a misty line of self-defense that Mom gave me, for God's sake! Hello!!!!!!! Nice going, Dad!!!
Dateline: pre-New York City move years
Location: New Orleans
Dan and I are passengers on the St Charles streetcar as it makes its way downtown.
Most of the operators of the streetcars are pretty nondescript folks, shouting out the names of the stops that are at major intersections along the route and saying little else unless asked about directions or stops closest to attractions. Of all of these operators, there is one in particular that stands out, and we are riding with him at this moment.
He sticks baseball card-sized pictures of the saints right near his controls. He yells, in a loud, gravelly voice reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf, at the cars attempting to cross the neutral ground in front of the vehicle he is steering, as though his very voice will hold them all back, in tandem with the bell he clangs with his feet.
"HOLD THAT WAGON! HOLD THAT WAGON!"
"MOVE THAT WAGON! (clang, clanggggg)"
The streetcar slows up to take on another passenger, and his voice beckons.
(to a passenger) "GET ON THE WAGON! GET ON THE WAGON!!!"
As we move through the Garden District, a tour group is amassed on the sidewalk near the Washington Avenue intersection. It is at this moment that all the streetcar passengers are treated to an extremely rare assessment from the operator. He gazes out to the right, sees the group and yells out,
"LOOKIT THEM TURRISTS!! THEY LOOK LIKEA BUNCHEH FLEEEAS!!!!!"
The divide between locals and visitors is instantly exposed. Locals on the streetcar laugh uproariously - tourists emit a nervous giggle, or smirk uncomfortably. At any rate, we are all in the same boat, so to speak, until we reach Canal Street.
Dateline: High School years
Location: Auditorium, small-town PA high school
The best part about making Regional Choir is the rehearsals take you outta class. Although I am having to learn ten-plus choral pieces on the fly, my sight-reading is abominable, and reading music is akin to running in quicksand, I'm enjoying hanging out with all kinds of people from schools all over the area. I haven't made it to State Choir, but that was the first thing that got taken care of, and it doesn't bar me from the Regional rehearsals.
The usual choral music suspects are on display, including John Rutter's Requiem, a jazz piece that is mostly a lot of choral scat, except for an a cappella movement that jokingly goes:
No, no-n-no, Nooo (no no!)
No, no-n-no, Nooo (no no!)
No no no no
No no no no no (bing!)
No no no no no (bing!)
No no no no no words!
...and a piece that is giving the conductor fits, because we haven't got it quite right - Daniel Pinkham's Wedding Cantata, which takes its lyrics straight from the Shir HaShirim, the Biblical Song of Songs. We are slogging through the music, which is technically demanding, and the concentration on the notes and the dynamics is so great that we seem to have forgotten something.
The conductor stops the reharsal. Hands on hips, he stares us all down. "Come on guys, what do you think this song is really about???"
A voice wells up from the back of the bass section, snapping the quiet in two.
"Couldn't be about SEX, could it?"
Forget the music. Forget the dynamics. Forget the words, even. The beginning of the song at every rehearsal thereafter was guaranteed to have me in a giggling fit. I couldn't do that song with a straight face until the performance itself.
Why do I recount all this now?
1) I sometimes think about this stuff when I get in front of a crowd like I did yesterday (see the previous post) and speak my mind. At worst, people will get angry. At the other end of the worst, people will laugh in my face. Someone will listen somewhere, some way, I figure.
2) It's my blog, and I'll write - and YELL - how I want to. Ha.