Hear Me Out-Part 5

I finally made my way to the library about thirty minutes prior to closing.  They usually stayed open until around nine in the evening, but there was a special event going on this particular day, granting me less time to peruse the stacks.  Also, it wasn’t until I arrived there that I realized that I had practically been sprinting from the church as I was completely out of breath and dripping with sweat.  I managed to pull myself together for the sake of not appearing suspicious and walked in.

“Hello.  Welcome to the library.  Are you aware that this branch will be closing in thirty minutes?”

As soon as I walked through the automatic doors, a rather drained-sounding voice croaked out the above dialogue.  Those words belonged to a bored-looking teenage girl who was situated behind the check-out desk, appearing as though she wanted to be anywhere but the library.

“Um, yes I am.  Uh, thanks.”

I started skimming through the juvenile section first.  One by one, looking at just about every book on the shelves brought back memories of reading from when I was even younger.  Before my parents converted to Buddhism and became rather subdued, I would sit between them every night and read a favorite book of mine aloud.  These days, however, I had tried to improve my tastes as so to prepare myself for adulthood (as if I could learn that from a book).  With that in mind, I started toward the adult fiction section.  Or at least I was until I saw a rather eye-catching sign that stopped me in my tracks:

Attention! Attention!

Are you a young musician looking for 

the chance of a lifetime? A renowned Russian organist

is offering up the chance to audition for two organ apprenticeship spots! 

Sign up down below before October 30th!   Hurry, hurry!

In an instant I was able to recognize that this sign was what the organ man at the church was talking about.  I believe that it is fair to say that prior to seeing the concert earlier that day I had no real desire for music.  My parents never really exposed me to it in the midst of their religion-hopping or world traveling, despite being around many creative types.  However, I personally compare my musical awakening to a previously-dormant volcano finally erupting and alerting the world of its presence.  Music was here in my life and it was there to stay in my heart forever.  Seeing that sign just brought back all of the emotion that I had felt from the concert right back to my senses.

“I’ve got to get into this!”  I actually said to myself, aloud.  The only problem?  I knew nothing about how to play music.  I knew how music made me feel, and I wanted to make others feel the same way, but how would I accomplish that?  Feeling flustered, I did something remarkably out of character and actually went to search for another human being on purpose.  That other human being none other than a librarian, of course; a most hip and sprightly lady who anyone could tell probably spent her leisure time getting high off the smell of books.

“Um, hi!  Are you a librarian?” I uttered, surprisingly with little trepidation.

“Why, yes ma’am! [I always seemed to attract the loud and bold kinds] My name is Mrs. Joenby and I would be happy to serve you should you have any questions, comments or concerns!”

All of a sudden, I realized that her name had struck a chord.  She shared a name with my new high school!  Going off the out-of-character high I was on, I prompted further.

“Mrs. Joenby?  Are you related to the person for which the high school was named?”

“Why, yes ma’am, I am, I am, I am!  Well, I married a terrific cowboy who is his great-great-great nephew, but still, lil missy, IT COUNTS!  As a matter of fact, you are more than free to just call me Miss J.  How’s about that?”

This interaction provided such a strange jolt to my system that I vowed to just make use of the library’s computer catalog to conduct any future searches.

“Uh, okay, Miss J.  I wanted to know if you all had any how-to books for music.”

“Well, do you want to learn how to play a certain instrument, missy?  We’ve got plenty o’ music books!  If you would like, I can show you the section where we store ALL of our music-related books!”

“Oh, great!  That would be perfect.”

She sashayed her way to the 700-somethings and showed me a goldmine.

“Welp, here they all are, hun!  We’ve got everything from Bach to Rock and clarinets!  Get ‘er dun, hun!”

“Oh, okay.  Thanks!”

She had seemingly sashayed away in an instant (thankfully).  I knew that I only had about ten more minutes left, so I skimmed through the section to get a feel for what might best suit my interests.  The guitar books were first, then classical, then piano.  When I was about halfway through the section, I stumbled across a few books about music theory.  Although I knew nothing about music, I figured that a book talking about the theory behind something drew parallels to the scientific theories I had studied;  ya know, the “juice” inside of the already-born fruit.  I chose a fairly comprehensive course that came with a few CDs, checked it out at the front desk and made toward the comfort of my home.  I had only a few days to discover another planet and I was going to make my efforts count.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Feel

What is it that I feel?  Does everyone else feel the same?  Do I want to be alone?  Will I give in to loneliness?

A large reason why I write is no different from most anyone else: it’s to express myself.  Shy, thoughtful, and in a dark corner.  Sooner or later, I start to find that my stories and poems are able to breathe all on their own; guardian angel friends of my own creation who only I have access to.

Part 5 of Hear Me Out coming soon!

Hear Me Out-Part 2

Alas, the dawn after labor day arrived.  The clock struck five as my pink bunny alarm clock just about had a fit, quaking so hard it fell off of the stack of notebooks it was perched upon.  I suppose this is where I say that I had to drag myself out of bed, but no!  I was awake and thriving more than I ever ha……..oh, forget it.  I calmly arose out of my slumber to sit up and read the latest issue of National Geographic, lighting the candle on my nightstand as it was the only source of light within reach.  While in bed, I always tried to practice a kind of “movement minimalism” with my body as so to not hear the awful screeching of my centuries-old, steel bed frame.  High school didn’t start until 7:45, not to mention, I was within walking distance of my school, but I was all about trying to get more time to myself.

Although I deeply treasured my NatGeo collection, I knew that it was time for me to experience some sort of change in morning reading material.  I made a mental note to make a stop by the town’s library on the way back from school as so to have something to look forward to.  Just as fast as I’d woken up, I glanced down at my wrist and saw that it was now t-minus one hour until I was due to walk through the gates of hell.  I hopped out of bed and picked my wardrobe for doomsday, the same as usual: longish sleeves with a loose-fitting skirt or dress that was knee-length or longer, no makeup, and sparse jewelry.  I know that many say that if you’ve got it, then why not flaunt it, but trust moi, no one wants to or needs to see my body.  I suppose one thing I have to thank the Prestige program for is allowing me to skip out on taking gym, meaning that I don’t have to wear those ugly shorts ever again!

7:15 swings by and I am heading out the front door.

“Izzy, remember to add some carrots to your lunch tray at school.  They are supposed to improve eyesight.” Said my mother, ever-so calmly reminding me of the fact that my glasses are as thick as haunted house fog.

“Will do.” I murmured; also wondering how she knew there would be carrots available at the school’s cafeteria.  I made my way to Joenby and what shouldn’t have been any more than fifteen minutes felt like an hour.  This was the first time in my life that I was able to walk to school, so I felt as though I might as well take in the scenery of my commute.  The sun was higher than it was when I first got up to read, but you could tell that it was still a wee bit cranky, wiping the morning dew from its bright eyes.  On the way to school, I passed through the city’s downtown, an area filled with a wide range of shops, eateries, and churches.

“Good Morning, mademoiselle!  How are you?  Would you like ze bite?”

A rather old and fresh-off-the-boat-sounding French man popped out of his bakery to offer me a mini Napolean.  It was as if he knew that I was the child of French immigrants!  Although my parents can speak both French and English flawlessly, I admit had a much tougher time trying to do the same.  Still, I mustered up the courage to bust out my “frenchiness” on him.

“Uh……non, s’il vous plait.  De rien.”  What was I thinking?  As I continued walking down the street, I passed by a very long line of people.  There had to have been at least one hundred people waiting in line outside of what I eventually came to see was a church; a very beautifully-aged building that was one of the highlights of Smithfield.  Curious, I paused for a moment to contemplate taking a peek inside.  I took a look at my watch and  realized that I still had plenty of time to make it to school, so I simply took to what I liked doing best: exploring (or more like peeking).  After posing in the line for a few minutes, I managed to make it inside of the church and see what all the fuss was about.  Little did I know that what I would come to witness would rock my world.

 

 

 

 

*New Story Series* Hear Me Out-Part 1

You can always choose to catch more flies using honey than vinegar, but that’s the catch: it is a choice!   I suppose I’m not at all alone in feeling like my life isn’t interesting enough to make a story out of, but then again, you would have to question why I am writing this to begin with.  I’m Izzy, short for Isadora, and I live in a place that I’ve come to see as magical.  Although, my view of this city had to earn what it’s worth as it used to have an ant-sized reputation in my mind.  Setting the scene, I’m fourteen; afraid to love, a friend of being.

School has never been my strong point, but I’ve rarely made anything other than A’s.  School, oh why even bother to mention that thing?  I was just about to start high school at Joenby High, the newly-renovated and only high school in town, situated only about two blocks from my place.  Even worse, I was coerced into being placed into the school’s “higher end” program, the Prestige, by my mother and father, both of whom were wooed into doing so during a parent-teacher conference with my patronizing science teacher, Mrs. Tora, from last year:

“Little Miss [four foot ten] Isadora!  She’s SUCH a peach! [I never say anything!]  She has never received anything less than ONE hundred percent! [All I do is complete every assignment, woman.  Like I’m supposed to?]  I would LOVE for Isadora to attend the Prestige; her future is science! [Bleh…]”

Attending Joenby seemed like a real nightmare as I could practically see it from my bedroom window.  I had been living in Smithfield, Virginia for three years at that point, but still never managed to get a feel for the people there.  Interestingly enough, if you knew anything about this town you’d realize that it managed to be a very charming, diverse, and thriving community despite the fact that it barely has eight thousand residents; a small town that is very accommodating to foot traffic, at that.  Luckily, the city’s easy accessibility (and safe reputation) allowed for me to be able to slip out of my house without a moment’s notice, drift around town for a few, and be back in my room before anyone knew I had ever left.

“Little Isadora.  Izzy.  There is a plate of food on your mat.  Be sure to nourish your cells before our session.”

I know what you may be thinking:  no exclamation points; cells?  Well, my parents are anything but typical.  Both being strict followers of the Buddhist faith, they seldom raise their voices over anything.  Elders (including teachers) come first and obedience is held in the highest respect in this faith.  I suppose this actually explains why my grades are high enough to make it into the Prestige, ye olde Tiger parents!

I managed to stuff my moderately chubby self into workout clothing and scurried down as fast as I could to my yoga mat and chowed down, situated between my parent’s mats.  Our living room had no chairs or couches whatsoever, so we had space to stretch for days.  It was like clockwork that I would perform this every weekday.  I had always wondered why my parents made me do yoga alongside them as it clearly wasn’t working on my body, mind, OR soul, but seeing as I was the child and they, the parents, I knew to keep my mouth shut.  Our session was done and I bowed to my parents, ran up to my room, changed into my pajamas and hopped into bed.  Tomorrow was day one of the rest of my life.  High school, I mean.

 

 

 

Figured Out

Tracy Chapman + Michael Jackson = The Weeknd

I guess we all boast influences from one source or the next, but I’ve (lately) never come to realize one so specifically precise as this………….and I liiiiiik…uh………..loooooooooove it. And I love it.

Truth is, I don’t think life has to be figured out, but exploration simply feels necessary in order to keep us all afloat. Would you rather pray for the turbulent winds to brush your raft along, or would you rather sail in silence for fear of movement? Would you loooove it?

Now/Then

“I would at times feel that learning to read had been a curse rather than a blessing. It had given me a view of my wretched condition, without the remedy. It opened my eyes to the horrible pit, but to no ladder upon which to get out. In moments of agony, I envied my fellow‐slaves for their stupidity. I have often wished myself a beast. I preferred the condition of the meanest reptile to my own. Anything, no matter what, to get rid of thinking! It was this everlasting thinking of my condition that tormented me. There was no getting rid of it. It was pressed upon me by every object within sight or hearing, animate or inanimate.”

-Mr. Frederick Douglass

…starting to echo some of his sentiments, as of late.