A Night in the Stands

December 1, 2009
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A Night in the Stands

Another Friday night is upon the high school marching band as they march down to the football stadium. Right before their feet hit the foam track there is an ambiance of silence and curiosity that came from the football fans. The thought of what the marching band is about to do next is thought provoking and it intrigues the stadium attendants. Out the brilliant musicians, a clarinetist stands asides reflecting the night that is about to unfold in front of her. The one place she can scream without making a sound. A place to express what is on her mind without using words. She surrounds herself with the peppy sounds that entertain the audience game in and game out. After marching the length of the bleachers, she is finally sitting in the seat that has nurtured her memories for the past three years.

As she stands in her spot a swirl of senses surrounds her, devouring her nerves. As she looks out across the field, she can see the other band as they start to play their fight song. She turns her head to see what song are the marching band going to. The drum rolls and kick goes the football. The game has started and so has the adreline rush. As she looks around she gets the flashes of a bright gold and royal blue from the shirts of the audience. The only place she would spend her Friday night. As the football game gets underway she begins to blow, whisking her fingers as fast as she can as “Get Ready for This” sweetens the air. The smooth, black notes leaving a printed image on her mind and soul. One song down and several more to go. The roar of the crowd cheering that overcomes the air and the cheerleaders begin to cheer for the football team. There is so much excitement that surrounds the Stadium. The new faces, the smell of popcorn at the concession stand, and touch of the warm, metal keys is a familiar feeling. All of it being a new memory. She turns to see the score board slowly running down to zero. “That’s half time,” the announcer’s voice booms throughout the stadium.

As she walks down the stairs, she turns back to the bleachers. She begins to think of what goes on at her seat. If she were standing there what would she see? The marching band as it marches quickly into complex formations. As they performed she would hear the music soaring through the air, and the crowd cheering for more. Would she see something else? Or a parent watching being proud of what their child has accomplished? She would smell the fresh popped popcorn and the warm, baked salty pretzels. She would see the cheerleaders as the touched the sky with their feet. How she longs and wishes to be in that spot for half time.

After half time she returns to the glorious spot in the stands. The spot which is devoured by the sweet, sassy and rockin’ music of the marching band. Song after song, her ears are ringing with the pep tunes. Her eyes focused on the black characters that stand out in a white background. After awhile a wave of desperation clenches her body. In search for water she stumbles on more movement. The crowd’s voices soars through the air along with the music. An image comes across her line of vision. Her family walking to down to say their good byes and to give her a big hug for luck. Finally, the treasure she had been searching for and is now at her finger tips. With a smile and a “Thank you,” to the band parent, she unscrews the lid to the bottle. A chill of grace crosses her lips and the tip of her tongue. Her finger tip experiencing a slight chill as she takes a sip. The water is clean and crisp. A sigh of relief and she screws on the cap and continues to her spot. “Touchdown, Eagles,” says the announcer. Before he can finish the band already began the fight song. In her spot she moves her fingers quickly while the drum keeps the beat. Just as she finishes, the deep roar of the voices chant “Eagles!”

Through out the night, her seat rings with laughter and giggles by the surrounding musicians. Here and there each section plays their little joke of the night. As she observes the band and finishes with pep music she begins to sit down when she feels something strange on her bottom. She then hears a farting sound. A clever, sneaky saxophone player snuck a whoopie cushion under her while she was playing the recent pep tune. Around her she heard the laughter of the entire saxophone section. Her face turns a blood red and she can feel the eyes all on her. She can feel the embarrassment rising in her and she felt it would never pass. As everyone focused on their good time, she gave in and gave a chuckle. Then she watched others sit on the whoopie cushion just like she had. Their faces turning red as they plot their revenge on the clown who had pranked them. Then, a sudden hush fell on the band. The girl looked around to see quietly reading a letter. It had appeared to be a letter from a crush, a friend, a sister or brother, or just someone who wanted to say hi. An array of colors filtered throughout the band section of the stands. The calm flip of papers was heard throughout the band down to the spot where she sat. The scene was a sure sign that the football game was coming to a close and she would have the leave her place until next week.

It is a melancholy feeling stepping down the stairs as she steps on the track. She finally came together in line where the rest of the band members were standing. She took one more glance up at the stands where she had been standing all night. The place in which she saw the seriousness and the goofy side of band. She saw the giggles and the calming effects of the band’s events. She had heard the music and saw the music notes. That was her favorite place to be on Friday. A night in the stands was what she lived for.

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