i think im going to faint

April 23, 2012
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It was a dark room, like the ones that you see in the scary movies with the striped wallpaper and the fake wood paneling half way up. The one dimly lit light bulb in the middle of the room that looked like it gave up on lighting the room ages ago. And in this small dark room were to many people, if I knew what squished like a sardine can meant at the time that is the phrase I would use to describe the amount of people they squished into that room, it was uncomfortable too like that awkward moment when you are in an elevator full of strangers and you aren’t sure if you should start a conversation or just stand there till the doors open to sweet relief. It felt like hours but I was told it was only a half an hour or so till the lady opened the doors to my sweet relief that fallowed by the worst anxiety I have ever felt in my life. Why was I in this position is what you are probably wondering, or even where was I? I was in the rehearsal room at Carnegie Hall in New York, and I was there with a town choir called Hymnus.

I woke up that morning with an anxiety that I knew would over whelm me as the time struck closer to the moment I would have to walk onto that dreaded stage. My mom and step grandma woke me up with the biggest smiles on their faces and they kept repeating the same question as if they had Alzheimer’s. “Are you ready for tonight”, as if I hadn’t spent the last few months of my life preparing for this very event. I would always say yes knowing they expected more detail out of me but I never gave it to them. If they had asked me how I was feeling that day that would have easily been two paragraphs single spaced but they didn’t. I went through the day getting pampered from head to toe, you had to look your best that day. Four deadening hours of rehearsal later I felt somewhat better about the night that was ahead of me.

We walked as a group, you always walk as a group when you are young and you have to hold the younger kids hands as if they are going to jump out into the oncoming traffic. It was a few blocks away from our hotel and we were expected any minute. Walking up to the building as a twelve year old I am surprisesed I didn’t faint right there, the top of the building disappeared into the clouds. Between the excitement that chattered between the adults and the rustling of the children that couldn’t sit still I wasn’t sure what was happening. Then the lady met us and escorted us to that small room that reminds me of the scary movies.

This is where my anxiety started; this is where my mom and grandmother had to separate from me. We got ready, our outfits consisted of black dress plants, a bleach white button down shirt, a navy and red candy cane stripped tie, and a blue blazer that I drowned in because it was the only size left. Then the lady came and gathered my new friends and I to get into position.

Walking to the stage felt like exploring a new cave, very dark lit by light bulbs that could have been cousins to the one light bulb that disappeared behind us. They did not compare to the light that hit us on the other side of the cave, the stage lights that were so bright it seemed like I was seeing the sun for the first time. Then I heard the whisper from the lady, its time. Instantly I felt my skin turn white and I took three breaths that felt deeper then the ocean. the weight of the steps I took onto that quiet stage where ovewhelmingg, I still couldn’t tell you if it was the thumping of my heart or the actual clicking of my high heels but it started an echo like a metronome in my head.

I stared out into what seemed like endless rows of well dressed people, and I frantically scanned like a little child that was lost in the grocery store, I was looking for a familiar face or anything that would keep my focus. As I looked around I could hear the rows of adults and children fill in behind me, quiet as a mouse and as stiff as a board. That is what the instructor drilled into our heads all week, not a sound should leave our lips until we are instructed to do so. I didn’t have time to talk I was to busy scanning for comfort anywhere in the crowd, and right as I was about to give up I felt a light squeeze on my hand and as the music began very quietly in the background I looked over and my new friend asked me how I was feeling and barely whispering all I could get out was I think I am going to faint.





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