Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to perform. Even if it was just in the privacy of her own bedroom, putting on “concerts” with her bed as a stage where she was Madonna and her unfortunate younger brother was directed in the art of being a doo-wop boy, and they both got The Belt when they were discovered wooing their “audience” after bedtime. Later, she would discover dance and musical theater, and would receive, and decline, an offer of a full scholarship to a music college. Real life had intervened by then, you see, and in order to receive the scholarship, the girl had to fill out a FAFSA. Which isn’t possible if you are an unemancipated minor who does not live with a parent and whose parent will not provide the necessary income/tax information. So the girl said, okay, guess I have to wait until I’m twenty-four, which is when the law says I can file a FAFSA on my own.
But by age 24, the girl was nearly a decade out from her artistic past. She’d been working full-time and living on her own since graduating high school, a day before her 17th birthday. There was no music school scholarship in her future; if anything, she needed to go to college to get a better “real” job – this making a living and supporting yourself thing was proving impossible.
But somewhere in the depths of the girl’s heart, somewhere she’d known she needed to bury for practicality’s sake, was a need. A need to sing at top volume, if only in the car with the windows up. To dance, if only at the sink while doing dishes. To revel in the arts that sustained her during some of the hardest years of her youth.
And that girl never got rid of her tap shoes, or her sheet music, or a single libretto.
I think that girl is closer to the surface than she’s been in a long time. Just sayin’.
The written word.