Star

The chords of the guitar sounded, the lights came on, and he came onstage. She watched from the crowd, wishing she could have the stationary, movie-like experience of being as if absolutely alone. But there were people pressing close on all sides and the crowd surged forward and she was born along with it as everyone pushed closer to the barrier. There was an elbow in her ribs and someone was stepping on her foot. She didn’t care, even though the physical pain was reducing her ecstasy.

But there was still a leap in her stomach as she saw him open his mouth wide and begin to sing into the microphone. His voice was almost lost amid the crash of drums, the hum of the bass and the distorted guitar. The speakers were right above her on the right and the sound was too loud to register in her ears properly. She focused instead on the sight of him, the way he moved, the way his chest heaved as he belted out the notes and the beads of sweat that appeared on his brow as the hot spotlights lit him up brilliantly.

The crowd seemed to make a wrong move, and suddenly everyone was falling, falling, falling back. She fell, the point of the falling triangle, and felt body after body crash down on her. She didn’t scream. She didn’t yell. As the breath was knocked out of her and her eyes blackened, she saw his image in front of her, the way he’d been looking right at her for a moment there. He’d seen her. That was all that mattered.

Stage Fright

When I was younger, I loved putting on a show. My friends and I would create little plays with our dolls and perform for each other. I would rally the girls younger than me at old family friends’ dinners and we’d end the evening by enacting some fairy-tale story for the grownups. I participated in drama classes starting in second grade and didn’t stop taking them until my teens.
There was a glitch, though. I didn’t get accepted to the performing arts high school’s drama program, and that broke my heart. Later, when my dad became ill and passed away, I became even more introverted than I’d been before (in all aspects of life except acting, I’d always felt shy and awkward). Acting became a thing of the past, an old dream that was quickly being shadowed by my passion for reading and writing.
I don’t want to be an actress anymore. The pipe dreams of rock-stardom have disappeared as well. But the stage fright that had gripped me melted away during the past few months when I went back to acting in an amateur theater group at my school, a place where I can practice both writing and performing every week with an entirely new show. It’s a hit-or-miss kind of production, and all the more fortifying because it means I’ve seen that a bad show isn’t the end of the world.

Oddly enough, now that the end-of-year performance at the music school I’m taking voice lessons at is upon me, my stage-fright is virtually nil. I need to leave in twenty minutes and I haven’t even picked out what I’m going to wear yet. I know that I’ll probably get rubber legs once I’m onstage, and maybe I’ll even have the nervous jitters in my stomach that’ll be asking me to please run away as fast as I possibly can. But right now, I’m feeling none of that. And while it’s pleasant, I also feel almost too reckless, too uncaring.

UPDATE: And now, back from the concert, I realize what an idiot I was to write this. I jinxed myself or something. I had an awful night, an awful concert; I was out of tune and sang badly. I’ve rarely been as embarrassed as I was tonight, singing the wrong notes in front of a roomful of people, all of whom came only to see their children sing and who were probably wincing at my voice booming out of the bad sound equipment. I know that I’ll get over this. I’ve gotten over worse. But right now? Right now I’m going to allow myself an evening of self-pity and depression. I suppose those are needed sometimes, too.

Awards? Wow. Awards!

I’ve never understood the award thing very much around here – it just confused me a lot at the beginning that people were giving each other all these awards! But now that I’ve gotten two from the lovely Peg at her blog, I’m going to pass them on and abide by their rules.

This award really honors me, since I began this blog assuming I would only post fiction or poetry or articles in it, but with the family of friends that I’ve acquired here, I’ve branched out and written things about my personal life as well, something that I wasn’t comfortable doing at first. This specific award I’d like to give to the following:

1. Mckenzie the Lovely at Unabridged Girl. She writes about everything – her life, her thoughts, her writing. She shares some of her fiction with her readers, and is astonishing, because she’s such a fabulous writer both in and out of fiction writing.

2. Erin the Awesome, at Wild Archaic , who writes short, long, funny and poignant posts, sometimes about daily life, sometimes about authors and books and her opinions. She also publishes her fiction and is, as far as I’m concerned, a fabulous writer.

3. Joy and her group of family and friends here are just about the most versatile group you could find. They write about their opinions, with strong conviction but with an open mind to discussion and great sincerity and experience. You gals are wonderful, and Joy took my under her wing almost from day one, and I genuinely feel that she and her fellow writers are amazing women.

I like this one, because I hope I manage to bring happiness to some readers! Even though sometimes, like my last post, I tend to depress them :/. Now this award applies to the women above, PLUS:

1. J.W. at his blog – his posts have always made me happy because I love to read them. They’re always interesting, and often funny or moving as well.

2. Kit (I’ve just learned your name from the About section in your blog!) at Goggles & Lace, because I swear she’s my emotional twin and I love reading her posts – both fiction and every day.

3. Living Dilbert makes me laugh, laugh, laugh, and she actually matches my cynicism [and hidden hope and tenderness, too] about the world.

4. Dr. Tom Bibey at his bluegrass blog who makes me less cynical because his words are always touching and wonderful.

5. Heather, who’s amazing and sweet and her writing rocks my socks here.

6. Den, who’s a new discovery for me, and he makes me happy with his amazing flash fiction.

7. Eva, who I’m adding late because, well, it’s hard to always remember everyone who makes you happy! But she does. She makes me thing, she makes me wonder, and she makes me happy since I love reading her blog.

In case there’s someone I didn’t list here, I don’t want you to think that you don’t deserve these awards. I don’t actually read blogs that don’t deserve these awards, just so you know!. I’m trying to honor some specific people who have been close to me and meaningful, which is why I limited myself…

Now, I’m supposed to do the following things as well:

Seven Things You Don’t Know About Me:

1. I went to the first Metallica concert in Israel in eleven years last night with Sir B. F. and I had an amazing, awesome, splendiferous time.

2. My astrological sign is Cancer, and I hate that because every family member I’ve known well who’s passed away has died from a cancer.

3. I’m a devoted cat person, but I really, sincerely love all animals that aren’t insects. I love snakes. I love rats.

4. My eyes are green-grey, and their color is probably my favorite thing about my looks and my one vanity.

5. I almost went deaf when I was very small and had to have surgery to fix it. My parents noticed it because I was reading their lips instead of looking at their eyes when they spoke.

6. I’m so pale that I’m see-through. My veins are visible almost everywhere.

7. I love singing.

Ten Things That Make Me Happy (things, not people, so I’ll stick to that so as not to objectify anyone I love!):

1. Weather – I love experiencing sun on my face, rain on the windows, a breeze in my hair.

2. My favorite bands.

3. Books books books books books books books.

4. Computer games [yes, I’m a girl-gamer, and thus, a geek].

5. Pens and paper.

6. The Internet.

7. Blogs.

8. Those certain items of clothing that make me feel special [come on, we all have one or two of those].

9. My tattoo. I love that after five years of wanting it, I finally got it once it was legal to.

10. Chocolate.

Teenager Sarah – Chapter 1

“This old man… he played 8… he played knickknack on my gate… with a knick… knack… patty-whack, give the dog a bone, this old man came rolling home…” I drone on wearily, getting up to ten and then I’m forced to start all over by the fascinated three year-old I’m baby-sitting for.

I can’t believe I took this job. I have to baby-sit for Max 4 hours a day for the next two weeks until the toddler-daycare starts. I’ve already been at this for a week.

I like kids, don’t get me wrong, but Max is so tiresome! Little kids are supposed to like to sleep a lot, right? Well, not Maxi here. No, no, no, Max likes to PLAY: “I play on pony! I wanna play with puzzle! Make up a game, Sarah!” I’ve made up so many silly games, I’ve rocked him on his wooden-pony thing, I’ve helped him with his puzzles, and he STILL WANTS MORE.

At least I’m getting paid pretty well. I’m saving up for a new amp. I’ve got a really small, pathetic one- only 10V. My parents are ok with me getting a bigger, newer and better one, but they refuse to pay for it. They say that they paid for the guitar and the amp I have and that I should be satisfied. So I’m working my butt off in a baby-sitting job because I started looking for decent summer jobs too late and there was nothing left in my area.

“Sarah! Sing that song about the bucket! I wanna hear the funny-bucket song!” Max calls out after the fifth round of patty-whack. I try to understand what the hell the funny-bucket song is, and then I realize and start singing to him.

“There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole!” I continue on, singing the Henry parts in a deep voice and the Liza parts in a high-pitched voice, and Max loves every minute of it. He claps along and giggles and repeats “dear Liza” and “dear Henry” in the appropriate parts. When I’m done I open a puzzle for him and tell him that I’m going to make a phone call and that he can start the puzzle without me. He pouts, but starts fiddling with the puzzle-pieces anyway.

I walk to the kitchen and slump myself down at the table. I take the phone and dial Hannah’s number.

“Hello?” Hannah’s mom answers.

“Hi, it’s Sarah. Can I speak to Hannah?” I ask. Hannah’s mom sniffs disapprovingly at the sound of my voice, but calls Hannah to the phone nonetheless.

“Sarah? I knew it must be you; my mom had such a look on her face. She’s never going to get over what you – quote unquote- did to me.”

“Geez, all I did was take you to a punk-rock show. Everyone gets bruised and beaten at punk shows! I mean, we were in the pit for gods-sake!”

“I know – it’s her who doesn’t understand. Honestly, you’d think that at 17 she’d be a bit less protective and give me some independence. I had a blast at that show, but she only cares about the bruise on my collarbone and the split lip. Anyways, what’re you calling about? Aren’t you at work now?”

“Yeah, I am, but I needed some respite from the three-year-old’s excitement. Listen, you up for going out tonight? I mean, I don’t have work tomorrow, since it’s Saturday and Max’s mom will be home to take care of him.”

“Sure! Out where? And with who?”

“I dunno… I didn’t really think it through, I just want to get out tonight for a bit. Are there any good shows around tonight?”

“Wait a sec, let me check the paper. Ok, um, there’s a jazz show at the Pallet club, there’s some lecture at the Secret Theater and there’s some band I don’t know at The Slob. I say the first two are a no-no. But the name of this band at The Slob sounds promising- Dragon Blood. It’s only 5 bucks, and it starts at 8, so I can even be home by my stupid 11:30 curfew. You want to check that out?”

“Sure, I’ll meet you outside The Slob at like ten to 8? Ok, great. Oh, and invite Mathew and Steve, they might be up for a good show.”

I hang up the phone feeling a little more cheerful, and waltz back into the living room, ready to take on the incredibly energetic infant.

Back home, I get ready to go out. There’s not much to do: I don’t wear make-up beyond eyeliner, and I dress pretty much the same for every outing: my black jeans, a black t-shirt [generally sporting the name and/or image of a band on it] and my black Converse. That’s pretty much how I dress daily, only with the bonus of the eyeliner.

I head out at seven-thirty and walk towards my meeting place with Hannah. The Slob is this very cool music club. Apart from their folk-night evening, they normally have pretty good bands that play there. I hope my band will be able to perform there sometime in the not-too-distant future as well. It’s the smallest venue around, but it’s a great place to get noticed.

I arrive at the doors of The Slob and Hannah’s not there yet. I lean against a lamp post and look around hoping to catch a glimpse of her or the boys. It’s pretty crowded, which means that this band we’re seeing has some sort of following. There’re actually a couple of girls in obviously home-made t-shirts bearing the words “Dragon Blood” on them in bright red glitter.

“Sarah!” a masculine voice calls from somewhere behind me. I turn around and see Steve. I hug him, and we begin chatting about the last band practice we had. Steve is the drummer, I’m the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist, Hannah is the lead guitarist and Mathew is the bassist. They always say, form a band with your friends. That’s exactly what I did 4 months ago when I decided that I wanted music to be my career.

Where Is the Cake?!

In case you were wondering, NO, this is NOT a Portal/GlaDos reference.

It is a reference to the stupidest children’s song every to have mortified this planet. It is in Hebrew, which is already bad, because Hebrew is not a particularly pleasant language. The bulk of the song is this: “Where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is, where is the cake?” – The number of “where is”s is NOT exaggerated. I counted.

It’s bad enough to have to listen to that horrible monotonous song over and over, but what’s worse is that’s accompanied by the need to listen to horrible pop songs as well. All of these lovely tunes drifting, or rather pounding, through the windows of the house from the birthday party in the park. Of the hits I got to listen to over and over this afternoon: “I Want It That Way”, “It’s In Your Eyes”, “The Ketchup Song” and “The Macarena”. If you haven’t heard of any of these songs, consider yourself extremely fortunate.

I wouldn’t be quite as negetive if I didn’t know that it’s illegal to use huge speakers in our park. I’d like to hang signs up all over the park requesting, eloquently and politely, for people to stop using illegal loudspeakers for their children who are NOT deaf. Perhaps something along the lines of “You and your crotch-droppings suck for abusing my eardrums!” would suffice.

EDIT: Paul McCartney sang an awesome concert and is very much alive. Just so you know.

Cops are… helpful? What’s happened to the world?

I have great belief in the police force. Ok. Well. That’s a lie. I’ve never had to deal with them all that much, but watching The Wire does put our boys in blue in perspective. Mostly cause half of them aren’t even in blue. Decieving buggers.

Tonight though, I encountered two policemen doing very unexpected things. I was driving with Ms. M and Mr. B. B. and I was standing at a stoplight, waiting for the green light. Of course, because this is Israel, a woman in a hideous white SUV tried to push in front of me so she could turn left. A cop car was a few cars behind me, and a very pissed off elderly cop actually made the effort to get out of his car and go up to her window and yell at her to get back into her lane and not inconvenience everyone else and hold up traffic. Of course she ended up turning left illeagaly anyway, but still, the point was made.

The second thing that happened tonight was again, at a stoplight. This time the squad car was in front. A man walked up to the window and seemingly asked directions. Then he smilingly got into the front seat of the car. Meaning the policeman inside offered a lift. This is another piece of courtesy that is unknown of here.

Next post might or might not mention if Paul McCartney was or was not assassinated during his concert here that is tomorrow night.