Saturday, January 5, 2008

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a little red-headed girl who had curls and freckles and an adorable personality. This little girl wanted to be a ballerina when she grew up, so she took ballet lessons. Her ballet teacher told her that she was too clumsy to be a ballerina (hush mom - I like this version better), so she decided to be a singer. A beautiful, auburn tressed singer, wowing the world with her vocal prowess (honest! that's exactly what the little girl thought!). Singing was attainable, as the girl had a lovely voice and was encouraged by many. Till that fateful day ...

... it was a bright fall day in southern Louisiana (meaning it was probably about 85 degrees and all the trees were still in full leaf), the day of the Orange Festival in Plaquemines Parish. The little girl had a solo in the middle of all the goings-on, complete with local TV cameras ready to capture her stunning performance. Oh! So exciting! No pressure there. And the music started. The girl stood up to sing. Her throat closed. And nothing came out of her mouth. Her Italian vocal teacher stood behind her and whispered all the lines to the song, but it wasn't remembering the lyrics that was the problem. Her throat was blocked, her knees shook, and not even a whisper would come out. Oh, it was a sad, sad day. Casey in Mudville wouldn't have been so crushed. Let's all cry tears of despair for the little red-headed girl.

But she recovered! Yay! (no longer the word of the day - stop screaming) She never sang again (okay, there was that one time in church, but hardly anyone was there and it doesn't count), but she found a new love - writing. Singing didn't pan out, but this little girl had a love for books, paper, pens and writing that just wouldn't quit. At the end of every school year she would tear all of the unused pages from her notebooks and spend the summer writing or drawing on them. Stacks of notebook paper, their messy torn spiral edges hanging all over. Messiness was never a problem, so long as she had stacks and stacks of clean paper. Heaven right there.

High school happened. Wonderful English teachers came and went. If any of them happen to find this blog, Ms. Narragon, Mr. Bennet or Mrs. Cooper, I mean YOU. Every spare minute was given to reading or writing (passing notes in class DOES TOO count!). She joined the school newspaper, but wound up drawing comics instead of writing. And that was fun, too. The girl had more pen pals than she knew what to do with. Life was good.

And then? This silly girl couldn't stick to one thing to save her life. Basketball reared it's ugly head, sucking her in like a giant Hoover. Writing was a side line during basketball season. She slept with the basketball, ate with the basketball, read with the basketball nestled under her arm. Basketball was life. In fact, her coach taught her a lovely song which rather personified her life at that point:

You are my basketball
My only basketball
You make me happy
When skies are gray
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
Please don't take .. my basketball away

Yes, nothing was more important than getting out on that court and fouling out, making sure every foul counted for something. The girl just loved that basketball was a full contact sport.

Oh my. This little narrative has quite run away with me. I'll finish tomorrow. I want to see how this turns out.

Until I write again ...



AutoSysGene said...

Can't wait to read the rest. That is just the cutest picture!

Flea said...

Thanks! I wasn't quite into ballet at that time. :)