things I have put into my mouth

Okay, I admit it, I’m a band geek. So this is about musical instruments, mostly.

But I got you to click on the post, didn’t I?

Alyson Hannigan would be so proud.

alyson hannigan flute

So, yes, ummmmm, let’s see. I marched in both Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia twice during my high school years, first as a clarinet and then as an alto sax.

That second time I marched, I was actually Band President. Believe it or not.

Then again, I was also Tennis Captain, Chief Editor of Journalism (Newspaper AND Yearbook), Girls State Representative, Head Varsity Cheerleader, National Honor Society Treasurer, Queen Deejay for Dances (whoop whoop, play some George Michael) and the future Senior Class President of 1988 by a never-before-never-since 19/22 count.

Yeah, I went to an extremely small high school, but still I had competition. I was never Prom/Homecoming Queen, if that helps. I’m still friends with her.  Only three girls didn’t vote for me, and they never won the top-pop spot either. So they can suck it. Hard.

Somewhere around there, I gave up my chance to be Valediction or Salutatorian because I’d been accepted into my first choice of university before I’d started my senior year.

Yeah, I was impressive at 17. But I still sat with a gun in my lap contemplating suicide in the early days of 2000, because I couldn’t pay my rent and I thought I was a failure.

That’s the point, when confronted with the reality that I had a dog who loved me, who didn’t deserve to be left with my corpse, that I checked myself into rehab.

Never ever ever ever judge a book by its (yearbook) cover. Or his military rank. Or the number of her children. Or whatever they post on Instagram.

And remember… please remember…

Lately, stuck in the demanding doldrums of the current crises, I’ve watched a phenomenal production of An Inspector Calls on AmazonPrime.

Its sympathy to suicidal desperation. I  dreamt about it for a week afterwards.

Also, okay. Honesty here. I have changed my birth year on Facebook to what it really is: 1970. Because I have been trying to write a story set at Arizona State University in the 1980s, and I keep getting the timeline wrong. So I need to set the record straight.

And the following poem won’t make sense without that tidbit. Because 1980 is when Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back was released, which was the first time I knew—without a shadow of a doubt—that I was heterosexual.  Something that I now consider as a blessing, to know so soon and to know so firmly in my life, my own sexuality.

Ooooh, Han Solo. Point that finger at me. Love that scarred and purposeful chin.

But, ummmmmmm…. back to the topic at hand: my musical abilties.

My first go-to songs were all Disney. I can sing the original Cinderella like a showman.

For that matter, I can sing The Greatest Showman like a showman too.

But I have a plentiful trove of Christian anthems to sing as well and… oh, my… am I going to be that honest and name my denomination in this post?

No.

Still, this is my favorite American primitivism faith-based song.  I mention the style in my most recent installation of my sci-fi erotica novella, which I am close to releasing.

I was taking piano lessons by the time I was 8, in part because I had no other use than as an accompanist for church songs and a wife/mother. My teacher was the mother of one of the girls who bullied me since 1st grade and then voted against me in 12th grade. Her house was 2 minutes down the road on the left-hand side from my own. It’s a wonder I learned anything at all from those instructions.

And, then in school, I learned a couple more instruments and settled on the clarinet and saxophone. I have never been able to understand the guitar, which is odd. I just don’t get how the strings and frets relate to chords.

I’m sure I’ll have an A-HA! moment at some point, but I haven’t had it yet.

In the meantime, I’d just rather sing than play any other instrument than myself.

So, I guess there’s nothing more to do but post the poem. Bless and beautiful be.

clarinet

of the things I was taught
when I was only ten
reed instruments were one;
the other, it was men.

a movie from that June
swirling around my head.
what exactly, I mused,
do lovers do in bed?

I felt the symphony
that I would one day join.
I fingered notes in school
but not once on the groin.

how low, how distasteful
to speak open about lust.
but I loved a scoundrel
and in him, I held trust.

looking back on my years,
I think my education
should have, at very least,
mentioned masturbation.

Hours I own all of these ideas, but none of these images.
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