Senior Recital

In response to my plea for prompts (by the way, I'm still in need of more!), Chris invited me to blog about something that has nothing to do with EMS. I like this, because it'll be a good way for me to show you guys I have a life (I swear I do!).

My floor-length gown swishes loudly against my feet as I pace in the bathroom. I can hear my heart trying to leap out of my chest--time simply isn't moving fast enough. I check the clock hanging precociously on the green wall of the church bathroom, and watch the seconds tick by slowly. The metronomic beat reminds me of what I'm about to do.
"Oh God. Oh my God, what am I doing?" I'm about to sing, solo (save a piano accompanist), for roughly forty minutes in front of fifty or sixty people. I've been preparing for five years for this one moment.
I swear my heart stops beating for a second as my voice coach peeks her head in.
"Hey, Sam, you ready?"
"I, uh...are you sure I have to do this?" I'm positive my makeup is running and my perfectly coiffed hair is falling. My gown must look hideous, and I'm going to sound awful.
"You've been preparing for years for this. You're going to do a wonderful job. You have a beautiful voice; everyone's waiting."
I head downstairs and make my entrance. My heels click happily on the stone as the crowd claps cheerfully, my friends and family welcoming my arrival. I smile and blush, glancing at my feet as I raise the stand. I look over at my accompanist and she smiles big.
I take a deep breath and look up. The sunlight falls on my music as I hear the first notes of "Dido's Lament," and I close my eyes happily, knowing this will be just fine.
I open my mouth, and the notes seem foreign. They aren't right emotionally--the style of the piece is all wrong.
I land harshly on a note, and I know I look surprised. This simply will not do. I take a moment during a rest and compose myself.
This is Dido's Lament. Dido is dying, having committed suicide. She's telling her final words to her handmaid, asking not to be forgotten. Stop being happy, and sing the piece like you mean it.
I feel the smile slide off my lips, and when I open my mouth again, the notes glide from within me effortlessly. I am Dido; my love Aeneas has left me alone in Carthage, and I would rather die than live without him.
I look over at Anni, my best friend, and imagine that I am singing to her. I put a hand on my stomach, feeling the last bit of life withing me compelling me to beg her not to forget me.
"Remember me! But ah, forget my fate." Those high notes escape my lips passively, and I look at the conductor of a local choir whose hand is now poised in front of his lips. He nods, his eyes closed, and I am satisfied.
The music ends, and there is silence. Slowly and quietly, the audience begins to applaud. I look at my mom who is in tears and I smile.
I glance at the Italian Aria in front of me and take a deep breath.
Okay, he is asking if Amaryllis doubts his love for her. He says that it is written on his heart, should she care to look.
I bring my head up, and I am ready again.

Okay, so writing about non-EMS is very difficult for me. No, like...wow. That was hard! Here is a very dramatic, operatic version of Dido's Lament if you're interested in hearing it. It's a great song :)


Scott said...

Baaaa! This thing ate my first comment!

Good story. It is AWESOME that you sing!

Need prompts? Well, how about you write a little bit more on the story about semi-fictitional Sam that I started on my blog but never got very far with. And just so you know, I REALLY want the knife in the story (Cold Steel's Laredo Bowie), but I don't have an extra $600 laying around.

Oh, and I just got around to doing your meme.

danny said...

I couldn't have done it. Not just because I can't sing, either. You're a very brave person, Sam. You're also an awesome writer.

AnniforsciA said...

Throughout that entire recital I was hoping you wouldn't look at me because I would either a) smile my face off (and I didn't want you to be distracted) OR b) cry, because you sounded so amazing (I actually did tear up but I held it in like a nub)!

So yeah, in other news I love you.

david mcmahon said...

I don't think you need prompts at all. You can write on any subject.

Chris said...


As ever, a wonderful read. I've got a challenge for you if you're still short of inspiration when I get around to posting it.

Oh, and the confidence you proved by doing that,

That's why you're good in EMS!

Epijunky said...


Is there anything you can't do? :) i didn't know you sing!!! The closest I can do to this is drunken karaoke.


by the way, my word verification says errpp. That's the sound Sleepy Partner makes after drinking a soda.

Chris said...

Challenge posted. Took longer than planned, as I may have fallen asleep on it last night!

GuitarGirlRN said...

That is a tough-ass piece to sing! Good for you!

I remember my degree recital like it was yesterday (even though it was like 16 years ago or something)!

It was hard, but one of the most exhilarating things I've ever done.