9/10/13-"Shake a leg!"

"Good luck!" my mother wished me this morning on my way out the door.

"You aren't supposed to say that," I informed her.

"Oh, right.  Shake a leg!"

Oh dear, I thought to myself.  I'm doomed.

At school, left with a half hour to kill, I finished my Econ homework under the flagpole before locating E., P., and S in the teamroom, as usual.

E. was brushing her hair.  "I think I'll go for a bun today," she remarked, twisting her ponytail around itself.  "How does it look?"

"You look very...elderly--wait," squeaked P., eyes widening.  "That's not what I meant!  I'm not entirely in control of my vocabulary this morning."

"Mature?" S. suggested.  "Sophisticated?"

"Yes, that," P. agreed.

When the bell rang, E. and I proceeded to choir.  There, we elected class officers and rehearsed the song that we'll be performing...erm...next Saturday.  I had my part all the way through--until we put it together, that is.  Then, I missed my starting pitch and faked it the rest of the way through.

Econ was horrid.  We learned about enigmas.  Enigmas are supposed to be mysteries, but they all seemed pretty obvious to me.  Why does gas cost more near the freeway exits than it does in downtown?  Well, let's see.  Maybe because people driving on the freeway who need gas aren't going to drive all the way to town?  And why does popcorn cost more at the movie theater than at the grocery store?  Let's consider this phenomenon very deeply...

You get the picture.

We ate lunch at one of the seldom-used tables behind the gym.  I don't quite remember the details of what there transpired, but I remember it being funny.

We had a new seating chart in Spanish.  We did math.  Actually, we were reviewing numbers, but it involved math.  We also sang a song about a duck.

In Anatomy, we had a quiz on the regions of the body.  I think I got them all correct.  I was also the first to finish. 

"Got them all!" N. mouthed at me after he turned his in a few minutes later.

I gave him a double thumbs-up.  "Me too!" I replied silently.

Once everyone had finished, we took notes about Na+/K+ pumps.  This ideally involved coloring.  Mr. M. directed our attention to a tub of colored pencils.  I had my own, but most of the class got up and migrated toward the front of the room.

N. took a few steps toward the conglomeration, pivoted, and returned.  "Never mind.  C. has pencils, and if I ask very nicely, maybe she'll lend me some." 

I held out the box for him.

"May I?"

"Of course."

"Thanks, C.  I'll have this one," he decided, selecting a blue one, "and this--nah, I don't like that one." He moved his hand away from the orange pencil that he had been considering, in favor of a brown one.  "I'll take this one instead."

After the notes, Mr. M. handed out a worksheet to do.  N. lent his textbook to the girl next to him and shared mine with me. 

The rest of class was pretty uneventful.  We didn't finish the worksheet.  It's homework now.

After the bell rang, I trotted to the theatre building to pick up my application form.  As I returned from the drama board, paper in hand, I saw N. approaching the glass-walled lobby from the outside.  The doors of the lobby can only be opened from the inside, so I let him in.

"It's hot as hell out there," he remarked upon entry.

I had to agree.  "Yeah, isn't it supposed to be September?  But it's so cold in the mornings," I observed.

"Yeah.  Icy."

Soon, more people began to stream into the lobby.  I went over to the concessions counter to deposit my backpack and fill out my application.

"Let's see.  I know my name," I said, writing my name in the proper blank.

"That's a good thing to know," N. replied, swinging his green plaid satchel onto the counter and turning to greet his boyfriend (J.-from-choir).

Half an hour 'til my audition.  Theoretically.

N. left shortly, but not before telling me to break a leg, and I finished filling out my form.  It looked very empty.

I had a conversation with a girl I hadn't spoken to since freshman year.  I had no means of attaching my form to my picture, so she lent me a bobby pin.  It wasn't as effective as a paperclip, but it worked.

Slowly, the occupants of the lobby began to thin out as people went home.  I was so hungry, I was beginning to feel faint, so I ate my last carrot.

And then I sat there for a while.

And then I paced.

"Think you're ready?" J. asked of me.

"More or less," I replied, which was true.

K., another of my fellow choir members, but who only auditions for musicals, beckoned me over to the end of the lobby, where she was sitting with her boyfriend.  "C.! Will you say your monologue for us?  We can be your audience!"

I did.

"What time is it?" I asked afterward.  "I'm at 3:55."

K.'s boyfriend glanced at his phone.  "It is...four o' clock."

Earlier, N. had warned me that I probably wouldn't end up going on until 4:15, but I supposed I'd better find out if anyone knew who was up next.

"Break a leg!" K. called after me.

"Break major leg!" another girl bid me.

"Who's breaking a leg?" someone else asked.

"Oh, I'm not on yet, but thanks," I replied.  "Does anyone know who's next?"

"I'm at four," said one girl.

"I'm at 3:50," replied another.

"All right then," I told her, reassured.  "I'm after you, then."

A few minutes later, a female techie emerged from the hallway with a clipboard and called two names.  The first was the girl with the 3:50 slot.  The second was me.

Papers in hand, I followed them down the darkened hallway to the stage door.

"Head on in," the techie said to the other girl.  "Just wait here until she comes out again," she continued, turning to me.

I did.

It seemed to take an age.

When finally I was on, I handed my papers to the director and did my best to remember the advice N. had given to me yesterday.

It went pretty well, I think.  I didn't miss a word.  The director was very kind.  She asked me to redo my monologue, but to make a few changes.  I did, but I don't know if it was quite what she was looking for.

Nothing that can be done about that now.  All I can do is hope.

I walked home in the possibly triple-digit heat, the sun beating down on me.  Hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

Sometimes I wish it rained in Oregon as much as people tend to think it does.  Late summer, in my section of the state, at least, it is practically arid.

Anyway...Got home.  Fed cat.  Ate popcorn.  Did calculus.

That's all, folks.

The End

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