Commit to a Writing Practice

Writing 101 – Day Three

Note: I am supposed to be committing to a daily writing practice – at least 15 minutes without pausing, editing, being cautious or over thinking it. So, of course I haven’t written anything for two days. But this weekend I’ll get my writing assignments up to date and then … I promise to commit to a daily writing practice.

Writing Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

I’m one of those people. My life doesn’t really have much of a soundtrack. I’m not John Travolta shashying down the pavement swinging my paint cans to the disco track in my head. I don’t even listen to music that much. Don’t get me wrong I like music, how it taps emotions and triggers memories, but I’m not passionate about it. I don’t have the type of bond with particular songs as implied by the prompt.

Okay, maybe this will explain it. I’m 13. I’ve been to the record store. I get into the car. I’m nervous about this. I’m not sure how she’ll react, but it was my birthday money. I just haven’t spent it like this before. It feels significant, symbolic somehow.

I snap on the seat belt in the backseat. I awkwardly hold the large flat bag, not quite sure what to do.  I want to hide it, but it’s better we do this now before we get home. There is only one turntable in the house, so she will find out about it anyway.

“What’ve you got there?  What did you get?”

She can tell from the shape of the bag what it is. I sense her nervousness. She knows it too. Something significant is happening. May as well get it over with.

I slide the record out of the bag and hold it up so she can see the cover. I hope I judged this right.

Suddenly she relaxes and smiles.

“Ohhh, I love Cliff Richard.”

Yes, the very first album I purchased with my very own scarce financial resources was Cliff Richard – Wired for Sound.

Most of the way home my mother is singing Summer Holiday – out of tune.

….

Several years later out on the street. We are marching, but I’m looking for exits ready to run should the grim blue police wall to my right start to crumble. Ahead of me strides a defiant drag queen. Unlike me looking for cracks in the wall she stares it down rasping out a show tune.  Oblivious to the jeers of the passing crowds. Around me people are chanting.

Something happens. There is a break in wall. I move before I can think. Behind me the drag queen goes down swinging. Above the shouts and screams I can hear her – Don’t Cry for me Argentina – broken and barely a tune.

He’s three and beaming with pride. He can do it. Sound screeches out out the recorder as he bursts a lung trying to expel air while his fingers slide and miss the holes.

“That’s great. What’s the name of that song?”

“Twinkle, twinkle.”

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