It is not easy to sing a solo, even if you know how to sing.
First, for some of us, there are the dreams:
Standing alone, facing a crowd, I am wearing
a transparent flesh-colored nightgown,
my hair ridculous because I couldn't find the shower,
or a brush, my alarm clock failing me.
I run down mysterious, dark hallways
frantically seeking a door - or my music.
I am lost on roads I have never seen.
Strangers won't help, friends are inexplicably mute.
Hopelessly late, unavoidable detained,
now the church is missing.
I open my mouth and nothing comes out.
Back in reality:
I sing along with the CD 257 times.
I kill at rehearsal. I pray relentlessly.
I lie awake that night rechecking my alarm
every fifteen minutes. The morning comes -
awash in lemon tea, cough drops and a gallon of water
I drive the familiar streets making sounds
that resemble an injured blue jay.
Then, like the sun breaking through the clouds
my dormant soprano voice makes a timely appearance.
At the church I respond to 39 queries and good wishes.
Then standing alone, at the crucial moment,
a tiny speck of mucus, like a Who from Whoville
perches atop my left vocal cord and effs it all up.
My eyes water, the world looks and feels surreal.
I look past people and focus on the stained glass windows.
I do the best I can.
For these and many other reasons I am not a professional singer!