[Writing time: 8 minutes]
S is for Sing
The microphone doesn’t remind her of anything. Or anyone. It’s just the thing they put in her hand so she can hold it onstage.
Once she saw a picture of an old kind of microphone, a big circle that hung in front of your face. Like a lunch plate. Like the back of a mirror. She wants one of those, or she used to want one of those. Now she just wants to close her eyes and let her lips brush the microphone’s scratchy head. If she does it enough times, she’ll be done, and they’ll tell her she can go home. Just put on her other clothes and go home.
If she didn’t like the way her voice sounded to her own ears, she would never do this. Not for money. Not for the fans. Not for her mother, who can only sometimes remember which daughter she is, or even that she’s a daughter at all. Certainly not for her father, although her father is the one who loves her best of all.
Somewhere, there are lights so bright they’ll blind her. She welcomes this moment, the unexpected timing of the glare, that instant beat-slam of white light that is burning her retinas bit by bit. It’s her ears they want to protect. And her mouth. She doesn’t tell them about the stars she sees, after the shows, flickers of pale nothing that shimmer at the edges of her vision.
Close her eyes. Let her voice leave the thin cave of her throat, wash against the tremors of her ears. What you hear is not what she sings. What she sings is not what you hear. It’s not what she hears either. What she hears is between her mouth and this microphone, what she hears is what she means and it is hers alone.