Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,
Sometimes life gives you a breather. A real moment of peace and clarity thats sets up everything that will come after. This week was not that week. Most weeks aren’t that week if you are a mom. And I’m a mom six times over. So everything that has gone down at home has felt hard and frustrating and more of me not performing at my best. I wish my blow up, melt down moments didn’t always have this audience of tiny people.
I’ve also found myself on the receiving end of some spectacular mentorship that has set me a really high bar. I mean, once I’m over it I’ll probably be like, “Oh, that wasn’t nearly as hard/bad/scary as I thought!” At least, I’m hoping so. Because for the first time in over three years my writing is not just a hiding place from the rest of the world or a slog I have to get through to be “done.” Right now the writing feels exciting. And I’ve missed that.
But now it’s Friday. And that means it’s time for a little flash fiction. Time to pull some prompts and write whatever comes regardless of silliness or sadness or typos. So many typos. And I hope it means the same for you. Time to stretch the creative muscles in some fun, playful directions at the end of the week.
This week’s prompts: Hospital waiting room, singer
It’s been a year and half since I felt like a person rendering a valuable service and not public enemy number one.
One minute you’re up on stage, rocking’ it out, bringing joy to the masses, the next you’re the source of the problem. Not that performance for a living was ever particularly hygienic. All the heavy breathing, spewing the contents of your lungs over the mic again and again. The sweat dripping off your forehead, and plinking off the stage. But no one seemed to mind that you were a walking viral load as long as the music was good. As long as they had an excuse to drink and dance and forget how awful life can be, just for a little while.
Societies fall apart when you strip them of that. That communion.
But once Co– no, I’m not even going to mention it. It doesn’t bear mentioning. Everyone knows what turned the world inside out. Everyone knows why the theaters have shuttered and the musicians have been stifled.
And it’s not like some stupid illness that’s been taking more than a toll on everyone is why I’m here.
I shut my stupid finger in a stupid door and based on the angle it is stupid level broken. Thankfully my guitar playing is something I can outsource more, now that I’m known for my vocals and my lyrics. And the tight pants. I’m known for the tight pants, and broken fingers don’t impact leg day so much.
But triage took my temperature, asked me if I was in pain, which is the most ridiculous question ever, and sent me to sit out in the waiting area until they could deal with me.
There were people there who needed their attention far more than I did.
And that’s true.
I get it.
The kid with the temp over 102 gets the bed. For sure.
But all I needed was a quick x-ray, a reset, and some tape. There had to be an intern that could get me out of there. But no three hours tick by. Three hours I’ve been sitting in a room full of the sick. I’ve been huffing recycled air, and mask or no, there’s no way I’m getting out of here without picking up more than I brought in.
This place was full of misery and germs. And I couldn’t do anything about the germs.
So, despite still being in a truckload of pain they had given me nothing for, I did my job.
The job I hadn’t been allowed to do in over a year. I stood up on the questionable coffee table, kicked all the magazines to floor (who reads magazines these days anyway, and put on a show.
No music, no back up, but when a few in the room realized who i was and what I was doing, the whole scene changed.
There were nurses clapping and old ladies with heart conditions singing along. It was better.
It was so much better than waiting around for sterile beds and sterile blood pressure cuffs, administered by people with sterile personalities. At least this was fun. At least this felt good.
Until security tackled me.
Broke my wrist in the fall.
Anyway, that’s how I got the idea for my hospital parking lot pop up concerts. We gotta be careful not block the emergency entrances and stuff, but the patients poking the heads out the windows seem to love it. Music is like medicine sometimes. It makes us a little bit better, even if it’s just for a little while.
I hope you enjoyed that, and I hope you will comment below on what you think is just as good as medicine sometimes. Or link to where we can find your writing. I’d love to read it.