When I was in seventh grade I was in band. Thinking back on it now, choosing an instrument was a lot of pressure. I mean, this was a decision you would be stuck with until you graduated high school, unless you dropped out of band.
I was a shy kid. I didn’t like to say shit if I had a mouthful, so I ended up on the French horn.
I didn’t want the French horn; it’s not a cool instrument. I wanted the flute or the clarinet, something that the popular girls played. A woodwind. Or even the drums, if I could have coped with being a girl on drums. I probably could not.
The French horn was like a slap in the face. Still, I learned it. I played it. I oiled it and emptied the spit. But more because I felt obligated to do so than out of any prticular love for the instrument. I chose band, and I kept my mouth shut until all the cool instruments were taken in second hour. I got the leftover French horn that no one wanted.
I almost feel guilty about it now; I’m sure the French horn wanted to be cool as much as I did. I’m sure it wanted to be wanted.
My band teacher wrote in my yearbook that she hoped to see me back the next year, that she needed me. I switched to art and never looked back.