Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I've got all sorts of well-oiled defenses against losing, but I hadn't bothered to erect any against winning, because, you know...you win.

Winning, though, is harder than I'd have suspected.  I've gotten all of this gunk stirred up: fear, feelings of fraudulence, feeling like I'm not a good enough musician or a good enough person, morally, to deserve this.  Plus some nigling worry that I'll be punished for this, that good things must be balanced with bad.

I'm trying to let all of this disintegrate, drift.

It's tough. Being confused about winning is one of those unacceptable grievances, like having more money than you know what to do with, or being pissed when your high school crush gets married.  I keep repeating: Why not me? Sometimes it works.

In the meantime, I'm doing hearing screenings.  Days and days of hearing screenings.  Hundreds and hundreds of tiny children with impossible names whom I must coerce into raising their hands when they hear a series of next-to-inaudible beeps.  The four-year-olds get it.  The three-year-olds sit stupefied, frozen in place, waving their hands in the air,  clutching at their headphones, blinking and quivering like drunken rabbits.

Yesterday, I'd had enough.

"OK,"  I said.  "We're not going to raise our hands anymore."

The three-year-olds blinked.

"When I say 'beep', you say 'beep.'"

"Beep," said the three-year-olds.

"No," I said.  "Listen. Beep."

"Beeebeepeeep." They shifted in their chairs.


"BEEP," the three-year-olds said with more authority.

"Beep. Beep."

"BEEP!" they shrieked.

We did that for a while until all of us felt better.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

Sometimes, working with kids, these moments of inspiration just come. I love it.