Friday, November 2, 2012

Singing the In Between

Write On Edge Prompt:   This week you have 350 words to craft a fiction or creative non-fiction piece inspired by a specific song. The song does not have to appear in your piece, but please include the title and artist at the beginning or end of your piece, so we have the option of listening to the song.  This is non-fiction.

When I was sixteen, Sunday mornings would usually find me working my part-time job at a local fast food restaurant.  My job was preparing the salad bar and the "fixins" (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles) for the hamburgers.  I would gather up the jars, cans, boxes and carry them to my station, where I would cut heads of lettuce, slice tomatoes, etc., to get them ready for the customers.  It wasn't difficult. It was tedious. I had to prepare enough to last all day, and that was a lot of tomatoes. 

I was a choir nerd back then. I loved to sing. I was shy about my voice in public, however, and reluctant to let anyone else hear me sing.  I sang my heart out whenever I was alone, whenever the mood hit me, whenever I could.   If I couldn't hide among the other voices in the room, however, I was silent.  

On this particular Sunday,  I was alone in the room, slicing tomatoes, and the song "Amazing Grace" popped into my head.  It's a powerful, uplifting song with clean, crisp notes, and without even really thinking about it, I started singing. I let myself fall into the melody, closing my eyes, the knife poised over a fresh red tomato.  I was lost in the music. 

"...Was blind, but now I see..." 

I let the last note linger until I ran out of breath. Then, serene, I started slicing vegetables once more.

"That was just lovely, Tina."

My heart skipped a beat at the sound of the fry cook's voice, my inner anxiety monologue getting immediately hysterical.  How long had he been standing there?  What did he hear?  Did I go flat? I bet that I went flat.  Flat is bad.  Is he going to make fun of me now?  I don't think that I can stand tha--hey, did he just say that he liked it? He liked it!

"Thanks."  I went back to slicing the tomatoes, a smile on my face. It was a good day.  



  1. I sure am glad I am not a teenager anymore, however, we probably never really outgrow anxiety about what others might think. We do seem to get over it faster when we get older.

  2. I love when music takes over and reflects our soul! My oldest daughter is a vocalist and I love listening to those unexpected moments of reflection, when she sings without holding back, as if no one is listening.

    1. I think it is so sad when girls start to be afraid of what others think of them, I wish that didn't ever happen.

  3. I loved it! Such a moment of pure panic there. :) And Amazing Grace, such a beautiful song. I can't decide if I like the tune or the lyrics more. Awesome writing, as always!

  4. With your lack of focus I thought you were going to lose a finger, thankfully, you just lost your old belief system. I believe that if people do what they are passionate about others will enjoy it. It is like their soul resonates from their passion and effects us all. Thank you for sharing your feelings of imperfection, it's always nice to hear someone else feels the same as we all feel at some time in our life. Nicely written. I identified with the mundane job, I liked the tedious details here. I hated my office job, but I always knew afterward I would have hours of dancing and that saved my sanity.


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