A Whiter Shade Of Pale

Love and Hate

This is the kind of post that really should be told in person. There are stories and then there are STORIES about moments in which my face turned a whiter shade of pale. Some of them are tales that I tell with great joy and gusto because age has given me the ability to engage in self deprecation. There is a real art to it and it is a useful skill that many have turned to their advantage.

But there are other tales that I do not tell because they still pierce the thick skin that I have developed. These are moments that are only examined in quiet solitude and spoken about in a hushed whisper because sometimes in the quiet of the moment…it burns.

It feels foolish to admit this and say that some things still hurt. I am not sure why. I can’t say if it is because I am male and I don’t think that I should admit such things or if there is something else that lies beneath the surface. So I sit here at the computer trying to decipher the mystery of the moment while simultaneously searching for the proper moment to make mention of.  I explore the dark corners of my mind and dust off the cabinets that contain the chaos of the past and dare myself to go deeper.

In person it would be easier because the words that were spoken would die off in hushed whisper and the echoes would be brief. These words on this page don’t disappear and the echoes continue to bounce off of the canyons of cyberspace for eternity or however long this blog and all that record its words shall last.

It brings us to the moment where I can no longer try to deftly weave my way through the woods. Questions have been asked and answers must be given so here you shall find a few words that you can do as you see fit with.

The year is 1982.I am 13 years-old and in a Hebrew school play. They have adapted South Pacific to tell the story of a Jewish holiday. It is the standard fare of they tried to kill us, they lost, we won, let’s eat. I have a big role, but it is not the lead. Two weeks or so before the  big opening the kid who does have the lead drops out and the director asks if anyone can step in and take over. I don’t think twice and offer my services.

I am not fazed by the idea of having to sing in front of the school and parents. The joy of being 13 is that I don’t ever consider the possibility that things could go badly. I never worry about my voice cracking at odd times and places.  I never wonder what I will do when the entire audience roars with laughter because my singing is funny to them.

Nor do I consider that many of the students go to junior high with me and that they will gleefully tell the tale of how Jack can’t sing…for all of the Spring semester. 

This was a post for The Red Dress Club about embarrassment. I wouldn’t call it my finest work, but writing requires practice and this serves that purpose.

If you are interested in reading past submissions you can find a list of them below:

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