"I didn't get in": a short story about clarity

"I didn't get in": a short story about clarity

Charlotte Gagnon
This is a post by guest contributor Charlotte Gagnon. If you’re interested in contributing to Schmopera.com, get in touch at [email protected]!

I didn’t get in.

I didn’t get in. I saw it in the email this morning, rushing through the pouring rain to get to an appointment: “Thank you for auditioning. As you know, we hear a large number of candidates. We very much enjoyed your performance, but we are unable to offer you a position for the following season. Please try again next year.”

I didn’t get in.

As I walk my way back home, I think of everything that I’ve put into this. I have been training for this for 10 years, but more specifically 4 months for this audition. 4 months. Coachings, lessons, practice, books, not to mention the countless discussions with friends trying to cheer me up as I push through this demanding preparation period, the tears caused by bitter comments in coachings and the financial struggle. 4 months and $1215 later; I feel nothing.

I just didn’t get in.

I cross the street and jump over a huge puddle to get to the sidewalk that leads to my apartment. I look up, and there they are: Mrs. Shame and her good friend Mr. Humiliation. So we greet each other, reluctantly shake hands and pick up our usual conversation where we left it the last time I ran into them: “How can this happen to you? They said they loved your dress! But perhaps, if I you had done this phrase differently… I didn’t want to have to tell you this, but your high C was flat. Clearly, you don’t deserve this. You are not good enough. Who do you think you are to expect such a big break? That’s what happens when you eat Nutella before an audition. You know, I told you you shouldn’t have worn these shoes!”

That’s when I start running for shelter, but they pick up the pace and start chasing me. I poke Mr. H in the eye with my umbrella at the corner of Should Have Street and Knew It Avenue, but Mrs. S is still running. She follows me down the street screaming: “Why did you even try if you knew you were going to fail? Look what you’ve done! You’ve ruined it all! Your career, your future, now what are you going to do? Perhaps you should try something else, something you are actually good at, like accounting.”

That’s it, I’ve had enough. I turn around, still panting from my fugitive run. I catch my breath, stand tall, look at Mrs S. in the eyes and say:

“STOP! I just didn’t get in, ok?”

Time is suspended. Mrs. S is quite shocked that I actually have a voice (so am I!) and that I dared calling her off. I take these few seconds of astonishment to quickly run into my apartment and lock the door. I am afraid to turn around because Mrs. S has a tendency to creep in the cracks of windows and doors when I am not looking. Perhaps I didn’t see her get in.

Slowly, I turn around, and everything is there; untouched, unmoved, blissfully unaware of the fight I just picked downstairs on the street. The feeling of an ecstatic night of salsa dancing, curled up in my comfy chair, still asleep; my voice, sitting at the piano, going through notes and smiling at a playful coloratura; my dreams, dangling from the ceiling and ringing like Christmas bells as a soft breeze runs through them.

I hear a sound of warm laughter coming from the kitchen. As I walk in, I see the support and love of my friends and family, all having croissants and cappuccino for breakfast, enjoying a story that has just been told.

I walk to the window and see Mrs. S, hands in the air, hysterically chasing after a college student who probably just struggled through an exam. As I close the curtains, I realise that my life, my love, my faith, my spirit, my health, my curiosity, my determination, my art, my joy, are intact and ever shining.

So I guess that’s it. I just didn’t get in. That’s all.

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