Lights, Smiles, Courage!

I looked down at my shaking hands.  Snap out of this! I hissed to my jumbled brain. I wiped the sweat off my palms on my shiny new dress. The sparkles soaking up each bead of sweat. I recalled every step in my recital for tonight. It wasn’t my first show, but I couldn’t help but get anxious and nervous. I carefully pick up my mask; the tassels on the top fall over and tickle my nose, I gently blow a quick breath of air to lift it back in place. I can do this, I have the strength.

Tonight was the big night, Mardi gras in New Orleans. Ten other girls readily plaster make up onto their vibrant young faces. Shimmer and feathers entangle themselves as each girl swiftly rushes to help each other. Flashes of neon pink, subtle yellow and exaggerated masks scurry across my vision.  The thick scent of rosy perfume filled the room with a mixture of cigarette smoke. It tickled the noses of every girl and entranced the men outside of their room. The background is blurred with quiet excited shrieks and hundreds of little conversations happening at once. A man comes pounding through the door screaming, “Five minutes to show time, gals!” And the pressure dampens the mood. Every girl frantically recite her moves and gives a little jump of excitement.

I sat all dressed and ready in the corner. I closed my eyes and tried to think about  the pure joy of being on stage. I rubbed my temples and tried to defeat my inner demons  My mind is telling me to stay inside this cramped room, but my body is yearning to step onto the stage.

It only takes 20 seconds of courage, and I promise something great will come out of it.* I mumbled to myself.

“Two minutes gals”

Alright, deep breaths, you can do this, you just have to show a little courage, you are fine.

The girls line up in the order that we practiced in for weeks. Every girl mumbles, jumps, gets the adrenaline going for an outrageous night. I suck in my last breath. You can hear the roar of laughter and drunk holars from outside the door. The bright lights begin to shine through the cracks of the door. Dark and light shadows dance on our faces. My hands suddenly stop trembling, and a surge of fearless, audacity comes forth. My mind sharpens and I face my nerves.

“3….2….1….Show time gals!”

We all prance onto the stage blinded by the bright lights, drowned in the bleating of the trumpets and shine our confident dance moves.

Happy Mardi Gras,

*Ben Mae

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1 Comment

    I love the dialogue vs. thought contrast in fonts…
    some small typos.
    Good graphic for piece.
    very informative or deeply reflective; informational post: synthesizes learned content and constructs new meaning; well organized
    written in an interesting style and voice; words used are carefully chosen, memorable, and bring the content to life;
    sentence fluency is smooth and naturally expressive
    all words spelled correctly; no grammar errors; formatting makes the post more interesting and easier to read
    multiple pieces of multimedia; multimedia adds new information or perspective to post; several links to places that add to readers understanding; links are relevant and “flow” within the content; post is fully categorized and tagged
    all information sources are cited accurately; uses proper citations for all images


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