Where Do You Want to Go?

pamtanzey-firstchairviola

Where Do You Want to Go?

Where do you want to go? A taste, a fragrance but mostly a song will take you there.

Pachelbel’s Cannon in D is lovely for weddings, tributes, spring afternoons with wine and friends, but often when I hear it I am racing through the back of the Long Beach Arena again wearing my last year’s goofy, too frilly Easter dress with the see through top so I had to wear my first ever bra on the last day of school in sixth grade. My white moccasins from Knott’s Berry Farm make no sound on the concrete as I slide through the viola section to the only empty chair. They are already warmed up and I can feel the eyes of the whole arena full of parents on me. I know this piece like I know the sound of my pounding heart. I can barely get my instrument out of the case my hands are shaking so. They are ready to begin. I’m not.

We are the best of the whole county of Los Angeles. My friend Carol, a violinist and I were the only ones chosen from my school. I have practiced until I’ve made everyone’s ears bleed at home, they told me so.  This thing’s been a pain in my butt, my mom said the whole way here, and the last two Saturdays for rehearsal. We were late for those too.

I am a hot clumsy mess.  God bless the girl next to me, I’m sure she wanted to smack me with the music, instead she whispered breathe, turn your bow upside down, no one will know, calm down and just breathe. The conductor raises his arms, if it was my orchestra teacher at school he would have winged his baton at me by now.

I am following along, she smiles and nods, my breathing is back to normal, my hands stop shaking and I turn my bow over and join them. This is the place where my memory has the Cannon becoming Rocky Balboa’s theme song and I feel I just ran up all those steps with him shouting, waving my arms and jumping around, yep I’m surprised I didn’t.

I love all kinds of music but typically go blank when asked, what’s your favorite music? What’s your favorite song? Hmm, depends…am I bored, lonely, sad, or happy? Am I working on a painting, doing the dishes, or want to pick up where I left off on the novel I’m still editing, so I can see them in the little rowboat in the middle of the lake and I can feel how they feel as dusk is settling around their shoulders and tiny bats are flittering just above the brambles and they don’t want to come in yet, maybe they’ll wait for the moon they can see the glow of it above the tree line already and she leans back against his shoulder and he stops rowing… I play their song and I am there.

I sing when I’m driving in the dark. I always have. I’ll turn the radio off and sing Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer. It’s long and pretty and complicated and has kept me company half my life driving dark little back roads of San Diego. Mostly it’s the only song that I can remember the all words to for some reason when it’s dark and there might be monsters just around the bend.

-Pam Tanzey

Where Do You Want to Go was written for Writing 101 Day Three

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