A/N: I am ADDICTED to band. And then I thought to myself what would've happened if I had gone through the decision to NOT (WHOA!) enter band in High School. It would've been a pretty empty existence. So I dreamt up a girl… a lonely, saddened girl who gave up everything she loved. Typical story, no? But it's not very often done in the band world.
Memoirs of a Band Geek
By Sydney Gray
I loved band.
The atmosphere… the smell of the crisp morning air mixed with the nostalgic aroma of asphalt. The feel of sheet music between my shaking fingers as my director handed out the new music we'd been dying to play since the beginning of the year.
And I loved my friends.
There's just something about band kids that makes them such invaluable companions.
Perhaps it's the reality that we all wore that proud, royal blue and black to represent our school's invaluable reputation. Perhaps it's the way my friends surrounded me with love and warmth. The easy way they could make me smile and make my eyes light up.
Maybe it was the fact that we all worked together to create something. Something that was impossible to manifest without some form of common adoration.
To us, band wasn't just a casual thing. It wasn't just socializing or for funsies.
It was a way of life.
A dedication to the art of music.
I spent three years of my life in pure devotion to the art of music. Three long years of smiles, laughter, and music. Three years of tears, pain, and blood.
Some of the best years of my life.
But all good things must come to an end.
Once I reached High School, I pulled away from the world I knew so well. I become addicted to work and stress. My eyes were clouded.
My Trumpet, my beloved instrument, lay rarely played in a corner of my room. My Saxophone collected dust in another desolate edge. The floor of my room wasn't littered in sheet music. Instead, the complex formulas and theories of pointless High School courses lay strewn upon the floor.
I couldn't even hear music speaking to me anymore. To me, it became a slur of pointless dots upon a sheet of paper.
I lost my memories… memories of those times that I had once cherished so greatly. I couldn't even remember some of the inside jokes that I had playfully invented over the years.
And my friends… my dear, beloved friends…
They became sick of what I had become.
They hated the work obsessed, sullen, and somber demeanor that slowly overshadowed the one they loved.
I wasn't the same music loving, determined individual that they had come to know and adore. I was a shadow. A mere likeness of the one they wished would return.
So they left me and crept back into the darkness, leaving me in my uptight, white-collar ways.
Only one person held on to that broken shell. That emotionless, work obsessed beast.
My best friend.
She stayed with me for a year. Waited hopefully for me to snap out of it.
But the fights between us got worse and worse.
I missed her first field show.
I missed her birthday.
I missed the local parade she was marching in.
I missed the field show in which she had a large solo.
And through all this she still remained a friend… and she saw to it that she saw what performances of mine that she could.
And I, blind as ever, didn't do a thing about it.
I failed her.
Went into the band room and never came to spend time with me again.
I suppose it was my just desserts…
We passed each other during school, of course. Saw each other…
But we never spoke a word. Never smiled or acknowledged each other's existence.
Even on the computer we said nothing to one another. Didn't IM regularly as we used to… and if and when we did instant message, the messages were brief and gaps between each message were thirty minutes long.
It was by some cruel mockery that I ran into my own memories.
As I was sorting through my middle school folders frayed, yellow pages fell to the ground… A large, full stack covered in multiple versions of neat, thin scrawl.
My eyes widened as I read the title… as I began to read the contents of the papers.
Memories flowed back into my mind. Moments of laughter… moments of sadness…
Moments of togetherness…
I've decided to pen my story here.
To share my story…
It will not be a novel. It won't be fancy and wordy…
It's just the story of a girl over the many years in band.
In the moments when I was truly, sincerely happy with people who cared the world for me.