A drop of sweat was trickling down my temple as the old fashioned but perfectly polished boots were making the worn out floor squeak. The sound was getting closer and my pockets seemed to have turned into endless caverns in my vain attempt to reach for the now-so-90’s fabric handkerchief.

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Not knowing what terrors tomorrow brings

My fellow classmates’ hopes and dreams were shattered one by one as the substitute primary school teacher was dismissing each poor soul with exclamations such as “Zero! Nil! So average! Sit down!”. Desperate faces twisting into aphonous grimaces! The notes just seemed not to come out, let alone articulate words. And when they did, they turned into hopeless cacophony, adorned with swollen veins and bloodshot eyes.

A grain of hope shone into my eyes as the tyrant made herself clear that we were allowed to sing in pairs. My desk mate has suddenly become the VIP ticket to my deliverance from total embarrassment. Maybe if I keep it low but in sync, I will get away with sonic murder… with the fact that I should stick to mathematics and other boring subjects forever.

After a few more casualties and too little praise or, rather, tolerance, the Wave of Shame was just a few desks away. The idea of faking a toilet urgency hit me like a blessing from the gods. The Shit God, more likely! This would be equally embarrassing! Then after a… cleaner plan B, consisting of a quick reverie of trying to convince the teacher to assess my musical theory knowledge rather than my practical abilities, I found myself standing up for execution, knees week, arms heavy [vomit on my sweater already – mum’s spaghetti], next to my equally helpless comrade.

What happened next was similar to two people walking from opposite directions not knowing whether to go left or right in order not to bump into each other. But our words were the ones stumbling, rather. Eventually, our feeble voices intertwined into a pathetic dissonance, for a few seconds. My mind was racing. Look at all the smug faces of those who managed to not make a fool of themselves! Is this contempt towards my mate for not pulling this off? Or is it empathy? We were equally disreputable now, after all. It didn’t matter any more. The wrinkled unimpressed face groaned a few of the already known remarks and the Ray of Doom moved on to the next duo.

Time’s passed by and I seldom talk about this any more. Wounds have scarred and the memories of my primary school fade into ignorance. Furthermore, I feel ready to talk about my first encounter with the guitar, and even the drums, which I play in this band, in future posts.

Stay in touch for more Useless Cities stories.

Sebs

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