Gumping with Goy

Have you ever quit something you loved out of fear? I have – writing.

But I’m not ready; I tell the director, is there any way to postpone until tomorrow?

And yet the stage is set; open mic, an empty chair, a spotlight, the audience has taken their seats.

He takes a drag off his cigar and shakes his head. Kid, you’ve been waiting for this gig for years. Then we’re shoulder to shoulder; he takes a lookout at the crowd.

But what if I don’t have what it takes – if I fail again? I say, spying the sea of shadowed strangers.

He puts an arm around me, and it’s a little too close for comfort.

Kid, he says, I’ve seen a million of you come and go. You all walk through my theatre—Head full of ambition, promise, and good intentions.

He sets the cigar on an ashtray propped on a wooden bench.

But that’s not enough. You know that, right? Because this life, the life you’re after, takes something else. Something more.

He emphasizes his final words like he’s telling a ghost story, and even though it’s just advice, it sends a shiver down my spine.

I want to reassure him that I have what he’s referring to. I think. A tight ball rolls in my chest; what if I don’t?

I take a deep breath, knowing I’m moments away from my name being called. I look to him; Please tell me what I need to do.

He shakes his head as if the words he’s about to say will fall on deaf ears.

Alright, kid, I’ll tell ya. But not because I think you have it or will even know what I’m talking about.

His voice hushes every so slightly.

You will face choices, he begins. Some easy and some hard. You alone make these choices, and it is you alone who bears their consequence. Some fear the choice, others the consequence and still others fear the one behind it all. Find out which is which, and you might stand a chance.

He pulls his arm away just as my name rings over the speaker. I’m dazed by his words, uncertain of their meaning. And put one foot in front of the other towards the now lit stage.

I chose fiction to communicate the fear I had with writing tonight’s blog. I enjoyed this tremendously.

Another day is in the books, another midnight deadline just passed, but I did it.

Phew, I did it. (I’ll tell the meaning behind the blog’s title tomorrow.)

love, jaclynn

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