Diane, Ruth, and the cats have all been helping me get my SoulBook put together.
Here are a few things they’ve taught me:
- Life is messy. Making a Soulbook requires that I get as organized as I can and then smile when the cats knock over my stack of boxes. (Or at least get over it quickly and move on.)
- It’s much more fun to craft a page while telling stories to a friend. This helps with the ‘it must be perfect’ problem and lets me pick out pieces without that pesky mean voice in my head telling me that it’s all no good and why even try?
- SoulBook projects act like glue. Watching someone else build their Soulbook gives you a window into their world and brings you closer.
Here are the details again. All are welcome, and we’d love to have you join us.
As I walked around the football field and away from Michael, I wondered what would it look like to have Ally see me happy and content. The West crowd cheered in a wave of sound about a field goal I noticed out of the corner of my eye. I clutched my trumpet a little tighter trying to stay warm.
That might be a good way to go, I thought. Get a boyfriend. But not Michael. His whole body zinged with the energy he held in. He looked like the kind of guy to do Parkour or climb mountains. I couldn’t bear to be around high intensity in the slug sort of existence I’d grown into lately.
To distract myself from the stupid cute guy, I started thinking about Rachel as I crossed the field. Last night we had watched ancient Star Trek reruns until I thought the fuzzy tribbles from that episode might soon take over my own brain. Of course I loved it. I’d always secretly loved Star Trek but never wanted to let Ally know that. With her, I tried to love Glee or High School Musical. I even spent hours at the mall.
Sometimes we would put on our bikinis and float around at Lake Louise on the sailboard we’d found after her dad abandoned the sport and left it in the garage. I read my book when she didn’t mind and was drifting off to sleep anyway. Now and then, I read Star Trek knockoff fiction. Something about Spock always made me wish I had pointy ears, but that wasn’t anything I’d ever told Ally.
So maybe she didn’t know all my secrets.
As I walked back, I started thinking about how I could do something different with Rachel and how that might keep me busy. We could write a play together or something. Maybe we could get into the drama group and then not be such band geeks together. It wasn’t cheerleading but it could be slightly cooler. Were drama kids cooler on the scale? I wasn’t exactly sure.
“Hey, Rachel,” I said as soon as I got back.
“Hey,” she said. I noticed she was still wearing the goofy spirit hats. The colors reflected off her skin and made the darker tones look bright. I blinked at the sight of it.
“How about if we try out for drama?” I asked. I knew it was random. I just couldn’t think of a way to work into it with the sight of those hats blinding me.
She looked at me a long minute.
“Ally did something to you again, didn’t she?” she said. It wasn’t a question. Rachel looked down at her clarinet, not fiddling with the keys or staring at the music she didn’t yet have memorized although I could see Mr. Toonis was working himself up to another number.
“Yeah. She did. But I really think we should go out for drama. The next play is Duck Tails and Bobby Socks.” Ally had always liked the 50s, I couldn’t help but remember. She made me get saddle shoes once, and the price nearly broke my mom’s clothing budget.
“Why don’t you talk to me about it?” Rachel was still looking at me and clearly not considering a life in the drama crowd.
I thought about telling her we weren’t that good of friends. I can’t believe it would come to my mind even though I was now trying to talk her into spending half our lives memorizing lines. That’s how bad I wanted to not want to be around Ally. How insane was that? To want to not want something until it was practically all I could think of.
“It’s nothing,” I said.
“No. It’s not.” She turned away from me then and started talking to Mariah, another clarinet player, until Toonis raised his arms and the band got going again with our own version of Louie Louie. Maybe, I thought, he was competing with the East High Band for the sound that most annoyed me. I decided to go to the bathroom and snuck off behind the people sitting in the upper bleachers.
I never made it down the stands.
Those pinching plastic shoes caught the edge of the steel stairs. I slipped, jammed my finger so hard it was probably broken, and then watched my one and only Bach Stradivarius knock its way down the stadium stairs. I shuddered at each bang of brass on concrete until it finally came to a stop where Mr. Toonis stood with his arms still up. He stared at me along with every person in the universe.
The night just kept getting better.