At Least…

She gripped the mic in front of her, hard to still her trembling. Shake it off, you’ll be fine.

You’re wasting your time!

No. You paid for your time here so make the cost worth it.

What made you think you could rap in the first place?! YOU FOOL.

Stop it STOP IT. Clear your mind, just like your violin prof said. Get in the zone…She pushed the button and the beat, reverberating in her bones and echoing through her soul flew her away from the small, cramped studio. And yet, when she started, her voice didn’t match the one she imagined in her head. Cracks started to sliver inver her already frail resolve.

I told you this was a waste of money…just stop now before the next person comes; save yourself from humiliation…

NO.

She threw herself into her words and her music, violently shoving away her other voice. She imagined her words as bullets, each one slicing into everyone who suffocated her, wanted to hold her down. Don’t let this go to waste, she told herself firmly. Finish this and at least clear your conscience.

So she went on, spittle flying everywhere, her fingers becoming white as she cut off her circulation from gripping the mic, gripping her resolve. Tears, quiet and unobtrusive to her flow, slowly dripped from her blazing eyes, not from pain but from sheer relief. Even if she sounded worse than expected, at least there would be emotion and her raw soul.

At the last cymbal crash, she stood silent and still, shaking. Her hands dropped from the mic, limp yet victorious with battle scars from the mic plastered across the palms. She stepped back and hurriedly brushed off her tears. I must be a wreck, she thought. Not something usually associated with rappers…if I can even be counted as one, ha.

Ding! The timer went off and she faintly heard knocking from the door. Mechanically she pulled off her headphones, grabbed her lyrics, and collected her things haphazardly strewn around the room.

The people outside looked their part and stared at her in blatant confusion, then concern when they saw her red eyes. But she walked away too quickly to hear them ask if she was okay. She wanted to distance herself from them, the image they pulled off effortlessly, the image she wanted. And more than that, she wanted to escape her insecurity, now rising like a tide with a vengeance. And yet, even as each vicious wave of criticism crashed onto her, she remained afloat, tethered by the simple fact that regardless the quality of her work, it was finished.

///

I’ve been listening to a lot more hip hop recently and I got this image of a girl. She didn’t fit the image of hip hop but still wrote raps on her own, silently, never trying them out for fear of her own crushing disappointment. But one day she mustered enough courage to grab studio time to record her favorite lyrics.

This will be the first of my snapshots. They’re not really stories, just glimpses into something intense or worthwhile (in my opinion, ha). Let me know what you think! And as always, thank you for reading this 🙂

~ajc

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