The air was dead, the feast of music remained unsettled in the caricatures of symbols, synthesizers, acoustic guitars and electric guitars—both hooked into amplifiers. I lifted the strap from my neck, easing my Fender back into the tinted guitar case. Our band director, Scott, was not too happy with everyone else’s progress. I leaned back as I remembered that during one rehearsal, he asked if any of us wanted to be here. No one raised their hands.
Did I want to be here either? I thought.
I sunk back as sweat started to pool on the side of my waist and abdomen. Lara elected to sit with me, and even then, she drew close to her phone—making idle, but awkward conversation to her equally uncomfortable bandmate (me).
She browsed on Instagram, I played Black-Jack on my phone. We were then called up to rehearse, I think either the Rolling Stones or Nirvana.
My blood slogged throughout my veins. I loved being on the stage, moving around and betraying my mood with silly faces. I lost myself in the music—I often did, just like when my guitar strap fell off while in the middle of a song we were playing once. I didn’t stop a beat as I got down on my knees to keep playing. No one batted an eye—except Scott who was mildly curious.
We were soon finished. I was going back to the couch when Lara approached me—
“You have to climb up the social ladder, Luce.”
I chuckled, and tried to stir a smile which probably was lackluster. “Sorry. Not interested.”
She blinked in surprise, soon scoffing in what seemed like disbelief. She may have thought I was being a dick, but I was being myself and I thought we were being friends. For the rest of the night, I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened.
I realized this was not where I belonged, if either me or them, this environment was killing me.
Got a few useless stories in my time rehearsing with people in band groups. As someone with social anxiety, of course it’s going to be awkward.