Friday, July 13, 2012
Wait a minute, just hair me out....
Anyway, "Zounds" was a book we had when we were kids.
It taught you how to make all kinds of sound effects with just your mouth. The author was like a mouth sound effect genius or something.
I remember listening to the sample record it came with and thinking, "How can that be a person?? It sounds just like a saxophone....just like it...there's no way".
The allure of the eerily accurate sound effect for a young boy cannot be overstated.
It is the first of only a few plateaus on the mountainside stairway to perfection.
There was one sound in particular that I was determined to make my own: the mighty trumpet of the elephant.
The included diagram left nothing to the imagination:
I practiced that elephant trumpet day and night, honing its shape, its character.
In my mind was an entire back story for this elephant: his name was Kimu and he lived in the jungle.
Sometimes he ate stuff.
When no one was around, I let myself become Kimu; I shuffled around on my hands and knees, feeling the great weight of my body, the weird folds in my sun-parched skin, the flies mercilessly tormenting the vulnerable flaps of my colossal ass.
And each morning, when the sun would rise, Kimu would rear back his mighty head and give forth with an earth-shaking trumpet.
Man become elephant, become rooster-like in its sense of timing, become man again.
Become a boy, on the floor, hoping no one was around to hear him practicing hilarious zounds.
So what happened?
I don't understand....
Damn you, hair! Nothing in meaning, everything in sound.
But I will tell you....
Easter brunch had arrived, and relatives had gathered.
Around the table, we all sat.
My father...so proud of his....(sniff) of his son....
.....invited me to make a trumpet for the assembled family.
Kimu's moment of glory was here at last.
I pressed my lips together, faced the expectant gaze of aunts, uncles, and cousins, and let the jungle use me.
A sound like a suppressed fart circled lamely about the four corners of the room.
Faces froze, eyes hardened.
There was that dreadful deflation that occurs when people realize they will have to pretend they like something.
Died in my throat, died in my heart under the pressure I brought crashing down upon myself.
I had a talent, Hair, and I let the deep void in my self-confidence swallow it.
This blog is becoming a Zound; I keep letting my own doubt, my fear of failure, stifle my trumpet.
And because I am tired, because it is late, Gweenbrick hits 'publish' and comes home.