October 22, 2001

Mondays are often kind of hard for me. It's tough to get up in the morning. Tough to get out of the house in the morning. Lots of work to do at the office. It can be very stressful.

Often the best part of my day is singing class. I go every Monday night. I took it largely to get over a severe fear of singing in front of people. I love to sing and have a decent voice but I was always afraid to sing in front of people and tended to choke when I did. I remember one terrible audition for Damn Yankees in high school. I nailed the acting part but when I sang I just lost it. Over the years I've gotten more confident so I thought it was time to fight this particular fear.

So I had singing class tonight and I choked a little. I was more nervous than I've been in months of classes for some reason. I was shaking. I sang about half the song out of tune.

And yet I walked out of class exhilarated, as usual. There's the adrenaline from being terrified; there's the thrill from the music. But most of all I feel exhilarated because I got up in front of people and sang my heart out. I sang loudly and boldly. It's a long way from the days when I would mouth the words in choir, afraid that I might sing the wrong note. (I never told anyone that before--that's kind of exhilarating too.)

So I was walking home, singing to myself, feeling exhilarated. Then I put on my headphones and started listening to the radio. I was walking along, thinking vaguely about hopping on the train, when they announced it was time to call in to win tickets to a Halloween party hosted by the station. I've been calling in periodically, trying to win tickets. Not really trying hard. But I pulled out my phone and dialed.

Shockingly, I got a ring instead of a busy signal. I stopped walking so I wouldn't be breathless. I waited as the phone rang many times. Finally the DJ picked up and I won the tickets! I was pretty excited, as I never win those radio things.

Well, once a couple of years ago, when I was lying in bed dozing after my then-boyfriend had gotten up to watch football or something, the radio was on and I heard them accepting callers to win Billy Bragg tickets. Even half asleep, I reached over and dialed the phone number. I got the tickets. But that's the only other time.

Then when I put the radio back on, after I hung up, they announced me and the other two winners. Mine was the reaction they put on the air. I thought that was pretty cool.

So I continued walking home, more energetic than ever, deciding to walk the whole way instead of copping out and taking the train. I was only going to take the train because it was late and dark.

As I walked, as I got further into the Sunset, I looked up and noticed the stars. In much of the rest of the world, that's not unusual, you can see stars most nights. But in SF it's completely dependent on the weather and smog. It's more common not to see the stars than to see them. Especially in the Sunset, when fog is the norm. But tonight I looked up and there were the stars. And the more I looked, the more I saw. I just stopped on a street corner and stared, head back. It was beautiful.

I walked on. As I topped the hill and started down toward the ocean, past Sunset Blvd., the wind was incredible. I walk straight toward the ocean and the wind pushed me back, plastered my jeans against my legs, was crisp and cold against my cheeks. It felt really good. The best part was my hair flying out behind me like a flag. It takes a lot of wind to grab my hair these days, it's so heavy. But it's the greatest feeling when it does, when the wind lifts this weight off my neck and it's like dozens of fingers running through my hair.

By the time I got home I was euphoric. I like a day that covers all the emotions. Especially when it ends with the best ones.

Posted by Alyssa at October 22, 2001 11:00 PM
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