I pound the pillow, curse the clock and mock injunctions to rest.
The sun finally rises and its rays slantwise fall through the curtains as I dry my hair.
A meal, like a forced dose, we soak ourselves in wasted, nervous time.
Finally! We arrive at the competition...
Tension is here and tireless pressure.
The players waiting stiff as straw, tongues playing over dry lips.
Teachers and coaches unapologetic in their pallor.
Music drifts behind us and occasionally gasps as imperfections play like daring circus tricks.
The sparkling prodigy returns disappointed, grimace of a smile, stricken, he stares away as we search for words, oh! clumsy, unrepairable prince!
Suddenly, its time and I wonder why we are hurrying, feeling weak, momentarily frightened to go there.
On this stage in this great, hushed hall, enormity suddenly dawns with mass enough to crush me.
At last I sit before this odd Steinway music machine - my dearest mechanical friend.
A tremble resisted - the reward of mortal afternoons - endless practices fruit.
Eyes closed I prepare my best self - pushing all fear, all doubt, to the margins - and begin.
I hope, to recreate, one note at a time, Chopin's ancient impact - with hands flying, like tethered birds, I hammer out his timeless melody explosions, his streams of crazily exact math exam fiery semiquaver motions.. then, almost suddenly, I'm done.
I stand, joyously, nearly crying.. The world hasn't ended.
competition maybe good for the soul but it can be ******* the nerves =]