Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Face in the Corner


I quit ballet as a kindergartner. I told my folks I didn't like it. I lied.
I liked ballet lessons- the tights, the tutu, the little shoes. I could pretend I was pretty and graceful. I remember doing toe exercises at the bar as music played from an old record player with wooden parts. Each class ended with a mini hula lesson, complete with crunched plastic leis in crayon colors. Best of all, after each class you got a jelly bean! I loved it.
Then I saw The Face.
It was a quarter-sized flaw in a ceiling corner. A mix of peeled, paint, cracks, and water damage. It was puckered and scary looking. Each time we danced around the room, there it was! I was old enough to know it was harmless, that it was "only" plaster. Yet there it was, looking at me each time I passed it.

Soon, the Face in the Corner overshadowed the whole class. Who cared about fancy outfits, music, hula or jelly beans when there was that awful face waiting for me! I knew sharing this fear with adults would get me nowhere. Just a It's your imagination and it can't hurt you lecture. Instead I said I didn't want to be a ballerina anymore.
No more music, no more tutu, no more scary face in the corner.

5 comments:

stray said...

wait - is this like the crack monster?

Namowal said...

Good point, Stray.
The similarity occurred to me when I started writing this (I hadn't thought about it before), but this happened in 1975, and the Crack Monster cartoon debuted the same year- but on Dec 30 or 31, so the Face in the Corner came first.

Linda said...

Namo, you may need to get some rehab for this crack problem. :->

Sally said...

WOW! Great writing. Great illo!

Namowal said...

Linda,
You trying to crack me up?

Sally,
Thanks! It's funny how little details from long ago come back when you picture yourself in the past.