I must have been 8 or 9 years old at the time. I was supposed to sing with a bunch of other kids in my church’s Christmas program. I don’t remember the song. I do remember that I went to the bathroom at the wrong time and missed my cue to get dressed in our little white angel outfits. I walked into the hall and everyone else was taking the stage in their bleach-white frocks. I just stood there, not knowing what to do. Do I jump up, mid song, in my corduroy pants and polo shirt– the only mortal in the choir? Or do I just wait it out and hope no one notices I was missing? I looked around at the adults and at my parents, but everyone was looking at the cherubs. I walked up to the side of the stage, but couldn’t go on. At that moment I realized how badly I wanted to be out in front of everyone, instead of the standing in the shadows.
I still feel that way now. Like I missed the curtain call. Like I just want to be one of the angels — one of the pretty people standing in the light. I don’t feel like one of those people, and I never have. The company is better down here in the shadows though. And I don’t have to wear a ridiculous outfit.