I was sitting in band class, clarinet in hand, waiting patiently as our teacher handed out some sheet music. He handed me my part, and immediately informed the class that we only had an hour to perfect and memorize the song, because we would be marching around the school in an hour, competing against other schools.
We ran through the song a few times, which sounded HORRIBLE, and he decided to inform me that he wanted me to have a solo, just as we were walking out the door. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with that, and he just ignored me.
We were in the hallway, standing as a group, between two other bands. They were both standing at attention, and were wearing matching, snazzy uniforms. We were all in jeans and t-shirts, and looked like terrified, jumpy animals. We began moving through the very large, very empty, hallways of the school, at more of a walking pace, rather than marching, as the group in front of us played through their song perfectly. As we passed by the gym, the first group broke off, and went in. Myself, and the clarinet player next to me, began to follow them into the gym, but one of them turned to us and shouted at us to leave.
We get back to our own band, and the teacher signaled for us to begin playing. It. Was. Bad. No one knew the song. At all. Then, he signaled to me to begin playing my solo, that I was somehow expected to know, and I looked down and realised that I no longer had my clarinet. He kept staring at me, and I started to panic. Then, the clarinet player to my left started playing something to break the silence. It was shaky and breathy, and didn’t sound like much of anything, but I appreciated her breaking the terrible silence.
We kept walking, even as the band behind us started playing, until my teacher pulled me aside. He told me that it was okay that I didn’t do my solo, because now he wanted me to do a new solo. A spoken solo. He said that we were going to act out some scene from a book about zoo animals, and that I was going to be reciting the park of a lion, who gives a motivational speech about going to war… or something. He pulled us all aside, out of the path of the other band, and handed out a bunch of children’s books. We flipped through the pages, all confused as hell, as he began reading to us.
My fellow clarinet playing friend and I started to read our parts, when we suddenly heard the sounds of a crowd screaming and cheering. They were chanting something, but I’m not sure what. Our teacher motioned for us to follow him down the hallway, back toward the gym…
And then I woke up.