Saturday, November 6, 2010

193. Childhood Dreams

Most of my 9-year-old friends dreamed of becoming prima ballerinas or horseback riders or professional volleyball players or even doctors or lawyers. They would endlessly practice their grand jetes dessus en tournant (which roughly translates to "spin around until you fall on your face") or brush their Barbie’s Beauty plastic horses or spike their regulation volleyballs at my head.

I had a different kind of dream: to play the piano. To this end, I took lessons for a total of two and a half weeks and practiced almost every other day. Imagine my shock and dismay when I was not channeling Beethoven at the end of that time period. In fact, I could not even remember something as basic as the scales (“does it go A, B, C, D or G, B, A, Z?”). This did not, however, prevent me from fantasizing about walking into, say, a hotel lobby or maybe the White House, and sitting down at the baby grand and pounding out some quality Mozart.

People like the hotel manager and the President of the United States would gasp in awe and whisper to one another, “Did you hear that? That 4th grader just played a song like she’s in the symphony! She must be a child prodigy!” Then complete strangers would burst into spontaneous applause, and I would respond demurely, “Oh, that? It’s nothing.”

Next, word would get out, and Important Talent Scouts would approach me, offering me multi-million dollar (possibly billion or trillion dollar) music contracts. I would smile and say, “I don’t play for money; I play for the love of music.” My whole goal was to impress random strangers whom I had never met and whom I would most likely never see again.

Although I harbored this (very realistic) vision for years, it somehow never became a reality. Thus, I shifted my dreams to something more attainable: saving a burning plane full of innocent people from a sure and fiery death.

As a child of divorced parents, I spent an awful lot of time as an unaccompanied minor flying back and forth from Dothan to Los Angeles (don’t forget changing planes in Atlanta). I had plenty of time to observe the officious flight attendants demonstrating their oh-so-crucial emergency procedures. In my fantasy, I didn’t need any of that advice or training: no. The plane would crash, the useless and snobby flight attendants would be dead, and the only person who could help would be yours truly.

Later, the news teams would report that an elementary student from Alabama had opened the emergency slide and single-handedly saved all 700 passengers. Of course I’d be on TV. In the interview, I would humbly say, “I just did what anyone would in my situation.” I would parlay my newfound celebrity into more lucrative opportunities. Perhaps this lucky turn of events would even catapult me to the pinnacle of status: I’d be on the cover of “Seventeen” (the first 9-year-old, natch, to achieve this goal). Hopefully, they’d allow me to wear lip gloss for the cover shoot.

Which brings me to my final job (the one I actually do today): world-renowned Super Model. When I was still learning my times-tables and long division, I had no idea that my future would hold glamorous trips to Milan and Paris to strut the catwalks and have photographers swooning to take my picture. “MOV!” they’d scream out, “Give us just one smile, over here!” It would be a difficult decision, choosing either Ford or Elite Models to represent me, but in the end, I’d simply start my own corporate empire, “MOV Models, Inc.”.

Makes me feel kind of sorry today for my former childhood friends who merely became district court judges or oral surgeons or CEO’s. They are obviously missing out; too bad they didn’t pursue their childhood dreams like I did.

(“Master Of Vision”)

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