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Tuesday, 04 January 2011

The First Time

By Jim Kittelberger

I’m standing in the wings behind this dusty curtain knowing if I touch it, the dust will cause me to start sneezing. I can’t do that. Oh God, I think I’m getting sick, I’m either going to faint or throw up.

I know I shouldn’t have worn this green satin dress, it’ll reflect the color to my face and I’ll look like I feel. I’ve only got about a minute to get myself together. The sweat is running down my ribcage and I know my face is shining like a polished cue ball.

What if I get out there and no sound will come out of my mouth? Or I start to stutter? Oh sweet mother of God I think I’m getting panicky, should I turn and run? If I do I’m finished.

Oh for crying out loud, now I have to go to the bathroom. If I don’t go right now I’m sure I might embarrass myself. No time, think of something else.

Oh my God. And now my stomach is starting to growl. It’s the loudest I’ve ever heard it. Can they hear it on stage? These new microphones can pick up anything, Oh Lord, what to do?

“And now here is Americas favorite singer, winner of six gold records, star of stage, screen, and television, the one, the only...”


(I have always admired people who can get up in front of a crowd and give even a small speech or talk. I never could. In fact, one time I fled after commencing my talk. The fear became so great I left the podium after two sentences. The thing all you elders know is that all memories remain, even the ones you wish didn't.)

[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Instructions for submitting are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 05:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


You sure kept me in suspense, great writing, great picking something that every single one of has had happen, from first grade thru life..love the green satin dress..that's why lots of us switched to black turtlenecks in the 60s...Keep writing, can't wait to hear more..

Can't imagine that horror and all you went through with stage fright. I've never been on a stage but vicariously I lived through what you went through. Great writing.

My stage fright was not so bad, but watching my friend go through it was most distressing.
In the beginning she was almost rigid with fear.
One more time; Curtain up.
Thanks for the memories.

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