Ordinary Rockstar

On Accidental Meetings with Angst
Interior Dash - "All the Minor Adjustments We Need" - E. Howard via iPhone 4 and Hipstamatic

Today I was driving in the minivan across the river, when it hit me.

I needed to screech.

All these letter-perfect songs played themselves out over the speakers all day, telling me that the dull edged blade I was balancing on was tuned just right.

I kept opening my mouth to sing along. But I couldn’t make a sound.

Except to scream at the top of my lungs.

Everybody Hurts. Sometimes.

The most frightening truth I have met while driving around in my life is that no matter how enormous my heart swells, and no matter how many trillions of pieces I feel as though I’ve shattered into, at the end of the day I see that I am (like you and everyone else), quite simply:

ORDINARY.

I carry around a heavy bridge. I need it for the canyon crossing.  On one side is my tall, lanky, rockstar insides, who says all the right things at the right times and who rolls around in perfect love and desire.

On the other is that stubby, fuzzy-haired suburban housewife. The one I didn’t recognize in the my reflection in that store window.

Most of the time, I am pretty good at dispelling the rockstar. I am grounded. I’ve let bygones be bygones. I push down the teased hair and zen out on the soccer field sidelines. I am one with the juice box.

But once in awhile, by accident, something or someone reminds me of the other possibility. The raking hot coals get stoked because they weren’t ever completely dead. And I look downdowndown. Into a bottomless canyon, swaying on a ropey bridge. My knees shudder and melt away.

It’s hard to identify with “ordinary” at these moments. Even if I know they are.

A few good rockstar screams help.

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Elizabeth Howard

Elizabeth writes literary non-fiction, haiku, cultural rants, and Demand Poetry in order to forward the cause of beautiful writing. She teaches and speaks about the rhetorical impact of beautiful writing. A recent transplant to Connecticut, she calls London, Kansas City, and Iowa home. 

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  12 comments for “Ordinary Rockstar

  1. October 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    What a great post! It hit the spot in that I can relate to your thoughts… well written. Thanks!

  2. Ellen Hardy
    October 15, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    This may be trite and not really the point but anyone who can write the way you do seems to me to be anything but ordinary,

  3. Lisa Hill
    October 16, 2010 at 4:31 am

    I feel you. No matter how tight I sew the seams, the wild in me still tries to burst through. It’s enough of an effort getting thru all the daily travails without keeping her in check. I’d really like to let her out but she’d destroy the world I know.

  4. October 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    “minivan across the river”–I love it. If you had mentioned any other vehicle, this post might not have worked for me … I’m sort of kidding.

  5. Colin
    October 18, 2010 at 8:27 am

    “Real” rockstars have nothing on you. You can sing like an angel, but can they do the million things you do every day in your “ordinary” life? Screech away!

    • October 18, 2010 at 11:48 am

      wow… I love it when you comment like you mean it, baby. Cheers lovely.

  6. mom
    November 17, 2010 at 7:27 am

    That was cool, and so were the replies. Too bad I don’t love you.

  7. December 1, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    Sister, we are Rockstars together. And I don’t usually screech, but I do sing at the top of my lungs to the utter embarrassment of my two loveable teens. I still haven’t given up the dream, I just toned mine down to church choir for now. And isn’t Colin, just the sweetest, you are super lucky.

    • December 2, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      @Kathy… surely you DO screech sometimes? I hope so! Don’t hold it in! Primal scream!!

  8. January 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Sometmes, being a rock star is over-rated. Never home, no place is familiar and you don’t belong to you anymore. Being “ordinary” is actually quite extraordinary as it takes a daily determination to do so.

    And a bit of loud sing-a-long is just plain fun.

    • January 10, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      I LOVE to sing out loud. I do it so much that I think I’m good at it!

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