“Theo, did you hear a word I said?” Mrs. Levendal asked.
I blinked at my music teacher. Been some time since I’d seen her facemask to facemask, so to speak.
“Yes, you are going to start practicing? Or yes, you want your slot in the talent show but won’t be playing the trumpet?”
A small part of the back of my brain knew that while the woman deserved allllll the awards for patience and cutting me slack, I was pushing it. But the questions seemed so hard.
“Theo.” She said it in her teacher’s voice.
My mouth opened on command, but the words would not come.
Mrs. Levendal sighed, face mask puffing out. “I didn’t want to add any more pressure, but I think you should know your mother already purchased tickets for the night we stream the video.”
Damn. That woke me up. “Ja, keep the slot. I’ll…do something.”
Her eyebrows went so high they almost got lost in her wig. Not that she did a bad job with the lace glue, hey? But I see things. RuPaul has taught me well to notice the details.
Mrs. Levendal’s eyes creased into frown lines. “I don’t want you playing badly in public. What will people say?”
I shook my head. “No ma’am, I promise you, I will not play badly in public. I’ll think of something else, don’t worry.”
Her face visibly softened, “You’re a good boy, I know. Miss our lessons, though. But I’ll wait until you’re ready.”
Which was kind of her. Then again, I doubt she was giving Ma a refund, so maybe kindness wasn’t the only motivation for Mrs. Levendal’s silence. Either way, it worked for me.
I left the music classroom only to bump into Taga in the hall.
“What’s up?” he said.
“Trying to figure out what I’m doing for the talent show. You in it?”
He nodded, “Beatboxing with Morero and Aagar. But I thought you were playing the trumpet?”
I shrugged as Mavis strolled by.
“Hey Mave,” Taga called out, “you singing at the talent show?”
“Ja,” she said, “why?”
“Theo here doesn’t want to play the trumpet at the talent show and doesn’t know what to do.”
She tilted her head. “Hip-hop? You’ve always been a brilliant dancer.”
“Maybe,” I said. “I have been practicing some, here and there.”
“Well, there you go,” she said, and Taga lifted his chin.
Not really, I didn’t say. Instead, I’d just nodded along, because what more could I tell them? That I hadn’t exactly been doing hip-hop moves lately, but voguing like a drag queen, imaging myself in a full wig, makeup, sparkling dress and killer heels while lip-syncing to every song that crossed the RuPaul stage?
Ha. Like I said, people at my school are okay with me being gay. But not gaaaaay.
Tell us: What talents do you have that would be good for a talent show? Have you ever been in one?