robinellen (robinellen) wrote,

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Character Study...

So today, while trying to show my husband how inflexible I am, I managed to lose my balance and fall all over the place -- ultimately banging my arm hard against a stationary bike (yes, clumsy is my middle name). And that made think of a time in college when I was similarly graceless -- and then I started thinking about the guy who was with me, at the time (and his reaction) -- which brought me to this idea of sharing (at random times, I'm sure) some of the characters I've known in my life.

We'll call this boy Randall. I first met Randall at All-State Choir, my senior year. (For those of you unfamiliar with All-State, it's a choir formed from the top high school singers around the state -- you have to audition.) Anyway, Randall not only made it in, he was the bass soloist. So of course, I noticed him. I think he probably noticed me too, mostly because I ended up chatting with the soprano soloist, who happened to go to his high school.

But I digress. Randall was tall and thin, with perfectly gelled (spiky) hair. He had a very nice voice. He was also rather cocky (or, um, arrogant). I met him again in college, about 8 months later. He was the accompanist for the women's chorus, which I sang in. I wanted to be in the mixed choir, and I mentioned that one day as we walked to the bus together (we both lived in the off-campus campus housing). His response: "Oh, freshman never get into the mixed chorus -- well, aside from me, of course." And he said it with no embarrassment or anything -- like he was stating a fact.

The next time we walked to the bus, a couple of days later, I asked about the piano school. His response: "Oh, the competition for the piano slots is intense. I didn't even get in -- that's why I'm accompanying. It's the only way I get some time with a piano practice room."

(An aside: a week after this, I impulsively made a detour into the piano corridor, knocked on the door of the Head of the Piano Department, played for him for about 10 minutes, and walked out as a piano major. I didn't tell Randall -- he eventually figured it out, but he never apologized or commented on his attitude.)

About a month after this, we were walking to the bus and chatting, as we usually did (very non-personal chatting, I might add, usually about how well he was doing in all his classes), when we saw that the bus was already there. We didn't want to wait the extra fifteen minutes for the next one, so we started to run. I managed to slip and fall -- right on my butt (my feet went out from under me). Randall took one look, turned bright red, and ran off, pretending he didn't even know me. I giggled (which is what I tend to do during the grace-less moments -- they always strike me as funny), and when he ran away, I laughed so hard I cried.

The bus driver was a guy who flirted with all the girls, including me. He waited for me, and when I got in, still wiping my eyes, Randall looked out the window rather than meet my gaze...see, a character. What made him like that? What was his story?

Second semester came, and I ended up in mixed choir (I think they called it Collegiate Choir) -- Randall about dropped his jaw when I walked in. He came up to me and said, "What are you doing here?"

I showed him my schedule, where 'Collegiate Choir' was clearly printed. He shook his head. "Man. I hope you're not too embarrassed when they explain the mistake." (Seriously)

Instead, the director, who ended up being a good friend (as far as professors go), came up to me and said, "Where have you been? You were supposed to be here last semester too -- now find a place and let's get going."

There were a few weeks there where Randall pretended I didn't exist...and then we again gained a tentative friendship. My next strong memory of Randall came senior year. We were both invited to a wedding -- for the soprano soloist I mentioned before. I was shocked to be invited -- all the great singers hung out together, and needless to say, I wasn't one of them ;) Anyway, Randall and his fiancee drove, and he invited me and another guy (a good friend) to ride with them. (This time, I almost dropped my jaw.)

We rode down there together, and man, his fiancee was a b*tch! She didn't stop criticizing him or his driving or us (sitting in the back seat) the entire time. Her slights were all cunning and implied, but they were there. Poor Randall's face got pinker and pinker -- and unfortunately for him, the wedding was at the Basilica downtown, and we were coming from Boulder (so about 45 minutes away). Randall said almost nothing, but after the wedding, he caught my eye as we got back in the car...and I saw, clear as day, an apology. I smiled and nodded.

I still wonder what happened to him. Did he ever find any kind of happiness with that awful girl? Was she only awful around others? Did he learn humility?

And therein lies a possible story...maybe I'll speculate a bit more ;)
Tags: characters
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