I started playing the flute when I was 10. I remember I was in the 4th grade. At the school I went to, Poe Classical School, we all had to choose an instrument to play. The most popular instrument was the flute, probably followed closely by the clarinet. Some of the kids had difficulty fixing their mouths right to play the flute, but I remember taking the head joint of that instrument, placing my hand on the other end, fixing my lips as if I were going to give a kiss, slightly open, but gentle and gave a slight blow.
Ahh, a sound, it sounded like some kind of strange horn, but I did it with ease. Soon I was playing in the band, learning all the fingerings of the different notes, and then my talent began to shine through. The band teacher chose me to play a solo at one of the school concerts. I never will forget the song I played was “Little Buttercup”. I practiced and practiced that song and when I got up on that stage, I played my heart out. Mom and Dad were so proud. I don’t remember being nervous. The song sounded awful compared to the standards of tone and quality I have for myself now.
But playing the flute, at that time was the only time that I felt whole and complete, like nothing was wrong with me, like this was what made me special. I may have been fat and unpopular and often picked on for those reasons, but no one could fuck with me on the flute.