Friday, February 24, 2012


It's funny how your mind connects things. 

The other day, I was at Lifeway picking up some Bibles for some kids in the church.  Playing in the background was a series of contemporary Christian hits redone as instrumental pieces.  It was really nice background music, actually.  (Though it was a bit of a trip listening to Baby, Baby as classical piano)  One of the songs that played--actually, the first song that got me to realize what exactly I was listening to--was this:

Now, every single time I hear this song, I always, always, always think of Abby and Jason.  They both love this song, and I think they used it in their wedding.  So it's one that I have no choice but to associate with those two lovebirds. 

HOWEVER, thanks to the former Slackerlitgeek, there is another association that always pops up when "I Will Be Here" plays. 

(Man, I don't wanna crash into a pier either.  That looks brutal!)

Normally, these two very different memories just sort of clash whenever I hear that song.  Yesterday, however, they managed to find a point of intersection.  Six years ago (WOW!) I was in a traveling drug awareness play with Jason and two gals.  Abby choreographed the "Say No Dance".  And it (the play, not the dance) was bad.  I mean, the production was pretty good, but the script itself was not.  It was pretty painful.  And it made for a lot of awesome memories.  (Or traumatic ones.  One of my castmates from that show still crawls into a little ball and rocks back and forth if you bring it up around her.  I'm pretty sure she'll never say the words "embarrassed zebra" again in her life) 

I played three or four villains in the show, including the bully, the head of the gang (the gang consisted of the bully and two small girls), the tough kid who tries to get Max to--you guessed it--drink beer.  By the end of the show, Max has learned to stand up for himself and say no.  So I hand Max a paper sack that supposedly has a six-pack inside, and he's supposed to say, "No, Duke," and then shove the sack back in my chest.  "No beer."  And then I get all mad and leave. 

Only, the last performance, it didn't quite happen that way.  I handed him the sack, just like usual, only instead of "No, Duke," Max said, "No, Beer."  I doubt anyone in the audience heard it, because half the kids are just screaming "NOOOOOO" and hoping they can pop some more balloons (um, don't ask), but I knew he caught it because immediately I could see his eyes register that he'd said something wrong.  And then I saw him racing through his mind to find a cover (No matter how good you all are, by the end of a year of touring to schools, everyone in the cast will be able to recognize when anybody else is scrambling).  After a brief moments pause, he sighs slightly, shakes his head--from the audience, it looks like he's just saying no, but I can tell the actual meaning is Dang, I got nothin'--and then he shoves the bag in my chest and repeats "No beer."  Our eyes lock, and we share an imperceptible acknowledgement that yes, this is awkward, and then the show goes on. 

What's the point of all this?  Simply to say that, yesterday and Lifeway, I kept picturing Jason standing just around the corner, dressed as a gigantic nine-year-old, holding out a paper sack with a six-pack in it and wearing an awkward grin.  And that I'll likely have that particular visual every time I hear that song for the rest of my life.