on marching band memories

Temperatures and heat indices have soared here in the past couple of weeks, making practicing in my tiny apartment something of a challenge. And by "a challenge", I mean "nonexistent". No matter how many curtains I close, where I put my fans, or how much ice I put in my swamp cooler, my apartment is still unfortunately hot.

The swamp cooler: doesn't quite make the apartment a practice-encouraging temperature. 

This all reminds me of the days during summer break from high school when I would set about memorizing my marching band music in my sweltering hot upstairs bedroom at my mother's house. We had an air conditioner, but we ran it in the downstairs living room, and all of the heat rose... to my bedroom. I spent many a night sleeping on the couch in the cold, and many a hot summer afternoon torturing myself by playing the trombone in a hot room.

Why? Well, to prepare myself for mid-August marching band rehearsals, of course. True, we had them in the morning, so it wasn't at the hottest that it could be, but it was still hot -- and in Northeastern Ohio, it was humid. I was no stranger to endless stretches of 100% humidity days, with the sun beating down on our only-sometimes-sunscreened heads, girls wearing as little clothing as they could get away with and boys going shirtless. Several times, all I wanted was to march the drill barefoot.

To be quite honest, I miss it. I miss the farmer's tans we all inevitably got (especially the poor flute players with those armband lyres -- ugh!), the avoidance of certain people who sweat a lot more than everybody else, and the water breaks when we'd all run to the small section of shade on the far end of the field. I miss using AOL trial diskettes as extra spot markers, keeping stashes of  SweeTarts for my squad- and section-mates, and carrying drill sheets rolled up and tucked into the back waistband of my shorts. It was hard work, and I loved every second of it -- even the hours memorizing music in my sweltering hot bedroom.

Ah, motivation. That was when I had it. Now what reasons do I have to practice in my ninety-degree apartment? Absolutely none. I'd rather just sit in front of my fan and play video games.

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