White Gloves

I just took a big heaping dose of Chloraseptic, just sprayed it down my throat until I couldn’t feel anything, because I have two hours and 15 minutes until I need to show up for choir. I had a conductor once who said never to sing after you’ve used it, because it’s like singing while wearing white gloves. It’s a mask that covers up pain so that you cannot tell what damage you’re doing because you don’t know to stop when it hurts. When I’m on vocal rest, as I am now, it’s invaluable because not only does it make my throat hurt less, it stops whatever irritation is making me cough, and I will take anything I can get in that arena. I have decided that I have been sick long enough that I’m going to go to the doctor tomorrow. My GP is fantastic in that you don’t need an appointment. If you get there before 1500, you can just wait in line.

Now that I’ve been sick for a week, I think I need a course of antibiotics, because now I’m convinced that the stuff coming out of me is infected and this is not just a passing cold. If he’ll do it (read: has the equipment), I also want a shot of Depo-Medrol to bring down all the inflammation in my vocal chords. I know how some of you feel about steroids. Shut it. This is the solution that works for me and has for many years because I don’t do it unless there is a major need for it. I am coughing so hard I’ve thrown my back out and I have a HUGE singing engagement next Sunday. HUGE. It’s not just that I’m in a quartet and therefore featured. It’s that next Sunday is basically a choral festival with no sermon and there are two services, one at 9:00 and one at 11:00. We’re talking two solid hours of singing with very little break in between. It would be “Lessons & Carols” if we were Episcopalian, but instead of basic carols, it’s monster anthems in which my head voice (high range) is in use most of the time. Nothin’ says lovin’ like being this sick and having to pull a high A out of nowhere… meaning that there is no scale up, I just have to find it and hold it for six beats. Finding it is not the problem. When I’m sick, it’s harder to have the kind of breath control to keep it in tune that long, and/or hold it for one beat, much less six. I was kidding the choir that since it’s a capella, could they please just keep getting flatter as a group so that no one notices that by the time we get there, it’s actually an F sharp?

Today’s anthem is The Yearning, by Craig Courtney. If you hear it and you know my mother, you’ll know it is exactly the sort of thing my mother would have picked for her own choir. It has a gorgeous piano accompaniment, which my mother preferred because even though she COULD play the organ, it wasn’t her instrument. They seem the same, but they are most definitely not. The first time I heard it, I heard my mother in it, and I was weeping by the end. After the last chord rang, I turned to Ingrid and said, “did it just get all Christmas in here?”

It did.


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