Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: GRATE (11/19/15)
By M. C. Syben
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My day begins with sunshine streaming through frost that melts dancing designs on the winter window. The house is still, a perfect time for the cross word puzzle. I sip my steaming coffee and settle into my over-stuffed chair that cuddles me. A red bird tweets from the porch ledge. Thank you, Lord. I take a deep breath, feeling especially blessed this morning when, aargh, an assault sneaks out from under my son’s door—Rap.
One second I feel peaceful. The next, my muscles tense; my nerves experience a grating sensation. I cringe in response. Yet, I don’t like my reaction. Shouldn’t I be open, if not tolerant, to all forms of artistic expression?
Although Hip Hop and its extension of Rap music have been around since the seventies, it didn’t overtake the airwaves until later when it shoved Disco aside. I tried to remain open-minded at my first exposure, those many years ago, but within seconds, convulsed like I had swallowed a sour lemon slice that irritated my throat as it slowly scratched its way down, seeds and all.
Why does the genre irritate me so?
My parents surrounded their children with classical music and opera. My Baptist church filled my ears with old-time, melodic hymns. Although my teenage, rebellious years had drawn me to the Beatles, I never continued on, as my peers did, to screeching heavy metal or acid rock, of the seventies. Instead, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Barbara Streisand, and pop attracted me. I believe my upbringing trained my brain to expect melodious, pleasing sounds while Rap shredded my psyche.
Yet, my boy’s ears had accepted aggravating, dark, F-bomb messages in non-melodic drones without question. Why? He had a moral upbringing. We had prayed nightly and had attended church daily, as required by parochial school. We listened to Disney songs and regular pop. Unfortunately, I forgot to share my own joys and played little classical music as he grew up. Had I a chance for a do over, Beethoven, Mozart, and all the classics would have been heard at home on a regular basis—what’s done is done.
Still, I refuse to give up as brain matter is impressionable. I attempt to set belated examples and play four-part harmony gospel alternating with Moonlight Sonata and Andre Bocelli’s, Ave Maria and the like within his proximity.
According to his expressions, my selections annoy him as much as Rap nettles me. Maybe if I play the classics a little louder and turn up the bass, I’ll have more success bringing him into the light—or not. As for now, I guess it is payback time.
Thank Heavens, I remember the sound-eliminating headphones that Santa dropped off just for me. Grin. Another blitz of you-know-what won’t ruin my peaceful mood. In fact, the aroma of last night’s embers intensifies as I secure the head gear. Silence truly is golden. I begin again, resettling into my comfy cushion. Now, where was I? Oh.
1 down: a three letter word for knock.
Fiction (based on truth)
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