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Fiction

A Joyful Noise

Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

We were well through the second verse of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” when everything went dark. I came to and found myself on the cool linoleum floor of the Sunnyside Senior Center. Outside it was another hot day in the hundreds. 

I tried to sit up but felt several pairs of hands gently push me back onto the floor. The guys and gals in the choir were hovering over me like angels visiting a dying person. Their mouths were moving, but all I could hear were muffled sounds as if I were at the bottom of a swimming pool and they were up above. 

My eyes darted from face to face and my hearing started coming back. The group was making a racket like I’d never heard before. I wanted to turn them off like twisting the volume knob on a radio.

The cacophony was broken up by Liz, our director.

“Pipe down everyone, let’s help Connie into a chair and give her some room, we’re crowding her.”

Several of the able-bodied men in the choir helped me up into a folding chair. Nothing felt broken, thank God.

My friend Barb handed me a glass of water. It was lukewarm but still tasted good. I was thirsty.

“You were out cold for two minutes, it must’ve been the heat,” she said. 

“Must have been,” I said.

“Show’s over folks,” said Liz to the dining room. “Sorry about that. We’ll see you all next month.” 

With that, our captive audience broke up and searched for new things to do. I noticed that bitch Jenny heading back to the sweets table for a second helping. I was about to yell at her when the presidential portrait on the wall behind her caught my eye. 

There was no image of Trump bordered by the mahogany frame. In its place was a very presidential image of Hilary Clinton.

I rubbed my eyes as if waking from a deep sleep. Hilary’s studied gaze emanated from the photo as if she were watching over all of us. 

“Barb, come here,” I said.

She walked over and put a hand on my left shoulder. 

“Ouch.” I was already sore from the fall. 

“I’m sorry, honey,” said Barb. “What is it, need some more water?”

I scanned the room and tried not to sound too crazy, whispering to her.

“That picture of Hilary, who put it there?”

Barb gave me a curious look. 

“What do you mean?” she said.

“Why is it there? Is Carl playing tricks again?”

Carl was the baritone in the choir.

Barb put the back of her hand on my forehead and checked for a fever.

“Connie, that’s always been there. Since 2016,  anyway. Who’s Carl?”

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