If We Are Made of Stars, We Were Made to Shine
Bernadette Peters. Google the name if you’ve never heard. She had a line in a past Broadway production that’s one word, two syllables. Delivered poorly the audience wouldn’t have noticed the scene. Done properly, which she did, the scene sticks in a person’s head for decades. My head, to be specific about the head.
The line is, “Tada!” Her delivery, sublime.
She enters scene not yet emotionally defined. Arms rising from her sides wide, sashaying Fosse style, and sings “ taDA!” finishing with a smile and freeze. Her eyes looking up, arms open extended declaring her presence. The line I heard in my head was, “Here I am universe, step aside!”
I use this scene at the grocery checkout whenever I feel a downbeat coming off the cashier and bagging person. Their day is boring. Their minds are spooling up worry. Today’s shopping trip was early, the crowds missing. Three lanes open, only one was handling business. The two others were manned, empty, and distracted in worried thoughts. I chose the most disconcerting lane. Walking into the lane space I pulled my cart behind. Smiling. They smiled back. Before the cashier could get to the “plastic okay?” part of our transaction, I finished pulling the cart forward, spun around to face my partners in commerce and sang, “taDA!” with big arm gestures and a Bernadette smile. Freeze. I kept my body position, but looked down to see where the mood sat. They were laughing. Sublime.
“So you had fun shopping.” The cashier began dragging items over the barcode reader.
“Of course! How much fun is considering all the tastes in this place, and I can have any one I want.” I smile.
“Ha! That’s one way to look at it.” Swipe. Swipe. swipeswipe (the scanner couldn’t read the banana barcode)
“What’s your tattoo say?” The bagging person, looking at my arm.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.” I smile. “I got that after passing a belt test.”
“Cool. Plastic okay?”
“What’s this other one say?” My bagger pointing at my other arm looking for more ink now.
“All we are is stars. A Gorillaz song. Also, scientifically correct.”
“I just knew that would be positive, too.” The cashier, catching onto the vibe I’m serving.
“If we are made of stars, we were made to shine.” I deliver my side of pearls with a smile.
“I don’t think I can take this much positive this early.” The cashier feeling vulnerable to the truth of it all.
“No matter what you decide to think about what you can do, you’re right!” I smile.