Boyband Star by Tyler Gillespie
December 11, 2014 § 4 Comments
Brevity‘s Holiday Smile essay blizzard continues:
For his middle school’s Christmas show, my little brother John and his classmates sang holiday standards. During their renditions of songs such as “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” a few students kept their heads turned to the floor. They focused on their feet.
John, though, loved the spotlight. He acted as though he fronted a boyband. “Frosty the Snowman” elicited a Chorus-line-kick from him. “O Christmas Tree,” a mini-breakdance. After almost every song, he took a bow. Near the end of the performance, Mom cried, silently, regal-like.
When Mom had found out John would be born with Down syndrome, no one in my family knew what to expect. Two open-heart surgeries, an at-home breathing machine, and twelve years had passed since his birth. Now, he starred in a middle school Christmas show. John took his “curtain call” bow, and Mom matched his smile. Then, by himself, one last time, he bowed again.
Tyler Gillespie‘s most recent work is forthcoming in PANK, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Columbia Poetry Review, and Deep South. He lives in New Orleans.
We encourage readers to use Amazon Smile to help Brevity pay authors and grow stronger. Continue to purchase books from your local independent bookseller, if you are lucky enough to have one nearby, but please channel other Amazon holiday shopping through the Amazon Smile Brevity Link: (it doesn’t cost you a cent) and we get a few pennies on every purchase. You can bookmark the link and make it your permanent Amazon entryway, which would really make us smile