Friday, October 10, 2008

Rita and Sarah : Song Writers In The Making

[It's a known fact that everybody in Los Angeles thinks they are an actor, singer, dancer, writer---or all of them and more. There are those parents who flock here with their kids apparently hoping the aura of sensational success floats in all the sunshine, or the negative ions off the ocean {and the surf?}  will stimulate brains cells to expose assets. When it doesn't work out they go back to Ohio, Iowa, Utah, where they had come from. {Those magazines at the grocery check-out miss the point}. It's really all about the process, and, maybe a bead's worth of the other.]

Red-haired and skinny Rita, at the age of nine knows that she is going to grow up and be a singer. She and her best friend, curly-locked Sarah with the rosy cheeks and straight white teeth, make up songs while they groom their ponies about half a mile upslope from the beach in Malibu. So far, their best one is called "Dripping Wet Misty." Misty being Rita's pony. Sarah's pony being Silver. They sing in rounds or verses, Rita the soprano, Sarah the alto, usually in harmony. 

Rita's dad accompanies them on guitar whenever he's available and in the mood. Rita's mom watchs when she's not building her horse stabling business. She smiles at them offering tips while she eats arugula which she picks from their garden. [mom also drinks green tea, and serves only organic fruits, vegetables and juices. No white sugar or flour, or red meat, ever. Maybe success comes in liquids?]

"Let's hide and see how long it takes for someone to come looking for us," Rita said to Sarah late one summer afternoon. "We can tell them we got lost and so scared we didn't know what to do. When they find us, act real hot and tired. My mom will probably cry."

They giggled for the first hour leaning against tall stacks of hay bales half an acre from the barn. "Waiting For Discovery," took on a three octave, four-beat, imaginary dramatic Debbie Harry-ish back-up track. "Best Ever," Rita whispered in a quivering atonal ending, head snapping back, eyes snapping shut, arms snapping to a sharp line at her side. 

Sarah did the splits, in her jodpers and riding boots, dust swirled up her nose. "Vogue," she murmured, coughing slightly and touching her head to her thigh and holding the pose. It took a few moments, but then she sighed out the first complaint. "I'm hot and tired."

"I'm not." Beads of sweat said otherwise on Rita's forehead. Her back schlumped as she slid to the grown. More dust swirled. "Why haven't they come looking for us?" she asked.   

Neither of them noticed that their ponies had casually wandered and nibbled their way back to the arena.

"I'm ready to go home. I'm itchy," Sarah said, then sniffled. She slid her legs forward and sat upright. She sniffled again and rubbed her sleeve across her face.

"You sound like a puppy dog," Rita said. "Don't screw up your face like that. It will stay that way. You'll get wrinkles too."

Sarah peaked around the bales of hay, then stood up and waved her arms. Rita whistled.

The ponies trotted straight back to them. Each girl dusted herself off, collected reins and ambled back toward the barn.

Rita's mother was leaning against one of the pepper trees that surrounded the turn-out ring. "Did you ride out to the waterfall, was there much water today?" she asked. "We all decided not come after you, it's been such a lovely day. But. You shouldn't stay out so late. Understand. Any new songs?" she asked.

"Waiting To Be Discovered," Rita replied as she slouched off, reins in hand, the pony tagging along behind her.

"I added choreography, for the first time," Sarah added, sniffling again and frowning. "Hey, Rita, I thought we called it, "Waiting For Discovery?" 

"You don't need to wait for discovery. You live with it everyday," Rita's mother said as she picked hay from Sarah's hair. "Clean up the ponies and I'll hose you both down. You girls look hot and tired. Will you sing it for us, later?"  

And that's true. To some extent.