I really fucked up. My E-flat key was loose. I only got a few hours of sleep the night before because Robyn and I were on the phone. They gave me the wrong repertoire list. How was I to know that high altitude affects clarinet reeds? I ran out of beta blockers. I forgot to bring a water bottle. I was worried that they’d hire that asshole who they don’t like because he threatened to blackball them at the union meeting. The acoustics were terrible. The second violinist used a new rosin and that threw her off, which unnerved me. My tinnitus roared the whole time. Robyn auditioned right before me. Just as I blew the first note, it dawned on me that Robyn might be sleeping with the conductor. Someone backstage slammed a door and I had to start all over again. The concertmaster doesn’t know a trumpet from a trombone, but since he’s powerful in a certain tiny corner of the music world everyone feels forced to curry favor with him. I forgot to eat. The audition committee talked the whole time. A clang in the heating system was near deafening. My carpal tunnel flared up. My neck twinges flared up. My arthritis flared up. I only got a few hours of sleep. I would have won the last competition, except that the concertmaster’s student was appointed with no audition, so I kept wondering if the same thing would happen again. I forgot I wasn’t playing the flute. I only got a few hours of sleep because Robyn and I were on the phone all night and decided to end our marriage. I really fucked up.