The lights go down and I feel bodies press anxiously
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against my own. No sweat has started pouring but I know
it's gonna come. I pull myself into a personal bubble and
try to snuggle up the the stage as best I can. The drunk
girl next to me is offering one of the roadies a beer and
I see him roll his eyes at her and just laugh. She's
cussing up a storm when the blonde-haired hero takes the
stage. Silent reverence captures us all (though the drunk still can't stop bitching about the roadie laughing at her).
Now it's just my hero, the audience, and an acoustic guitar for the next hour and a half. His voice purrs the opening number and his hands caress the glowing neck of the guitar. I can't believe I'm not on drugs because I swear my legs are shaking and my heart has left my body to go out partying. I have nothing in my mouth but the all the parched songs he wrote in a heroin induced fit almost a decade ago. And I sing, almost. My voice is hoarse and raspy like the cocaine-addicted women he kept time with and then escaped. But I am smiling in a way that they never did, and he is singing with the same smile. The radiant, opulent glow of someone who raced Trouble on the highway and passed that bastard up. That thought runs through my head and all of a sudden my heart is back in my chest and I laugh. A sweaty body pushes into me from behind and I just shake my head then redirect my attention to the stupid guy with the short blonde hair. You know, the one on stage...
When he's stopped playing the lights go down and every single set of lips in the damned club starts cheering for an encore. He comes back out (he was of course, expecting such a response) and announces he'll play some requests for the hard core fans in the audience. Yet again, my heart is moving from it's home to my throat and I leap into the air and scream. My arms are waving back and forth like some confused bird trying to climb up into the sky. Without missing a beat, he walks over to my side of the stage and asks what I want to hear. I belt the name of my favorite song ever written and he pauses for a moment, turns his head and thinks. A smile of recollection spreads across his face and he nods his head. As his sweaty fingers stumble over the chords to a song he hasn't touched in years he looks down on me like Zeus on a Greek peasant. The lyrics start and him and I are singing a duet, I smile and he smiles back. We're the only people in this whole word that know the words, but at least we're not alone. His eyes never leave mine until he ends the song, when the moment rests in peace forever and time presses on. A hundred other voices scream the names of their favorite pop hits, but I won't hear another song he plays. Indeed, I won't hear another sound until him and I talk after the show is over, that's when time will start again.
"God grant me distraction."