He gyrates in the
light. Pulsating, moving lewdly, like he did in the old days, but now he
can hear his breathing above the music and the sweat doesn’t bead, it
runs in rivulets, vertical lines matrixing the made-over wrinkles and
causing the tight costume to be even more uncomfortable. It doesn’t
They love it. They
scream obediently, and drown out the fact that he forgets so many of the
lyrics these days. Trained puppies who obey their tired old master, a
Napoleon of modern music, conquering the world still, with newer, even
louder weapons than last time. Light show, compulsory enjoyment for all,
who need to convince themselves that it’s worth the inflated ticket
He looks down and
spies a gum wrapper caught under the corner of a monitor speaker, and in
the midst of a power ballad he is transported back to France, to so long
ago, when he aspired to be a writer, and lived in Avrille. He thinks of
the girl, of how he had never found another girl with such total
innocence and beauty. He had taken her in a hay loft, and she had cried.
The crowd screams, and he realizes that the number has finished.
Mincing sexually to
the drum podium he drinks deeply from the bottle containing the magic
concoction, the wonderful wizard’s potion that keeps him on his feet.
The drummer counts in the next song and he moves to one side of the
stage. Once he would scamper impishly all over it, but now it’s five
minutes per side then ten in the middle, and everyone’s happy.The show
rolls on, and the forty-five minutes seems to last longer than the three
hours that he used to play with the band. When they were together.
together. the word takes him back to the girl again. He thinks of
her thirty times a day and wonders where she is, what she does, would
she have him back after all this time. A roar in his ears, he opens his
eyes, and the song is over. The set is finished.
He runs off the
stage, and, as always, prays that they scream enough for the encore. As
always, they do, and he performs his huge hit from thirty years ago.
Value for money. Impotent posturing now replaces angry commitment, but
the audience don’t know, or won’t admit it.
Reeling from the
stage he almost collapses, but the minders know the drill. Rejuvenation
in the dressing room as he waits for the girl that his agent always
finds, young and vibrant. The drugs kick in, and he’s ready to perform.