The pain is bad tonight. Worse than a long time. No matter. Another glass please.
The man on stage is different. He sees me early on. Has a beer and watches the people like I do. Then he gets up and goes to the stage and sings a quiet number we all know the chorus and sing along where we feel we want to.
When he finishes, I am struggling. The pain isn’t diminishing as it should. But there’s nothing to be done. So I call for another glass.
Perhaps soon? Perhaps not. No matter. No worry here. No worries at all.
He sits by me, nods. I nod back.
After a while, we talk. His story is like mine, just a little later and much faster.
The piano plays a while. I look at it. He follows my gaze.
I like the piano. It always sooths me further. One of the first things I noticed in here.
He smiles openly at me look. It seems he’s just the right sort to be here.
He sits beside me, sipping his beer as I sip my wine. Another glass.
I am drinking faster than usual… I want to finish the bottle before the song. No real reason that I can say. I just do.
After a while, the piano begins its ending tune. It’s patience at it’s own melody sweeping over me and I close my eyes, sit back in my chair. Take my hat from the table, finish my last glass and place the hat over my face, still holding the glass as the pain follows the song. Preparing for it’s end.
I am glad. This place has soothed my worries and fears I had above. It’s nicer here. I do. As I do, it’s all become much calmer. Simpler and perhaps I’ve found peace.
The man beside me takes my hand. I look up.
He wants to lead me where I need to go.
I sigh… the glass slipping from my hand and barely making a stir as it breaks. The barman is looking at me. He nods slowly. Goodbye I think.
I get up, leave what I don’t need behind and look around. Interesting that nothing has changed.
The pianist is still there. The rest of the band start to play.
I ask the man where I need to go. He offers to lead me.
I look at him a long while… perhaps I don’t need to go.
He offers a hand. I take it but he doesn’t lead me anywhere. He lowers me back into my seat. The barman has moved what I left behind and he placed my glass back. cleaning up the shards from the floor.
I replace my notsmile and watch the band. Then the man who replaces me.
He smiles at me and looks away. He probably won’t ever see me again.
So this is where I needed to go?
I am glad. I wanted to be here. I am glad I can stay here.
This is where I wanted to be. Perhaps it’s the same to others?
I won’t know. This is mine and I am happy here.
This was my closing act. There will be no encore.
he meets his replacement. the man who will lead him where he needs to go.
where would he need to be? where could he possibly need to be?
perhaps it’s time to find out?
another glass please. i’d like to finish the bottle before the end of the night.