If I could just get in front of a microphone and grow a beard I’d be a hit. They’d drink their beers and fruity concoctions and hear tales in stream of consciousness rhyme, like ee cummings with no capitals. Maybe I’d strum some guitar strings or pull out a harmonica for a bluesy bridge with soul, or a tangent of hardship so heartbreaking everyone would pull out packs of Marlboros and light up. Then when the song ended, me and the band all covered in sweat and tears, we’d open our eyes and look across a silent crowd – all of them inhaling deep thoughts and pondering the “what was,” and the “what ifs.” Then they’d let out a long slow release of memories and bittersweet clouds of hope and appreciation and we’d sneak out through that smokey mist of fame.
And in an equilibrium of thought and emotion, they’d all mash their burning stubs on plates of half-eaten chicken wings, or drown them with their fears in unfinished amber and cherry-red oceans of anxiety tonics no longer needed. And they’d just get up and leave because they’d know there would never be a performance like this one again and although life is not fair, it’s still mostly good.
After that, I’d shave my beard and drift into some other form of heroic social work.