Backstage. There is a sting in my jaw, a tightness in my throat. My eyes begin to blur. Then tears. I'm here for the joy and the love but the grief is just below the surface. A smiling veneer of oil on a full glass of water. I choke on the words and wring the tears out like a damp wash cloth.
The opening band finishes their set. They are good. There are great friends in the audience, but the house looks thin. No, they tell me, they are still filing in. I hesitate for a moment and then step into the spotlight.
The music starts and it’s as if my body and voice are lifted by some divine thread. I am moved like a marionette. The music is no longer coming out through my mouth or fingertips but streams out from behind my eyes, my ears and projects out through my heart. I am like a faucet for music. A stream. A spring. A channel.
I have no concept of time other than a driving solid rhythm. Has it been an hour? No, it’s been two. I am replete with bliss. There are no more tears. That's how I know when it’s ok to stop. I am filled. I am full. I look back at the band and I can tell they are still hungry. I see my friends at the bar and they are still hungry too.
Okay, maybe one more.