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What happens on the road, stays on the road.

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What happens on the road, stays on the road. |

“You know this is over when the tour ends, don’t you?”

The wave hits, a wipeout that I didn’t know was coming. But in my rising panic, amidst the sudden violent swell, I can’t drown. Not here, not like this.

I look around, the faces blurring into one under the lights that are too bright, the chatter too loud, despite the relentless noise from the stage. What the hell is that anyway? The headliner just because they had one hit, which featured in a lousy Hollywood comedy that nobody even liked, especially not the record company. The headliner because they hit headlines with their off-stage rows and tour bus parties, rather than any music they grew together.

Nobody heard him. Nobody else knows that the boy with the voice that could raise angels from their slumber has used it so calmly, so easily.

My eyes seek help across the table, willing my friend to notice, to pick up on some subtle wavelength. But she’s caught up in her own mess, with that blue-eyed guitar man who plays strings like Hendrix was living and breathing under his skin.

It’s the music that gets you, not the ones who play it. At least that’s what you tell yourself when you’re sitting in another dirty hotel bar, off another motorway junction, counting the empty glasses on the table and hoping that tonight you might just sleep through it while someone rampages around the room, high into next week, as someone else sulks their way through a lost chord or a broken verse.

“You’re my muse, you know,” he offers up, as if that somehow explains his statement, ending months of shared music, shared passion. “I’ve got new songs because of you.”

You do it for the music, you tell yourself every time, as those girls show up night after night, all front and confidence, claiming ownership of something you know doesn’t belong to you. You do it for the music, because the music saves you when nothing else does.

© Beviathan 2021-07-12


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