And you can’t fight the tears that ain’t coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything feels like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know you’re alive…
It’s rather strange and desensitisingly nerve-wracking, standing up there with shivering knees, under the judgment of glaring spotlights and hanging magenta lamps, and past the scrutinising pupils of a million watching stars. I do not feel like my own concrete entity, merely a disheveled apparition trapped in a foreign body. The amp screeches—jeeringly, it seems. I momentarily blanch. What the hell am I doing?
Perspiring profusely, trembling hands holding the gibberish lyrics to an unfamiliar forgotten song and an impatient crackling microphone, the beginning intro of the acoustic guitar sounds like a banshee’s scream that’s prompting my knotted larynx to begin making even an inkling of a noise. Quivering, quivering, quivering; dreadful hesitation and a near-death anxiety that wrings the delirious butterflies out of my stomach in an icy-cold freeze. An infinitesimal moment of silence. A skip of a heartbeat. A suffocating breath held until it coagulates. A spill of acherontic reluctance spilled down catatonic spines before one jolts and realises in shock that, surprise surprise, my parched mouth is actually producing sound!
Thus the song proceeds, with or without me. It’s up to me to chase after it’s vivacious footsteps. My voice is no longer my own, simply a phantom illusion; I barely feel it rising up and down, strumming the musical bars to the best of its abilities. Everything tastes like stereo static; clapping and cheering amid guitar and tambourine amid the anxious symphonies I relayed. The quaint scenario tangibly intensifies into a steady culmination, vertical horizons alighting into spontaneous combustion. Steadfast certainty underhandedly replaces the oscillating nervousness within me, pastel assurance slowly seeping in my ticking aegan-washed bones and strengthening every fibre of my abandoned sensibilities.
I find myself closing my eyes and loosening my grip, my driftwood soul getting pulled in the undertows of the euphoric moment. I can barely hear my own voice anymore, and I do not hear the crowd at all. Soprano, baritone, octaves, trebles, notes and rhythms and senselessness and song, they’re all that envelops me right now, my solitary company in this madness of a world. Raging fire burns in my emotions, thawing the glaciated blood in my veins, warming up the frostbitten angels barely holding my terse heartstrings together, bringing oxygen back to my perforating pulmonary flow; and nothing else matters anymore, only me and the music, the music and I.
The interlude swells into a deafening crescendo, and my frizzling neurons go off like fourth of July fireworks, showering the sky with brilliant sparks. It’s infinity on repeat, infinity in my teeth, infinity rushing low, infinity on an all-time high. This feels fucking amazing. What was there to be afraid of? Why had I been terrified all this time of such a ludicrous notion? Perhaps if I had steeled myself sooner, my brillo-pad songs would be less abrasive, and the ticking clock would’ve been on my side. But no matter, for I shall not dwell on the resentment of the past that keeps me embrangled within incarcerating doubt and merciless agony. Rather, I will focus on the now. This is me, doing what I never dared to do, doing what I’ve always wanted to do. I’m doing this for them, my beautiful divine motivations, though more importantly, I’m doing this for me, and for me alone.
The set comes to a slowing halt, the prospect tinging me with hints of sorrowful melancholy, and the audience bursts into polite applause, but the enraptured sensations linger still; and as I amble off the stage, I still find a soft lone melody humming whimsically at the back of my mellowing incandescent mind. It’s over, I sigh out to my palpitating lungs, to my shaky footing, to my disbelieving mind, attempting to calm my frantic pulse back into a metronome lullaby. But it will never be quite over, wouldn’t it? I ponder with a secret smile. I finally found my voice. I only hope I don’t lose it again. And I can only hope so hard it hurts that I don’t keep it to myself anymore.
And I don’t want the world to see me
‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand
When everything’s meant to be broken
I just want you to know who I am…