“Is that Piano Man?” he said running to the radio to turn it up. His wife rolled her eyes, knowing what was coming next. They had a free evening; they had even rented a movie to relax together. “Wow,” he said looking at her. “If you really listen to the lyrics, Billy Joel nailed this; he completely caught human emotion in a few lines. I know,” She said having listened to his explanation a hundred times. It hit her as he was diggin in the fridge for a beer, he feels like he is the bartender in that song. “I am sure I could be a movie star if I could get out of this place,” the lyrics say.
They moved away from Nashville years ago, he always admired the songwriters but didn’t feel he had the talent, so he never tried. For some reason the move seemed to take a piece of him, as if part of his passion for life was still there. He was on his way to the basement now, “it won’t be long and he will be sifting through the closet looking for his old guitar. I guess I will watch the movie alone,” she said quietly to herself, disappointment in her voice. Her spirits lifted a bit when she heard him coming up the stairs. When he grabbed a bottle of vodka from the cabinet, kissed her on the cheek and said, “I am going to play a few songs before we start the movie,” she felt her face get hot. “Ok,” she said, trying to hold back the crack in her voice. She sat down on the coach, knowing he would not be the same man in an hour. The vodka always brings emotion; the sad songs he loves so much seem to engulf him. She wanders if he would leave her if it would help him write just one song. She thought back to the first time he heard “Proud Souls” by Cross Canadian Ragweed. He didn’t say a word but she knew it spoke to him. Ha, she thought, I bet he would have run away with Cody Canada if he could.
If you can’t beat em, join em she decided. She went to the cabinet and got a glass, then headed down the stairs. She poured a healthy helping of vodka, she watched him for a few minutes, jealous of the way he looked at his guitar and how he listened to the music far beyond the lyrics. There was a time when he looked at her like that, with that same burning passion; she wandered if those days were gone for good. Her phone vibrated, interrupting her day dream. It was her girlfriend asking if she wanted to catch a drink. She was already felling a buzz and didn’t see any reason to stay there and feel inadequate to every musician that came through the speakers. She got up and walked out, he didn’t even acknowledge her, and he hadn’t acknowledged her the whole time she was sitting there.
The morning came, he had not made it up the stairs. His guitar was broke, it looked as if he used it as a crutch. He would never know for sure since he didn’t remember trying to stand up. He headed up the stairs to see how much trouble he was in. His head was pounding, he realized the severity of his hangover as he was looked for his wife. After investigating every room he found out she was not there. He sat trying to think, not getting anywhere because of the pain, wandering where she had gone. He laid down hopeful that she just left to run a few errands but fearing the worst, afraid she would not return.
Author’s Note: This is not a story of my life but instead a fictional story that can be used as a metaphor for my journey. Constantly searching for creative expression and sometimes missing the most amazing things in life in the process.
A response to the Daily Prompt: Four Stars