Hey Gang – just thought I’d share a quick bit from one of my works in progress, currently titled Helplessly Hoping, with you. I’m sticking with my musician theme, as you can tell from this blurb, but I changed up the decade and the characters work on discovering who they are outside of who they used to be.
Getting the band back together, though? Now? My stomach clenches with just the memory of the ulcers and stomach issues I gave myself trying to forge my way through that band; remembering looking out from behind the drum kit and wanting to stab the tip of my drumstick into the back of the neck of every member at one point or other, including mine. The stupid, petty arguments, and God, the wrangling for control over what we were doing, where we did it, when we did, who got paid how much, who decided the fucking set list when we all knew we’d play the same damned songs we always did because that’s what the audience came to hear.
I stick my face into the water stream and open my mouth in a silent scream, spitting out water, and turn to let it hit the back of my neck and shoulders. And God damn, the pain of playing those shows night after night. Sure, we all had our war wounds, the injuries of playing. They’d hold their hands out to show me their blisters when I complained about my back pain, but fuck them, I had the blisters too, more of them from the drum sticks. Lifting my hands up, I stare at my open palms, free and clear of blood blisters, regular blisters, callouses, the raw meat my hands could become after a world tour. Pop one of those fuckers in the middle of a song? Suck up the searing pain, ignore the blood and whatever else is oozing down your hand, don’t lose the grip of your sticks, keep playing, and keep singing like nothing’s fucking happening. Not to mention the back pain that came along with playing, and having to twist stiffly so I could sing half the fucking songs, but yeah, make fun of me and tell me it wasn’t so fucking bad when I couldn’t move my lower back or neck after a gig, lost feeling in my hands completely, or had that God awful pain radiating from my elbow through to my wrists to the ends of my fingertips, and still had to go out there and pretend like I’m living the Goddamn dream and not let on how much agony I was in. But, yeah, complain to me about your stupid index finger boo-boo that you can wrap with a band-aid, asshole. And they wondered why I was always so grumpy? I was probably in fucking pain for half a decade! Why would I want to go back to that?
I turn to face the stream of water again, sticking my face back into it. Because it was the most fucking fun I ever had in my entire God damn life and I’ve been chasing a version of that fun ever since Mike killed it by leaving, damn it.
Copyright 2021 – Heather J. Bennett – All Rights Reserved
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