Same old, same old


A whole year later and I still recognize Lindaís face in the crowd.

Why she came to Chicago after all the crap we had in New York puzzles me.

So I step down off the stage and make my way towards her.

Around us, the roadies and the light men put the pieces of the new act together, attaching this with that so when the musicians around the magic is ready.

I always expected things to be different from what it was when we struggled to make it.

But it is the same.

Some of the faces change, thatís all.

One important face is missing and he remains a ghost in my mind from a band that almost made it, might have made it, had he not put the barrel of a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

I am always trying to forget his face.

And something always reminds me when Iím on the verge of forgetting.

Now, his girl walks towards me through the hall, as if no time has passed, as if Bill is not dead and he will go on with the band tonight instead of his replacement.

She does not smile.

Her eyes still looked dilated with the hatred she feels for me.

She blames me for pushing Bill over the edge.

I never wanted him to die.

I hadnít even plotted to dump him from the band.

I simply wanted to steal her from him.

And she almost let me.

We meet, greet, then steal along the foot of the stage to the slanted seats on one side.

She asks how I am.

I tell her.

I ask her how she is.

She says: The same.

Neither of us mentions Bill or the look-a-like I hired in hopes to fake the public into believing the band can go on without Bill, when I know, she knows and anyone who knows talent knows, it cannot.

But as with her, I have to go through the formalities, letting each piece of my life die away so I can get on with some new life doing something totally different.

I still ache for her to join me in my new life.

But I can never trust her.

I canít be sure that one night while Iím sleeping she wonít put a gun in my mouth and pull the trigger.

In fact, I know she will.

And strangely, I almost wish she would.


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