Lost in the Crowd

Posted: January 31, 2015 in Short Stories
Tags: , ,

Music’s influence on life is real. This could be a true story somewhere. I actually kind of hope it is…

Section E, row 20, seat 25. No, that’s not where this started. It was 224 K St in the basement. Track one, verse one from the first album. That was the beginning. That was when the change happened. When everything he thought he knew melted away layer by layer to kernels of truth far beyond his age. Words he was not allowed to repeat, places he never heard of and activities he thought were the clever writings of Hollywood directors. It was all here and it was all real. He followed the path of the music from album to album in secret, ‘lest his parents find out and sever his bond to this near mythical world. The words of gods he never knew existed. That path led him to his seat, in that row, in that section, but it wasn’t enough. Song after song as the crowd stood, he crept and slithered closer with no one the wiser. The closer he got, the more the words of his god striped him bare. Childhood memories both good and bad, how his parents raised him, how his siblings looked out for him, bike rides and days at the park with friends, anything that did not come from the sounds of his god became worthless. He who was once everything was now nothing at the unknowing command of his betters. Row 10 now. He can see the sweat. Hear the bass thump harder in his chest. Teachers who tried to show him a better way, mentors that tried to cultivate his vast potential, coaches that tried to teach him focus, were all minimized like a screen in the face of such radiance. Row 5. So close he can almost touch his idol. He can transmit all of the worship and awe he holds with just a simple touch of hands or a knowing glance. The girl he had a crush on, his summer job that paid for the ticket, the scholarship he was promised, the internship he had to look forward to, all paled in comparison to the future he could have by harnessing a fraction of the power before him.

And so he arrived. His promised land. He was greeted by no chorus of angels, no loving embrace of warmth. Instead he was met with reality. The same reality destroying realization that started him on the path here. He saw no pain in the eyes of his idol. The messages delivered in the music were a stark contrast to the god that stomped around on stage before him. He had imagined the music was infallible and thus modeled his life after it. He threw away his amazing childhood because he thought it was a lie to live so well. He ignored his parents because they were too old to understand. He shrugged off the protection of his siblings without knowing they had lived that life and didn’t want the same for him. He stopped riding bikes with his friends and going to the park because there was no time for such pleasantries in the real world. Now he could see the truth in his past. He understood what his teachers were trying to tell him about his future. He realized the mentors he blew off saw a better way for him than this. He could finally understand why his coaches were always riding him so hard. He could see the truth in today. That girl that he had a crush on that didn’t fit the standards of his favorite songs. His summer job that he didn’t need because he had ‘work’. His scholarship that he was at risk of blowing because he didn’t need school to get money. The internship, the fruition of childhood dreams of being a scientist, that meant nothing now because his dreams had suddenly changed. He was all that stood in the way of his future. The streets offered him nothing and neither did his false god. He was fed lies and it snaked him from his reality. He looked around him only to wonder how many others fell into the vacuum of these lies. How many others believed these falsehoods and disregarded the truth in reality. He was disgusted with himself and his peers. It was a soul jarring blow. His back now to everything he thought was real, he leaves. Dejected, his feet hit the streets. He walks forward to a new day…

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