It’s nice to take a break every once in a while. Jessica, Cross and Clint are up on stage playing War in the Sky and there are no guitars so there is no need for me to be up there. This also gives me a chance to take a walk around the bar to see how things sound from the audiences’ point of view.
Ha, Shit Creek, what a place this is. I jump off stage and I’m looking around at the people and the atmosphere and wondering how much of the bar looks like this when we don’t play here. The place is just absolutely packed with all the seats taken and people standing everywhere. It’s almost completely dark here as well at our request so that the focus is on us rather than the bar. The bar is lit up but with dim black lights to add to the Gothic effect of the entire scene. Hell, even the bartender is watching the band. His work is always cut down due to us playing here stealing all the attention.
But when we play this song, I usually walk through the crowd to see if there is anyone I recognize and to watch the reaction of the crowd. I usually don’t see too many people that I know personally and the crowd is usually glued to the stage, so I always end up standing in the back of the bar listening for flaws in the sound so that I may fix them when I go back up on stage. But tonight is a different story.
As soon as I jumped from the stage, I walked a little bit pushing my way through the crowd and I noticed off to the side was Lenny, Cross’s friend. He and Cross had a fight a few weeks ago, about what I’m not really sure. But it was nice of him to come. He’s older and I think he thinks of Cross as his own son. So even if they had some dispute over anything it’s nice to know that he is still here to help support Cross, even if Cross doesn’t know he’s here.
Lenny was sitting in the dark, so I only assumed that he didn’t want Cross to know he was here so I didn’t motion to him while I was still in Cross’s view. Instead I walked over to Lenny to say hello and thanks for coming to the show. He spotted me right away and actually got up out of his seat to greet me.
“Hey, Justin. Sounds great up there tonight. Nice crowd, too,” he said. He reached his hand out to shake mine.
“Thanks, Lenny. Yeah, we’ve been drawing quite a crowd here lately. Does Cross know you’re here?”
“No, and I would like to keep it that way if you don’t mind. I don’t want to ruin his glorious mood of being on stage. You know how he gets.”
“Yeah, that’s for sure. He’s playing exceptionally well tonight. And just yesterday he was shaky about something. Do you happen to know anything about that?” I asked trying to get some info out of him.
“Just enjoy the night, Justin. Just enjoy it while you can. You will soon be my age you know.” Lenny chuckled. He was only in his mid-forties, at least that’s the impression that I got. But he acted like he was just as young as the band was. I decided to change the subject.
“Oh, by the way did you ever find that Beatles album for me? You know the one with the babies all slashed up?” I thought this would be a perfect diversion from talking about Cross.
“Man, Justin, you will be on a lifelong hunt for that piece. Yeah, right. I gave up on that about ten years ago. But if one comes into my hands, you better believe I’m gonna lock that sucker up in a vault somewhere.” That was one really cool thing about Lenny. You could talk to him about any kind of music, especially music that he grew up with and it always seemed to ease his mind and he was very smart about everything in the music business. He was a walking encyclopedia of music. He amazes me with half the music this guy knows.
“Well, anyway, looks like I had better make my rounds, Lenny. Thanks for coming out tonight. It means a lot to me if not Cross. It’s nice to see you again. I’ll probably stop out to the music store this week and we’ll bullshit.” I said. I noticed the band was pretty close to ending the song, and almost time for me to go back up.
“Alright, man, have a good show. Sounds great, it really does,” he said and reached out to shake my hand again. I turned around to see how Cross and Jessica were doing and noticed that Cross was staring right at me. It was amazing that he even found me in this dark corner but there he was staring at me. That kid bothers me sometimes. He always seems to know shit you don’t want him to know. But anyway, time to get back on stage.
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