Monday, February 11, 2013

The Stage First published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 at 16:53 ·

As a boy, I used to be in wonderment, everytime my cousin puts on her dancing bells, what was she thinking at that moment of time. Calm and relaxed, but with a tinge of expressionless sense of nervousness. She walks out gracefully, poker faced, ready to face the stage once more. 

The curtains open, lights glazing the floor, every step taken is a masterful stroke. The show begins.

Thunderous applause!

I observe my surroundings, people around me displaying a variety of emotions. Its a supermarket out there, some fully immersed, connected. Some I think are there for the sake of being there, which annoyed the daylights out of me. Some, are are trying to be the impressarios they could only dream of by posing as affectionados. Some are just, well, lost. 

Every step taken, every swirl, twist and pose, the stage seemed to come alive.

I was eight back then.

My ankles are way past their prime now. Parkinsons, my best friend, hands tremble at the mere mention of life.Ii call out for my assistant, for once, she responds on time. 

The soap on the telly must have ended. Now it's my turn to provide the drama. 

I'm all prepared now for my trip to the old hall. Tweed jacket, baseball cap, and my bag. My faithful hand carry, with it's zippers rusty and the handles stiched to it's side over and over again. I signal for Jade to push my wheels. 

Jade seems to be more relaxed today. Must have been a good ending on the soap opera. 

"Get me to the hall. I want to see it before I go."

18 years old. 

The hall is packed with people! Finally, the band's debut performance, the opening act for the town's annual Jazz fair. I feel a tinge of sweat running down my cheeks, hands sweaty as if it's been put through on a treadmill. My heart pumps a full gallon now, I feel like I'm running all over the room.

"Relax man, it's only out towns folks. What could be worst? At least we get to sample the town's tomatoes without buying them!"

Mike seemed like a tough cookie. He was always the macho one, beaming with confidence. The ladies man. The pianist. 

"Alright boys! Showtime!"

Curtains opened, lights beaming, crowd chanting our names!

All I could hear was the keys, and my drums filling the air. 


Sixty years on, the music had long stopped playing. The town is now an antique, a blast from the past. Jade pushes my wheelchair gently accross the main doorway, and I could see the very same stage that was once graced my the arts.

The putrid smell of water logged carpets and old wood seemed to permeate the air around me, but it was all too lovely to be missed. I signalled to Jade, pointing to the front row, that is where I am going to be.

The stage, ever so beautiful. for a moment, the whiff of old furniture was replaced with the sweet smells of lavender, and the hall was once again filled with people. The chants was once again, loud and clear.

"Introducing.....the Fabulous Lifeboys!"

I looked at Jade, smiled, and closed my eyes for the last time. 

Mike, I'm coming home. Lets play some music together again.

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