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Searching for the Right Words
A man, or what some would call a boy, stares at blank pages waiting for the right words to arrive. With the tightest pants a man of his size could fit in, his reds Vans classics attached to his feet, favorite band t-shirt, and messy hair, this man was Vic. Vic had been sitting for what seemed to be days; yet, only minutes had passes. As he sat in his leather throne, at his wooden desk, underneath the golden light of his desk lamp an idea finally came to him. “Nope,” he said. Writers block had hit the greatest lyricist of the past couple minutes like a cold feeling hits a dying man. After ten lengthy minutes of picking at his scabs, doodling, and daydreaming, he finally commenced his writing. These thoughts had haunted his mind for the past couple days now, lurking in every dark corner and crevice, popping into his mind like the popcorn in the microwave. Soon, the words began to flow, and eventually he had written the next masterpiece to be presented to his band mates. It had been a week or two since they jammed together, but overall their last tour had been a great success.
Suddenly, the phone rang. To the tune of Ode to Joy, he wheeled his way over to the phone. He checked the caller I.D. It was his longtime friend Andrew, a guitar player in his band. Vic answered the phone with ease and answered with his regular, “Yellllllo.”
“Hey man,” murmured Andrew. “How have you been feeling?”
“I’ve been better, but I’m hanging in there,” said Vic. “What’s up?”
Andrew suddenly perked up, “Hey I have great news. Equal Vision Records wants to sign the band!”
Vic had never been so excited in his entire life to hear the words, so and so wants to sign the band. It is what he dreamt about since he first laid his hands on his Dad’s old 67 Fender Stratocaster back when he was only 8 years old.
“ARE YOU SERIOUS? This is the best news I’ve heard all week! I’m going to go tell my mom, my brother, everyone I know!” he shouted directly into the phone.
“I wouldn’t do that so fast, “Andrew muttered. “I have some news. And it’s not the good kind.” This had gone from the happiest moment of his life to the feeling of his heart sinking to the depths of the ocean.
“Well…,” Andrew gasped before he began to speak again. He knew this would shatter his friend’s heart. “The label doesn’t exactly like the idea of a singer in your situation.”
“What’s my situation?” inquired Vic, but then he remembered why he felt like he had been sitting for so long. It’s because he had been. Vic had been sitting for exactly two weeks, five days, ten hours, twelve minutes, and precisely twenty-seven seconds. He was planted in his leathery throne, permanently.
Vic recalled that fateful night two weeks ago; driving home from their last show on the tour in Sacramento, California. He was driving the van with Andrew in the passenger side, and the rest of his band mates in the remaining fifteen seats in the van. On the last exit before they were finally home, the unpredictable incident occurred. Their van was broadsided by a lowered Ford Raptor, on the driver’s side. Even with the seat belt locked in place, Vic was obliterated at 60 mph. The van spun out of control like a merry go round on drugs, until halting at the median. Everyone in the van checked their surroundings and then looked at each other to make sure everyone was alright. Andrew checked the people in the back seat, and they were all fine. When he turned to his friend Vic, the sight would make even the toughest eyes cringe. Vic’s legs were pinned under the metal in poking out from the side of the car; not to mention, both of his knees had moved from under the steering wheel, to the middle of the of the dashboard. The damage was done and this former 6 foot tall belter of tunes had lost the use of his legs forever. The doctors were surprised that his spine was still intact after the accident. With the others by his bedside, all with only minor cuts and bruises, they watched their former friend lay in agony, totally unaware of his situation.
Pondering his next words, Vic sat in silence. Finally, he contested, “Well, if that is so, then I guess…..I have to agree.”
He couldn’t say what he honestly wanted to say. He knew he could have easily come up with a thousand names to call them, things like: “You’ll never be the same without me!” and “I’m the only talented person in the band,” but that wasn’t the type of person is. He was honorable person, as many would say. Vic never wanted to cause any trouble for his old friends. He understood that nobody can wrap their heads around the idea of a singer sitting in a chair. How could he give the same energy? Are there even handicap accesses to the stages at the type of venues they would play at? He knew staying the band was but a needle in a haystack.
“I’m really glad you understand man. It means a lot to me. No one will ever be able to replace you as one of my best friends, but someone has to take your spot in the band,” Andrew expressed. “We are all really sorry we had to do this, we’ve been through so much that I don’t think we will ever be able to get you out of our minds.”
Vic will never forget those words. They’re tattooed in his head. A couple weeks past and he was nothing but a stepping stone in the boys’ career. They chatted briefly every once in a while, but things were never the same. Vic even went out of his way, and ventured to one of their local shows. All he got was a, “Oh hey man! We’re doing great without you,” type of greeting from them.
So here he sits, two years later, under the same golden light, in the same wooden desk, plastered to his leathery throne, searching for the right words to come to him.