"I Am Marvel"

January 26, 2011
Where am I? What city is it tonight? I knew a little while ago before I fell down into this mystical pit I call, “my own world”. I’m far away from reality, but still I see the universe better when I let myself plummet. For once people seem real and defiable this way. The perfections you saw before don’t exist, & now we’re all equal.

The car seats rattle from the subs, my heart stutters. Smoke smoothly exits through the cracked tinted windows. I slouch down in the backseat with my half brother, Evan. In the front is our driver and DJ Marc. Marc lets himself free into the melodies, he closes his eyes and his mind soars. I can imagine it taking flight into the crowd of stars in the night sky; above the city, lights and interstates. His head bobs with the beat, getting anxious for tonight’s show.

Keeping myself occupied, my iPhone has some applications that take control of my attention, stuck inside a rainbow that only I know is there. My brother’s submerged in a shadow of evil, the night. It haunts me that I can’t even see his face as we pass a black back and forth. His head is tilted down at his phone; the fitted hat and hood covering his features.

I finish the black and flick the spark out the window as it gets caught up in a January breeze. Our car comes to a stop and two stout security guards come out to greet us and escort us through the back door.

My opening act finished his set about 12 minutes ago and now the stage was being set up for me. To the crowd the wait feels like forever, music continues to play and play and play. I’m the reason everyone’s fired up and every time there’s a pause between songs they think I’m about to set this place off like an atomic bomb. But then the DJ just puts another song on and they groan.

I take off my jacket ‘cause it smells like a heap of smoke and I can already feel myself beginning to sweat just looking at all of the uncomfortable people in the audience. One of the members of a group that played earlier told me it was a sold out show. Two minutes later the chants for me start. Thirty-five seconds of the whole crowd together as one voice.

The people around me engaging in conversations become muted and all I can hear are those chants. It feels like you’re a gladiator with an entire arena around you-body of thousands watching one speck on the ground. Why am I so special? Is it my music? My beats, my voice, or my lyrics? My name was Jordan Young, 24 years ago born in the burbs of Harrisburg but I’m not that anymore. I am something that Jordan never could be, but I’m fine with being whomever they want me to be. A stage worker asks me if I’m ready to go.

In applause, the music stops, the lights drop, and thousands of people erupt. I shake myself loose, eyes closed meditating to the beat of my opening song. Smoke machines create giant clouds all over the stage and they begin to engulf the rows of fans in the front. Purple, green and yellow lights and a strobe develop rainbows within the clouds. I can see the people moving, dancing, nodding to the beat. They don’t even know I’m right here yet.

“Yeah, I’m ready.”

“Oakland”! “Please give it up for the hottest young rapper on the east-coast right now, J Cash!”

There’s no other place I’d rather be in the world right now. I walk into the roar of applause with my arms up in the air; I already won the crowds approval selling out a show as the headliner. My mind is sliding through a valley’s waterfall and it feels so perfect. My smile will never fade, because this life moves so slowly and I’m never going to let go. I hold the microphone up in the air and let the surrounding world be my voice. They sing the opening lines of my song and then I take over for the rest of the night.

All these people keep trying to reach for me but I’m a big enough a**hole to just pass them by. They’re the people that made me who I am. They’re the people that stood outside this building for seven hours in the blistering f***ing cold just to be in the front row pressed tightly against a guardrail to see their favorite rapper. And I just pass their hands by ignorantly.

Why do people like me? I’m no different from the other a**hole celebrities. I light up almost everyday and try to use any girl I’m introduced to. I’m not a role model or a nice guy. Any love song I ever wrote is bulls*** because I could honestly careless who I hurt. I do what I want when I want, and say what I feel.

Midway through the set I’m singing right up against the front row because this cute little girl who’s probably 19 keeps giving me “that look”. “That look” like I’d be naked in a second if you asked. I stand on the end of the stage right over top of her trying to play it cool. I look down into her large bulging eyes like she’s mesmerized by me. Her friends stand there and laugh as they wish they were in her position. I lean even closer making the distance between our faces turn into only inches. She turns slightly into my face and kisses me and then I step back and million sparks explode around me.

I’m on top of the highest towers, in control of this universe inside these walls. Their arms move any direction I go like I’m a leader that they praise. Sometimes I can’t believe I made it to this.

Show’s over, and I walk off to chants demanding for an encore. F*** that. I want to go backstage and chill with everyone else. It’s like a mini party in the back. Girl’s out of control and pretend innocent looking guys who appear like they wouldn’t harm a fly. I light up during an interview with the dude conducting it and barely pay attention to any of the questions asked. What’s the interviewer care? He’s smoking with me too. After the interview, a bunch of us head a couple blocks away to this club.

I don’t get trashed at the club because I’m already ripped. There’s no need to ever get over f***ed up. Everyone knows me, I can’t do anything stupid. Everyone wants me so I need to be able to control myself. Every girl is free in here to me. I can have any of them that I want. I walk through the club, sipping and spilling trying to find someone for tonight. I keep seeing eyes stare at me, but what are they really thinking? Are they too scared of me because I’m famous? Or do they hate me because I’m famous? There’s so many questions they can make your head want to explode just by making eye contact. I feel a soft hand grasp my shoulder. “Hey J”.

I wake up face down in a pillow. I feel like a bunch of people square danced on me. I feel like I fell in an alley way and then got mugged. The taste of cigarettes displeasures my tongue as I never smoke boges; why do I have that stale cool mint breeze in my mouth?

There’s a ruffle next to me under the sheets and I already know what last night ended with. I lift the hotel covers and expose a very pretty face, slim waist, blonde girl. I hardly remember any of it and I couldn’t even guess what her name was. Trish? Perhaps Lisa? Why’s it even matter though? She only knows me as J Cash, not Jordan. I wish she’d wake up just so I could talk to her but her face says calm and her eyes like a dropped curtain.

I get off the bed, step into my jeans and wrap a blanket around my shoulders. This happens quite frequently; concert leads to drinking, drinking leads to meeting sl**s, random sl**s lead to intoxicated but willing sex and then I get up to a rude awakening. My temple presses against the chilly glass door, as I gaze out at the city below me.

I sit out on the balcony on a chair and think to myself like usual. I hate my heart. Trish, Lisa, whatever her name was; she was only with me because I’m J. She dances to my songs at parties, watches my music videos, and uses my lyrics as her f***ing Facebook statuses. Face it all you are is entertainment…and she just wanted to entertain you for one night. She could careless about who you really are. She’s on her way to sending those texts right now, “I f***ed J Cash after the show J”. A memory. I have so many it doesn’t even register anymore. Every time I sleep with a girl it makes me wonder, “What if you never sold that last record, wrote that last song or had thrown away that Billboard Top 100?”

It’s too bad I’m not sure what the difference is between love and that girl under the sheets. Light flurries begin to stick to my glasses as they glide downward around me. A tear blends in with the snow that melted on my cheek: perfect I will never be.

The money, the clothes, the gold and silver, the kush, the girls.

Nothing but a scam. Make-believe euphoria. Fraudulent ecstasy.

Elements like these aren’t genuine happiness.

The sky stares down on me in disapproval. You’re not proud of me are you mom? My little daughter who could be two years old right now isn’t either. What am I doing? Oh yeah, I forgot. I’m living the life, right? The dream…nah not really. Chill with all your jealousy and however you think I live. I’m not what you think. I’m a lone wolf. I’m only what they make me, and without the thousands in attendance I’m nothing. It’s only a matter of time till this ends. And the end is slowly on the brink, & I can’t control it.

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