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Stolen Breaths

The lights are off, heads like shadows sway and bend in expectation of what comes from the single, aching, waiting light on the stage. White stems from a hidden source above, pouring down on to the purest of blacks like an intruder devouring its prey. I sit there, picturing already what will come next, the hope that somehow our eyes will meet and adrenaline will steal my breath away like it always does when this happens. It’s not the performance I’m anticipating but the mere sight of his figure appearing through the swallowing light.

I crane my neck over the ocean of heads going up and down reminding me somehow of seaweed. Breathing deep breaths, the low hum resonates in the silence, like a forgoer of things to come. With a low shuffling sound from an invisible location, he comes out of the darkness. And when the halo of light descends on him, he doubles the light, bouncing it off of the white and green on his shirt, the rumpled brown hair crowning his angelic face, and the guitar hanging around his neck loosely and casually. I suck in a deep breath and study his long neck bowing downward, preparing… waiting… just like we all are.

And, then, with a single stroke of his fingers against the perfectly tuned strings, a painfully beautiful chord sucks the life out of all of us, consuming us in the story behind each note that creates it. The length and leanness of his body is flowing back and forth as he strums once more, twice more… and then I lose count as I drift away to the place he is carrying me so breathlessly.

He pulls his head up with slow reluctance and gazes at us in a nervous way until he opens his mouth to sing. Harmonizing with the music easily and swiftly, his voice and the guitar intertwine to complicate yet still simplify the song. I am convicted by the words, moved by the gentle swaying of the complex chords and runs, and torn to bits by the sound of his broken voice careening over us all like a heavy blanket.

The light has vanished; the people around me no longer exist: He is singing to me, and with every fiber in my soul, I yearn to cross the barriers between us and merely touch his milk-like skin on his face, his arm flexing uniquely as he strums, muscles bulging and tugging at the skin and making the hair on his arm rise up curiously. Something in me wants to close my eyes and just be covered by his sound flowing out of him, but I can’t tear my eyes away.

The song ends… it has to, another act must come on the stage. I have known this from the beginning. But he walks off the stage with a slight wave, and for a moment, I feel his eyes going right through me, pouring on me like maybe, just maybe he sees me.

But the light has me… hidden, just like I always am with him. Hidden in the shadows watching, waiting, and having my breath stolen away again and again.





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Lost-In-Life said...
Jun. 30, 2010 at 7:43 pm
I like this piece, although I believe to captivate your readers even more you should add either a message or plot, as I did find this piece beautiful but kind of boring. Keep Writing!
 
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