In the music house, she puts her bandana on. Lets bygones be bygones. Blares the jams loud, sings unabashedly to a make-believe crowd...the words that turn her “can’ts” into “cans.” And with the vibrations, she lets her imagination run rampant, feels the beat of her music, and, with reckless abandon, throws her hands up.
She woke up next to him fully clothed in the night prior’s garb and attire. Running her hands through his sleepy hair, she couldn’t help but feel grateful for all that’d transpired from her desolation to her life lived inspired. After all, if she was the ultimate creative, he was the one who helped create her.
A diamond in the rough, he uncovered only that which a seeking eye would know of. And there he chiseled and found his perfect gem - him with her, her with him.
He fell in love with her curls turned strawberry in the sun, the way she cried and smiled when she sang her songs. She fell in love with the dream she’d always imagined, and the man who made her music turn magic. It was both equal and not.
And, while lying in his arms, she often forgot. The price she paid to get this way. To keep on going. Make it past the grave. Desperate and in love. She mistook the music for an invitation into the depths of it, became one with it, and lost all sense of who she was.
And he was the one who pulled her through. The world renowned producer and engineer, who musicians both admired and feared for all that he could either take or offer. And, well...he chose her. Both personally and professionally. He couldn’t help but claim the one who stole the show as his own. She couldn’t help but fall in love with his flattering charm and the way she felt on his arm - safe, loved, shown, known.
There was much more there than we could ever fully know. The bits and pieces came together in ways that are not ours, only their own. But to witness their love was a true treasure. You’d assuredly never seen two ever so in love.
His fingers ran across the inside of her wrist, scarred and delicately hidden by the outlines of a redbird tattoo. He smiled up at her, arms around her waist, kissed the inside of her upper leg. She quivered, closed her eyes, and let herself be...with the man she loved in the moment. And also in the reality that existed elsewhere. The place where she became the redbird and was both free and safe. Equally humble and brave. Independent but loving, and loved, too, indeed.
There, she became the redbird. Her tattoo existing in an ethereal place, one where she was both…
“Perry…,” he said.
She looked down, gladly interrupted, and rubbed the top of his head.
“I’m so proud of you.”
“Watchu talkin ‘bout, Willis?” She responded, playfully, tucking hair behind his ear.
“Seriously, sweetheart, tonight was amazing. You were at your best. You put your whole heart into it, and everyone knew it. I’m so proud of you, baby.”
Perry thought back to nearly seven hours prior - back to the moment when she stepped into the lights, onto the stage, forgot who she was - became both humble and brave - she remembered the sensation of her legs giving in - her heart beating loud in her throat, of all frickin places, swallowing hard, trying not to find his face in the crowd, trying to remember who she belonged to. All she had then was the music. And she let that truth resonate in her spirit.
Be here with this music, she thought.
Just be here with the music.
Then she heard the guitar play the chord of C, closed her eyes, and opened her mouth to sing.
This time she would try not to draw him toward her with the voice he longed for. This time, she prayed he would disappear. Because she simply couldn’t.
Perry looked down at her love. Smiled with her eyes.
“Thank you, baby,” she said. Thank you.
She couldn’t sleep. She had the music inside of her still, and it felt truly living. She quietly left their bed, kissed the nook of his neck, picked up her guitar, pick, comfy blanket, and headed out to find reprieve under the stars and the melody they’d help her create there.
The grass was cold with dew. She didn’t care. Left her feet bare and let herself sink deep into the earth, so grounding. The instrument, and her hands with it, seemed to have a mind of its own, and that which became song she took small credit for. It was always inspired. She just wished that he didn’t inspire this one. Again.
She longed to write verses that aligned with her licks and prayed the verbiage would come to her head. Instead, all that happened was what she wished most wouldn’t: she went back. Like a flash. You know those. Flashbacks. She had both the good ones and the bad. When they were bad, they were really bad. When they were good, well...they were really real. And this one was especially.
Her time on stage, singing, dancing, playing, was over in an instant. One big moment that lasted not nearly long enough. She was desperate for more. So she kept going. Kept searching. Kept looking to find. More music. More music. More dancing. She pleaded.
It was time for her to take her place in the audience. Where she could never stand still. It was against her will. And there she found and remembered his face. The one who disappeared in the black of the crowd, lights bright and blinding in the right ways, the ways they needed to be.
He caught her eye in the midst of dancing. She closed them. Continued dancing. Pretended to look away from him. Breath caught in her chest, just like on stage. Be humble and brave. Be willing and brave. Be smart and brave.
Instead, she let herself get lost in the music and dancing.
Instead, she let go and simply imagined that she was on stage, singing, acting, pretending.
Ultimately, it’s all just a show, anyway, isn’t it…?
And so because she couldn’t get the damned words out of her head. She took to writing - a song, she thought - but, what came through was more a monologue. And one for only her to ever see or know of….she wrote...
A year ago, everything was different. Go figure? Things change in a year’s time. Who knew? If I would've known ANY of this. I would’ve prayed for it to go another way.
I vibe. You vibe. We all vibe. Right…?
Except, what happens when two vibe who aren’t “supposed” to? I would’ve never known. It was so new.
It became night before I could stop it. And it was the night who took me with it before I could even say so.
I tried hard to pray. I tried hard to stay away. I begged that someone, something take me in a different way, but I still followed suit...into the arms of the only one I could not say no to.
He took me with his music, he took me with his intense look, he took me from afar, long before the other him ever realized that I’d left his arms.
And, now, one might question: is that his mistake or mine then…?
Some’s viewpoints may differ. I know I’m really the one whose fault it is...
But it doesn’t really matter anyway. Because, the truth is...he went to bed night after night, again and again, while I’ve sat there waiting for him. Waiting for him to notice. Waiting for him to ask. Waiting for him to offer. Waiting for him to….do anything other than not see… Instead, all I received from the universe was a second offer.
And I took it, with great remorse, and much anticipation, wondering if what I had now was worth risking it all…
The musical me set free by my mistress, the music, his musings, and the combination of both, which have me intoxicated with longing and lust and all the other things I’d long since let go of….even minus the drugs, there was an inkling tugging me to another, and I knew...I knew it was wrong.
Even though, in some dimensions, it felt so right.
I can feel us dancing, as real as I feel the other us kissing, once before, long ago, when the us I now know was different, more coherent and whole. More perfect and planned. More new and undiscovered, the sheets not yet uncovered. All I could see was the tightly made bed.
How much longer could she hide her truth…?
Even she didn’t know the answer to that. Especially since she was still in love.
The comforting song of an electric guitar played from afar. A familiar sound, yet odd for the time, place, and moment. How ironic, she thought. Then fell asleep under the stars.