Editor’s note: This letter is satire and is part of a larger story. It will run periodically at the end of the letters section.
TO THE EDITOR:
Right after college I landed a good, cushy job set up for me in Charlotte. But, I was also in a stellar band that played semi-sold out shows at Cat’s Cradle or in someone’s living room or in the dumpster beside Craige dorm. We had this grunge-punk-doo-wop-ballad-timpani-8th grade-shoegaze sound that was real hot. We were told that a few record labels could be interested if we learned how to play our instruments and wrote better songs and stopped breathing hard into the microphone as the vocal track. They also said that we needed some genuine road experience.
So, I ditched the job in Charlotte to follow my dreams.
The whole gang headed West. Each night we’d play a little show and get to meet some of the local folks at the police station after the bar owner explained to us we could not just come in and start playing music in a private establishment.
The bail costs drained us out real fast though, and the rest of the folks just went home. But I’d read about Keith Richards, my favorite guitar player, and decided to dress for the job I wanted. I spent the next few years walking around the city asking for money in a British accent while in a stupor. After about 15 years or so, I saw the lead singer of our band, Scooter, on the corner.
I yelled out: “Hey! Hey! Hey, Scoot!” He pretended to not hear me at first.
As he turned, I saw a few rascals pulling at his jeans. He twisted their heads around so they could not look at me.
“Hey Scoot,” I said. “Where are you going, man?! Where did y’all go? What happened to the band?”
After he scurried off I bought a bottle of liquor and sat on my favorite corner. I drank the thing a bit too quick and blacked out.
In the end, I found myself laying facedown in the gutter — the faint taste of vomit in my mouth — and, ultimately, happy I had followed my dreams.
Through there was a chill that night in the gutter, one that consumed me and, I now doubt, will ever leave. It stays.
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