by David Cain
I agreed to play three songs, as a favor to Earl, an old friend with a bar on the west side, near the high school we went to twelve years ago. I was reluctant to play such a small venue. The crowd could get out of hand quickly and I didn’t want to be part of a mob scene. Earl begged me, humiliated himself with his pleas and tugs and tears. He promised to keep it quiet, just wanted me to play a set for his regulars, the aftershock of a surprise performance would keep him busy for years.
When I arrived, guitar in hand, it was obvious that Earl hadn’t kept his word. The place was packed. Fame has become a hinderance to my life. It would have been nice to play for a half-empty bar.
Three songs, I told Earl, and then I was out the back door. I picked out a few I thought the locals would like most. I sat down on a stool and the faces glared back from three feet away. I whipped out a pick and curled my fingers around the neck. I let loose a strum and the first song began.
I usually lose focus when I start to play for a crowd, staring blankly at nothing but the inside of my head. I don’t close my eyes but I don’t see anything. I was playing and playing and then I saw her, despite my blindness, then I saw Maggie in the sea of faces, smiling at me, looking as lovely as my days are long.
I hadn’t thought about Maggie for ten years, at least. I completely forgot her and then, all of a sudden, in a flash, in a rest between beats, I remembered Maggie, in all her beauty, in all her sunshine, in all her glory. I had been so in love with this woman. She had other ideas. I let the pain fade away.
I agreed to play three songs but I played a fourth that night. Earl was overjoyed when I gave him the nod. Maggie knew the song, but to my surprise, she just sang along. I assumed she would recognize herself in the music, in the flourishes, the lyrics at least. Feel some shame, Maggie, I thought as the chorus returned and she didn’t. We could have been singing Rocky Racoon.
I didn’t leave by the back door. I pushed through the crowd to find Maggie. She babbled some inane compliments when I faced her and I took her by the hand. I pulled her out the back door and into a waiting limousine.
“I can’t believe I’m here with you,” Maggie said as the door snapped shut and the sound of adoring fans were muffled by bullet-proof glass.
“You remember me? I can’t believe you remember me.”
“I remembered you when I saw you. It’s always a relief to see someone I know in one of these crowds. Makes the crowd relatable. I can’t know them so I just played for you.”
“Get out. You played those songs for me.”
“In a way. You relaxed me so I could play better.”
“You always play great.”
“I wish that were true.”
“You’re so great. I’ve been a fan for years.”
“Anyway, I just wanted to say hey. Where can we drop you off?”
“I live just down there. But it’s early. Can’t we hang out longer?”
“I’m going back to the hotel. I have a flight in the morning.”
“Let’s go hang out in your room. I’ll get a ride back home later. ”
“Sure, I guess. Why not?”
The slutty woman in the hotel room was not the woman I had known ten years ago. I want to say that she had changed but so much had changed in my life that I don’t think I can fairly judge. When I knew Maggie, she was bursting with ambitions, strength, direction, opinions and principles. I was a college dropout with a tenuous musical career, stacking cans and staying out late with the guys in the band. She thought I was cute and we shared some kinks and things were going well. Then she took a job and I went on the road and that was the end of that.
So much of what had been powerful about Maggie seemed to have bled away in the decade we spent apart. She had a job she didn’t want and a life that was going nowhere. What was left of Maggie, however, was everything I had found beautiful in her. I never really bought her savage ferocity, ready to change the world. It was a mask she wore because it made her strong enough to face the uncertainty of the life awaiting her.
I loved a sweet, kind, gentle, compassionate, thoughtful and supportive Maggie, a girl I had glimpsed when she wasn’t posturing strong. Ten years hade stripped away the mask and left the loving woman I had lost.
Which would have been great, except for the fan thing. I’m not really the legend she seems to see when she looks at me. I’m just a guy. I suppose if we spent time together, she’d start to relax her adoration. But just like ten years ago, we don’t have time for any of that.
So I took her to my bed, to my hotel bed anyway, and stripped away her clothes. I kissed every inch of her skin. I tickled and teased and stroked and petted and probed and pushed and circled and gave and took and looked and watched and wanted and needed and received. Maggie melted in my arms, so in love with the fact that she was fucking fame, spreading her juicy pussy wide and taking my famous prick into her swollen desire. Maggie sucked my cock, licking and slurping with a insistence on impressing me with her cum provoking skills. I knelt behind her big ass and thrust my urgency in. Maggie squealed until she whimpered and we passed out until the morning insisted on reality again.
I caught my plane in the morning. I wrote a song along the way.