What had drawn The Rock Star to this small stage, he wondered. He had not played a club this size since the early days, before he sold out arenas, where people chanted his name like a mantra.
How little creativity meant to him! How he longed for a world of certainty, of consistency!
The moment The Rock Star saw the man seated at a table that bordered the stage, he felt a yearning that hurt. How he longed to be that other man, wearing a nondescript, three piece grey suit, his accounting work neatly packed in the briefcase next to him.
Their eyes locked, and then, guided by the same magic that drew The Rock Star to this sparsely attended open mike night, the man in the front row stood up, took off his jacket, and held it out in front of him.
The Rock Star looked at the man holding out his suit jacket, and felt as if he were on the Titanic and the man, by offering the jacket, was giving up his place on one of the lifeboats.
The man in the front row got up on stage, and slowly they undressed. Then, as this man sacrificed the glorious predictability for which the Rock Star hungered, years of undergraduate and graduate knowledge of figures and ledgers flooded into The Rock Star’s head, replacing the musical knowledge that gloriously, mercifully drained out.
The Rock Star embraced the man in the front row—who, now fully dressed in the Rock Star’s clothes, had slung the Rock Star’s guitar and began to play and intricate lead—and wept.
“Thank you,” The Rock Star said, stepping off the stage to enter a blissful world of three weeks paid vacation, full medical and dental, and a company car. “Oh God, thank you.”