The Superstars

The oxidation of the vape in my I lungs I could sense quite deeply. Could it have been the ginger and sassafras tea I’d had to get through my last couple of hours at work? That was before tonight’s dinner and special dessert—an apple martini. I needed a feel good tonic to follow up a most satisfying meal of a burger and fries. How could I possess the characteristics of the wise, the worldly and the juvenile within the same soul? In the court of diverse company, all three were charges I remember being asserted sincerely by those I pretended to know.

This tasty pain reliever, however, had done nothing for the sprained ankle I had sustained playing touch football after work with my fellow staff. On a controversial call by the line judge, the boss’s son, it was determined that my leaping catch for a touchdown was not what it was. So I stubbornly ran the same precise route hoping to reclaim the glory that had been stolen and kept a clearly superior team from being the victors in this messy battle that was supposedly a morale building exercise. 

I ran the same pattern I had watched my favorite wide receiver perform on fall Sundays. I ran toward the right sideline cutting back suddenly to spring towards the goal line freeing myself of my defender with a cut back to the right when my left foot buckled underneath me. Youthful vigor I had projected until my collapse that reduced me to the middle aged man that I denied being during my time on the field. I was cold and delirious four feet from the resting place of the ball that had apparently been thrown my way. I could only lay there and close my eyes.

As I came back to my senses, the memory thinned replaced by the impression that the mood at the bar had settled. I turned around to see a Beyoncé lookalike twirl her shining golden hair that appeared to be of a natural texture and  beyond-shoulder length.  Her locks, of course, were originally a much darker color he was sure like the singer she emulated. 

As she leaned to speak to the piano man who seemed to be attentive without relenting on his fingering of the keys. She didn’t have a tip for the request bucket, but the fidgety man on the bench didn’t seem to care. Yet in contrast to his seamless weaving of tunes throughout the evening, he abruptly switched to a tune that was reminiscent of a carnival. Quite remarkably, I could picture the booths of games that promised big prizes at a dollar for 3 tries. The exact tune began to register as quite familiar in my mind. I turned again to see her innocent smile as she leaned against the edge of this large, black wooden instrument. It occurred to me in that moment that she worked here at this place of unrest. She had a bag with her that must’ve been a change of clothing from her previous shift. She didn’t look as if she had done much work at all. She appeared ready for a long night of something. Just what might that be?

I began to imagine just who this person was in actual life? What was her name? What plans might she must have for the night? Did she have kids? Was she… attached? Certainly, she would not continue hanging around this hardly upscale, over-priced bar—her place of work no less. Certainly this town had many more offerings for a such a lady on a Friday night. My night may have been nearly over. For her and the other superstars, the night was just beginning.