So here’s a fucked-up thing that happened….

Yesterday I saw an ad on Craigslist that piqued my curiosity. A guy was looking for a guitarist to learn a set and perform it live tonight at the Bowery Electric. I told him I could do it.
I took a half-day off from work to meet the rest of the band and rehearse the set at Rivington Studio on the Lower East Side. You’ll have to take my word for it that I am not a vain man, but I was pretty fucking hot. On guitar.

After the rehearsal I went home to feed the cats and my own hungry belly that had tasted nothing but a buttered roll all day, and to take a nice cold shower since I was sweating from all the hard work I’d done, creating art. Then I took a couple of trains down to the Bowery.
At 10:30 we took to the stage. The drummer assembled his ridiculously elaborate collection of cymbals – seventeen of them. The bass player and I plugged in, tuned up, and were ready to go. But the guy who brought us together – the singer, and writer of the songs we were to perform – was nowhere. 
A call was made to the missing man. We assured the soundwoman that he was on the train and would be there momentarily. The next call we got was from the hospital where he was being treated after he fell and smashed his head.
Part of me wanted to stay at the bar and get drunk but the better part of me said to go home. I actually stood on the sidewalk, leaning on my guitar case, pondering. On the way home, everywhere I looked – I mean literally everywhere –  were people hanging on each other, kissing and giggling, including a couple practically rubbing against me on the subway. And my one and only love is on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.
The guy was supposed to pay me $150. 
That’s more than anyone has ever paid for my art.
Is it mere coincidence that it looks like a casket?

Published by mikepowernyc

Named one of New York's Best Emerging Poets 2019, my poetry chapbook The New Normal was published by Analog Submission Press. My novel The Zoo was published by Cacoethes Publishing House. Other poems and short stories have appeared in various publications, including Subterranean Blue Poetry, The Journal of Microfiction, and Sick Lit Magazine. Other works include a staged reading of my play Digging Up John Barrymore, performed by Dreamcatcher Entertainment, and five albums of original music recorded with my band Late Model Humans.

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