The Old Days Of MTV

I had woken up with an unsettling feeling in my gut, a tight knot of nerves that refused to loosen. Yesterday, I had agreed to perform at a school fundraiser, and I found myself rehearsing the three songs I’d play in the much more extensive set list that would follow later that day. The songs were from an era that I had never delved into musically; their simplicity made it difficult to differentiate certain parts, and learning them had become a headache. Despite the ease of playing the guitar parts, the melodies and lyrics swirled in my head like an unfamiliar, chaotic dance. I sat on the edge of my seat, guitar in hand, and strummed through the chords one last time, trying to force the music to stick in my memory. As I finished my personal rehearsal, my wife Brenna and my daughter Alenna gathered, and we set out for the event together. Arriving at the venue, I was struck by the sheer number of people in attendance. It felt as though a sea of faces stretched out before me, and my anxiety shot through the roof. The event’s layout didn’t provide any space for a quiet cigarette break, so I found myself searching for distractions to keep me away from the massive crowd. My wife and daughter happily explored the various exhibits, while I stood in long lines for candy or off to the side, tuning my guitar. When the music portion finally began, the house band opened with three songs before it was my turn to join in. Plugging in my guitar, I could feel the crowd’s eyes on me, heavy with expectation. Instead of basking in the moment and embracing the opportunity to perform live, I found myself staring at the ground. There, next to my foot, lay a white piece of paper with the chords for each song scribbled hastily. This was just a children’s party, but I had become obsessed with delivering a flawless performance. Without a guitar pick, I shredded my fingers across the strings, trying my best to connect with the crowd. But without a microphone in front of me, I felt incomplete, disconnected from the audience. After the performance, I gathered my family, and we made our way to the exit. I relished the thrill of being on stage again, but the absence of my voice left me feeling unfulfilled. As we walked home, I pondered the power of my voice and how I could share it with the world. I lost myself in thoughts of performing to a sea of faces, each one intently listening, as I stood tall behind the microphone, doing what I do best.

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