Twice Born A Vagabond
A Novel [Copr. 2008]
By D. DeWitt Thomas
Chapter Twenty-two


I can't remember how old I was when I started to play the drums. I got my first set with money that I made on my paper route. I just mumble "thank you" to the fans as I walk off the stage. It's just emotion I feel, just a notion. I think I was about nine years old. We never play the songs the same way everytime. The same songs are played a different way in the next club in the next town but it is the same band everytime, sometimes. It's the club that is the same everytime. My "you" packs my kit while I get high. One more gig and no worse for the wear, methinks, just further down the lifeline toward the next spaceplane. I mumble "thank you" again to the fans gathered backstage but really I just want to hurry up and get the f*ck out of there, go home, and go to bed. I walk outside to the cool twilight and look down from the fire escape stairs to the grassy area below. There sits Johnny playing the blues.
Another night picking the blues ends. The bikers say, "Good show, man." "Thank you." I mumble wanting to hurry up and get my sh*t torn down and loaded into the van. A few fans still hang out even thought it's 3:00 AM. I am hungry but too stoned to eat. The mist hovers over the black stillness of the ship channel whispering a secret message to me that only I clearly understand. "Death... death."

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