The dark, dingy condensating humidity of the brick-walled basement in summer time. A singular light bulb hangs limply from the ceiling, it’s string swinging side to side. Plugging in the amp and cord, I flip the on switch and out comes the rumbling of my bass guitar. The Fender P-Bass weights heavy on my shoulder.  The strings are thick to the touch. My small hands must grip the neck with knowledge and intent as I arhythmically navigate the fretboard, warming up. A bead of cool sweat runs down my neck and down my back. I crack open my beer and take a long sip. Refreshing, bitter notes. The crowd has started to arrive and the room gets loud and hot. No ventilation except for a lone fan in the corner. The beading of my brow intensifies. They are watching me, but trying not the watch me. There is a hum coming from my amp and the guitar amp. Drums sound behind my left side. We’re all testing, warming up, tuning. The room starts to smell of stale sweat and mold. Here we will play our first show. Excitement thumps in my chest. I cannot let it flow through me because it will surely take me over. I calm myself. Put a brick in my mind and focus. The minute hand reaches 12. I look over to my bandmates and we silently nod. The microphone stinks. I back away as far as can be allowed, but ultimately have to deal with the stench of sharing the venue’s backline. I introduce us. Sticks count us off. The first chord is strummed. I open my mouth to sing. And then I wake up. I have rolled myself up into damp, sweaty sheets; the poor bedding from inside my cell. Would’ve taken any drug to make that dream real. I’ve lost a sock in the shuffle, I realize, as I hear the snoring from other inmates and watch the guards –

Author: Roe

she/her. Songwriter & Trek Punk Soul™.

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