We were nearing the end of set two and we had one more to go. I love my job. Singing for a living is a great job, but there are days, and nights, and weeks when it just seems like work. This was one of those nights. I mean, how many times can you sing Crazy by Patsy Cline before you get tired of it? And I love that song, really love that song, but I don't want to sing it 3 times a night, 7 nights a week for the rest of my life. But, that's my job and I do it. I don't like it, but I do it.
As I finished the set I noticed him. This guy sitting at a table near the back. Thirty-ish, dark brown hair, medium height. He was certainly attractive and he caught my eye. He seemed interested in me. I wasn't sure if he was interested in dating me or just a fan. He was certainly good looking and I flashed him a smile. He had his eyes fixed on me for the whole set. He wasn't creepy or anything, but he certainly was freaking me out a bit. He would look at me, and when I looked back he would not look away. We certainly made eye contact, but he had no expression. He just looked at me. I smiled, but he had no response. He just kept looking at me.
As I watched him periodically I noticed he was writing something in a notebook. You certainly don't see that in a bar very often. What was he writing? Why was he looking so intently at me?
Rich sang the last song of the set and then we were to take our customary 45 minute break. I like to make the rounds of the room, get to know the people who come to see me. I started on the left side and met up with a few friends who have come to see me more than once. I still was keeping my eye on that man at the table in the back. At this point he was writing intently in that notebook and wasn't paying any attention to me at all. I was now closer to him than before. As I sat to talk to Sarah, my friend from my day job as a waitress, my back was now to the man at the table.
I got back up and as I turned, he was gone. Just like that. He had slipped away. So much for that. I guess it just wasn't meant to be. I guess I will never know what was going on there. For sure though, something was going on.
I saw Sharon Gruber on tv. On a Blues show on cable. She captivated me. I had to see her. Could not stop thinking about her. I went a few times to the Stormy Monday blues show at Alberts Hall. There she was, playing piano. In the flesh. She was real. She wasn't just an image on a screen anymore. I just looked at her, but she never noticed me. I was okay with that. I wouldn't know what to say anyway. I was nobody, just a guy. She was stunningly beautiful. I was happy just to see her in the flesh.
She passed by me on her way to the bar. She barely glanced at me and nodded towards me. At the end of the night, she would not remember me. But I certainly remember her. She had an aura. Just like on tv, I could see that.
Aside from her allure, from her stunning appearance she was a terrific piano player. I think that was part of it. How could someone so beautiful be that talented? That drew me to her.
I found myself thinking about her everyday at work, then watching the videos I made of the Cable TV show every night. I was captivated. Swept away by her look. By her vibe. It wasn't sexual. I never thought of her that way. She wasn't a physical object I wanted to have. She had an allure that drew my eyes to her as I saw her.
I began to show up at her gigs. She noticed me then. We became friends. She never knew I thought of her. Adored her. Wanted her. I hid it well. At least I think I did. Maybe she knew.
After a while, I started to get over it. I got to know her. She seemed real. She had flaws. Of course she had flaws. We all have flaws. The image we see is not the person we come to know.
Out of all of that I got to love blues music even more. I decided to go to the Blues Society songwriter show, and there I saw Kerry Kagen. What a talent. I had never seen talent like that. I had to go see her play.
When I got home I looked her up. She had a gig at Conti's Italian Bar. I was going to go see her play.
But this time, I wasn't going to get involved. There would be no repeat of the Sharon Gruber thing. I just came and enjoyed the music. I didn't want to get involved on any personal level with her.
I had a history of that. For years. Certain women captivated me and took over my mind. I wasn't going to let that happen this time.
I just showed up and listened to the music. Wrote my songs when I felt like it, and just slipped out when the time was right for my escape.
I can't get involved. They are always fascinated by me and I can't let them see the real me. Not good for them, and certainly not good for me. I just want to be left alone to live within my fantasy world.