Noble X - Episode 2: New Month's Eve
Slow rise chimes open John’s eyes at 6:00am. His body aches as if he was jumped the night before. There was no respite in sleep as his vivid dreams seemed to be saturated in his waking pain. Bizarre imagery and distorted vignettes, played out by his subconscious, made the rest feel less than soothing. But alas he had logged a few winks and it was time to report to work.
The feeling of dread has been a daily occurrence. He showered and prepped for another day at school, dwelling in how frustrated he had recently become with the new job, spread so thin over too much bread, needing to be everywhere at once. John fantasized about cloning himself to do a better job for his kids. It broke his heart a little bit every time when he couldn’t be there when each of them needed him. Juggling all their individual schedules had really taken a toll on him mentally.
John reminds himself it’s Friday and that he just needs to get through today and then he could decompress all this stress the best way he knows how, playing his songs. He has a special gig tonight, a New Month’s Eve party, saying goodbye to this sad February and hello to what he hopes will be at the very least a better March, with spring looming on the horizon.
And he manages to get through his day, sharing some laughs with his students. He only needs to excuse himself a couple times when he feels sadness overflowing at the tip of his tear ducts. And when he returns home, in an effort to further cheer himself up, he grabs ingredients at the store to make a simple cake for tonight’s New Month’s Eve concert. John heads over to his brother’s house to run through some tunes and get warmed up while the cake bakes.
Just to be in the presence of his brother helps soothe his soul. An eerie calm comes over him as he methodically mixes the cake ingredients, spreading the batter evenly in the pan. Setting the timer on the stove he muses how he is also setting the timer for their pre-show rehearsal. John and his brother pick up their instruments and we can play. The songs they play they have rehearsed hundreds of times but somehow tonight’s versions strike a chord with John that he’s never experienced before. Soul crushing laments from past relationships become relevant to his current emotional turmoil and his tear ducts yet again swell to the point of bursting as he tries desperately to focus on singing and playing the guitar. He silently hopes that he’ll be able to hold it together during the performance as the timer sounds to remove the cake from the oven.
With the cake frosted simply and emblazoned with the message “Happy Birthday Everyone” and their acoustic guitars in hand, John and his brother arrive at the venue early to set up. Within the next hour the room quickly filled up. John is incredibly moved by the show of support and shares the cake with everyone, encouraging seconds as he explains “we all have a birthday this year” slowly chipping away at the message with each helping of cake he gives away.
John plays these songs he’s played 100 times before with a fierce passion many have never experienced before. His mind hangs on for dear life when he sings lines like “my favorite girl in the whole wide world no she don’t talk to me no more” and “love can be so very very heavy.” And somehow he manages to make it through. The night’s performance had been a resounding success and he soaks in the melancholy.
As the night turns over into the wee hours of the morning an old friend arrives, apologetic for having missed tonight‘s festivities. She pleads with John to do her a big favor and in his current state of mind he says “sure whatever you need” as he can see she is desperate. He has been asked to join in a bar crawl for charity the following morning lasting into the afternoon. The cause he will be supporting is hunger in his very city and all he needs to do is dress up in some type of costume indicating some sort of pun to complete their team. An unfortunate unexpected death in the family has resulted in one of their team members having to drop off. John desperately wants to turn a negative into a positive and almost instantly decides what pun he will dress up as. It is 2 AM and no stores are open. He needs to be at the starting line at 10 AM and undoubtedly needs to sleep. Thankfully he has everything he needs. John will go simply as “The Blues.”
Stay tuned for Episode 3.
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