A couple by the riverside, looking out towards the skyline.
I stare up at the tall curtains and watch as they tingle in anticipation. The show is almost over; it wasn’t a perfect act. I stumbled in the beginning and forgot a few steps, but have won the crowd back. I look out towards the auditorium and notice people who came to see the show at the start have long but gone, replaced by new smiling faces; those of which I barely know. The crowd is scattered all around and I feel guilty trying to keep eye contact with all of them. No gesture is evenly distributed and my voice becomes a mere echo to the opposite side of the audience. I’ve focused so much on my act, I’ve neglected those who’ve come out to support me. I’ve even lost a few of those who have been with me since the beginning. I’m so absorbed in crafting each scene to perfection that I’ve grown numb to the loss of friends. For all the applause gained, I notice the silent withdrawal of familiar cheers. My friends are not the same friends I began the show with. I’m torn by my past, but driven by my future. As the heavy fabric drags along the stage front, I take a last glimpse at those who remain. I silently apologise to the empty seats and question my struggle to impress these famous strangers. As I prepare to take my bow, I realise things will not be the same in the next show. More mistakes are inevitable and I know things can not always stay the way they are. I swallow the cold stone and realise things will never return to what they use to be.
I worry of the faces that will be watching me in the next act, but fear more the idea of staring out into the sea of faces and not recognising anyone.
400CW / A-1