TWO SOULS: INTO THE FIRE
Steve sat on the bench seat, looking up at Ghost, who'd perched up on top of the table.
"Uh, no...I don't think so - not bad...just...I'm scared to tell you, but you'll probably like it, but I might not, and I might not can really do it for real, but don't get mad, if I can't, ok?" Ghost said.
"What am I not supposed to get mad about, Ghost? That you're never gonna get to the point?"
"No, not that. I'll get to the point, when I figure out how. I practiced it, but now I can't remember what I was gonna do...I mean, say." Ghost tried to concentrate, his mouth forming silent words.
"Ghost, you're driving me crazy. Just spit it out, now. Hopefully, I'll know what the hell you're talking about, 'cause I sure don't, right now."
Ghost looked into Steve's eyes. "I think I might be ready to try it now...uh...you know...shit...it's scaring me just to think about it, but..."
Steve closed his eyes. 'Wait for it...wait for it..." he told himself.
Ghost continued, "Maybe we could do it like you said, you know, like get on a plane and fly to the west." He shuddered, as he'd said the words.
Steve's eyes flew open. He was totally surprised. He saw that Ghost had his eyes squinched shut, and his hair was pulled down in front, like he was preparing himself for whatever words were going to come his way - words that he knew had to be the right ones, and he only had a second to think of them.
And in that same instant, he felt overwhelming love for this so, so special person that sat before him. Not because of his decision to try flying in a plane, but because he was so strong. To be able to try to overcome his fear - to have been through so much in his life - to survive against all odds - to still keep being brave - to be so open hearted, and still be willing to try again and again, and face whatever came along...well, it took his breath away.
He knew he himself could never do that...knew he would, at some crucial point, give up. But, it wasn't in Ghost to ever, ever give up. He took Ghost's face in his hands and kissed him. He wrapped his arms around Ghost's shoulders, in a big hug, and could feel him trembling.
"Ghost, oh Ghost..." that's all Steve could get out. But, he hoped, no...he knew, Ghost would have heard his thoughts, and understand what he was feeling.
Ghost smiled, and looked a little bit embarrassed, but relieved he'd finally made a big decision. "So, is it ok, Steve? Do you still want to try it that way?" he asked.
"I do. I think we should at least give it a try. I've never been on a plane, either, ya know. I'm nervous about it, too. So, guess we can both give each other courage," Steve said, warming to the whole idea, now.
They had some new plans to talk over. They stayed at the rest stop awhile longer, hashing out where to go get a plane...where they'd go first.
"Oh, no!" Ghost said. "We totally forgot, we were supposed to sing at that place tonight."
"Aw, man...I forgot about it, too." Steve frowned. "Do we still want to? I mean, there's still time. Nothing even starts until like nine o'clock."
"Well, we said we would, and they put us on the list," said Ghost. "I'm kinda still wanting to, but we don't have to stay very long...just until we feel we did enough."
"Ok then, let's go back to town and show 'em what we can do," said Steve, as he started for the car.
They talked over what they would play. Being that this was a small, country town, they didn't want to get too wild. Just some quieter tunes, of course ending with "World."
They reached the coffee shop, and found out they'd be third on the list of performers. Everything was very informal. They joined the audience for the first act, a trio of bluegrass players. The second act was a girl, singing covers of Jewel. The audience was a mix of old and young, numbering around a hundred.
For a small town, this seemed to be the place to go to hang out with your friends. The only other place in town, was a corner bar; no entertainers there, just a jukebox. Here, there was an area just in front of the stage for dancing. The stage wasn't much higher than the dance floor. It was pretty close quarters.
They went backstage during the girl's numbers. Steve tuned his guitar, and Ghost just tried to remember the order of the songs they were going to do. They had about thirty minutes to fill.
Then, they were announced and they took the stage. There was no special lighting, but there was a small overstuffed couch, and a wooden stool on the stage, for whoever wanted to use them. So Steve sat on the couch, and Ghost took the stool, and the handheld mic. They began with an old standard, James Taylor's *"You've Got a Friend", then, the Eagles, *"Peaceful, Easy Feeling". Next, they sang one of their original songs, "Southern Moon", and went right into The Steve Miller Band song, *"Serenade", and ended with "World".
They sang to the audience, and to each other. Ghost took the mic, walking across the stage, from one side to the other...stopping in the middle from time to time, and joining Steve on the couch, for their original one. For "World", they both stood at the front of the stage, and Ghost encouraged the audience to sing along on the repeating chorus, which they did.
Most of those gathered there were regulars, including the other performers, just as in most small towns - everyone knew everyone. So, Ghost and Steve were the newcomers...or as some would say...outsiders. Steve did notice one particular guy, in front of the stage...too close, in Steve's opinion.
He kept staring at Ghost (Steve thought, hungrily), and even reached to touch Ghost a time or two. He was a nice enough looking guy, actually kind of looked like Ghost, in a weird sort of way. Steve noticed that Ghost had noticed this guy, too.
Steve had no reason to be jealous, but he was, which was weird. Lots of people stared at Ghost, but not everyone who did, gave off the sexy attitude that this guy did. Steve noticed, too, that Ghost seemed to be somehow communicating with him - because, he'd look at him and smile, then shake his head no, and say no. He'd even miss a word or two of the song they were on. At any rate, Steve certainly didn't like it. But, they kept playing to the end.
They seemed to be well received; everyone enjoyed their set. There were a few more acts coming up, but Steve was ready to leave, as soon as they left the stage.
"Let's go, Ghost," Steve said, as he put his guitar in it's case.
The manager had paid them a percentage of the door, and they were free to go.
""C'mon, Ghost," Steve said again, as he pulled Ghost's arm, to head him to the back door.
"Ok, ok, I'm coming," Ghost said, but was not moving fast enough for Steve, who was now shoving Ghost from behind.
"What's the matter with you, Steve? Why ya in such a hurry?"
"Just get out to the car," Steve said, through gritted teeth. He really wanted to grab hold of Ghost's hair that was hanging down his back, and yank Ghost along. He told himself to calm down...nothing had happened, nothing was gonna happen, and just drop it...but he was geting angrier by the minute, and it was all on him, because Ghost didn't even know what was going on. At least he didn't think so.
*"You've Got a Friend", sung by James Taylor, on the album "Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon", released in 1971, on the label - Warner Bros. Written by Carole King, Producer, Peter Asher.
*"Peaceful Easy Feeling", sung by the Eagles, on the album "Eagles", released December 1, 1972, on the label - Asylum, written by Jack Tempchin.
*"Serenade", sung by the Steve Miller Band, on the album "Fly Like an Eagle", released in 1976, on the label - "Universal", composed by Chris McCarty and Steve Miller.
*"Hole in the World", sung by the Eagles, on the album "The Very Best Of", released July 15, 2003, on the label - "The Eagles Recording Company. Written by Don Henley and Glenn Frey.
Next installment coming soon!
Peace, Love, & Writing!