Shortly, it seems, is a much shorter time frame than Percy had initially thought.
Picture the scene if you will: A bright, sunny, summer afternoon in mid July. The birds are singing passionately, gleefully, telling tales of exciting adventures. Coast to coast, land to sea and sea to land, gliding majestically through the warm summer skies. Our protagonist, Percy Partridge-a performer, an entertainer, an artist-is about to begin the second act of his show in a small, pleasingly cool beer garden. The ever-dwindling audience has been reduced to a group of four friends in the far corner. Percy throws his acoustic guitar over his shoulder, tunes up, turns up and strums a C major chord in preparation for the opening song of the set.
Cover song, cover song, original song, cover. Percy plays each with all that he can muster. He sings and strums and strums and sings, one song, two song, three song, four. After the sixth, or possibly song seven, the four remaining audience members sympathetically inform Percy that they will be leaving shortly, obviously aware that once they have left there is little point in continuing with the performance. Percy declares one last song, as the friends gather their belongings and leave-'Shortly', it seems, is a much shorter time frame than Percy had initially thought.
Percy wondered in his mind and in his heart, whether Tommy and Gina ever actually reached their destination.
Nevertheless and regardless, or in spite of, Percy continues as stated, with his final song. Placing his lips to the microphone, his fingers upon his flat top and breathing a breath or a sigh, Percy begins the loneliest rendition of 'Livin' on a prayer' never to be heard.
"Tommy used to work on the docks,” he cries, serenading nothing but the blue sky and the cool breeze. Percy wondered in his mind and in his heart, whether Tommy and Gina ever actually reached their destination.
As he sung the final note and strummed the final chord, letting it ring out into the wind, Percy chuckled, half amused, half saddened and beaten by the dream he had so long clung to. Putting his six string away, he heard his 10 year old self say softly, the words he knew to be true but couldn't bear to believe. "We tried buddy...it's time to let it go, we gave it our best shot."
Hopes, dreams and belief in magic are for the children after all, right?
Did Percy leave that day defeated? Did he pack up and walk off into the sunset never to be play again? Had Percy finally crumbled under the pressure of his own dreams and ambitions?
Reality sometimes becomes just a little too clear don't it? The blissful naivety and ignorance you enjoy will, eventually, diminish and disappear, introducing you to "real world" and "real life". Hopes, dreams and belief in magic are for the children after all, right?
Was this the case for Percy? Was he now disillusioned, deflated and disheartened enough to accept the saddening, yet inevitable outcome? The truth is, I don't know. One thing is for sure though. If Percy did indeed give up and walk away from all that he believed in and hoped for and dreamed of...well, if that is indeed the case, then that my friends, is quite possibly, the saddest song ever sung.
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