By Gary Sohmers, 2017 copyright, All Rights Reserved
Chapter Three – Forever Girl
It’s a concert, like hundreds of previous ones, so there is a pattern, a system, rehearsed, understood and executed for the comfort and entertainment of all involved. No reason to let minor things upset the movement. After all these years on the road, no matter how big the venue, the problems are all small when you believe they are.
So the addition of an enthusiastic fan or crew member joining the show was surprising, but not overcoming. I think to myself, let’s just see how far this will go and decide if we need to be more secure with this unknown that feels familiar. I’ve been to many limits with many people throughout the many bars we’ve played to have instincts about threats to our survival, having run from guns and unhappy people in the past.
Vibe begins the second song of the set strumming his guitar beautifully. This song is crafted differently musically than the previous one, to allow him in this beginning to build, improvise and move the crowd with musical emotion, and go into the verses when he is ready. Terra stands at her easel, slowly twirling to the music, surrounded by beasties only she and I can see, as I slide smoothly into her visual proximity.
I wrote this song over the course of numerous experiences with females, each having an impact on my viewpoint and the being I have become. Each one I had encountered had a common element, a common communication, an imagined unification, often based on my irrational emotional needs at that time in my life. I was not needy, but I did enjoy the company, the status, the power of being in love. It added to my poetry whether it was positive or negative experiences, or no matter how long they lasted.
But over the course of these years, I feel as though I have somehow interacted with what appear to be the exact same set of eyes several times. Eyes that look at me for guidance and comfort, as mother and daughter, as friend and in need of a friend. I refer to her in my mind as my forever girl, because I believe that those eyes may be a path to the knowledge I hope to attain in this lifetime. Terra was the last person to look at me with those eyes, and I learned some important lessons and understanding during our time exploring each other’s minds.
Now here she was, I knew who she was, trusted her, and for the first time in front of an audience singing with, and to her, this song I was only able to complete after meeting her. She learned her parts extremely well so she was the right person for the gig, and we acted completely professional at our rehearsals allowing our new normal to be comfortable for us and those around us.
I am confident that this show will go just as smoothly and will be projecting this confidence to Terra, the band and the audience. I truly believe that Terra is my forever girl, and I wish that she would always be a part of our family in any context she would wish. She belonged with us, and not possessively no matter how much I loved her, it was about the lessons learned and the path forward.
All of these thoughts happen to me as Vibe strums my chord progression every time we play the song, but here we are in front of this crowd, and we need to get back to entertaining. I strap on my guitar, just like it had been rehearsed, and join Vibe at the front of the stage.
Everything is back to our kind of normal I think, when my peripheral vision spies our new friend, also with guitar strapped on, sliding his way up next to Vibe and I at the front of the stage. He is smiling broadly out at the audience and not looking at us. His strum is in perfect rhythm with us. We are surrounded by his happy beasties, the imaginary friends I assume only Terra and I can see, which for some unknown reason I am not going to question at this moment.
Telepathically or instinctually, the entire band knows from my mind to theirs that there is nothing to panic about. If I am okay with it, then they are. I am okay right now, feeling no anxiety about what could possibly happen, and back to going with the flow. What could go wrong? The band is ready to support me no matter what. I feel secure in delivering the message of the song and that is what matters.
The trials and tribulations of attempting to carve a career out of my quest to discover the human spirit, discover where love hides, write about my learning to assist others on their paths and possibly fulfill some unknown purpose, whatever it is, on a mission that is culminating at this time in this place. Capturing feelings and knowledge in poetry and song, sharing it and have it be appreciated, effecting change to help save humanity. A lifetime of learning, and Terra has been my most influential inspiration in the past two years emboldening me to try harder and grow more.
Terra moves to the front of the stage to join us. To me she appears to move like a flower being tossed by the wind atop a grounded sturdy branch, gracefully erratic, smoothly awkward, erotically natural. Although she was hired by the producer to contribute to the musical entertainment for the audience, she has messages she wishes to impart also as a visual artist. Believing that people can gain the respect needed to save the planet from the climate change destruction, she inspired me to support her convictions and I am so happy she is here now.
We both feel comfortable in our new reality as co-creators of experience, and with a wink and a nod, a knowing smirk appears on her lips, and our connection is more secure.
Terra looks at our new friend next to me, and referring to his pale-colored attire and hair color, she sings out, “You are grey,” as if she knows the stranger by name, to which he sings beautifully in response, “If you say so, I am.” With a smile she sings in response, “Of course you are.” The willingness of the stranger, who I will now refer to as Gra, to accept Terra’s pronouncement again signaled cooperation and not disruption.
The song’s first verse was rehearsed with me singing to Terra, but before I can begin Gra initiates vocalizing the first line directly to Terra, eye to eye in my place, “I’ve known you through a flood of lifetimes, when I catch a glimpse of the twinkle in your eyes.”
I have accepted this stranger’s infringement, but now he is singing my words of appreciation to the person of my intention. This appears to be turning into a challenge for Terra’s attention or affection. Gra smiles broadly and inclusively at me without any evidence of bad beasties.
Confidently I sing to Terra, “You smile with knowledge of my notice, and lure me into the comfort of your mind.” Terra moves to the front of the concert stage, and Gra again sings my written appeal directly to her, “I may not have been ready any time before,” and I counter with my lyrics, “But I’m the man I’m supposed to be now.”
The chorus of the song is my musical acceptance of the timelessness of existence written over time to express my belief that those eyes on the surface of Terra’s face belong to a special someone who has been part of my life since my birth. “You are my Forever Girl, you’re always in my dreams, since time was young you’ve been just one step outta reach.”
The instrumental portion flows as Terra and I dance gracefully for the audience’s amusement, as Vibe emotionally manipulates the crowd with soaring segments as rehearsed. Gra stands smiling, swaying like a tree in the breeze to the musical flow.
The second verse comes around, Terra and I part from our dance, our eyes catch, and I begin to sing, only to be interrupted as in the first verse by Gra singing my words, “Time makes no limits on imagination, we are as old as we want to be.” In response I sing, “When you meet someone special over and over,” only to be punctuated by Gra singing the last line again, “But each time unable to be complete.” I lean towards Terra hinting that, “I believe she’s out there somewhere,” and in response reflecting a similar physical presence towards Terra, Gra sings, “And hope when I find her I’m what she needs.”
Going into the chorus again, Gra and I stand face to face, eye to eye and sing heart to heart in an amazing yet unrehearsed harmonic unison, “She is my Forever Girl, always on my mind.” We both turn to Terra and sing the following line, “Lost and found Forever Girl, one step outta time.”
Then again the music soars with Vibe’s ethereal guitar prowess, and Gra moves back to the edge of the stage, dancing with the beastie friends I thought only Terra and I shared in our imagination, as if off into his own world. Vibe has created a musical atmosphere that has brought out the happy beasties in others so that Terra and I could now see them clearly. Now I can easily see Vibe and the band surrounded by their beasties, and Terra appears to be lifted by hers, able to float gracefully as we dance.
The largest audience we’ve ever played in front of, seemily continuing to grow, appears to be unified in the flow of the band’s music. I contemplate while rapt in the musical flow that every person here on these premises are very unique individuals who may or may not see the beasties we see. I prefer to accept that, if the audience could see these beings that we see, they would attribute them to concert special effects. And since it was going well, I let it go with the flow.
I started to see these auras were around everyone in the audience, and as unique as their owners. There appeared to be good and bad, happy and sad, strong and weak, confident and fearful, angry and loving, with each person displaying multiple conflictions yet all seeming to be enjoying the concert. Trying to figure out why this was happening, my only reasoning was the thing not rehearsed … The appearance of Gra.
As we move into the final rehearsed verse, Terra sings my lyrics written as a heartfelt question to the universe of answers, “Why do I feel like gravity, when I only want to be the breeze.” She sings passionately of our desire for answers, acceptance of nature as the dominant factor in all that happens, including between us. “I feel the magnetic pull of something, stronger than the passage of time, two beings entwined in the destiny of nature, creating art from division so sublime,” she acknowledges vocally, reflecting my words about and to her, back to me.
Then Terra releases the answer we have been anticipating as she sings, “Yes I am Forever Girl, always in your dreams, lost and found Forever Girl, one step outta reach.” Gra moves to the front next to me, and with a sense of mutual respect, we sing together, “You are my Forever Girl, always on my mind, you are Forever Girl, one step outta time.” We repeat “outta time” mystically as written as the music floats. It appears the whole environment has slowed down to a sense of communal breathing. The trees appear to be swaying in unison.
Clouds move over the audience, allowing sunbeams to stream through. In the distance, the imposing dark clouds are hovering over the city of New York, past the edges of the aggregated musical audience. Terra and I hold hands as rehearsed, standing defiantly like a wall against an impending storm. We are joined by Gra taking Terra’s other hand, reflecting our confidence, as the band builds towards the end of the song.
The music peaks as we sing my words of optimism and hope, “The rays of the sun are making shadows somewhere, it may be cloudy here but it’s raining over there. The rays of the sun are making shadows somewhere, it may be cloudy here but it’s sunny over there.” I felt honored that the audience knew the song and sang along, the volume may have reached the concrete walls on the far edges of the park.
We conclude to a roar of appreciation, and take a bow as rehearsed, but it appears everything isn’t as scripted. This stranger appears to be interested in Terra and continues to hold her hand for what appears to be an exaggerated length of time. I am secure in the lessons I learned a couple years ago when I felt I could possess Terra’s love. Now, I have internal security knowing that everything will be whatever it’s supposed to be since we have a strong communication, trust and honesty between us. I was not competing even if Gra thought he would be.
Terra, from my perspective, is a beautiful, creative, sensitive and sexy potential mate, low maintenance and needing little fulfillment other than some companionship. She projects a comfortable roundness in the shape of her physique and face, a glow emitting around her with a slim darkness shining through her dark eyes. Her hair is hewed in earthly colors in sunlight, highlighting the energy that she exudes.
From the first day we met, Terra had tried to show me a need for an empathetic ambassador of the human race to speak to all of the people like her on behalf of the environment. She also inspired me to write and sing about the manufactured hatred being spread. About the violence, ignorance, corruption, narcissism and greed permeating the society that we all currently exist within. An illness destroying the beauty and humanity of our planet.
The surrounding clouds are ominous, and remind us that we are not in charge of the weather.
Gary RockOpera Producer
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