Short Imagined Monologues
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The Lead Singer Is Distracting Me.
The lead singer should really stick to the part where he sings and not come right up to me. I’m the guitar player, and I know that this is pretty much standard rock-and-roll practice, but it is distracting. It is hindering my ability to perform my guitar-playing duties.
Because it isn’t like I was ever, like, into dancing—like having this really intense moment where the singer is half an inch from my nose and we’re both doing the same thing, like we’re Rockettes.
I am more about looking down at the ground and thinking about trying not to mess up. And hoping really hard that I am not about to mess up. It’s hard! I play these arpeggios where I’m—woosh—all over the frets! All over! And then you have this jackass with bad breath right in your face.
The lead singer should brush his teeth, but that’s neither here nor there.
Also, I am a guitar player. I am a guitar player because I like to stay in my room and play guitar. All the time. Pretty much from, like, age 10 till, like, five minutes ago.
If you are a guitar player, the whole point is that you are out there playing an instrument, which requires effort and concentration, which means you’re not all that into people. And then you’re touring, there’s people everywhere, you’re rushed onstage, and there’s thousands of people all being way too loud—so it’s stressful enough. And there’s the lead singer, who never seems to have any of these problems, and he wants you to dance with him. And all you want to do is play the right notes.
Which is hard enough when you’re playing as fast as we play. It is harder still when the lead singer does his air-guitar thing, like he’s so into what you’re playing that he has to play it, too.
But he is playing the wrong notes. He’s just moving his hands around.
It doesn’t matter that it’s air guitar, since you are looking at him playing the wrong notes, and you’re scrambling to erase those hands from your memory, and you’re thinking, “I was only three credits short of the marine-biology degree. Dolphins are jerks, too, but they are not as inconsiderate as lead singers.”
Also, personal space? Because it’s not like we’re all crunched together when we’re playing Halo 2 on the bus. Who wants to be all crunched together? Not the lead singer!
Which is why we are not allowed to look at him when we eat. When we’re at McDonald’s, he is to go in first, order, and then we can go in, but we are not to look at him. We are to sit on the opposite end and stare at the calorie counts printed on the paper mats. And so this is something, I think, that could translate to the stage.
We could all just stick to our respective spots. We could still rock, but we wouldn’t have to move around so much and distract each other. The lead singer wouldn’t get so sweaty, with all the jumping and air-guitaring and moving around and that desperate look in his eyes, that one that says Please play along.
It could be classy! Like when we had the symphony: the cellists weren’t coming up to the violinists to show them how much they were digging what the violin people were doing. We should try it. Also, I would like more solos.
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