I don’t think that it’s particularly surprising to the reader or to any random stranger meeting me for the first time that I am not currently nor will I ever be a rock star.
The revelation here is that I’m having to admit to myself that I will not become a famous musical performer. Or, a musician of any caliber whatsoever. It’s the fact that I have a playlist in my head — mostly covers, embarrassingly — that changes from time to time. And, it’s hard to admit, I have in the back of my mind a scenario that I may, in some public setting or at some concert, be called upon: Does anyone know how to block out this chord progression in G on this piano? Or, we’ve been looking for someone to sit in with the band to do this cover of Only Living Boy in New York, and you look like just the person. And: We were lucky enough to have Adam suggest to us that we could make our dreams come true with this rendition of Rocket Man, and fortunately he’s here to play along tonight, so Adam come on up to the stage …
None of these things will ever happen.
The neurosis is not so much in the fantasy as it is in the belief that lingers. If you walk by some evening when I’m alone, listen closely as you approach the driveway. I could be improvising on a bluesy version of Rocket Man, seeing if it works in E-minor as well as the original G-minor; or I could be trying to hit the notes as I sing the lines, “Half of the time we’re gone but we don’t know where; we don’t know where.”