The Opening Night Opus

NOW: Cold fingers clenched into fists, running nose, racing chills, secondhand hair, baggy blue jeans, and a place I'd rather be. No emotion, numb as my frigid fingers. Every emotion cancels out the next. Why? I am an icy blue candle, a flame of ice roaring and shrinking to the drone of artificial life in the lingering background. The frozen flame fueled by frigid anticipation, the cold flaming culmination of everything we've fought for these long grueling months. It all comes down to tonight. Build me up, or blow me out.

TONIGHT: Fierce fingers cradle the microphone, backlit by running crew, backstage cacophony, champagne dresses in colored lights. Heart pulses with a technicolor ferocity. Close my eyes and I'll be free. Drink in the champagne of applause and dancing dress, the bubbly warmth of the spotlight on my shoulders. But when I close my eyes and I can't see, it's just my voice, the song, and me. And I am not afraid.