That First Breath


There is always a millisecond of silence before the band comes on stage

An infinitesimally small break in time where you can feel  the energy of the crowd

The anticipation

Will they play my favorite song?

And the guitar hums or the drum pops or the cymbals smash or the piano sings the beginnings of a melody

And the singer takes a swig of room temperature beer and I can hear him clear his throat in the microphone and I wait





And he sings and the first small word rolls off his lips and I am smashed by the music I need from all four sides

And that swell in my heart that makes me sing at the top of my lungs even though my friends call me tone deaf happens


I need the passion from the words that have made me cry and scream and cheer and whoop

And the way the music brings a room of people together reminds me of the way we swim towards the top of the pool for that first breath of air necessary to keep us from turning blue

We grasp for each other’s sweaty shoulders with the urgency we take that first breath

And we sway to the beat like a pack of animals might follow a food source

And so the music is my food and my air and its refreshing liberation is my water and

I don’t need anything more


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