Sweat rolls down my cheek in the shape of a tear.
Once again we roll off:
And the music begins.
I raise my instrument at a ten-degree angle,
Feeling as my own saliva drips down my face.
But I don’t care; I have a parade to perform.
I hit B flat, A, then G.
And then again.
Every note sprouts from my bell
As beads and beads of sweat
Continue to weep down my once golden hair.
Out of nowhere, the director shouts,
So we all lay our instruments down,
Turn around 360 degrees,
And begin our tedious dance.
After what feels like two whole minutes,
Thunderous applause fills the air.
And then we start the whole thing
All over again.
On this summer hotter than any other,
I wish nothing more than for rain,
Something to end this scorching torture.
Is this what hell feels like?
I ask myself.
Is this what it feels like
To be adored by thousands?
Whatever the case may be,
I wish for nothing more than freezing temperatures.
Why do I perform
With sweat in my hair and under my arms?
I would rather play on the North Pole—
With teary eyes and a streaming nose.
My arms feel like they’re collapsing—
As if I had spent the other day
Building the great pyramids of Giza.
But I can’t give up now!
What if I could faint
And end the performance?
I don’t want to be known
As the one who fainted.
No! I must push forward.
This parade is bound to end;
It just has to!
Even the roar of thousands
Cannot break me to yearn
For something else.
As my hair partially obscures my vision,
I see something;
A light at the end of the tunnel, if you will.
I must not rush myself!
But it is almost done!
What should I do?
What should I say?
Only my instrument has that kind of a say.
As the sun beats down on me
Harder and harder with every ticking second,
I march my way to the finish.
I breathe a sigh of relief
Every time we pass beneath
The loving arms of shadow.
I hit A. Then B flat. And we’re done.
Our director calls us to attention once again;
And then to relax.
Never before had I felt so relieved.
But—even through my weariness—
My ears vibrate with the sound
But never before had I been
As careless toward fans.
Yet never before had I been
To hold water within my hands.
The performance is over,
And even now as I stand there—
Feeling as ice-cold water dribbles down my throat—
I think of the torture I underwent.
All for nothing? No;
All for glory.