The Performance | By: Joseph Schlegel | | Category: Short Story - Other Bookmark and Share

The Performance

Nevermind the introduction: it is late, and Neville is in a hurry for his next performance. As he rushes down the boulevard, he notices the unhurried faces of passersby and thinks to himself, "How nice would it be to never have to hurry." This and other thoughts leave his mind almost as quickly as they enter. He has no time to entertain these fruitless notions: he has a show to perform.
Neville makes a quick turn at the Buxton Bar and Grill, and continues his rush in the southbound direction. He continues to mixedly contemplate his life and the future, but focuses solely on his upcoming show. No one on this small avenue seems to be aware of his existence, allowing him to rush by without breaking their conversations, either with other people or with themselves. Neville wonders briefly if anyone gives a shit.
About three blocks away, the performing club stands in its usual place. Neville speeds his way past this final remaining distance to his destination, impeded only by his own reflections on life. He arrives at the club and at once begins to contemplate whether he should leave his mother in a nursing home when she gets too old. This thought is suddenly pulled away from him as the club manager asks him angrily, "Where have you been? It's time for your show."
The anticipation for the show departs as soon as Neville steps out on stage. He makes no introduction before beginning his show. During the first number, he internally questions his purpose in life, and whether playing any of these shows really makes a difference at all. He wonders, contemplates, presses ahead, and ends the song beautifully. All in the audience marvel at his remarkable playing ability.
His second and third songs run about the same, not musically but mentally. He thinks about his surfboard collecting dust in the garage, and wonders why he doesn't live closer to the ocean. He ponders his dog's expression that day, and desires to know what it is his dog does while he is away. He even for a moment questions the necessity of his garbage disposal, and makes a mental note to check online for the date of its invention. Upon completion of his set, the small audience roars in appreciation for his accomplished playing. He is cheered and hailed as the finest performer to ever grace the stage with his presence. He is thrilled; backstage, the club manager politely asks him to return again next week.
Two hours later, Neville is sitting in his basement, drinking a mixture of vodka and cranberry juice from a dirty champagne glass. He is reviewing his show in his head, trying to recall what little he can from his evening experience. He remembers only a few details, and sets off to bed. As he lays his head upon his pillow, a thought arises in his mind: when was the garbage disposal invented anyway?

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