Missing Muse

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about a musician named Jaun

Submitted: May 28, 2019

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Submitted: May 28, 2019



Jaun sat slumped, in a fold out chair on his small patio, idly puffing away at a cheap cigar. Remembering, reliving the feeling of the night before. He'd performed in front of 800 people at a theatre interstate. Catching the red eye flight home. He took another puff as his thoughts continued. He was a musician, and for all intents and purposes he had made it, whatever it was. When he performed, whether it was for 10 people or 1200, it was just him, his guitar and the stage. He took a sip of his cheap but tasty wine. Sometimes he'd play the drums or the ukulele and loop it to create a more layered sound, but his true passion and joy came from his guitar. He wrote all his own songs, and could fill a theatre in almost every state in the country, and some theatres overseas too. This was his dream, the thing he'd wanted his entire life, to make a living of what he loved. Another sip and a puff, why then wasn't he happy he pondered. He didn't need to worry about money anymore either. Considering he made a modest income of the sales of his CD either at shows or online and had supplementary income from his youtube channel as well. He always thought that once he got to this point, the weight of his existence would somehow lighten. He inhaled some cigar smoke too deeply and coughed slightly. He didn't feel light, all he felt was more crushed, more confined, more isolated. If even his dream couldn't fulfill him, then what could?

He poured himself another glass of wine, and let his mind follow the thread. It was odd that before he made a living, music was the only thing that made him feel free. He always thought that if he could just make a living off it, he could attain a sense of security and happiness. Ash dropped from the end of the cigar onto his pyjama pants. Considering the string of nothing jobs he had had held, he should feel blessed, not only to have found his passion in life, but to earn a living from it, it was truly a rare thing in this world he understood that, and knew he should consider himself very lucky. Thinking back to his first gig, after being noticed by a promoter while busking in the city centre one day. It was a small room, no more than 60 people, and he was one of 3 artists performing that night. But the feeling it gave him, to have a stage which wasn't covered in bird shit and cigarette butts, as his busking spots usually were. A smile crossed his face as he remembered the cheer he got from the crowd, he'd never felt more authentic, more actualized than he had that day. His smile faded, in 3 days time he was taking a flight to perform at a theatre to 900 people, 2 shows both sold out. Shouldn't that thought fill him, with happiness a feeling of achievement at least he wondered and searched for it. Instead he only felt dread.

It wasn't nerves, he had never been afraid or anxious of performing or of what people thought when he was. So why should he now, He stubbed out his cigar. He started considering that these people paid money to see him, they knew his work. No, it wasn't nerves. He pondered this for some time, Drinking a large gulp of wine, and lighting another cigar. What was it, he wondered.. Responsibility..Maybe. He began to think about the other jobs he'd had. A kiosk clerk at the beach, serving icecream to sunburnt mothers and fat children, not much responsibility there, a slight chuckle and puff on his cigar. However, he considered the fact that out of the half a dozen jobs he'd had that was the least miserable. Another sip of wine. He thought to the job his friend James had gotten him years ago in the tax office. It was a temporary job, but it required a lot of focus. The work wasn't hard, but he had to pay attention to what he was doing. Another sip. After all, he was handling tax returns with the government's money, and one mistake could cause all sorts of problems. It was great money too, but he hated it. He recalls he wanted to quit after the first day, but James had stuck his neck out to land him that job and he felt obliged to see it through. He followed this thread more and refilled his glass.

He had never had a real relationship, sure he'd enjoyed the company of men and women, never for long enough to feel deeply for any of them however. He took a little more than a sip and thought more. He had never owned a pet. He had never really thought about why that was, he'd just accepted it, had never felt interested in it. Puff. But maybe it was because all those things made him feel responsible for someone or something other than himself. He despised that, and his face contorted slightly. This realization was not welcome, the realization that by placing responsibility in his passion, his passion to perform had made him truly happy. Now though he tied in his passion to perform with the responsibility to entertain. He finished his glass, and poured another, opening a new bottle in the process. Maybe the only real reason he wasn't content, or happy, or fulfilled wasn't the occupation he was in or who he was with. No, maybe the only reason he wasn't content was because he didn't want to be. This revelation was needed, still not welcome, he would need to work on this flaw, he knew that. Standing up and discarding his now neglected cigar in the ashtray, brushing his pants free of ash. He grabbed hold of the freshly opened bottle next to him. Put it to his lips and felt the soft burn down his throat. It was not something he was going to do tonight. The bottle finished, he walked into his lounge room, and collapsed on the couch..





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