Bob took the instrument in his hand. The lights of the stadium dimmed as the spotlight narrowed onto him. The cheers of a hundred thousand voices fell to a hush in a sweeping wind of silence. It amazed him how each time was different. Countless shows across dozens of countries through seven different tours, and the thrill and excitement was still there, as fresh and strong as ever. He allowed himself a patient smile as his hand trembled slightly on the neck of the guitar.
He plucked the strings in a playful manner. Every soul in that building knew what the song was going to be; it had become a staple of their live shows since the second album was released nearly two decades ago. But foreplay always has a time and a place, and Bob played it well. His fingers fluttered and danced across the strings, teasing the longing the crowd. As he struck into the main chorus with bold affection, they roared with immediate approval.
This is what it’s like to be alive, he thought, pouring his spirit into the amplifiers surrounding him. God help those who can’t connect with life like this. God help them find a way to release their spirit and just feel this way. He weaved his way into the solo with self-indulgent grace. The crowd exploded as the band rejoined him for the fourth and final chorus. The stadium thundered with the erupting finale.
Bob lifted his head and opened his eyes. Across the aisle, he caught the stare of the cutest girl he had ever seen. She smiled, almost blushing, and gave him a golf clap of an applaud. Bob turned his head to the window as the bus lurched to an asthmatic stop. His face flooded with red heat. She stood up, smiled a jaw dropping smile that was accompanied with a wink and a wave, and got off at her stop. As the bus pulled away, Bob craned his neck to catch one last glimpse of her through the graffiti scarred window. He turned off his iPod and sighed.