She stood on the ground, two rows behind the barrier. The Rock Legends played one of their hits, and she sang along. She looked across to her friend, and they exchanged a look of excited bliss. Suddenly, the power cut to the sound. But it took a moment to reach the knowledge of the Rock Legends. She was staring straight at the lead singer, who kept singing. Or rather, miming.
He was looking at her, and the moment of panic in his eyes revealed that he knew she’d seen. She shook her head in disbelief that he would lie to her in this way. The man she had loved and trusted since she was eleven. As she shook her head, she turned and walked out of the stadium. He reached out to her, and watched her walk away. He cursed himself for becoming this – a miming parody of the true artist he had once been. In a moment, he remembered his time playing the small pubs, laughing with the crowds, connecting with people. Now, he barely made eye contact. The only reason he had spotted her at all was that his usual glasses had fallen and broken as he was lowered from the giant lotus flower onto the stage. He looked at the lotus flower, at the lead guitarist with his gold plectrum, the drummer with the heated drum stool, at the bassist being given water by a b-list model. He too shook his head with disgust, flung down his guitar and jumped from the stage. His security guards chased him, held back by the throng, as he wound his way through, ripping off the trappings of his ridiculous life. His authentic yak vest woven with the hair of the elderly medicine woman of a small tribe in the Himalayas, the silk shirt with alabaster paisley and ancient coral buttons, the genuine fake Rolex (produced by Rolex in response to the global piracy campaign). Finally, it was just him, barefoot in jeans.
The music had begun again, with his vocals, but with no one to mime it, the rest of the band looked panicked. The bassist shrugged, threw an arm around his model and headed backstage.
The rock star made it out of the stadium, not even followed by the audience who were too confused about what was happening if they were not fighting over the abandoned possessions.
He made it to the pub across the road, and found her sitting at the bar. A cover band played, ironically a cover band of his music. The audience was laughing and they were joking. He stood next to her.
“It’s all bullshit, isn’t it?”
She turned and stared. She had no response. He gave her a cheeky grin, took a sip from her beer and raced through the crowd to jump on stage. The audience roared displeasure, most not recognising him in his simplified state. A bouncer grabbed him and wrestled him out of the pub. She followed. He sat in the gutter, laughing.
“Need a taxi?”
He smiled up at her. “Take me somewhere real.”
She hailed a cab, her heart pumping, wondering what the hell was real to an internationally famous rock star clearly in the midst of a mental breakdown possibly caused by her.
They got in the cab. “St Kilda,” she said. Surely something there would be real. Surely.