Sitting with the sound man, watching you play, through the smoke of cigarettes and the air heavy with false hope and despair. The slot machine noise drown out by electric melodies, cutting through the thickness in the room. The early ones are here just to dance, a chance to shake it free, and enjoy an evening together. Others are taking a rest from droning electric lull.
I sit and enjoy the dancers, cowboys twirling their ladies about the floor, patterning , dip spin, scoot, step, repeat. A beautiful set of gals of all ages take the floor with their line dancing, perhaps newly learned for some. They laugh and fill the room.
As the evening goes on, the lightness of these groups fade, and exits and a different crowd emerges. Yes, it is true some are there for fun, a good time, but now good time means getting drunk and seeking to break lonliness.
The saddness thickens as well.
I am no better than anyone else, I also do not always cope with the tough stuff in good ways. I do not look down on them, or pity them, though I am sad. I want them to know there is something more, something better. I watch poor choices being made, I watch "Elaine" dance.
You take the lead on a song, one you usually sing right to me, but there is a woman on the dance floor that blocks our gaze. I worry she will think that look is for her. The band carries on through the set lists, hour after hour, all while inhaling the toxins and giving their best.
You work hard. You practice hard, you commit. I love you for all of it.