As a fan of Science, as well as it’s step brother Fiction, I’ve long been intrigued by the Many-worlds Interpretation.
The possibility that there are an infinite number of Peters, living out an infinite number of lives.
I was thinking about one of those possible Peters earlier.
For some reason.
A big, bushy-bearded one.
Allman Brothers tour t-shirt.
Thirty year old suit jacket and pants.
Adidas Gazelle sneakers. (Because some things are the same in any universe.)
“I’m” the road manager/roadie/vice president of good vibes for Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
We’re touring non-stop.
City blends into city.
Our bus comes up over hills and we see flickering white and red snakes heading in opposite directions below us.
In the distance.
Nights are a single experience.
Conversations that never end.
Days – once I finally wake up – are spent puttering around vintage clothing shops and dusty used book stores.
Blessing stranger sneezes.
Indistinguishable off-hours are spent in diners, eating greasy foods with my fingers. Staring out dirty windows, wondering why older diners make the best fries.
Being almost overwhelmed by the stories around me.
Or by the desire to take them all in.
I write optimistic poetry on napkins from sketchy Thai restaurants and leave them folded on subway and bus seats, knowing that they’ll find their way to the eyes that need to see them.
Dissatisfaction creeps in from the edges.
Others see it.
The band invites me on stage one night, to play the marímbula. Apparently I had convinced them in Michigan that I was sure I could do it.
They invite me also to sing.
And to stand a good distance away from any mics.
I enjoy it.
Each day I walk farther.
I sit in diners longer.
I stand in the mirror, debating shaving the beard.
They invite me on stage again.
Set lists evolve.
But not really.
And then you walk in.
The crowds part.
You make your way towards the stage.
You hold a large plastic drink glass, that you’ll later take home to use to drink water out of in bed, as you type serious things on your laptop, as you keep on eye an your tv and wait for a “Don’t cry, shop girl. Don’t cry.”
I play the marímbula.
For the first time.
Our set ends.
I hop off the stage.
I walk up to you.
I nervously look away.
The next day, a small hand delicately unfolds a seemingly discarded napkin.
Brown eyes narrow.
And move side to side.
A naturally full and exquisitely pink, naked bottom lip is bitten.
Without looking up, you rub my smooth cheek.