Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (March 18, 1993)
This to part one of a three part fiction
Running through the back door,
I could hear the crowd’s restless
chanting and clapping. I ran to my
dressing room, tossedmy jacket on
the couch and put my fresh dry
cleaned suits in tne closet. I wished
I could have thrown my problems
•m there as w£li,
I took a quick look in the mirror
and reached for a new suit jacket.
"You’re late, Derrick! Let’s go!”
Bobby hollered from somewhere
in the hall.
"Yeah, man. Here I come," I
replied back, slightly irritated, like
I didn’t know I was late. I lingered
in the mirror a little longer brushing
my fade and shaping the top with
"Let’s go!" Bobby screamed, ap
pearing this time, with his over
sized gut in my doorway. He
mumbled something as I slid past
him. He always mumbled when I
was late. He would never do any
thing more than that because. I
brought obscene amou nts of money
into the club. He just grumbled and
hollered a lot.
1 slopped just outside the curtain
that hid me from the crowd and the
stage. I waited and adjusted my
coat as the M.C. announced my
"Well ya’lh the brother is finally
ready! Welcome him once again to
Jazzy’s Joint.... Derrick Williams!"
Tne crowd erupted as I walked
to center stage. The spotlightshone
on me as I sashayed over to the
piano. I pumped my fist to the band
and then positioned myself at the
instrument of my heart and soul.
My eyes closed and I packed my
fingers, on the ivory keys. The mu
sic inside my head began to enve
lope me. I slipped into the world
wnere I was the Creator and my
music had the soul. It seemed to
release me from my worries and
problems as I played on and on.
Bobby “greeted" me i n my dress
ing room after the show. *
'What the HELL! Don’t play
dumb!" he said, walking to sit on
my already smashed couch. “Don’t
make this late shit a habit, hear!”
His yelling didn’t bother me; that
was normal Tor him. After playing
here, over the past year, I had
become immune to his episodes.
“Sorry B. So many things have
been on my mind....” My voice
drifted off as the root of my worries
came back at me. Bobby picked up
on this immediately.
His personality flip-flopped as
his fatherly side came oozing out.
"Ya’ll had a fight, huh?” Thinking of
her caused my mind to shoot back
just before the night’s show, when
Misha left me.
“Derrick, give me a chance to be
as important as that piano is to
you," Misha said, staring at me with
her soft brown eyes. I nad stared
back at her almost mesmerized. I
imagined a god with mahogany
day, shapingand molding this beau -
tifiil woman that stood in front of
me. Everything about her wfcs
Just ...right. Even her long braids
were pulled high on top of her
head in a ponytail, falling, to drape
the strong frame of her face.
“Mi, we’ve been arguing about
this for two weeks. It’sgettingtired,”
I replied, breaking the spell that
had been cast over me. “I need my
music, baby. I need to create. It’s a
part of me." I went into the bed
room to get ready for the show.
“Derrick!” she said, irritated now.
“Come on, Mi..." I wanted to end
the discussion. I walked back into
the hallway buttoning my shirt.
*...you know how 1 feel.” ,< a
I went back to the room to get
my clean suits together. Mi sat on
the couch for a few minutes as I got
ready. I thought she was waitingtor
me until she grabbed her purse and
started walking to the door.
“Whoa! Whoa! Where are you —
” I said, running out of the bed
“Have a good show tonight,"
she said flatly, grabbing the door
knob. I could hear the pain in her
voice as I grabbed her arm.
“Where are you gping, Mi?” 1
asked panicking, hoping that she
was just upset like she always was
after we had this conversation. But
1 knew it was more than that.
"I’m tired, Derrick," she said.
“I'm tired of giving in, tired of
coming in second, after vour mu
sic." Sne opened the door and
stepped out into the hall.
Trs finally clear to me, right at
this moment, that you or this situa
tion will never change — I can't
deal with it anymore, Derrick. I
can’t." She wiped away the stream
of tears that flowed down her face,
and shut the door behind her.
I walked anxiously to the couch
and tried to get my jacket from
“She left me, tonight," I said
turning my face from him. I didn’t
want him to see the hurt, but appar
ently he could hear it in my voice.
"Derrick, 1 know how much you
love your music, man. I’ve been
there myself. But you need to listen
to what’s goin’ on here,” he said
slapping his chest. “You can’t re
place that kind of love with music
— it’s not the same."
“You sound like Misha, man!" J
walked back to my dressing table
and started fidgeting with a brush.
“What did you want to talk to me
about?" I asked, changing the sub
ject. “I know you weren’t just wail
ing here to yell at me."
“Yeah,” hesaidclearing his throaL
“...well, tomorrow night there’sgon’
be some producers from Zephyr
Records sitlin’ in on your session,"
Bobby said, getting up from the
couch. “Word is, they’re breaking
away from Zephyr and getting their
own label. So, of course, they’re
lookin’ for new talent." He started
“This is it, man! Showtime’s at
eight. Don’t be late!" He paused
before shutting the door "Seriously,
don’t be late!”
1 stood there not knowing if I
was still upset about Misha, or
excited about Zephyr coming to
hear my music. I looked in the
mirror and smiled at the thought of
my music being recorded.
I made it home about one in the
morning, exhausted, to say the least.
I dug through the darkness of my
apartment to my bedroom, drop
ping my jacket and car keys some
where on the floor. I was able to get
my shirt off, but the rest of my
clothes didn’t have a chance. I
collapsed on my bed and passed
When I woke up the next morn
ing, I had somehow travelled to the
floor. My clothes that I still had on
and the sheet that I was tangled in
were dampened with sweat. After
unravelinaowiof the sheet, 1 era wled
back in my bdd. As I lay there
rubbing the sleep out of my eyes, a
vivid part of the dream that I had
came back to me.
I was in the center of a stage
playing the piano. There was no
one else there, and the only light
was the one that shined on me. The
beautiful melody I was playing
seemed to echo throughout the
room and then vanish into the
darkness. Misha appeared in front
of me, trying to.say something to
me, but I couldn’t hear her. 1 nad
become engrossed in the melody
that my fingers were creating. She
wouldn’t walk into the spotlight,
where I was. She just stood on the
edge of the darkness.
Bobby alsoappearedon my side,
pointing to Misha, trying to say
something to me as well. Again, I
wasn’t listening. Then, I saw my
self, running out of the darkness,
though I was still sitting, playing
the melody on the piano. My fin
gers played on as 1 looked at the
image of myself running towards
me. It tan into the spotlights and
seemed to be yelling at me and
pointing at Misha and Bobby.
LaTonya Hodden k • senior math major
and a Diversions contributor.
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