• rileysoloner

when this is all over

Man, I tell you what.

When this COVID thing is over, and I mean finito, I can't wait to hit the stage again. I can picture it now: the music's pumping, the crowd is hammered and ready to party. Everybody's been waiting for this.

The lights dim. As the music swells, people take in this moment as if they can sense the heightened electricity in the atmosphere. No announcement from the booth necessary, I'm already marching out. Determined, loose. Hell, maybe even devilish.

I've been looking forward to this more than anybody, and I've come prepared. I say everything I need to with my new move: I take off my jacket while I walk to the mic stand. Got a problem with that?

And I'm not talking about, "oh, allow me to remove this garment, sir." Are you kidding me? "oh, perhaps I shall hang this on a coat rack, or fold it gently." Give me a break! I'm out there, tugging at the sleeves and the other parts. You know, the chest area. I'm ripping this thing off my torso like I hate wearing it. Maybe I do hate wearing it. Or maybe someone I thought I trusted tricked me into wearing it. Point is, this jacket's gotta go. Pronto.

Ripping at this jacket like a mad man gets me results: It's now bunched up at my wrists. Why is this good? It's relatable! Being annoyed by the myriad ways a jacket's removal is the working people's dilemma. This gets me on the good side of any doubters who have ever been in a "stuck in a jacket" scenario.

After the slightest blink-and-you-miss it moment of humility, indicating that yes, I too am aware of how long it took me to free my wrists from the sleeves, the jacket is 100% removed. Scrunched into a fabricky ball in one fist, I raise the jacket high. Just as the audience begins to cheer this denimy, clothy orb, my raised arm starts swinging like a defrosting beef shank shank sticking out of an active garbage disposal. The cottony, pockety bunch unravels and now becomes a billowing, jacket-shaped "whoopie towel" flying high, mere inches from the low, filthy ceiling.

I make my mark, take my aim, and release the jacket into the enraptured mass. The jacket is lost in a dust cloud of claw-like hands and dust.

I grab my microphone. No other object in our times comes close to the mike as being bequeathed the coveted title of "The undisputed modern-day talking stick."

And what do I say into the mic?

Doesn't matter. Did you see when I threw my jacket into the crowd a second ago? Enough said.

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