15 / 10 / 14
I’m sitting here trying to recount the events of tonight but I’m coming up short. I knew this would happen. It’s funny how, in the arena, amidst the buzzing of light and sound and energy and the movement of hundreds of people, the words filled my head - but now there is nothing. I pushed those words away - willingly, I suppose - because what more could I want but the music? The adrenaline kept us pushing through packed corridors and down more stairs than I could count and I was so afraid of missing you, of missing that unforgettable moment when you appear on stage. But we got back in time and I was breathing hard, my heart racing, and it felt as if each heartbeat matched the rhythm of the crowd. And then you appeared, and I couldn’t think, and a pizza box was being thrust at me and my phone screen was flashing and the noise of the people around me was overwhelming but I was here, in this arena; a fathomless face among thousands of others. But I was here. And you were in front of me. And finally the music I loved became real. More real than I could have ever imagined.
You walked on and started playing immediately. I knew you would. I loved every second. I couldn’t think; I couldn’t possibly process what was happening. I watched, and listened, to the way the words coming from my mouth matched those erupting from yours. I know that sometimes you don’t like it when we sing along, and I get that. But in that moment I could do nothing else. I wanted to film every second to watch back later. I wanted to be able to relive it. But a big part of me knew that could never happen. What good is it seeing you through a shaking camera lens, only to watch back the video later and find that I couldn’t hear a word? What good is it trying to imagine it all in perfect detail from a blurred photo on a phone screen? Seeing it didn’t mean barely glimpsing it just so that I could watch it again. Seeing it meant really seeing it, watching the tiny figure metres away from me light up an entire arena with the sound of his voice. Your voice. Echoing from the microphones every time you took a breath. There was nothing but you and the music. It was your music, and I’ve always felt like letting us listen to it was one of the most generous things anyone could do. You spend months writing songs that are so personal, so private, and once you release them they are ours for the taking. They become relevant to us; so relevant that we feel as if they were written for us, and about us. Perhaps we overestimate our significance. But my significance is nothing compared to the noise created tonight, the sound bouncing across the arena, rising from the floor, filling every inch of us and every inch of you. My significance is nothing compared to the movement of the crowd as we waved our hands in the air while you sang. And your significance? It’s enough to get thousands of people on their feet before you’ve played a single song.
It’s nearly half past midnight now. I don’t want to go to sleep. Will I wake up tomorrow with a buzzing in my ears? Will adrenaline still be rushing through me, even after only a few hours sleep? Will your voice sound the same blaring through the speakers of my phone, and not the speakers lining a stage in front of me? I don’t want to find out. I don’t want to lose this.
I sang your lyrics so loud that I forgot that you were right in front of me, singing them yourself. I saw the bobbing flashes of thousands of lighters and I forgot that they were shining for you; glowing embers of a fire that we desperately hoped would last. I don’t think that fire’s burnt out just yet. There are flames shooting from my fingertips as I write this. My mind is alight with emotions that I can’t begin to describe. I don’t want to let this go. Maybe tomorrow the fire will still be burning, softly, just enough for me to remember how I felt when I saw you for the first time. And how I felt when we said goodbye.