The song ended with a final chord on the lead singer’s white, custom guitar. The chaotic din of 100 people shouting over the music to their friends morphed into a rainstorm of applause, whistles and hoots emerging from the pattern like lightning through the gritty bar.

“Thank you, thank you,” acknowledged the singer, his Castro-style cap pulled low over his eyes against stage fright. A fellow intovert, I suspected.

Requests for the songs from the band’s old album out all around me. “Mr Fancy!” “Talk to me!”

I wanted to hear a new song.

“Shine!” I called, my voice cracking with the uncharacteristic exertion. My boyfriend and I were only about three or four rows back in the crowd at the foot of the stage, but I doubted the two slutty-looking bottle blondes in front of me had heard me, let alone the band. Oh, well.

As others continued to clamor for old songs, I watched the band members’ lips move inside the veritable Cone of Silence created by the crowd noise. After a moment, the singer spoke:

“Alright, this next song is for you.” He was looking straight at me.

In front of me, the blondes went wild, screaming and holding their Bud Lights up in the air.

“This song is for you,” he repeated, raising a bit onto his toes and tilting his head, looking pointedly at me over the screaming blondes. The opening chords of “Shine” crept out from behind the screams and shouts.

Meeting his eyes, I smiled and gave a slight nod.

“He was totally talking to you,” my boyfriend said, leaning in close.

I smiled at him and nodded again. “I know.”


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