Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)

“So, it feels like we’re international rock stars, right?” Sam muttered as she bent over to rest her guitar in its case.  

Sid, high on applause, adulation, and Heineken, reached up her skirt and squeezed her left ass cheek with his capable right hand. 

“Sid!” Sam screeched and she went bolt upright. 

“Yes, how can I help you?” Sid asked with an innocent boyish expression on his face. 

Sam softly slapped his stubbly cheek, “You can get your grubby paws off my backside and start winding cords, OK?” 

“Yes ma’am!” he responded with an upside-down Benny Hill salute. 

As Sid was standing with his back to her looping a blue extension cord around the heel of his palm and elbow, Sam shed her jacket and pressed her chest into his back. 

Sid immediately ceased winding the cord and looked over his shoulder. 

“Seriously, we are like real rock stars here in this place, right?” 

Sid did an about face and set his cord on the stool. 

“It’s pretty damn fun, Sam, it really is. But this is pretty much what we barstool bandoleros do: we entertain groups of five to five hundred, mostly drunk, strangers. Then we move onto the next gig and do it all over again, until we can’t.” 

Sam frowned, “So this is as good as it gets?” 

Sid smiled, “Yep babe, this is pretty much tops for rebels like us. If we’re one of the lucky ones, we’ll weave an endless strand of gigs into a career—some a bit better, some a bit worse, but hopefully most like this one. Thirty years down the road, we can regale our grandkids with stories, tales, lies, and exaggerations from our workman’s vantage point, as we retire to a bedroom in their parent’s basement.” 

Sam looked crestfallen, “Really…?” 

“Them is the facts hun. How many ‘International Rock Star’ jobs do you think open up each year? One? Two, maybe? And you don’t just get those gigs by working hard. You gotta know someone who knows someone, and so on…” 

Sam looked despondent. 

Sid put his hand on her shoulder and pulled her to his chest. 

“Hey, do you love it though?” 

Sam looked up at his glorious square jaw and smiled, “Yeah…I do…” 

“Then who gives a fuck if you are playing to 500 sweaty Europeans, or 50,000 screaming teenagers? If you love it, you soldier on!” 

Sam kissed his cheek, “You’re right, I guess…” she wrapped her arms around his waist and squeezed him. At that moment, it was as good as she had ever known it to get, and that was everything.

Excerpt from All or Nothing Girl, the forthcoming novella from Blake Charles Donley

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