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Friday, 3 June 2011

Letting go

I felt a cold knife to the thigh. The band was cutting me off. I was no longer good enough. 'I had other commitments, more important commitments.' Whatever the dressing the band was cutting me off, letting me go.

I’d sensed it for some time, the occasional silences. Now here, in Henry and Lol’s house, it was put into words.

Through a perceived need for ceremony, or because that was all they had in the house, Lol entered the room carrying a silver tray. It held five glasses and a green bottle of Dry Martini. A drink I’ve never had since.

Over drinks and desultory gossip nothing was said. Then Henry led me aside. “They want you to leave the band.” He said it like he didn’t.

I forget my reply.

Then he offered an olive branch, possibly more of a twig. “We want new members, more weight to the band. We want do more and bigger concerts.”

“And with my present teaching commitment…impending marriage.”

“Exactly.” His Viking features eased into an expression of remorse and relief. “You understand…You’d always be welcome to play with us in smaller venues – the occasional ceilidh.”

“You mean leave ‘Devil’s Elbow’ for ‘Devil’s Finger’”.

He laughed as though it was funny.

“No thanks,” I said.

As divorces go it was amicable, bitter-sweet. The band had their interests to pursue and I had mine.

Blogs rarely confess failure. Who wants to read it? Who wants to confess it? Never moan or complain. But Blogs should be truthful, and the truth is that rejection happens to everyone, and always it hurts.

5 comments:

Maria Zannini said...

Ouch. Though in the bigger picture, I think you went much farther than a ceilidh band.

Let's face it, just how big a venue could they play? Until I met you, I'd never heard of ceilidh.

It would've been different if Mick Jagger had said you were out of the band. And you'd still walk away with bragging rights that you once played for the Stones. :)

Mike Keyton said...

The running joke in the band was that we were 'big' in Abertillery. But like I say to my children when something really gets them down - everything rapidly becomes history. Even the worst things.

Mind you...the Stones...?

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: But like I say to my children when something really gets them down - everything rapidly becomes history.

You are very wise. This is absolutely true.

Vero said...

Rejections do happen, and writing about them is a very good way to purge. Writing about anything that troubles you is cathartic.
I really love this post, Mike, beside the typically wonderful writing.

Mike Keyton said...

Thanks, Vero. Mind you, Catharsis is double-edged. Getting something off your chest can sometimes make you sound bitter even as you're shedding it.

I think it's good to write something some years after the event so you can control the emotions rather than them control you.