Chapter 43 1976 - The end

Word had swept rapidly though the press, and ticket sales were plummeting. I Mall was washed up as a concert draw, the stories said. One story quoted his most public outburst, “This may be one small downfall for I, but one great downfall for I-kind! They'll be sorry they lost the greatest thing they ever had. You won't have I to push around anymore!”

I wanted to keep touring, but new bookings were few and far between. Due to the stress of the situation, I had been prescribed some tranquilizers, although he had yet to take any. He mulled over his calendar and was incensed when he saw a dual booking on the schedule.

He yelled at Rod, “How am I supposed to be in two places at the same time? There's no way in Hell that I can play a concert in New York City and Miami on the same night!” He was sure his manager was playing mind games on him. There could be no other explanation. “Just fix it and get out!”

Rod looked at the schedule and said defensively, “The Miami and New York dates are ones we were pursuing. They both fell through. You have nothing on that date.”

Rod left I alone, and I opened his guitar case, strummed a chord and started a new song of pain. As he sang and wrote down the lyrics that flowed from his soul, it calmed him a bit:

There's no time to live
There's no time to love
I can't see the sky when it's cloudy above

The rain in my life
The chain of a wife
It drags me below the surface

A train of thought lingers and I reach for some relief
It's beyond belief

A ride in the car
No place for a star
Like me who deserves satisfaction

And when I'm asleep
I just cannot keep
Away from the same old reaction

Life. It's over it's over and done.
It's not worth the living without you
Over and over I turn in my head
It's not worth the trouble.

Pain. My daily companion.
Pain. Enemy of my soul.
Pain. The end of my action
Death. The end of it all

I stopped and threw his guitar into the corner. He ripped off the sheet of paper from the pad where he had written the lyrics. He re-read them, the ripped the paper to shreds. He grabbed the bottle of pills and downed them with a glass of rum. "Maybe this will end the pain," he said to no one in particular. "Maybe when I'm dead people will know what they're really missing!"

I fell to the floor, holding a scrap of his final song.