The stage has been set and it looked amazing. He knew it would look amazing because he had been up there many times before and after some times, they were getting better and faster in decorating the stage. In an hour or two he had to be there again to greet the audiences and play some songs to entertain them. Things he had been doing for the last few years of his life.
He sighed and smelled the bittersweet scent in the air. It was never easy to look less depressed being in a place where you had lost everything. However there was an unseen chain which tied him down to this place, so that no matter how far he went away and seek consolation he would always come back as this is the place he called home.
A bad memory is still a memory. He could not imagine how life would be for someone who has no memory. No past, nobody and practically nothing to remember. He scribbled something in the paper, a reminder that he would need to put that line on the lyrics next time he write another song. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
There were more time to daydream, and while his mind was wandering off to the past and places he went to, he suddenly remember the marketplace. Actually every time someone he did not know stopped him on the road just to greet him and tell him how beautiful the song he wrote, he always remember the marketplace. He began to appreciate the perks of being anonymous, being unknown.
It is so much different when you are in the street singing a love song, and people just passed you by. Sometimes someone would care enough to stop for three seconds and then throw a few copper coins. But you only sing when you want to, and there was no pressure nor expectation of what song to write nor to sing that day. The afternoons in the kingdom of summer marketplace is not a stage of stardom.
And today, he felt such feeling of nostalgia even more than usual. Maybe it was because the girl he saw on the crowd today looked so similar to the princess whose gold coins had bring him back to his homeland. He thought for awhile and wonder that Princess Cinnamon would have grown up like that girl in the crowd by then. But, it must be his wild imagination that made he think that he saw a princess in the crowd without any guards around her.
He wondered then, whether she could finally sing not play the banjo he gave her as a parting gift. Or whether she could finally break down the thick palace walls and like she said to him almost ten years ago that she would one day take her own adventure. He smiled bitterly.
It has been years gone by since the marketplace days. He has changed as the reality has shown him how to, and he felt sad to think that that fiery princess might have changed as well. It is more possible that she got herself married to a prince from a respectable kingdom and then become a queen with a crown prince sitting on her lap.
Yes that is more likely.
And he almost wept for that beautiful little princess when a knock on the door woke him up from the upsetting daydream.
“Mister Banjo, Sir… Are you ready?” a young man about thirty years of age came in with the eagerness of a puppy.
“Yes, Rhyme…” Banjo got up and walked to the door. The corner of his eyes caught a reflection of himself in the mirror, which showed him how life has added lots more strands of greys in his head.