The stage changes people.
I watch you as they scream your name--even when you hold up your hand to silence them, they have no control. And you smile and sing your words because it's what you're known to do. And you laugh and rearrange the lyrics to try and throw them off guard--give them something to think about--but they just scream and yell and cry, stretching their hands out in vain when you pass by, trying to touch you, feel you, take you in.
But there's a heartbreaking quality gracing your features when you step off stage, hidden behind a smile that doesn't quite reach your eyes like it would do back in the studio when we were recording, or when we're on the bus and Mikey trips and falls and lets out a string of unholy words. And you'd laugh yourself to tears while Mikey flips you off with a badly hidden giggle.
But this is wholly different. And I know what you're thinking, because it became obvious to me months ago.
They chant the name of the band like it's sacred--and it might as well be--because you're a god to them. You're something to be worshipped, to be praised, to live to.
But you're no longer a person to them. You're just the blood and blasphemy and death that you've come to represent, and when they scream your name outside the venue, they're screaming it because of what you've given them--what you are. You had lost your identity somewhere along the line of becoming a hero. A savoir. And no longer do people wonder what you do when you're not on stage; no longer do they give a consideration of what you went through to create those lyrics; what you experienced to give your voice that darkened quality. No longer do they wonder what you live for, as long as you continue to give it back to them manifested by music they can cherish.
When you step inside of that bus, though, your conflict is gone. You don't have to cuss, you don't have to scream, you don't have to apply make-up, or remember lyrics, or watch people lust over you and worship you and dedicate themselves to your name.
I won't deny that it bothers me--worries me--that one day you'll lose it entirely and forget to sketch, forget to call your mom, forget to sleep in your Disney pajamas, forget everything that your antics on stage denies. I was scared that you'd lose yourself to your persona. That you'd forget about yourself entirely.
But when you come up to me wrapped in a comforter, with red smeared across your face because you forgot it was there again, and ask me if I want to watch Dawn of the Dead and I grab some sodas and tell you 'of course'... and you smile back at me, I know.
You'll be alright.