Every Saturday, I would wander into that bar. The same faces, the same “Hey!” when they realized that I had arrived, the same pianist playing the same sad song; my weekend was a ritualistic event.
I’d leave my apartment at 8:45 every night, arriving at the bar with just enough time to order my first drink before the top of the hour. Then the Piano Man would start in on that old song.
The melancholiness of his ballad would wash over me for the few minutes each night. But on this particular night, something he sang struck a chord in me. He finished his song, did a shot, and prepared to pay something else. I walked up to the piano, and asked him a question.
“So, what are you doing here?”
The Piano Man’s head snapped in my direction, eyes overcome with burden, tears ready to fall.
“Oh, thank heaven, you finally asked me. We’ve all been waiting for this moment.”
“What?” I replied.
“You don’t know?” The Piano Man appeared more crushed than before. “I’m here, we’re all here, because of you. You are god in this place. This world is the way it is because you want it.”