It had happened in an instant. A sudden loss of balance - it could have been the spotlights. Then another slight stumble, together with a sweat of concern that it might continue.
And it did.
The vultures of his insecurity began circling his weakness and fear.
"No I can still do that...Not yet".
It was time to stop, before the fear became reality.
(He was near the stage-right wing and so he stepped quickly into the darkness of submission)
A time to accept.
"I didn't want to phone you, but I wanted to talk and I haven't talked to you for a week and you're the person I've known the longest"
She was the young girl who had laughed at him and made him laugh. So many years ago.
"Are you ok?" he said - "I'm sorry I laid all this on you."
He felt guilty and lost.
"I couldn't think of anyone else to talk to - I'll phone you tomorrow"
"Yes" she replied
And then he ate his meal; aware of the tears that balanced on his eyelids and glad of the spectacles that hid them from the attentive waiters.
She rang back an hour later.
"Oh yes, I'll ring you in the morning, when I wake up" he said.
"Goodnight - till the morning" she replied.
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