He knew people were watching. They had been gathering since he started the fire. Some on beach towels, some merely sprawled out on the sand. He needed to give them a bit more time. The smoke was a signal but he had to give them the opportunity to assemble before he began.
He was nervous; this was his time so he didn’t watch them come, not directly anyway. He took an occasional peek and thought about how everyone he knew and respected had chosen their material and done this. In this place, it was historic, it was ritual. Now it was his turn.
Mom had said, “Never let them see you sweat.” He intended to take that lesson to heart.
He listened to his friends settling off to the side, and nodded tersely when Mikey hissed his question across the sand
“Dude, Dude? C, right? You want this in C?”
Mikey knew it was C, what a dork! Those guys were doing this on purpose.
Finally, he sensed the time was right and he looked over at his friends, the band, and nodded his head. It was now or never. The band struck up the intro and he realized that he had forgotten the first verse. He jumped straight to the chorus, spun around and spread his arms wide. He burst into song and started doing the little dance his grandma had helped him work up as he marched up and down the sand…
On the good ship
its a sweet trip
to the candy shop
where bon-bon’s play,
on the sunny beach
of peppermint bay
fill the air,
and there you are,
happy landings on a chocolate bar.
Reverend Smittykins was the first to leave. He stood up with a snort and headed off down the beach. Mr. Dunlop was next, followed by the triplets, twittering to one another behind their hands. Damn, he hadn’t even know the triplets were there.
Pretty soon, only his mother and grandmother were left on the beach. The band wound down. Mom shook her head slowly, and looked down at the sand. Grandma was beaming and smiling, clapping her hands and yelling “Bravo, Bravo.”
He exhaled, long and slow, ran his fingers through his hair and thanked Mikey and the guys before he walked over to his mom and grandma.
“I think that went pretty well,” he said.