Last night’s binge has not completely blitzed my mind. Starring blankly at the half-eaten bagel and cardboard cup of steaming coffee, the quarter notes finally float together to form an original phrase in C-sharp. Would it be enough tonight to divert the chattering students from their foamy beer to listen to my guitar for a moment? I grab the pencil wedged above my ear to jot the notes on my napkin and stuff the white paper in my shirt pocket. Three coins clatter on the counter. Twirling the pencil, I push the glass door open, squint, and walk slowly into the brilliant sunshine. There is still time before the gig to remove the stubble from my cheeks and chin.

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