Sgt. Pepper's Band

We were celebrating a big birthday and an ‘all-clear’ from cancer for me. My husband and I had also endured an intense period of deaths, pitfalls, and passages in the prior year, and we needed to culminate our grieving with some kind of commemorative trophy. Especially because mine wasn’t one of the deaths. While Vegas wasn’t ordinarily our style, the Beatles were, and a Cirque d’Soleil celebrated their lives and music with a show aptly titled, “Love” at the Mirage Hotel, one of our favorites on the Strip. It was the date!

We were ushered into a panoramic arena lined with black leather high-back seats a la first class on a plane, prophetic of the soaring sound to come. The cartoonish costumes of the pre-show entertainers stimulated our senses, but at the first musical chord, stereo speakers embedded in the headrests piped directly into our ears, so that the music could resound and amplify the visual effects. I sang word-for-word throughout the show, exhilirated like no other night in my life…no, not even our wedding and honeymoon. My wonderful Larry, my co-dependent Beatle lover, understood. His teeth sparkled in his wide open grin, so very Lucy’s diamonds.

After the show we remained in our seats for a few moments, spent in spirit with sensory systems overloaded. Then, we recalled the hourly volcano showcased streetside in front of the Mirage. We hurried out with the throngs and took up a station at the perimeter.

We are friendly sorts, and with a half-hour to wait, we conversed with the couple standing nearby. Oddly, there was a morose air about them, while ours was thoroughly exuberant. The man mumbled something about the words of “Yesterday” particularly being a downer, relating that life’s troubles had seemed far away when he was a youth. His chest was caved with regrets and his wife wasn’t any happier. How could demoralization be the aftermath of the high-spirited jubilation of “Love”? Our moods couldn’t have been more disparate.

Shock and awe swept aside any other mood when the woman and I discovered that “Today is my birthday; it’s your birthday, too, yeah”, a line sung by our mutual favorite Beatle ¬†Paul. Really?! We were the same age.

None of us were yet 64…While my husband and I were celebrating life, they were decrying it. We were looking forward to tomorrow, loving today, glad that yesterday was behind us.

Then the volcano eruptions began with bold, emphatic musical accompaniment. It was street side show time on the Strip. Fire and lava licked the air, stoking the atmosphere further with heat. The crowd grooved, oohed and aahed.

We drifted apart for Mr. and Mrs. Morose. There was no more to say to the slack-jawed, troubled duo. If musical spectacle couldn’t transport them, my husband and I knew we couldn’t defuse or dissuade their sad air.

Perhaps the volcanic fury rejuvenated and reset their memories symbolically, sorrow slurried away with lava, a word so like love. Maybe a new idea sparked and they flew to vacation in Hawaii, where volcanic forces make new territory daily.

What do you Imagine?