What’s the worst dream you ever had? Like in your whole life, from childhood right on through to last night. What’s that one dream - I guess it’s more like a nightmare - that just haunts you, just sticks with you, ‘cos some place in you you’ve dreaded it being reality since the moment that thought entered your mind, even subconsciously like that. Everyone’s got one.
In mine, I’m standing front and center of the stage at the biggest show the Backstreet Boys have ever had. There’s millions of fans - possibly all of them - all gathered around me, screaming, chanting like they do -- Back. STREET. Boys. Back. STREET. Boys. -- and the opening notes of I Want It That Way kind of echo all around me. I’ve heard this song so many damn times, I swear I can hear the notes in my mind even without them even really playing, like muscle memory, and I’m ready - I’m ready to sing it.
But then I open my mouth.
And nothing comes out.
I try and try and try and it just stays in there all stuck somewhere behind my Adam’s Apple.
Thing is, it's all about to become reality, just like I’ve always feared.
And there ain’t shit I can do to stop it.
All my life, or at least for as long as I could remember, I’d been told that I had a God-given gift. I had been blessed with a beautiful voice, and singing was the one thing I had always been good at. I did okay in school, but I was a year behind everyone else my age because I’d missed so much of kindergarten, I had to be held back. I excelled at sports, but my parents wouldn’t let me play football like Kevin because of my heart condition, and I didn’t make it onto my high school basketball team because I was too short. I had learned to use comedy to compensate for the things I was self-conscious about, and what I lacked in stature, I made up for in personality. But still, I hadn’t made a career out of being charismatic. My voice wasn’t just a blessing; it had become my meal ticket.
Life had taught me not to take my health for granted, and although I tried to stay in shape, I had accepted that, as I aged, I might not be able to do all our choreography anymore – which, quite frankly, was fine with me. But I had assumed I would always be able to sing. Current Mood: blah