The Periphery of Stars

The Periphery of Stars

This early in the day the bastion of porta-potties stands largely idle and underutilized.

Inside, it’s cramped and clammy. Don’t touch, don’t inhale. It’s where I tug things in place and check the flow of my hair. All looks good to the selfie-camera. Rightly accessorized, I feel ready to wing it.

No steps nearby or voices. The long calm before the onslaught of concertgoers seeking merciful release at the big-ass seashore event.

Exiting, I feel an exciting tingle. On the boardwalk, energetic riffs by some Indie newbies drift over from the faraway Beach Stage. A competent bounce inhabits my walk, and I can taste it. My moment of Foo.

First, a woman’s restrained shriek, her companion’s Oh-My-God whisper. I subtly smile behind my cool sunglasses, casually strutting on as cellphones take note. Hey, I’m playing regular dude, out to soak in some of that festive feel I’m here to help create. A headliner’s true job, you’ll see as the day’s excitement culminates into night, is tossing a dose of delirium over a giant throng tens of thousands strong.

Full beard, cascading hair, aided by inconspicuous extensions, black T-shirt, gold necklace. Iconic sunglasses because the eyes give you away, classic horn-rimmed eyewear clasping the collar of the Tee. I feel incredibly credible as Dave Grohl’s unsanctioned stand-in amidst moments of selfie sweetness. No autographs, thank you.

Pride and bragging rights is all I offer. Just a little slice of fame… Take a bite.

I’m like Santa or the Easter Bunny handing out good cheer for free.


That night the Stone Pony is packed. I’ve long downgraded back to me.

A chick squeezes her barstool in next to mine and says over the cover band’s decibels, “Why you do it? You a super fan?” I notice her phone wallpaper—a selfie of me as Dave Grohl and her. Wow. All the vindication I’ll ever need. “I never got this many likes,” she says. She’s the crunchy, freckled type. Opinionated vegan, I guess, nicely worn, in decent shape.

“The Foo Fighters were awesome,” is all I say and suck on my hazy brew.

“That what you do? Travel from gig to gig, an imposter? Impersonator? What for?”

I bring magic, I think.

“That the only way girls fall for you?”

We all have our ploys, I think, and have an idea what hers might be.

“You do others? Is kinda cool.” Now, that’s a first!

”Yeah,” I say.

“Like who?”

“For some I just keep up a distance. Devise a disguise.”

“You a con-artiste,” she says.  She’s smart, not blasted after a long day out. Maybe she’s writing an expose for some rag. Judging by her sparse words, no. “Who?”

“I’ve done Bono and Bruce.”

“Holy shit. Them I can’t see.”

“All I need is get people to buy into it.”

“What you mean?”

“They catch me in camouflage in a private moment—we’re in cahoots.”

“When you say me, you mean Bruce or Bono?”


There aren’t other examples. Reimagining is a new fascination for me. She’s in no rush for a drink. The bartender is mixing cocktails several folks away. A big, burly guy behind her, I wonder how long he’ll be patient.

“You a lost soul,” she says. I hear an edge.

Maybe, I think. Maybe the rub, the temptation, the illusion of glamour have gotten to me.

“You strike me like a kind of accountant who rides a motorbike on weekends.”

“No motorbike,” I confess.  After a while I say, “Once in a blue moon, I need to wiggle out of my comfort zone.”

“Till you in the zone?” she suggests.

Maybe she gets me. At a party, somebody said, from the right angle I looked a bit like a smirking Tom Hanks. It’s how it started. I thought, wow, the possibilities.

She startles me, gets up and asks, “You ready?” That’s a first! I sense an exciting tingle.

She carves a pathway past tightly packed patrons out the door. I’m right behind. A welcome reprieve for the ears. There’s smokers out, puffing.

My car is just a block and a half, I’m thinking logistics. I turn to her to inquire what next. “Bingo,” she addresses that beefy dude I noticed before who pulls up from behind her and smacks me right on the nose. I go down. I see stars.


About the Author

Hart Vetter writes and listens to Indie Rock in Nyack, NY. Find his work in Literary Heist, Heimar Review, York Literary Review and other places.