“Bewilderment” Part 5: The Final Chord
By now it’s 1973 / 2003. Pete has become so engrossed in his ever more complicated life that he finds himself brought sharply back down to Earth when the shopkeeper reminds him that the 10 years he had to live this double existence is very nearly up. When time is up, Pete will remain in one or other of the two timelines forever. He hasn’t given it a moment’s thought before now. It’s decision time.
Pete takes himself away to give serious consideration to his options and to what is at stake. He absolutely loves his rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle and his hugely successful career, but these things have a shelf life don’t they? It couldn’t go on like that forever could it? Maybe it’s time he settled down, and Carla presents a chance for love that would be lost if Pete stuck with the rock star life. But what about Melissa? She is so close to him and they share strong feelings for one another, but they both know that it could never be more than that. Pete finally decides that he wants that chance for love. He’s had a decade living the dream and now it would be good to go out on top. Pete wants to go out with a mighty bang and he knows just how he’s going to do it.
The Pete Chronos Band are about to play the final date of a huge sellout tour. It’s been a massive success and has received rave reviews. And now, Pete has quite a finale planned. In the days leading up to the last show, Pete had been quietly setting his affairs in order, and then there had been some tearful goodbyes with Old Crazy Devil and Melissa in particular, before the final preparation – Pete collected that special old guitar from the Tin Pan Alley guitar shop, for a final journey. There is a huge buzz and build up to the show, before the Pete Chronos Band explode onto the stage. After an incredible set, Pete leaves the stage and returns with that strange guitar in his hands. He then announces his retirement and that this was the last show he would ever play. Shock and dismay is etched across the faces of the fans. Then Pete strikes the final chord. He raises an arm high and looks straight up. The sound wave warps and then comes a blinding flash of light. As the spotlit stage comes back into focus, everyone sees that Pete Chronos has vanished. The crowd gasps, but then goes wild with cheering and applause. No one is quite sure whether they have just witnessed some amazing theatrics or something paranormal, but one thing is sure – Pete Chronos has just cemented his name in history.
Pete spends a while in a bit of a daze after that. He tries to get on with his ordinary life in 2004, with a smile on his face, but inside he is aching for the life he has left behind. He’s with Carla of course, but there’s a hole in his life, and he needs something new to focus his mind on. As Pete settles into obscurity and mediocrity niggling doubts nag at him that he made the wrong choice, but really he’ll never know. Pete wrestles with what it had all been for. Had there been a purpose behind it all? Had he achieved it? Had the music made any difference to anybody? What had it all meant. Pete resolves to document his story in an attempt to make sense of it and exorcise his demons. He changes all the names in order to protect the innocent. The format – a rock opera. Naturally!
So what did it all mean? Was it destiny or serendipity? Fate or Lady Luck? Pete doesn’t know. But, one thing Pete is sure of is that music is key. Music makes things clear and it lets your soul fly free. Pete absorbs himself in music and the answer comes to him. A simple lesson. A simple philosophy: You have to take all your opportunities, in fact you have to make some opportunities, because time marches on regardless. Carpe Diem as they say. Grasp every chance and don’t look back, because time and tide wait for no man.