The figure stood tall, his silhouette obscured by the broad-brimmed black hat that seemed to swallow his tangled hair. Sunken eyes peered out from beneath the shadow, framed by bell bottoms and an open shirt revealing a glabrous chest. Each crooked finger adorned with tawdry rings, he appeared like a weathered antique, a discount Johnny Depp from another era.

They say nobody listens to records anymore, or so I’ve heard.

Hungover, he shook off the sickness, weariness etched into every line of his face. A fatigue so deep that even sleep couldn’t claim him. A cup of standing coffee and a greasy sandwich between stale bread offered some solace. The day felt warmer, the slapback of seasoned cowboy boots echoing against cobblestone streets and ancient walls.

Legs trembling like torn buttresses, he squeezed through train carriages, tumbling over travel bags and their rightful owners until finally finding respite in a seat. Sitting, he found solace in his own thoughts, interrupted only by fragmented phone calls and the arrival at his destination.

“Sorry, I don’t speak English,” he uttered, testing his sore throat. Traversing the charcoal sticky floor, he was met with the familiar smell of urinal cakes and last night’s revelry. The local cuisine offered a reprieve, a fish fresh from the harbor paired with wine amidst the sullen croon of idle chatter.

As he reluctantly took the stage, his throat raw from the night before, he knew this was the moment captured by their phones. Wine flowed, hand-me-down conversations intermingled with cigarette smoke as he sang, hoping for sleep and perhaps a hint of romance on repeat.