We need to talk. We need to talk about a dream I had. I was in a class room teaching and every pupil was my most feared teacher that hated me the most. There was no whispering or murmuring in the back, no notes being passed, just an unwavering stare, silent and chilling. I stared back, continuing my lesson, a Mexican stand-off, but I had lost my nerve.

Yeah, so anyway, I was playing at an open-mic night, as I do. The crowd, a crowd you might expect, but something was different, something I had rarely seen before. It’s quiet, too quiet. I admire the commitment, I really do, but for the love of god, please, someone talk.

For the want of a less disgusting turn of phrase, I always thought that music was a social lubricant. It is isn’t it? That’s how we’ve got here isn’t it? That’s why I’m stood up in a corner with a guitar squeezing out forced renditions of songs people used to like.

We talked, we talked for hours, we talked about music, we didn’t talk about music at all, but there was music playing somewhere and we all enjoyed it and we talked about that too.

And then we talked about how great it would be if we could play music, we talked about technique, we talked about song writing, we talked about how great it would be if we could gather in the pub and play music to each other.

And then we did exactly that. Awesome.

But then everyone stopped talking. I get it, I mean, thank you, you’ve stopped and listened to my ego for a while. Cheers! It might be a small foible on my behalf but it’s just unnerving, almost creepy (I’m not calling you creepy). Did you just hear that bum note? I think you did, I can see you did, oh there’s another one, will you please just stop staring? Didn’t you hear what Steph just said? It was hilarious! You’re not listening to Steph at all, you’ve just missed out on the story of the week.

I have your undivided attention, and I don’t like it. You might think because I’ve got up and started making quite a lot of noise that is exactly what I want and, well to be honest, that’s true, but don’t pander to me, I’m an idiot.

It is off-putting though.

It’s like having someone watch you eat, you start to wonder, do I eat in a weird way? How does my mouth look? Have I spilt something down myself? And it’s so quiet, can you hear the horrible mouth/eating noises?

I can’t relax and my songs suffer for it and then you don’t like it as much and then I go home and sulk. I’m not playing out any more.

You don’t look like you’re enjoying yourself at all, and at this point, neither am I.

Don’t listen to me and chat to your friends, you are in the pub after all.

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Always contrary and facetious, Rory Johnson is a part-time idiot and full-time mumbler from Todmorden, West Yorkshire.