He had to be brave. Any other feeling he had would have just gotten in the way and made things more difficult. When one makes a life-changing decision like this, there is no room for fear, doubt, even hunger. Roberto Gonzalez had just auditioned for a national singing competition and made the final cut. The finals would be televised later in the evening. He was eating a corned beef sandwich with some Doritos®. It was delicious.
Two years ago, he was not a very good singer. He could sing in pitch and had a reasonable sense of rhythm, but he was by no means a “lead” singer. He did not possess that extra oomph of a Robert Plant, or even a Susan Boyle. He was best equipped to be a back up singer in a garage band.
All that changed, as his vision started to blur. After a quick visit to an optometrist, he got a pair of corrective lenses, and all was right again, or so it seemed. Damn it all if his singing voice became more soulful and assured. And with this new gift, there was a price. His eyes continued to deteriorate rapidly.
After visiting one specialist after another, it was determined that there was a direct correlation between the heightened pipes and the failing sight. Somehow, the more he sang, the smaller and drier his eyes became. Oddly, it wasn’t painful, it was just a weird sensation. Each specialist could not surmise a scientific reason for this phenomenon. Instead, they each over-gesticulated and said that some sort of magic was involved. Roberto had to make a choice right then and there.
On one hand, he could simply go blind and become the Aretha Franklin of his generation. On the other hand, he could get laser surgery and other modern science, retain his vision and become a regular mensch destined to a life of an accountant.
That evening, he showed up for the audition, eyes bandaged up, stumbling about, mistaking the piano for a short buffed security guard. After saying “Excuse me,” he stepped up to the microphone. His mother ran up on the stage to adjust the height of the mic stand like an attentive roadie. He cleared his throat and proceeded to sing the most moving a cappella rendition of Sunny. I swear, it would have made you cry.
Roberto was thankful he had bandages over his eyes, otherwise he would have lost his beady shriveled up raisin eyes on the stage floor.
His mother wanted to cry her eyes out, but realized the insensitivity and chose to cry insistently.