The sun was down as we walked past, just as the show began. People enveloped me. Honestly, I don't remember a single one of them. The moment engulfed me.
Pardon me, because this was not a Vegas show. Vegas shows are of an entirely different beast. When I say show in this case, I mean more like an advert by the casino to come on in and try your luck.
Vegas adverts are just a bit bigger, if you take my hint.
Everything in Vegas is bigger, so even the adverts have lakes, where the waters dance and the sirens sing, oceans bring forth pirate battles, and quarter scale Tour d'Eiffels beckon, and of course a slice of the Big Apple calls you to return.
There, in front of the lake, the water dancing, a feat of amazing technology, the music called me. As if in some enchanted forest, my feet glued to the sidewalk, I couldn't walk; I turned, or didn't, because it was the music that possessed me, not the sight. A song I had never heard, but I knew, like the insides of my heart, a thousand times over. I melted. I was a boy in my twenties, clueless, but I knew this meant something, or everything.
Con te partiro. Time to say goodbye. I knew, in the beauty, exactly what they were singing, expressing. Music can speak to us in so many ways.
It seems life is a continuous preview. We are given a look, some recognize, but most don't.
I was given a look that evening. It was humanity sharing something that was overwhelming, in that music, something that was inescapable, unavoidable, that every man and woman must face. I didn't know the words, but I knew the profoundness, the absoluteness. I just wasn't sure what 'that' was then.
I know now. I said goodbye. I say goodbye.
Youth is a wonderful gift, because it knows no goodbye. In youth, we don't see goodbye, or feel it. Life is screaming at the tops of our lungs, as we learn how to be, how to live, who we are, how we fit. Goodbye is drowned out, and for good reason. The young should never be dragged down by goodbyes, they have a life of hellos ahead of them. The newness of life propels humanity ahead, and thank god for that.
Twenty years later, I'd said goodbye to so many. The song echoed in my head. Mom and Dad, several friends, goodbye. I sat at my desk, watching, listening, crying, to the song, the good memories, and the complete understanding I always had of what those foreign words meant. The most profound of all things, that final goodbye.