With a victorious cry, you raise the miniature guitar high overhead and smash it down onto the brick patio as hard as you can. The golden statuette shatters into thousands of rainbow-colored shards, and in that instant you feel a sense of rightness. You have come this far to make the correct decision: the Secret of rock ‘n roll bursts out of its prison.
For a few moments the soft evening is hushed as if in anticipation. Then, by degrees, you begin to hear a humming on the air. It starts with a jangling of guitars strung up in pawn shop windows, and then the windows themselves explode outward all over the city.
With an exultant rush, the Secret swells out over its native land, ultimately disintegrating into swirls of multicolored droplets that begin dissipating across the sky. People stand amazed in the streets pointing at something that cannot be seen, and laughing at the electric buzz that swarms around them like warm, harmless bees.
The Secret visits the clubs and dives, spraying over gifted young women whose hands caress electric strings; over old men teasing the high hat as sweat pours down their necks; over young brown hands paused over keyboards.
The Secret wafts into bedroom windows, even those closed against the caressing breeze, to settle on the faces of children: one here, one there. The Secret rattles the dreams of men and women who’ve spent their workdays trying to forget the music, trying to make money at straight day jobs, trying to raise a family and slowly growing old under the burden.
The Secret kisses a choir director who suddenly raises his fist into the air, startling his wife at the dinner table.
The Secret fans out across America, depositing much of its energy across the nation that loves it the most, and yet it will not stop there.
Canada gets the next big dollop, which resounds in epic stadium-sized riffs over a dreamscape of forest wilderness. Mexico opens its mouth wide to inhale a scattershot of flavors: the gothic, the macho, the frightful and the mellow. Mexico downs it all and asks for more.
Across the Pond, a few UK lads and lasses get positively soaked in the stuff, while in Italy the barest sprinkling is applied. Australia receives its share in strange gothic dribbles; Germany and France are percussed by metallic rains which echo with the cold precision of a Moog synth.
Turkey, Russia and even China are all dosed in turn, while in Japan the sullen thin boys and upturned faces of teenage Lolitas are streaked with its effervescence.
Africa, though it may seem obvious, gets pelted by droplets the way a car is pelted by hail: frozen fear and longing and love tear through umbrellas and pockmark the shoulders of the young as they flee into their apartments.
In Finland, in Switzerland and in the northern countries, the bright summer night thrums with a wild energy that harkens to dark hammers beating endlessly onto anvils of fire. The Secret crouches there behind every rock and in every nook, pouncing out at passersby in a riot of sound.
Even Iran, crushed under the thumbs of cruel men, cannot armor itself against the Secret. For what is the Secret of rock ‘n roll, but the Secret of poverty, of youth and strutting and warm nights spent climbing fire escapes, desperate to escape the powers that be? The Secret is dim garages, is the sound of one-two-three-go, is the relentless tap of worn-out sneakers and the waggle of hips, the yearning for a place of one’s own, a voice of one’s own. The Secret is love, or lust, denied; of money and freedom postponed yet always bubbling up as an expression of nervous energy.
The more repressive the regime, the more fervently the Secret glitters.
Fitting, then, that Kim Jong-Un receives nothing of the Secret, though he bid the most on it. His people, laboring faithfully, have begun to stir fitfully in their nightmare, but the Secret is not yet theirs. It merely hovers, elusive, in the clouds far above Northern Korea. The Dear Leader believes that the Secret is a toy to be placed upon his bleak trophy shelf but, in time, it will prove instead a key to his doom. Perhaps he should have left well enough alone.
With a terrified glance in your direction, the mysterious Frenchman turns upon his heel and flees the property. After what you have witnessed, you are content to let him go.
Then you are engulfed in soft waves of unconsciousness as you slide limply to the warm bricks. Your mind and body have revolted from the exhaustion of the past few days.