She is standing on the other side of the glass, watching magic happen. She is some part of the sound crew–is that even what they are called? What exactly do they do? She has no idea, but she is there, on the other side of the glass.
The band members keep taking turns in and out of that room. Sometimes, all of them are in there, but usually, it’s just one. She’s watching them all enter and exit and take their turns, and she is absorbing every minute of it.
No, she is not important enough to be actually using the sound equipment. She doesn’t know why she is there, or what her purpose is, but she doesn’t care. Her mind is elsewhere.
It’s Stevie Nicks turn now. The goddess of a women is walking into the room, and Paisley, the sound technician who shouldn’t have the job, just saw her do a line of coke on the table next to the door. Paisley doesn’t even wonder if watching Ms. Nicks like a hawk will get her in trouble with her job or not, she doesn’t even know what this job is!
She’s walking into the room, wearing a black dress with these long, flowing sleeves. Paisley can’t believe that Stevie wears clothes like this anywhere but on stage. But she can’t blame her, Stevie Nicks always looks gorgeous. Paisley wishes to have the exact same closet as she does, but obviously, that isn’t going to happen.
Ms. Nicks is standing behind the mic, and the soundman sitting closest to the glass (Paisley’s co-worker, she has to remind herself) is saying something to the goddess, but Paisley isn’t listening. She is, of course, focused on Stevie, and honestly, it doesn’t look like Stevie is paying attention to what the guy is saying, either.
Music begins to play, but quiet. Paisley recognizes it as some of the things the band had taken turns playing earlier today–that guitar riff, she had heard Lindsey dicking around with it for about forty minutes before he decided he got it how he wanted.
And then–she starts to sing. Obviously, Paisley has heard Stevie Nicks sing before. Many times, in fact. She is no stranger to her uniquely gorgeous voice, yet here she is, completely taken aback. And Paisley has seen this woman perform live! Once, in San Francisco, when it was just her and Lindsey in a band. That’s how long Paisley has admired this woman.
And yet, there is something different this time. Maybe it is because it is so raw sounding, because there is nothing overtop of her yet. No background vocals, and the instrumental is being played very low. So low that Paisley can tune it out completely, only focus on that beautiful voice. And that is exactly what she does. She pretends that nothing else exists except for her and Stevie Nicks, and perhaps that is what makes the experience so different from a concert, because it feels like Paisley is the only one watching her.
That was the beginning recording sessions of a song that became very popular, called “Dreams.”
Paisley walks from the studio and to her robin egg blue Beatle without even realizing what she is doing. She feels like she is floating, and she feels that way as she is driving around Los Angeles, blasting the radio probably louder than she should with her old speakers. All the windows are down, and her hair will be a birds-nest when she gets home. But does she care? No! She just got to watch Stevie fucking Nicks perform all day! What else could she care about? This will probably be the most exciting thing that happens in her life. And the best part? She gets to do it again tomorrow.
Tomorrow comes, and so does the next day. Each day Paisley finds herself trying to dress the way she would outside of work without getting in trouble–trying to dress like Stevie, she is. She’s not exactly sure why she is somewhat scared of breaking her companies’ rules–she doesn’t even know the companies name! But still, she can’t risk it. Not until the album is over, and maybe not even after that. She can’t imagine only hearing this beautiful voice over the radio or performing in concert. Paisley knows what it feels like when Stevie Nicks sings to you–or so, it at least feels that Stevie is singing to her. She can’t imagine just going back to being a regular person in the crowd. A less personal position. She doesn’t even want to imagine it, that’s how much she is dreading to return to it. So, Paisley decides she won’t, if she doesn’t have to. She will follow her mystery companies’ rules, do whatever her co-workers say, and pray that no one realizes she is actually completely useless, because she is! She does nothing but watch Ms. Stevie Nicks sing all day.
Paisley wants to remind herself and everyone else that she isn’t only happy to hear Stevie Nicks. She is happy to hear all of Fleetwood Mac–they are her favourite band! It just happens to be that Stevie is Paisley’s favourite part of Fleetwood Mac, and the songs she sings tend to become her favourites. Paisley hasn’t stopped humming “Dreams” since she heard it two days ago, and she can’t imagine stopping anytime soon. She loves it. She loves all of the members. She likes watching Christine work the keyboard, and Mick beat the drums so hard Paisley sometimes wonders if it will cause her to go deaf later in life (and she has decided that if it does, she won’t mind. At least it was Mick Fleetwood himself who did so). She likes watching the faces Lindsey makes when he plays a guitar solo, and he has a great singing voice too! They all do. John McVie is stoned all the time–Paisley can tell. Not that the others aren’t, he is just the one that seems the highest. Or maybe he just acts like that, even when he is sober!
Paisley wanted to know. She wanted to be friends with them all. And that thought alone snaps her back into reality.
That, and the buzz of her brand-new iPhone 11. 1976 slips away, and Paisley is suddenly staring at her ceiling.
At least, Paisley thinks, waiting for the buzz to stop, I got to pretend for longer than normal this time.