Copyright @2019 by RC BOLDT
The Super Bowl Halftime Performance
Hard Rock Stadium
Miami Gardens, Florida
Facing what’s estimated to be over sixty-seven thousand people with my favorite guitar strapped snug against me, I prepare to sing my final song.
Standing up here in front of thousands of fans is second nature. I performed in countless dive bars before breaking onto the scene and securing my first record deal, then moving on to sold-out world tours. Which means I shouldn’t have sweaty palms like a preteen working up the nerve to talk to her crush.
My heart shouldn’t be racing like a horse competing in the Kentucky Derby.
My stomach shouldn’t churn as though I’ve eaten ceviche from a questionable food truck.
Tremors shouldn’t affect my hands like a virgin embarking on their deflowering.
None of this should be afflicting me. But it is.
Because of him.
Because of the current state of my heart.
But this is how I deal with heartache. With tragedy. With…life.
“This is a little different, and I hope you like it,” I rasp into the mic. Noise from the cheering fans is deafening, and like every time I perform, the surreal quality never quite fades.
Tonight marks the first time I’ll share a song I wrote about someone who eviscerated my heart entirely. My other relationships—and subsequent failures—pale in comparison.
It’s no secret that love and broken hearts inspire great songwriting. With regard to the latter, it’s never hard to find someone mourning an unrequited love, suffering heartache, or wishing they’d find their own glorified everlasting love.
But have you noticed when male musicians write about it, they’re never on the receiving end of the snide, sarcastic comments of, “Oh, poor thing. He’s rich and famous and can’t find love. Boo-freaking-hoo.”?
Yet when I write lyrics that are the closest thing to ripping out my heart and putting it on display for the world, I receive the “She’s probably selfish and put her career first” or “She probably cheated, and now she’s regretting it” or “Mm. So sad. The Ice Princess of Pop is heartbroken.”
My response? Fuck that noise. I’m writing from my heart and soul, regardless of how damaged they might be at any given time. And as long as my fans continue to support me, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on.
“I’d like to dedicate this song to a special person.” I duck my chin, willing myself to maintain composure. “It’s called ‘Embers.’”
Once I strum the first note on my guitar, everything around me fades. My voice emerges from the shards scattered within my chest where my working heart once was.
When I play that final chord, I see tears streaming down the faces of the fans in the front rows. And yet again, I’m reminded of something all too easily forgotten. That there are others who can relate to lyrics written from my soul’s breath.
Because in heartache, we’re never truly alone.