06
Jun
08

the art of composition

Her skin was moist and pale. I noticed, as her head hung over my shoulder, her face dotted with random freckles, like a jellybean. She was pretty if in an unexpected way. Her martini glass had fallen to the carpet, and the vodka had pooled around the rim at her feet.

I didn’t even know her. But she had been at the show and she had been partying her little heart out. Drew had made a few jokes about her and I getting friendlier but that was just plain out of the question. Nevertheless she had ended up in the back of Drew’s car. Somehow he had crawled his way back into my good books, so all was well, and there we were in my apartment, watching the poor girl drool all over herself.

I smiled and let her head fall onto the softness of the cushion of the couch.

“What will we do with her?” he queried.

“Not much,” I answered, “let her sleep it off.”

He looked at her closely. “She’s not that pretty in the light.”

“None of us are,” I said, walking to the kitchen.

It had turned out that the reason he called me so many times that evening was because he decided he was ready to form a band again, and he thought I was good enough to join him in his new venture.

We had played together a few times in the past week, gone to this show to network and such, ask around for lead singers or drummers. It was pretty slim pickings, but maybe we just weren’t going about it right. The two of us were pretty awkward in crowded situations unless we were drunk, and it cost too much to get drunk good and proper out at any kind of a bar other than a dive.

I asked him ‘What kind of musicians are we going to find in a place like this?”

It was a well known, relatively well-lit establishment. There were some chairs with leopard print on them.

“Well, we’re here, aren’t we?” I didn’t believe the point was valid because we were only there to try and scheme on some future band members. Not that I knew for certain that I wanted to get involved with this newfangled band idea. It was an interesting premise, but with the two of us and our volatile habits, who knew where it would go and if it would even be worth getting into.

We didn’t even quite know what kind of sound we were interested in. Hard rock meets new wave? That seemed pretty generic, or at least not as detailed as I would rather. I wanted to say what you would get if Morrissey had a circle jerk with David Bowie and Trent Reznor while Tom Waits watched. But I didn’t know how that would go over with the prospective band members. The generic idea would sell better.

Anyways, the girl was drunk and we weren’t yet. So we had that to work on. Drew was giving me his sexy eyes, the ones he gives me in between buzzed and drunk, the ones he offers when he’s actually able to provide the kind of sexual contentment that a woman of my voracious appetite deserves and doesn’t get half as of ten as she should.

I thought better of it, gave him a healthy tongue lashing but kept him wanting more. Play his game, I thought, coming out of my clothes only halfway, and then sauntering back to the kitchen to get us the bottle of Jim Beam I had been hiding in my rooster cookie jar.

You might be wondering why a woman who lives alone should hide their liquor. Well with the way Johnny stormed in a few weeks ago, and the way Drew rummages through my booze in the most cavalier fashion, it made sense to be a little careful when it came to my poison. I could keep beer in the fridge, and vodka in the freezer, but my Jimmy was something to store in unexpected spots; Napoleon or my cookie jar.

I brought two short squatty glasses to the table and he joined me. There was something new between us, something chemical and tangible and it felt amazing. I knew it wasn’t love, and for split seconds at a time I believed it could have been lust, but moreover, it was something we didn’t quite have before. Friendship or respect, I couldn’t tell. 

We had jammed a few times and got on rather well. We were laughing again, and it wasn’t just because we were hoping for something more than what we had. It wasn’t him thinking that I was going to be the ruby-lipped slut that would fuck him forever, taking all the cryptic bullshit and head games that he had to offer, and it wasn’t me thinking I could save him and keep him for my own. It was just us enjoying each other, expecting nothing.

I was getting to the point where I couldn’t hold down a friendship with anyone. Everyone was fleeting. Nobody mattered enough for me to keep their number in my phone for very long. After I had lost Gina, I wasn’t exactly asking people to sign my yearbook anymore. The words ‘call me’ were cheap now, man or woman, drunk or not. Friendship was no longer free. Everyone had something to sell.

And now I was looking at Drew through different eyes, trying to decide if he was someone I could hold onto, even if we were both dating other people, even if neither of us were dating anyone.

We were people of the other side, people who could hide in the shadows, and comfortably; that was something that we had that Johnny and I didn’t, that James and I didn’t, that Rabbit and I faked. It was just us and our faults and that was fucking beautiful.

It was painful, but it was like the pain from being tattooed or pierced. It made you feel alive. It felt necessary, sensual. We were completely aware of ourselves and each other. Our mutual acceptance was something I hadn’t experienced in quite a while. Drinking with him, even knowing we might not sleep together, made me feel unbelievably sexy.

Which although wasn’t helping my case, was really, more or less, what I needed these days. Johnny’s drama only made me think of my own mortality—how I could end up a working stiff someday, coming home to frozen dinners and an empty apartment. James and Rabbit just reminded me that some people were happy, no matter how stupid or annoying they were; they merely highlighted my present loneliness.

I looked back to the couch. Man Ray had joined Miriam, whose head had slid to the bottom cushion of the couch, causing her body to stretch out into a slight bit of a fetal position. Her belly had become exposed. Drew’s eyes wandered and made their way back in my direction.

His hand slid up my leg. I smirked at him, pouring us yet another drink. It didn’t mean anything. Perhaps it never would again.

Energy pulsed through my veins as if the Jim Beam had been injected straight there. I pulled my straps up, grabbed my bass, and came back to the table, plucking, hammering away, hammering forever.

Drew was crying. We didn’t talk. There was a song in the works. As usual, we were lacking the words.

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3 Responses to “the art of composition”


  1. 1 Kismet
    June 7, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Good ol’ Napoleon!

  2. June 11, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Sounds like my kind of date. I feel the same way with a certain person.

    Btw, I have my food blog up, but my personal one is here: romancingthealphabet.wordpress.com

  3. 3 Back Seat Driver
    June 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    By changing a few strategic words, one can totally transform the story. Like Mad Libs.

    Her ___ was moist and pale. I noticed, as her head hung over my ______, her face dotted with random freckles, like a jellybean. She was _____ if in an unexpected way. Her martini glass had fallen to the carpet, and the vodka had pooled around the rim at her feet.

    I didn’t even ____ her. But she had been at the show and she had been ______ her little heart out. Drew had made a few jokes about her and I getting friendlier but that was just plain out of the question. Nevertheless she had ended up in the back of Drew’s _____. Somehow he had crawled his way back into my good books, so all was well, and there we were in my apartment, watching the poor girl _____ all over herself.

    I smiled and let her head fall onto the softness of the cushion of the _____.

    “What will we do with her?” he queried.

    “Not much,” I answered, “let her _____ it off.”

    He looked at her closely. “She’s not that pretty in the light.”

    “None of us are,” I said, walking to the kitchen.


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