Then came Antarctic, the band Mr. Mayhem was subbing for. They were, as every instrumental band should be, full of surprises. With instrumentals, the music takes center stage and carries all the weight of telling a story and holding the audience’s attention and I believe they did a pretty good job. So good, in fact, that I was willing to part with $10 just to buy a CD with only 9 songs. Next came the local band—The Bronzed Chorus. Two guys, one with a receding hairline, were able to sound like a full band. And not just like any full band, but a great, amazing band. They make me proud of my adopted city.
After the bands had played, Mr. Mayhem and my posse spent a few minutes chatting before he had to go do the dirty work of being a rockstar—load the van. At that point Westchester once again reminded us of all the work she had left to do, so we left. But not ten minutes after I got back to the “comfort” of my dorm did I get a text from Mr. Mayhem requesting my presence for food-Cookout to be exact.
It’s about 1:30 and I’m heading towards the home of the Bronzed Chorus where Mr. Mayhem is waiting in the garage, beer and cigarette in hand. He quickly finishes both, fumbles with his cracked iPhone GPS and we’re off for an “evening” of new culinary experiences and lots of catching up. He orders the cheddar burger, sweet tea and fries. I get the BBQ sandwich. We park in front of a Blockbuster and eat. Neither of us was disappointed.
Three and a half hours later, we’ve talked about our old town, I’ve caught him up on all that drama, we’ve slowly started invading the armrest, he’s told me all about his new life (his drug use, his drummers, his father, his bikes, etc), I filled him in a bit on my life, he’s peed outside twice, and we’ve planned the next time we’ll be seeing each other, which won’t be in another 2-3 years.
At promptly 5:45am, I dropped him off at his temporary abode, we shared a no-way-awkward hug and I drove off, already missing my wonderfully rediscovered friend. At promptly 6:03am, right as I’m laying my head down to sleep for not nearly long enough, I get a text from him saying that there’s no way he’s falling asleep before he has to get up and leave and that, not surprisingly, the van he has decided to sleep in is freezing. Then I get the text, the one I knew would be coming since the first time he put his head on my knee in the car:
“By the way, you’re looking pretty good these days.”
It appears my outfit worked.
I reply: “You’re not looking too bad yourself,” knowing full well that I had spent half their set commenting to Ginger about how great his hair looks these days and how I love his smile.
I fall asleep before I get his text inviting me back to watch the sunrise. Probably best.
All in all, the night was great. I got back into the music scene, something I’ve missed terribly. I got to spend some quality time with Mr. Mayhem, something I didn’t get nearly enough of when he was being the talk of our shared town. And I ate a great BBQ sandwich, another thing I’ve missed. The chemistry was still there, but neither of us acted on it and I was just fine with that.
Now, for a few days of class before a short little jaunt with the Minimalist to meet up with Twin, Coco and their significant others for a concert we’ve been waiting for since before school. And you better believe I have the perfect outfit for that, too.
*Ginger-a friend I really need to start hanging out with more. Hilarious, from a great town I have a special tie to, and she misses the music scene as much as me.