Dizzie Catalano wakes up to Joey Ramone’s unintelligible angel voice blasting on her phone. Joey serenades her from her bedside. He’s coming through a tight wind. The kids are losing their minds. So says the voice of Joey Ramone. She reaches out to put an end to him.
After shaking off the cobwebs in her head, Dizzie realizes she had the most fucked up dream in the history of dreams. “Hey, Sade!” She throws a stuffed octopus at her friend. She is lying on the floor, halfway out of her sleeping bag. “Sadie! I had the most fucked up dream in the history of dreams!”
“You were, like, crawling around with no legs. And then you started popping everyone with a needle!”
Dizzie clicks off her “Blitzkrieg Bop” cell alarm. “No, it was pretty cool! Pretty f-ed up but awesome!”
“That’s good, then. I guess.” Sadie lets out a power yawn. “What do you think it means?”
“Means? I didn’t know dreams were supposed to mean anything. Just random firings in our brains—blammo!”
“My mom says dreams are God’s way of telling us stuff.”
Dizzie slips a Tank Girl t-shirt over her tousled purple hair. “Whoa. God must be dropping acid, like, all the time!”
Kira’s the first to show up. More than anyone, she’s dead serious about her art. When she’s playing guitar, she’s like an Indian Carrie Brownstein, the guitar alive and wriggling from her fingers like a live snake. Dizzie respects the fuck out of her, but she’d never actually tell her. That would be super gay.
“What the fuck are you doing entering through the front door! Go through the slave entrance, bitch!” She smacks her ass. Kira responds with a headlock and a noogie. Dizzie’s scalp burns with retribution.
“Ah! You’re like an angry giraffe!”
“I’ll enter through the front door if I want, and you’ll like it!”
“It burns like what?”
“I don’t know!”
“Yes you do!”
“Like herpes-infected glass on a trampoline!”
“Good. Your brain’s all fired up for the day,” Kira smiles. “What about you, Sadie? You need a brain charge this morning?” She holds out her fist. She still has a couple strands of purple hair sticking out of her knuckles.
“Uh… n-no thanks.”
Kira laughs, a sound which Dakota once compared to a flash flood pattering on the roof. “I was just joking. Don’t be so jumpy, mate. You’re part of the band now, right?”
“I don’t really know too much about music,” Sadie grimaces.
Dizzie claps her on the back. “Don’t sweat the small stuff, Sadie Lady. You’ll find your rhythm. Or die trying!” Dizzie and Kira exchange a nod. It was no joke. For them, failing at music is a fate worse than death.
“I didn’t eat breakfast this morning,” Kira says. “Got any food?”
“Please, Kira. Does the sun rise in the morning? Do Koreans have an insatiable lust for waffles?”
This time it’s Kira’s and Sadie’s turn to exchange glances. They both shrug.
Dizzie tongues her lip ring in anticipation. Like all of Dizzie’s bad habits, it helps her focus on the here and now.
Chev and Dakota rolls in a little after lunchtime in Chev’s Mazda RX-7. Contrary to popular belief, the band didn’t actually name Chev after Chevrolet. After all, he hates American cars and he’s definitely not built “like a rock.” but after the character Jason Statham plays in Crank. Dakota actually came up with the name. He said that Chev is just like the character. He’s always amped up, like his heart would also keep ticking after getting knocked out of a helicopter.
Dakota’s from Canada. He has a funny hat and says “eh” and “aboot” sometimes. Dizzie figures this is what every Canadian is like. She’s decided never to go there.
“Yo,” Chev kicks off his shoes unceremoniously. “Parents gone?”
“Yeah. The family’s out in the city today. Little bro’s skulking around somewhere.”
“No interruptions, huh?” He raises an eyebrow.
“In your dreams, Martin.” Chev hates it when people use his real name, which is the point. Dizzie back-kicks the door closed much harder than intended. The crash shakes the chandelier a little.
“Seamus!” Chev yells. “Bro!”
It takes a moment before Seamus peers over the upstairs balcony. “Hey, Chev. What’s up?”
“Get down here, man! We’re seriously lacking in testosterone over here.”
Seamus’s head darts around like a trapped mouse. “ ‘Kay.”
Seamus looks like a little dweeb. He has bad posture but not the kind that makes you look cool. He keeps looking over at Sadie and looking away.
“Oh, Seamus. This is Sadie.” Dizzie jerks a thumb back to Sadie. “Sadie, Seamus.”
“Nicetomeetyou,” Seamus sputters really fast.
“God, you’re so awkward,” Dizzie laughs. “Hey, Sadie. This guy does a good Eeyore impression. Do your Eeyore impression, Seamus!” She jumps up and down.
“Woman!” Chev huffs. “He’s a man, not a toy. Don’t emasculate my man, Seamus.”
“Not your brother! Step off, punk!” Seamus look down at a spot on the floor.
Sadie shifts from one foot to the other. “Uhhh, Dizzie? Shouldn’t we start… practice?” Chev and Sadie meet eyes for a moment. Sadie nods her head toward the garage.
“Yeah, let’s go,” Chev mumbles.
“Heh. First time I didn’t have to force you,” Dizzie laughs.
“Hey! I’m always ready to wail ass on the drums!”
Chev saddles up to his drums. “Has she been taking good care of you? Has she?” he purrs, rubbing his hands around the base of the drums.
Dakota starts plugging in the amps, turning up the volume. Chev tests out the tightness of his drums, banging out an improv rhythm. I turn up the volume a little more, so Kira’s playing will drown out his drumming more. Not that he isn’t good. He’s just… well, he’s Chev.
Kira stands well over six feet, a girl of Amazonian proportions. And that’s not just the height. The girl would probably chop her right breast off if it got in the way of her playing guitar. As soon as she enters the garage, her faded, once-black sweatshirt comes off. She’s sporting a charcoal tanktop with a tattoo of a phoenix on her shoulder. She got it as soon as she turned eighteen last month.
“All right!” Dizzie screams. “Let’s bring down the house!”
Chev opens by tapping on his cymbals. He drops the beat down and even Sadie who’s seated in the corner is bobbing her head. Out of nowhere, Dakota comes down hard on the bassline. Kira drives her pick down hard while Chev’s sticks flash across the drums. Her fingers dance across the frets like a squad of angry pixies. Dizzie pumps up her voice for a siren’s maleficent shriek.
She’s confident now as she’s ever been. The Bayside Sex Deviants are going to work the shit out of the Battle of the Bands. Record labels and eternal fame is ahead. This moment now is all there is, all there will ever be, and it will only get better.