Tag Archives: Chev

Argument (unfinished)

“Tell her I died. She’d be happier that way.”

Chev was sitting at the edge of his bed, sulking, but Dakota was having none of it.

“That’s not true. The whole gang needs to be back together. You included.”

“Bullshit.”

“Chev. You told me not a month past that you’d be willing to do anything for me after I took you in and sobered your ass up…”

“Not this.”

“Yes. This. This or nothing. It’s the only thing I’d ask of you. Isn’t this part of your twelve steps? To apologize to people you’ve wronged.”

“Don’t have to do it in person.”

“Yes. You do.”

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Hockey (unfinished)

Chev felt like a truck ran over his chest and then shat on it, so he had little fight in him when Dakota and his buddies decided to take him out to play hockey.

“I’m American. We don’t even play hockey.”

“It’s okay,” said Dakota. “You’ll be on my team. I’ll show you the ropes.”

One of Dakota’s friends was a hawk-faced bastard named Dean. “You going to drag that Yank around, Dakota? I feel sorry for ya.”

Chev ground his teeth together. “How does it feel to be America’s hat? Thanks for keeping us warm.”

“Oh?” Dean had a shit-eating grin plastered to his face. He looked to his guys and they started smiling too. “I was under the impression that America was Canada’s bitch, eh? We’re bigger and on top.”

Their muffled mitten hands slapped together in celebration. Chev always thought that America was a bigger country than Canada, but he hated this guy either way.

Dakota nudged him in the ribs. “Just a little pre-game banter. No worries.”

Chev coughed from deep in his chest. He was exhausted.

“I haven’t skated since I was fourteen years old.”

Dakota smiled and shrugged. “Should be exciting, then!”

After some deliberation, Chev decided not to strangle Dakota. He was too tired, anyway.

* * *

The hockey game went splickety-splack. Stuff happened.

* * *

Chev passed out when they got home but woke up to the sound of drumbeats. Bump. Bump. Bump. It was monotone but consistent, like a heartbeat. He felt drawn to the rhythm just on the other side of his walls. He opened the door and a flood of light washed over his eyes. It felt like some tiny man was punching the back of his eyeballs. The drumming had stopped. Chev rubbed his eyes, blinked out the light, and saw Dakota and his buddies in a drum circle, getting high as kites to the point where they couldn’t even play right.

“You fucking hippies,” Chev grumbled. He pushed Dean out of the way. “Hand me the drums.” They stared at him. “All of them. Now, please!”

He patted one drum, tightened it up, patted another and loosened it. This went on for a good fifteen minutes. The Canadians simply watched this strange, strung-out American tooling around.

Then Chev paused, took a deep breath, and began hammering at the drums. He could feel his muscles protesting. They weren’t used to exertion, especially after getting owned out in the bitter cold in a game of hockey. Chev was in no condition to do anything much, but the music quickened with his heartbeat and he felt a rush of energy like he hadn’t felt since he was first getting high. The drums made a semi-circle around him and he beat on them all in a rapid progression. He started to breath heavily and leapt out of his sitting position. His hands came down like thunderclaps. His deep inhalations caught in his chest and he suddenly began coughing so hard he was heaving on the floor. Everyone came to help him, though the crowding only made him more nauseous.

Dakota tucked him back into bed. He had no dreams that night, but if he did, they would have been about music.

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Jumper

Dakota had been telling Chev for years to come out and find him if he needed help or a place to stay. Of course, the only catch was he couldn’t use anymore. So, it came as a shock when he heard a raspy, shivering voice over the phone.

“I need a place to stay.”

Dakota paused. “Chev?”

“Yeah. Who’d you think it was?”

“I’m sorry. You just sound… are you all right?”

At the end of a trail of coughs, Chev says that he’s not.

“I just tried to hang myself with a shoelace. It snapped”

Dakota wanted to laugh and cry all at once. He sounded so embarrassed. Chev was always impulsive but at least he wasn’t dead yet and for that, Dakota was thankful. The girls, and Seamus too, had all given up on Chev after what he’d done to Dizzie. Dakota kind of hoped he could salvage the old Chev.

“I’ll have a plane ticket ready for you if you want it.”

The line was quiet and Dakota thought the call had been dropped. “Hello? Chev?” He heard a sniff, like the person on the other line had been crying.

“Can I leave tonight?”

“Sure. I mean, but don’t you need to pack or something?”

“I don’t have anything. My dad kicked me out months ago.”

“Where have you been living?” Dakota asked, though he kind of guessed at the answer but it still surprised him when Chev spoke.

“Nowhere. A shelter.”

Dakota weighed his next words. “Do you have a way of getting to the airport?”

“I’m in walking distance.”

“How long?”

“Two hours, maybe three?”

Dakota sighed. “I’ll see what I can do. Can you call me when you get there?”

“Yeah. Don’t have a charger for this phone, though. It’s, uh, not mine.”

“Turn it off while you’re walking, then,” Dakota said, but he remembered something. “Chev! Promise me  you’ll go through with this. You’re going to go straight to the airport, right?”

“…yeah.”

* * *

After their talk, Dakota had called everyone he knew. It would take a lot more than just one friend to take care of and keep an eye on Chev.

Dakota shifted from one foot to the other. Chev finally came out of the airport and he looked like Hell. He was dangerously thin and painful to look at. He’d always had some weight on him but now it wasn’t even the same Chev. Dakota was worried that the Chev he knew had been peeled away.

“How was your flight?”

“Landing was a bitch. Security practically buttfucked me.”

“But at least you’re here.”

“Yeah. Fuckin’ cold, though.”

Dakota handed Chev a coat.

“What’s this?” Chev asked, eyeing the garment suspiciously.

“Just a jumper.”

“A what?”

“A sweater. You know, to keep warm.”

Chev took it without saying anything. He put it over his shoulders. It was too big but he kept it there.

“I’m tired,” he said.

Dakota wanted to laugh. Or cry.

“Let’s get you home.”

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

I’ve Got My Philosophy

I came up with this theory that man can live off music alone. I try this while recovering from my concussion. I put in my earbuds and begin listening to my ipod library with the intention of listening to every song (which will take over three days). In the meantime, I have to keep myself occupied. My car needs its brake pads changed, so I decided to start there. I took out the brake pads and figured my bandages needed to be changed. I’m not really sure how the concussion happened, exactly, but I guess that’s the nature of concussions. I looked it up and it’s called retroactive amnesia. It probably had something to do with my lamp broken and in the garbage can, though. Dizzie must be pissed at me for what I did. My head feels like a shitstorm. Dizzie must be mad at me. I tie an ice pack to my head and do a line. It’s a strange sensation. When I go outside again, I realize my car needs a better radio, so I begin taking it out of the car. I’m not sure why I didn’t do this before. It’s such a simple thing. I probably need more oil so I pour a little in. What’s Seamus doing right now? He’s a good kid. If I ever have a son, I’m naming him something Irish like that. Like, you know, Colin or Roland or something. I take the radio and the brake pads inside with me and set them on the counter. I’m not sure but while I’m taking a piss, I realize the bathroom needs to be cleaned. The chemicals smell bad but they make the floor shine. All the while, I’m listening to my ipod with no food at all. Man can live off music alone, I think. You just need to keep your brain alive and you’ll be okay.

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Filed under Novel, Session XIX

Summer Kisses

After that awkward kiss with Sadie, I needed something harder than wine to keep my head clear.

“I’m sorry,” Sadie whispered.

“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

“That was my first kiss.”

“Why are you telling me that?” I stepped on the gas.

“I don’t know. I just want…”

I’m not sure why I was so tense. Maybe it was Dakota’s physical absence or Chev’s absence of mind or Kira thinking she’s just better than us now that she’s in college and doesn’t have enough time for us anymore.

“Sadie, I can’t give you what you want. I’m not gay, for starters. And you don’t even want to be with me. Trust me on this one. I’m not worth it.”

“I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.”

“Then you’re not at smart as I thought!” I immediately regretted those words. I wished I could have taken them back. Why was I even mad at Sadie anyway? I glanced over at her and the look she was giving me just broke my heart. And it scared me a little. I think she’d always tagged at me like a puppy dog, and I had just kicked her. Now, she was hurt and confused. But Sadie’s not an animal, she’s a human being, and I caught a very human sense of loathing in those eyes.

The rest of the ride was silence.

“Are you gonna be okay?” I asked. She shut the door and walked inside.

I needed something stronger than wine. But where was I going to get it aside from Chev? Grinding my teeth, I make a u-turn at the stoplight on her corner and head in the opposite direction of my house.

I was drenched in sweat that evening from the humidity. It was going to rain. New England weather sucks anus, but summers I can take. Winters on the other hand. Well, at least it’s not… Canada. I step on the gas.

* * *

I pull up to Chev’s apartment. He lives with his dad but he’s always away on work, so Chev usually has the place to himself.

“It’s me!” I shout, knocking on the door. “Open up, mother fucker!”

He takes a while and I imagine at this hour he’s either passed out or maybe with some bimbo. He finally cracks open the door and looks like he’s seriously tweaking.

“Hey, Dizzie. What’s cracklin’?” He hovers at the door.

“Can I come in or are you just going to keep getting in my way?”

“Whoa! Firecracker!”

“I’ve had a bad night. Weed and alcohol, please.”

“Well, since you said please.” He thinks he’s being charming, I guess. I’m beyond caring at this point.

” ‘Kay. Musta been killer. Let’s start with some shots.”

“Fine.”

He pours something from a Jager bottle but I’m not even sure it’s Jager at all. Tastes like rocket fuel and the tears of a newborn child with some urine mixed in for kick. I hold out the shot glass again. “Hit me.”

“She’s feelin’ it tonight!” He can’t stay still. He keeps scratching at stuff on the counter.

I put the next one back and it tastes even worse somehow. My throat feels like it’s coated in venom. “You know there was a band meeting, right?”

“Oh, was there? Shiiit! I bet Kira was mad.”

“Kira didn’t come. It was just Sadie and me.”

He comes back with his bong. It’s shaped like a cock.

We light it up and he keeps staring at me. He has the most terrifying bags under his eyes. “What?”

“You’re sexy right now.”

“Great.”

He leans over and kisses me.

“Chev! What the fuck!” I push his face away.

“What? Let’s do it!” He reaches for my crotch and I smack it.

“Me likey!” he whoops.

“Chev, no. Chev. Chev!” He doesn’t listen. “Chev, what is wrong with you?”

He keeps kissing my face while I’m moving it away. His tongue feels dry like a lizard’s. I’m tired of being kissed tonight.

I start hitting him but he takes this as a cue to put his entire body weight on me. He’s lost his fucking mind.

Someone else is in the room. “Chev! What the fuck? That’s my sister!”

Seamus?

“Fuuuck,” Chev whines. He’s upset about being interrupted. “I told you to leave out the fire escape, bro.”

“Chev, get off my sister… Chev. Get. Off. My. Sister. Now.”

Seamus tries to pull Chev off unsuccessfully. He tries punching the bigger guy but Seamus has always been built like toothpicks. Chev gets up and knocks my little brother over. I don’t even try to yell at him. He’s too far gone. He knocks over Seamus and starts kicking him. I go for the closest lamp, which doesn’t come with me, probably because it’s plugged into the wall. Chev is still beating the shit out of my little brother. I pull the plug on the lamp and run over to Chev, swinging the lamp into his face. Something shatters. The lamp hits the ground and breaks.

I pant heavily, my heart thumping in my chest. Seamus is back on his feet already, hugging himself with and rubbing his arms. “Ow! Is he okay? Should we call an ambulance? We should call someone.”

“We probably shouldn’t for both your sakes.”

We stay for about twenty minutes to plug up Chev’s nose. He may have had a concussion but he looks fine. “Seamus, get in the car.”

“But…”

“Get in the fucking car. I don’t want to deal with you right now!”

Chev is holed up against the wall with a freezer bag full of ice against his face. “You’re a fucking bitch,” he spits.

How had it come to this? What had happened to our friend to make him such an incredible douchebag? I’d met his friends before, but so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised. But to get Seamus mixed up in this? I want to kick some sense into him. Or just kick him. But it’s really not my problem. “Get some help, asshole.”

Seamus is pacing impatiently around the Mini Cooper. “Get in the car, Seamus!”

“It’s locked!” Whatever. I’m too angry to think straight. I dig for my keys and click it unlocked.

“There! Now get in!”

We pop into the car. Seamus tries to run his mouth. “Dizzie, I–”

“We’ll talk about it later. I need to focus on driving right now.” The car is silent for a moment. In spite of my own words: “You’re such a fucking idiot Seamus. What were you even thinking. No, don’t even say a fucking word.”

My phone, which had been plugged into the car charger, starts vibrating.

“It’s a text from Sadie,” Seamus says. “You have eight. That doesn’t seem normal.”

I sigh and run a light just as it turns from yellow to red. Someone honks. “Shit! She’s probably just upset about tonight. Don’t worry about it.”

Seamus is already pawing at my phone. “Put down my phone!” I smack it out of his hand.

“Dizzie. We need to go to Sadie’s.” I want to laugh at Seamus’s shaky voice.

“Really, Seamus. It’s not an emergency.”

“She says she needs you there. She took some pills.”

What the fuck is with tonight?

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Wanderlust (halfway edited)

“Dude. Ballerinas get mad chicks.” Chev takes a hit and passes the blunt to Seamus. A muscular dancer across the street is doing handstand push-ups and backflips off a fence. “Showoff,” he says, blowing out a curtain of smoke. “Makes us normal guys look bad.” He offers Seamus the roach.

“I don’t think they’re called ballerinas if they’re guys.”

“Then what? Ballerinos?” They laugh.

Chev stares up at the clouds. “How’s Dizzie been?” he asks. The ballerino jumps into his mini cooper with his buddies. Seamus starts coughing.

“Pain in the ass. Completely insane. The usual.” He takes the roach from Seamus’s hand.

“Seamus, Seamus, Seamus,” he blows out a little smoke, examines the tiny nub of weed between his fingers like it’s holding out on him. He shrugs. “All women are crazy, my man. That’s just their nature. But the really crazy ones also put out like crazy. You’ll figure it out when you’re older.” He pushes last bit of the roach into my hand. “I’ve got to bounce, little dude. Coda and I have a Halo tournament to rock. You want to come?”

Seamus hesitates. “No. I should get home.”

“Guess I wouldn’t want to further contribute to your delinquency. Later, Seamus.”

Seamus stares at the blunt burning out in his palm. With no one to give it any air, the cinders die out. He looks to see if anyone is around, then pushes the thing to his tongue. It tastes like ash. Seamus spits repeatedly. For reasons unknown, it finds its way into his pocket. It made him feel powerful. A little suburban White kid testing fate.

He takes his first step, but his feet feel like lead. His breath catches and he tries using his hands to pull his leg up. No use.

Of course that won’t work. Use your leg muscles, a distant voice tells him. Seamus knows it’s his own voice, but it sounds like it is coming from behind a curtain. Walking in a straight line is harder than one might think. Seamus is already a relaxed person but get him high and he’s practically catatonic.

A line of ants makes a beeline toward a fallen ice cream. Seamus scratches his head at the line of ants, going about their daily routines. Ants have to be the busiest little bugs on this entire planet. The ants all work in a straight line, moving back in forth to feed their colony and their queen—all except one little one. It looks lost. Seamus puts his shoe down to turn it around and it walks right under where my toes curve up. He finds a small twig and put it down in his path and he walks right around it.

“Hey,” he says to the ant, “you’re going the wrong way. Why would you want to leave your home?” Seamus is not an ant but he thinks he knows the answer. He can’t count the times he’s wanted to just pick a direction and just wander off, but then he’d probably starve or get mugged and killed. He read ants from other colonies will just bite each other’s heads off and he’s sure humans do the same thing to each other. It’s a harsh world: much easier to let one’s mind wander than to actually do the wandering itself. Seamus is sure the ant will figure it out. He steps past it and continues on home.

[continue edit here]

I put Gavin DeGraw’s “Chariot” on my ipod and chill for a while with one earbud hanging loose and the other caressing my eardrum. I’m ready to start walking again. This time I know which muscles to use and it’s easier to start. As I walk home, I think about when I was a little kid. I used to daydream all the time. I remember one time I yelled at some kids for squishing an anthill. They seemed a little guilty at first, but then I guess they thought better of it. Stephen and Nick spent years tormenting me after that. They’d call me names like “Shayla” and “semen” that made me curse being half-Irish and having a ridiculously patriotic mother. Maybe all women are crazy like Teek says.

But why am I thinking about these things? Home is just a block away, a block away. My ipod shuffles to Modest Mouse’s “Float On.” And I do.

By the time I get home, I’ve got Jello Biafra screaming in my ear. I turn off my ipod. I’ll head straight for shower and bed. I’m not feeling well, I have to tell myself. I’m not feeling well.

Dizzie opens the door. I hold my stomach, ready to repeat my rehearsed lines.

“Are you high?” She looks like I brought home a dead skunk in my teeth.

“No. I’m not feeling—I’m just dizzy.” My sister does not think this is funny. I, on the other hand, start giggling into my hands.

“Shhh. Shut up. Do you know what Mom and Dad do when they find their little baby high?”

Other people’s thoughts scared me. Other people’s thoughts shut me up. I hadn’t thought about other people’s thoughts. It frightened me when she called me “their little baby.” That’s a big responsibility to live up to and I hate it.

“Who’s been selling you weed? Where—Teek, that goddamn motherfucking cocksucking Nazi slut! Am I right? It’s him, right? I’m going to rape that fucker with a tire iron!”

I’m a bit dismayed that I’m so predictable, that there’s only one person that could possibly be my dealer. Am I that see-through? “No! It’s not—”

Fuck that motherfucker! I’ll fucking kill that fucker fifty times before he realizes I fed him his own cock through his asshole!”

I let her vent a little while longer. Sis had a temper sometimes, though I’ve rarely seen her quite this angry. “He wanted me to tell you he said ‘hi,’” I finally say, but I find it’s the wrong thing to say. She puts me in a headlock and drags me upstairs.

I can hear my dad from the kitchen. “Seamus? Is that you?” Then my mom: “How was the ballet?”

“He’s in the bathroom!” Dizzie yells, almost squeezing my head right off. She tosses me into my bedroom and slams the door behind her.

“Really, Seamus. What was going through your head? Why would you do something like that? You’re not even in high school, kid.”

I feel small, tiny, minuscule. Like an ant.

“At least you’re not actually going to watch ballets and musicals in your spare time,” she rubs the area around her eyebrow piercings. “Okay. Here’s what you’re going to do, Shemp.” That’s Dizzie’s nickname for me. “You’re going to take a shower, go down to the kitchen, act natural… and there’s a plate of leftovers in the fridge. We had porkchops. Do not eat anything else. Just dinner. Then bed. Understand.”

She’s talking too fast but I nod. “Why are you helping me out like this?”

She looks at me like I’m retarded or something. “I’m your big sister. You act like I’m going to bite your head off or something.”

“Well—” I consider telling her about the ants.

“You know what? I don’t care. Don’t eat everything. Shower and change. Now!” She kicks me in the butt so I go hurdling into my bathroom.

“Where are Mom and Dad?”

“Watching a movie. Something boring.”

“Oh.”

I turn on the fan, then I peel off my clothes, getting my shirt caught around my face and my pants caught around my ankles, but they come off and I guess that’s the important part. I almost forget the pot I have in my pocket. I wonder again if I should eat it to get rid of the evidence. Maybe flush it? But I really want to keep it, kind of as a keepsake. Something about this day has already made me feel nostalgic. I take a picture of it with my phone and then take a picture of me looking like I’m about to toss it in my mouth. Happy that I’ve recorded the day, I feel better about flushing the burnt out roach.

The water shooting from the shower nozzle feels like a million different sensations balled up into one, so that I can’t distinguish one sensation from the other. After a while, I don’t even try. I’ve probably already been here for a while just staring at the floor. But how long? Could be five minutes. Could be fifty. Time gets all distorted in the shower, which is probably why I’m always late for school. I take my loufa (Mom loves these things) and scrubs some fruity-smelling gel on my skin. When I get to sudsing up my crotch, I get a little too friendly. “No,” I tell my hands. Bad hands. I’ve already done enough today to make me feel guilty without filling the drain with my spunk on top of it all. Maybe tomorrow. I turn the water a bit colder to rinse off then I reach blindly for a towel. The world outside the shower is cold and lonely, but at least I have my towel. I feel a little like the curtain is finally lifting.

Kitchen scene: Mom gives me a kiss on the head. Dad is sighing and looking listless. It must have been a sad movie.

“What did you guys watch?” I ask, trying to sound normal. At least, I think I sound normal.

The Darjeeling Limited. It was a really weird movie. I don’t know if I’d watch it again,” she’s in a good mood for some reason. “Your father liked it, though.”

The giant Italian sighs delicately. “Yeah. It was really good. Just so sad, though.”

“Hon, it was a comedy.”

“That doesn’t mean it can’t be sad.”

My mom rolls her eyes. “We just had leftover porkchops tonight, Seamus. You want me to heat up a plate?”

“Sure, mom. Thanks.” A perfect act. She’ll never suspect.

“Are you all right. Your throat sounds a little hoarse.”

“Oh, uh. I’m not feeling—I’m not feeling well today.”

“Well, you’d better get some sleep after you eat. That’s the best thing if you think you’re getting sick.”

“Yeah. That’s what I was thinking.”

“So, how was the ballet?”

“Good. Good.” I pause for a moment, thinking of the ballerino king. “It was A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The costumes were really well done.”

Mom and Dad exchange looks. I cringe. They think I’m gay. Well, yeah, I guess it’s better than the truth. Dizzie walks into the kitchen, giving me something between a worried look and the stink eye. I pour some milk. “You want some milk, Diz?” She gives me the stink-eye and grabs juice instead.

I cut into my porkchops and I realize I could eat ten thousand of these things. I can hear the meat bounce of my throat and it echoes in my ears. Life is good.

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Lady of the House

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!”

“Huh-wuh?”

“You were, like, crawling around with no legs. And then you started popping everyone with a needle!”

“I’m sorry.”

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!”

“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.

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