I used to think you danced with your feet. I would watch my feet and tell them to move around. Then I went to middle school and saw everyone dancing with their arms. So, I started moving my arms around and bouncing a little. I asked my mom after she came home tipsy from a date. She said it’s in the hips. And then I remember Kira told me once that women and India dance with their eyes. For the longest time, I figured you just danced with your whole body. But why does Dizzie’s entire body undulate like a brush fire, and then why does my body only feels like water splishing against the side of a swimming pool?
Tag Archives: Kira
Kira’s band was friggin’ phenomenal. And it made Dizzie more than a little jealous. Even so, she was cheering so loud the people around her were giving her funny looks. But you know what? Fuck them.
“That’s my fuckin’ girl up there! That’s my baby girl up on stage!” She elbows the guy next to her. “The brown one on the stage. Isn’t she precious?” Dizzie bounces up and down, screaming at the top of her lungs.
Kira must have heard her yelling like an idiot because she grimaced slightly. She was going to regret inviting Dizzie to the front row.
Unlike their old band, where everyone’s instruments crashed violently together, the [band name] had more of a jazzy appeal and focused on solos. Kira had become a master of the power chord. And again, Dizzie was jealous. What had she done lately? Did she ever even hold a candle to Kira?
“That’s my sweet baby darling! Go get ’em! Fuck ’em up!” The guy next to her had stepped away. There was a small empty bubble around Dizzie on the concert floor.
“Oh well,” she mumbled to herself. “Fuck ’em.”
Kira finished her solo and kneeled down toward Dizzie. “Thank you,” she mouthed. Dizzie winked at her.
Kira winked at
When I was six, I ate a wild mushroom in my aunt and uncle’s back yard. I always hated mushrooms, so I’m not sure exactly what compelled me to do it. I guess even back then I was always challenging myself. Tastes change over time. I knew about this because my parents always told it to me. So maybe my tastes had changed. It turned out the wild mushroom was delicious. I was so excited by this revelation that I liked mushrooms, I told my parents right away. Instead of being pleased with me, they were horrified. This bothered me because they’d always been trying to get me to eat my peas and my mushrooms. But now they were trying to get me to throw it up. They put syrup of ipecac down my throat and I hated them for doing that to me.
I’m not sure why this memory went through my head when I was listening to Sadie tell her story. She’d overdosed, vomited, waited to die. I wanted to relate to that pain but I couldn’t. My mind went back to mushrooms. I’ve never been in love before, but if it’s anything like what Sadie has had to swallow, please stick a finger down my throat. I don’t want it.
If I had a dime for every time I had this dream, I would shoot myself. I’m walking down a hallway and Sadie is sitting there with blood on her hands. Sometimes she says it’s her own blood. Sometimes it’s mine. Or Chev’s. Or she’s licking it off her fingers. Occasionally Chev comes by with an axe or a chainsaw. Sometimes he sneaks up on me and I turn around and the dream ends. There are nights when the dream repeats over and over again. I will wake up in my bed only to see Sadie there with blood on her hands. At first it freaked me out, then I got angry, and now I’m just exhausted. When I wake up to see Kira standing over me, I know that it’s probably just another dream again.
“Why haven’t you returned any of my calls?”
I think it was at this time I realize that she is real and I panic. I shoot up in the bed and hit my head against the wall trying to get away from her. I’m not sure why the real Kira standing there is more shocking than a dream Kira. Just unexpected, I guess.
“Whoa, Diz,” she was cracking up. “I’m sorry. I just wasn’t–” she catches her breath, “I wasn’t expecting that.” She wipes away a tear. “Are you okay?”
Seeing Kira in my room laughing at me makes me want to cry, and not because I’m upset at her. It’s almost a release seeing Kira here again. I want to unload all my worries on her, but still…
“Why are you in my room?” I ask, rubbing my head.
She stops laughing and pulls out her phone. I watch her with my jaw locked and my gut tells me something bad is coming. Maybe this is a dream after all.
From underneath a pile of clothes comes The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army.”
Kira clicks the phone shut. “That’s my ringtone, is it not?”
“Mhmm,” I grunt, palming a hand over my eye and through my hair. I probably look like a mess.
“So why haven’t you been calling me back. We can’t get through to Chev or Sadie, either, and your mom just said she didn’t know what the Hell was wrong with you. So?”
“So what?” I snapped. “I didn’t feel like calling you back. It’s fine.”
“It’s not fine.”
“What do you even care anyway? You’ve already moved on, started a new band.”
“I’m sorry. I thought we were still friends. I didn’t realize I was just your lead guitarist.”
“Don’t try that guilt trip shit on me.”
“Get dressed and be downstairs in ten minutes. We’re going for a walk. You don’t come down, I’m dragging your sorry ass down.” She slams the door on the way out.
Red lights on the clock tell me it’s almost noon. Why do I feel so tired? My head keeps humming with Sadie mumbling about blood on her hands. Outside the window, the jays are chirping. If only the world could stop and be quiet just for one moment.
It only takes me two minutes to get up and get dressed but I was sitting in bed the other eight. Kira is in the kitchen having a cup of coffee and chatting with my little brother.
“Morning, sunshine!” Kira says, chipper and put together. Her jeans and shirt look washed and her hair is tied back in a ponytail. I must look like a mess. My hair always sticks up in strange places in the morning.
Seamus was smiling but now that I’m here, he’s staring gloomily at the table. We haven’t talked much since that night. And when he does, he only talks about visiting Sadie. I yelled at him about how she’s a dyke and he needs to stop getting in her pants. We haven’t spoken a word to each other since then.
“Want some coffee? Breakfast? You guys have real maple syrup here! I’m so excited about it.”
“No, I’m okay.”
“Let’s just get this over with.”
Kira sighs and pushes back her chair. She pats Seamus on the shoulder and says something in his ear. He’s smiling again, though I can’t help but wonder if it’s at my expense. Whatever.
Silently, we grab our coats. It’s one of the warmer days so far since the beginning of the month. I can’t even see my breath when the door opens and I wonder if I need a jacket. I glance over at Kira and she doesn’t say a word.
In fact, the entire walk occurs in silence. It wouldn’t be so bad if my head wasn’t tumbling around in a million directions.
“So, what’s up?” I ask. Kira stops abruptly. I turn to see her standing with her arms crossed.
“You tell me. Why has everyone dropped off the map? Seamus says he doesn’t know what’s up but he’s a terrible liar.”
“At least he knows when to keep his mouth shut.”
“So that’s it? You’re keeping something from me? Why? Because I haven’t been there to hold your hand?”
Kira breaks her stance to free up her hands. She puts a finger at my nose. “Come on, Diz! Are you really such a fucking baby all the sudden?”
I can’t meet her eyes.
“It’s none of your business.”
“Fine. I’m heading over to Sadie’s house next since it’s on the way to Chev’s. Maybe they can tell me something.” She spins on her heel and walks back to her car.
“Seamus didn’t tell you? About Sadie?”
“What about her?”
“She won’t be home right now.”
“Don’t fucking play games with me. Where is she?”
“She’s under surveillance at the hospital.”
Kira taps her foot three times and sighs deeply. “Get in the fucking car.”
“You can explain or not explain but you’re coming with me.”
“I can’t.” An image of Sadie with blood on her hands and Chev sneaking up on her with an axe comes to mind. It makes me shiver.
“Why? Tell me, please.”
“I just… please don’t go to Chev’s, Kira.”
“Does that mean you’re coming? What else are you going to do all day?”
Stay inside and watch T.V.
“Fine. Let’s go.”
Maybe I’m still dreaming, I think as I buckle the seatbelt. The wheels scratch against the ground as the car pulls away.
Kira is worried. She slides out her discount office chair and hops onto her laptop. She sends a message:
“To: Dakota Long
Have you heard from Chev or Diz? I’ve tried to call them both and no answer. Starting to worry a bit.”
Kira goes out to her classes. She has Guitarmony and then her Jimi Hendrix lab. She has coffee with friends and then goes home to check her messages. She doesn’t have a cell phone. She doesn’t believe in cell phones as a useful tool in everyday life. Kira logs back into Myspace to check out band info she heard from her classmates. She has a new message from Dakota:
“To: Ashkiran Chopra
Haven’t heard anything from them, Kira. I’ll be doubling my efforts, though. I tried Sadie’s phone but I’ll give parents a call tomorrow. Don’t worry. What once was lost will soon be found 😉
Kira feels a little better, but something is still nagging at her. She goes to sleep listening to Black Sabbath. That night she goes to sleep and dreams of pigs charred from napalm fire. She can still remember the smell of burnt flesh when she is awake.
“Hey. Want to come over and watch a kung fu movie?”
“That’s the sexiest thing anyone’s ever told me.”
Dizzie could hear Kira sigh over the phone. “You coming or not?”
“Geez! Give me a minute to warm it up first!” She slaps her cell phone against her arm.
“Oh baby,” Kira says in a Ben Stein-esque voice. “You know what I like.” She waits for Dizzie to stop. “Seriously, Diz. You coming or not?”
“Should we invite the guys?” Dizzie asks. “They love kung fu, yo.”
“No. I was thinking of having a girls’ night out.”
Dizzie moves her mouth from the phone. “Sadie,” she says, “you want to hang out at Kira’s tonight?”
“Wait. Diz. Sadie’s there?”
“Yeah. ‘Zat a prob?”
“Well, you could have asked me,” Kira huffed.
“Girls night out, I thought you said.”
“Yeah, but you guys hang out all the time now, don’t you?”
“Yeah. Sade’s always sittin’ at home, so she comes to hang out… Kira. What’s eatin’ you?” Dizzie snickers.
“Why are you laugh… oh, grow up, Diz.”
Dizzie starts laughing obnoxiously over the phone’s speaker.
“Sadie’s probably getting the weirdest one side of a conversation ever.”
Dizzie wipes away a tear. “Yeah. We’ll be there in half an hour. Cool?”
Kira’s place is filled with Jesuses. Jesus hanging on the wall, Mary praying in the entryway. It strikes Dizzie as a little odd. Sadie frowns and looks around.
“I didn’t know your parents were Christian,” Sadie says
“Catholic, even. Yeah.” Kira says a little brusquely. Sadie gets the message and shuts up.
“So, uh, what are we watching tonight?”
“It’s called Last Hurrah for Chivalry, the best movie ever created. It’s a John Woo movie back when he was more awesome than he is now.”
“I don’t really know too much about kung fu movies.”
“Just don’t ask what’s going on when ninjas start busting into people’s weddings.”
Dizzie laughs. “Yeah, that’s a good part. Well, any part with ninjas, really.” She rubs her chin sagely and nods to herself.
“Sadie, are you serious about this band?”
“Huh?” Dizzie interjects.
“Shut up for a sec, Diz. Sadie?”
“I’ll try my best.”
“That’s not what I asked. This is important. Music isn’t just something you can stumble into.”
“I don’t think I stumbled. I think I was led here. Maybe it was meant to be.”
“Don’t feed me that bull crap. Fatalism makes me puke.”
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.