Bob McPhail 5:30 p.m., May 25
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I am slugging stone ipa's before the casbah show in my deteriorating mauve lazy-boy. Between sips I give treats to the dog while I tap my foot to the kink's the village green preservation society. I gather all the bottles and throw them in the recycle bin in the yard. This alerts the clever dog, and he playfully grabs the cuff of my jeans. I kick back gently, and throw him another bone. As I shut the screen door, I scream later gator and stumble to the car.
I shuffle to the front door and throw cash at the doorman. I inquire when earthless is playing. Behind the front bar, I recognize a bartender from the turf club. I throw back three beers while swapping Golden Hill stories. The room is filling as earthless builds on stage. The bartender appeases the new members of the herd. I turn around and rest my back and elbows on the bar.
A cute young black chick is eying me. Nah, I am just f%cked up. Nope...she walks over to me. She asks if I have heard earthless before. As I elucidate the greatness of earthless, she scribbles in a notebook. This makes me nervous. She admits she is a journalist. I sloppily explain my attraction to earthless, and it passes right around her like a cloud of smoke. She only can comprehend facts, not ideas. She makes a snotty comment about the appearance of the band members. Her questions start irritating me. I say I have to go to the bathroom and head to the back bar.
I find comfort in the caterpillar game in the dark corner. As the last pillar wiggles towards me at high velocity, I am poised to enter caterpillar history. A hand slaps me in the back of my head causing me to lose the game, and my beer slides to the floor. I swing around and punch Jack in the chest cussing like trailer trash.
Jack replies , “ I owed you that”
“Fair enough” I grudgingly agree.
In the dark corner, Jack shuffles in his pockets then sniffs his fist. He, then repeats, but shoves his fist under my nose. This continues until hipsters infect the back bar. Jack brushes my stache playfully. With bourbon in hand, our speedy conversation develops into a rhythm.
Me “ I like moving around the country”
Jack “Why? ”
Me “ You learn a lot about yourself constantly putting yourself in new situations”
Jack, “ oh yeah, what have you learned?”
Me “ I am an @sshole”
Jack laughs hysterically shaking his head, “ you know, me and you are a lot alike”
Me “ we are nothing alike”
Jack “ you would be surprised”
He makes a bee-line for the toilet, and I scan the crowd. My eyes stop on a heavenly creature or possibly a devilish one. Either way, the vision separates my brain from my body. The woman looks my way, and I instinctively change the channel.
I order two red stripes and swing around from the bar to create myself a new destiny. My heart sees Jack laughing with his hand on the bare shoulder of the creature. Jack summons me over and grabs the beers from my hands. He slugs one while handing the other beer to the woman. She blushes and smiles into Jack's eyes.
We head outside around the corner to smoke a joint before the music. The archangel, Mae, sticks close to Jack, while I interview her friend, Joy. She is an ample woman who loves that her UTC apartment is walking distance to the mall. In mid puff, the sidewalk shakes.
“Folks, earthless has hit the stage. Later” I declare while rolling back to the Casbah. I dive into a pool of heavy guitar sounds. I swim over to the bar for beer and paddle back to the deep end. I spy Jack nibbling on Mae's ear in the corner. When earthless collapses and before the applause, all the neurons in my brain fire in unison generating a fleeting blissful moment. With numb ears, we float gleefully into a car and land in Golden Hill park. I lay on the my back staring at the trees while Joy's ear presses against the hairs on my stomach. As I caress her back, I realized she is passed out. I slip from underneath her carefully placing her head on a pillow of grass. I pull up my jeans, and head home.