Kyle Irion and the Very Annoying Night

15 May

It is Friday night. My band, Savage and the Big Beat, is playing a house show.

My friend, Derek, who gave me a ride, drops me off in front of the house while he finds parking. I’m running late, and for some reason I feel like I’ll be in trouble if I don’t get my things in soon. I expected the second band to have started by now, but it appears the first is still playing. It is 11:00.

I am carrying my pedal board, my guitar, and my “Magic Bag,” which contains no real magic, unless you consider guitar cables magical, in which case I feel really sad for you and don’t tell me you think it’s magical because that will ruin my entire day.

“GOOD LUCK!” A fat man says to me as I approach the house. He looks very sweaty and his facial hair is growing in a pattern similar to the way moss grows on a tree. I look to him and say nothing, but silently wish him luck with his fight against obesity.

The driveway to the house is packed with cars and people. It is dark and there are few lights outside, so the scene is a series of silhouettes. Cardboard cutouts of people and cars. I see two men peeing on a fence. I remember when I could pee on a fence. That was before I had gainful employment/a grown-man penis that feels strange being whipped out around 19 year olds.

I waddle to the garage/performance space with my equipment.

There is one door through which people are entering and exiting the garage. My drummer emerges through it and offers to help carry my things. He grabs the magic bag and the pedals. I carry the guitar. We force our way through the crowd and enter the converted garage. It is full of young, sweaty, intoxicated humans. The air is thick with musk and smoke. It’s like walking around a biker’s crotch parts.

We make our way into the kitchen. I do not know where to go from here.

“This way” my drummer, Ryan, says. He leads me down a hallway to a back room that I can tell is lit by a single red bulb. I begin to have flash backs to Caligula and the Doors movie. I get nervous.

He opens a door at the end of the hall and my butt-lips tighten. My leather donut is at full tension when Ryan turns and says “You can put it all in here.” In here. I wasn’t expecting the sex to happen so fast. And I thought there would be more people.

“I thought there would be more people here,” I say, slowly putting down my equipment.

“You kidding me? There are tons of people here!”

Fear shoots through me like an arrow. Where are they? Will this be a sexual ambush? Ambush my bush?

My palms are sweaty and my package has shriveled to resemble a tiny mushroom growing on the knot of a tree. I try to excite myself. I think of running water–fountains, rivers. I feel an extremely strong urge to urinate and realize I am thinking of the wrong things.

Noticing my hesitation, Ryan asks “You okay with this? I promise it’ll be safe here.”

Safe. Safe.

“You sure?” I ask.

“Yeah. No one is going to get in here but the bands, and they don’t want you messing with their stuff, so they aren’t going to mess with yours.”

“Sounds like a pretty shitty orgy,” I say, the mix of “shit” and “orgies” instantly making me hard. Now I’m ready. I just hope I’m gay enough.

Ryan blinks a few times and says nothing, then “What?”

I realize I have misjudged the situation. Seeing all the windows are shut and locked, I turn around and walk out of the room as quickly as I can.

When I reach the crowd in the kitchen, I see a man I know. His name is Phil. Hello, Phil.

Phil says hello.

“I feel a little silly,” I say. The music is forcing me to yell into Phil’s ear.

“What? Why?” he yells back.

“I didn’t know this was a theme party.”

“A theme party?” Phil leans back away from my ear. He looks confused.

“‘Saved by the Bell,’ right?”

“I d–”

“90’s clothes.” I look around “Is this not a 90’s party?”

“No.”

“Thrift Store Dumpster?”

“No.”

“Sequins and Just Straight Up Ugly Polos?”

“I can’t tell if you’re talking shit on everyone or not.”

I hear the phrase “shit on everyone” and harden again.

“No, no,” I say, forcing laughter. “I’m just kidding.”

Phil laughs too. He will hate me forever.

I go outside and meet up with Derek there. He is standing by a Mazda and drinking some strange concoction that with every sip is taking minutes off of his life. Roy Robertson of the Roy Robertson Band is also there. He is spinning in place and then ducking very low before springing back up and spinning again.

“Hey Derek,” I say. “Hey Roy.”

“Hello,” Derek says, his voice dripping with the jolliness of intoxication.

“Time,” Roy whispers, then blows a small handful of dirt from his outstretched palm.

“When’re you guys going on?” Derek asks. The first band is wrapping up, leaving two more bands to play before we go on. It’s 11:15. More people are showing up every minute, too many for the house and garage to contain. I’m pretty sure that it’s going to get busted up before we go on.

A man walks by. He is wearing a safari jacket and trousers and he says very loudly that he has every intention of “getting fucked up” this evening.

“Those ancient words,” Derek says, a fire kindling behind his eyes. “Like an incantation.”

The first band ends and the second begins setting up. It is 11:25. At midnight, I look over to the garage and sigh. They are still setting up.

“How long does this band need to set up?” Derek asks. “It’s like fucking Rush is playing tonight.”

But it is not Rush. It is a different band, who could use a little RUSHing.

There is noise from the house. The second band has started. It is 11:32. I am having a conversation with Roy about recording my band’s EP.

“So what do you want to record?” Roy reaches into his pocket, turns away briefly, and when he turns back, has inserted some sort of strobe-light bead into his mouth.

“A few of our songs?” I reply. I am confused.

“WRONG! You want to record lifesex, passion–” Roy keeps getting closer and closer to me. His voice is altered and difficult to understand, because he still has the light up bead resting on his tongue. “love, hate, mystery, war, dogs.”

“Dogs?”

“Like at the dog park,” Roy says, then spits the light bead into the air. Some spit lands on my face. Although this is the first bit of saliva that has touched my face, I feel I’ve been spit on all night.

“I’m confused,” I say.

I walk away and wander through the crowd. They are like refugees. There are so many of them and all seem so aimless, all drinking makeshift booze out of makeshift containers. I see a man drinking beer out of a measuring cup. I try to find people to talk to, but can find none. The last I heard from Derek, he had to “Drain it” and had taken a jug of trashcan punch with him. I asked him why he needed the trash can punch to drain it. He took three bounding steps toward me and grabbed me by my shirt.

“Because, Kyle. I’m lookin’ good, but feelin’ bad.” Then he growled like a wolf and walked to the back of the house.

When a group of young people climb onto the roof, I elbow the guy next to me and make a comment about the dangers of not minding the soft spots on the roofs of old houses. He looks at me like I’ve got blood coming out of my eyes and walks away.

As he leaves me, I see blue and red lights bounce against the house. I turn and look to see where the lights are coming from. There’s only one place they can be coming from.

I look back to the garage. Young people are piling in as if the government has come to collect financial aid payments. I start to walk to the garage, pulled by the invisible attraction of mob mentality. I reach into my back pocket, where my flask is stored. I pull it out and drop it on the ground.

When it hits the ground, it makes a dull clink and the clink is like a flipped switch in my brain.

I ask myself why I’m going to the garage. I’m 25. I have no reason to fear. I pick up my flask and walk back to the cars and lean back on one while listening to the party’s hosts roll around in the social mud trying to convince the cop that everything will be OK, promise.

“I’m not trying to kill the party guys,” the lady cop says. I wonder what the hell she thought she was going to do when she pulled up to the large gathering of illegally intoxicated minors. “Just keep it down, please.” All the hosts nod and thank her for being a good nice cop and she leaves.

Once she is gone, the party continues as if she had never come.

And then the second cop comes.

I tip my hat to the shitty old house and leave.

The End.

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