Savage Plays for Birds of Night

17 Apr

I get to the show at eight to load my gear in. It is dark when I get there and a man with a mustache that hugs his face asks for my ID.

“ID? haha.” I actually say “haha.” “Here’s my ID. I don’t know who you are, but I know who I am. And I’m…” I check my ID. “Robert Kyle Irion.”

I look at my ID for a second.

“Irion?”

“Can I see your ID please, sir?” he asks me, now holding his hand out.

He checks my ID. He gives me an artist wrist band.

“I wave it in the air,” I say as I wave it in the air.

“Okay, that’s enough” the man says, trying to shoo me on.

“It wants it!” I scream. I swat his hand away. I turn and hold the wrist band close to my big sexy body, petting it. I then scurry to the bar.

Behind the bar is a pretty young thing that clocks in at a sober 6 but a drunk 9 so i decide to holler at her.

“Can this be love?” I ask. My voice is drowned out by house music. I look up at the speakers blaring Danzig or Stevie Wonder or Emmylou Harris. I can’t tell.

“What?” she responds, horny.

“Gimme a little bit of everything,” I say, twirling my finger toward the bar. Before she can protest, I lift my arm onto the bar and point to the artist wristband. “You know what this means?” I ask, this time making sure my voice is loud enough to be heard. “This means I’m a princess, understand? And princess always gets what she wants.” I smack the bar then turn away, leaving her to pour The Drink.

She hands me a double whiskey and coke in a plastic cup and I look at it and frown, anger and limitless grief taking hold of me. I had hoped to be handed a gallon jug of mixed booze–straight alcohol–but instead I am handed the drink of the commoner–the drink of the peasantry–the drink of…

“Did someone say Pageantry?” Roy Robertson of Pageantry asks. Suddenly he’s behind the bar. The female bartender seems surprised and then agitated and pushes Roy out. “I think I heard someone think the word Pageantry. Was that you?” He asks me in total falsetto.

“I thought the word ‘peasantry’.”

Roy levels his gaze at me and somewhere in those deep brown, vaguely ethnic eyes I see a glimpse of a human person who is as lost and scared and yet valiantly hopeful as I. Then he blinks, his eyes cloud and he hisses at me like a snake.

Startled, I spill a little of my drink on my hand. It’s cold.

“Haha, you gonna drink that?” Max Brown, singer of Savage and the Big Beat asks as he walks up. “Drink off yer hand?”

He’s about to collide with Roy and I call out to stop him but then Roy gets this very serene look on his face and whispers “New EP out this summer” and Max passes right through him. I shake my head, blink, and look all around me. Roy is nowhere to be found.

“Are you going to drink that, I asked,” Max says, bending down so to make sure that I can hear him. Then he points one gargantuan finger at my hand and laughs his ass off. He straightens his backpack on his back and continues on to the stage area. Ryan, our drummer, walks up and stands in the spot Max just vacated. He makes sure his feet are just where Max’s were, then looks up at me.

“What’s up with Max?” I ask.

“What’s he doing?”

“He’s being sort of…” I do an elaborate, full-body gesture that signifies a person being a jerk.

“Oh, that,” Ryan says nodding. “I let him watch The Simpsons today. That’s my bad.”

We get our gear put up on the stage and people slowly start to arrive. So many young, happy faces I think I could vomit.

I hold my hands out to my side like Bruce Willis does in that one scene in Unbreakable. “Their youth,” I whisper. “It’s filling me up.” I pause. “And feeling me up.” I wink at the camera and glance over my shoulder, but there is no one there. My arms drop and suddenly I feel terribly, terribly, terribly alone.

Our set is loud and glorious and full of memories. And mammaries. Max’s breasts flop around wildly, like the fish drawn up into the floor of a boat, the nipples like the footprints of twin infants on their mother’s stomach. I’ve never seen such breasts in my life.

And I doubt I ever will again.

The End.

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