Did you know that to find the length of a line segment, you would find the difference of the two x and y co-ordinates, square them, add them together, and then find the square root of that sum. Here's an even better question; how is that relevant to life? When will I ever utilize this once I'm on my own? Does the length of a line segment even really matter? I think my first grade math class might have been more rewarding then this; I learned the everyday skill of telling time. I mean, sure, a lot of my subjects I can see as possibly being helpful, but I really don't see the point of this. Using my first-grade abilities of telling time, I can tell you that I spent an entire twenty minutes determining the length of various line segments. And I can tell you I learned nothing relevant in those twenty minutes.
"Hey man, you comin' over tonight?"
Grubbs was struggling with his lock, trying to enter the combination with one hand while the other was occupied with his math books.
"No, I can't make it," I replied, tossing my books into my locker. I hadn't even noticed Grubbs had come up to his locker beside me; I must have been out of it.
"What the hell Carl!"
"Sorry man, something came up."
We were supposed to jam tonight, but I had other things on my mind. Maybe it's foolish of me, but I still couldn't get over the Jessica Stowe incident that had happened earlier.
"Okay, well tomorrow night, no exceptions!" Grubbs said in a jokingly menacing way, as he swung his backpack over his right shoulder.
"Yeah, tomorrow." I had already begun my walk down the hall, and was walking backwards while facing Grubbs to talk to him. This was much to my demise, as I had no idea where the hell I was going, and backed right into a large figure.
"Watch where you're going, faggot!" Dale yelled, as he shoved me to the ground and continued walking.
Ah, yes, Dale Poulin. Dale is, for lack of a better word, a dick. If my life were a fictitious story, Dale would be that clich villain. And what's even worse is that he plays the guitar as well, and is one of those guys who thinks he's the next Hendrix. He was just a dick. I'm realistic though, as I know if I ever tried to start something with him, he would flatten me like a cockroach. But I guess that's just the way life is.
"Hey, you okay?" Grubbs asked, helping me get up from the dirty floor.
"Yeah, I'm fine," I mumbled, slightly embarrassed by what had just happened. I had kind of become numb to Dale's stupidity, but I still managed to find some shreds of embarrassment in the event. I guess it was against all laws of life to end my school day on a high note, but I didn't really care. I was still slightly out of it; my mind was in a whole new universe, floating around new ideas that were arising every second. The reason I had to skip out on the jam with Grubbs was because I had to get these ideas down on paper, before they flew away.
I spent the rest of that night writing lyrics. Some of them were happy and love-stricken, while some were angry and melancholy. A whole slew of emotion had somehow been shot open that day, and I was writing verses like there was no tomorrow. I had never had a rush of creativity so monumental before; I knew something had happened that day, something great. Could it have been Jessica Stowe, or some other subconscious occurrence? I didn't know what the hell was doing this to me, but I liked it. I knew this was the birth of something sensational.
The next school day came, and just as slowly passed. The whole day I had my mind on the upcoming after-school meeting with Jessica Stowe. We had discussed it a little more during lunch, and had determined that she would come to my house at 4:30.
"Hey man, you're not bailing again tonight, are you?" Grubbs questioned while we were at our lockers once again, packing our bags full of homework that we know we weren't even going to touch when we got home.
"Ah, shit!" I hadn't even put two and two together to come up with the fact that I couldn't be at Grubbs' house and my house with Jessica Stowe at the same time. "I can't make it man. Sorry!"
"Are you kidding? Man, screw you!" Grubbs was talking in his "friendly angry" tone.
But then it hit me. How had I not put this together either? I had a sudden spur of creativity, I had a drummer and a singer who loved my music, and they both wanted to jam with me. I had always been meaning to start a band, but this time it was handed to me on a silver platter!
"Grubbs," I excitedly stammered while I slammed my locker shut. "I'm not coming to your house, because you're coming to mine. Be there at 4:30!"
"But why not just"
"Shut the hell up!" I interrupted. I wasn't even going to let him try and argue. "You're coming over to MY house. 4:30, you better show up!"
And with that, I slung my backpack over my shoulder, and briskly walked out of the building. It may seem foolish, but my hands were shaking; quivering with excitement. This was it. This was my band; this is what I've been trying to do for as long as I could remember. I was the only one who was currently aware of this new formation; hell, I don't even think Grubbs and Jessica knew each other that well. But this was it, now was my time to bring my music to life!
After fumbling with my key for a bit, I finally managed to get my front door unlocked. I walked inside, closed the door behind me, and carelessly threw my backpack onto an empty chair, before kicking my shoes off and into the closet.
"How was your day Carl?" My dad was sitting at the dining room table, eating his usually late lunch.
"It was fine," was my simplistic response, while I hurriedly poured a glass of cola.
"Do you have any homework?"
That was a lie. I had both history and math homework, but I had better, more important things to tend to than the effectiveness of the Schlieffan Plan in World War I.
I downed the glass of cola, and excitedly made my way down to the basement to prepare for my first official "band" practice. I was still hesitant to call it that; I didn't want to get ahead of myself only to be disappointed when it doesn't work out.
I flicked the light on in the cold basement, although it really didn't do that much to illuminate the room. My guitar was still lying on the dusty old couch where I had left it two nights ago, already plugged into the small, 15 watt amp sitting next to the couch.
As far as I was concerned, my guitar didn't have any "brand". It was technically a red Fender Telecaster, but I had put a piece of duct-tape over the "Fender" branding on the head stock, and wrote "who gives a damn" on it with a black marker. It just seemed more appropriate to me. Clearly I didn't give a damn; it was scratched and dented, with peeling paint, and a missing volume nob. But it still played just the same.
To the left of the couch and the guitar, somewhat off to the side, was an ancient drum kit. Much like my guitar, I had bought it used, and it was nothing fancy. A bass drum with a hole in the skin that was masked by duct-tape and spray painted black, a snare drum, a floor tom, a hi-hat, a crash, and two toms. I never actually played it; it was for whenever the jam time Grubbs and I had rolled around to my house. He didn't mind playing that old beat-up kit; he actually somewhat preferred it to his own.
I quickly made sure everything was working properly before I heard a knock on the door from upstairs, almost as if it was on cue. I ran back upstairs and answered the door, to find Grubbs waiting on my front porch.
"I came, 4:30," he said, as he invited himself inside. "Let's get down to business!"
"Just wait," I replied as Grubbs threw his shoes into the closet. "We're waiting for one more."
He looked at me in surprise. "One more? Who?"
"Holy shit, Jessica Stowe!" As I said before, Grubbs didn't really know Jessica that well, but he knew I "might" love her.
"Way to go man!"
"It's not like that," I quickly corrected him, although I wanted to believe it myself. "She's just going to jam with us; vocals."
Grubbs gave a satisfying nod in response. " kay, I'm down."
Grubbs and I went down to the basement to jam for a bit before Jessica arrived. He cautiously lowered himself to the creaky stool behind the kit, while I switched my amp on, and we immediately started practicing one of my songs. After about 15 minutes of this, I finally heard the long awaited knock on the door. I quickly set my guitar down, and made my way back upstairs.
"Go get er!" Grubbs yelled jokingly, and I flipped him off as I disappeared through the doorway.
I nervously opened the door, and Jessica was standing there, with the lyrics to the song she had scavenged from me the day before.
"Hey Carl, sorry I'm late," she said apologetically as she stepped through the doorway.
"It's fine." I really didn't care that she was late; I was just pleased she actually came.
Jessica and I made our way down to the basement, where Grubbs was waiting at the kit. Once seeing Grubbs, Jessica immediately gave me a confused look.
"He'll being jamming with us," I replied. Although she never really asked, I knew that's what she was thinking.
After guiding Jessica through the general style of the song, we began playing. And, to make a long story short, it was phenomenal. Sure, it was the first time any of us had played together, and it was the first time we had gone through this song, but it was great. My guitar was a bit out of tune, and sometimes Grubbs hit the snare a bit off time, but it was raw, and it was real. Probably the one of the group that shined the most, though, was Jessica; she was more of a rocker than I actually thought. She almost had remnants of Joan Jett when she sang, and it worked perfectly with the song.
Although none of us actually acknowledge this as the formation of a band, I know all three of us knew it was true. In fact, once we started packing up after playing some of my songs for an hour and a half, Grubbs said something that made the entire meeting of the three of us complete.
"So what are we going to call ourselves?"
Jessica and I immediately knew what he was referring to, and after a couple minutes of discussion, we decided to call ourselves "Why". Why name a band "Why"? Because we wanted to name it something that had relevance, and "why" is probably the most relevant question in the world. Everyone asks why, and we wanted everyone to be able to relate to us.
Once Grubbs and Jessica had left, I went up to my room, and cranked my stereo. But as loud as the music was, I couldn't it; I was somewhere else, thinking about what was next for this band. I was excited as hell, and just wanted to get this thing going; to push it further even though it had just begun. I had started to achieve something I had referred to for so long as impossible! For today was a glorious day; today was the birth of Why!