By the time I get to Amy's apartment I'm soaking wet. With a shivering hand I knock on her door. When she opens up, it's the usual spiel of maternal worries:
Hi Andrew, I thought you were going to call dear god, you're soaking wet! Ever heard of an umbrella? You'll catch a cold, and you don't want that when going into the studio tomorrow. Here, let me get a towel
My solemn expression stops her from continuing.
I moved out, I say bluntly.
Amy's face goes blank. What?
I left. I couldn't handle living with them anymore.
You better come in.
I step inside her apartment, putting down my bag and case, taking off my soaking wet jacket. Amy and I sit down on the couch next to each other. We stay silent for a moment.
So, she begins timidly, the band is still intact, right?
I think so, I answer. Yeah, the band is definitely still rolling, I was just sick of the people I was living with.
Well, the people you were living with are the same people you'll be working with for hopefully a long time, she councils, if you guys have problems, you need to work them out, not just leave.
God, I snap, you sound just like Sam! Like it's that f--king easy, just shake hands and say let's do this.' Sometimes it isn't as simple that, and I'm sick of people telling me otherwise, like you're some f--king expert!
Amy stares at me. I don't think I've ever spoken to her like that. I feel a cold and wretched feeling building up inside me.
Amy, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that, you know I could never be I stumble, looking for the right words, reaching my hand out to stroke her cheek. She recoils, standing up and looking at me with disgust.
So, she says coldly, you were planning on staying here?
Amy, I beg, I don't want it to be like this
Well, you should have thought of that before you became an asshole.
I'm about to come with some form of counterargument, then I realize that she's right: I am being an asshole. Assaulting my closest friends, treating my girlfriend like that, being such an idiot all around Tears start streaming down my face as self-realization kicks in, and before I know it I'm bawling my eyes out, sobbing miserable apologies to Amy. She sighs in a compassionate sort of way before sitting down next to me and holding me in her arms. I just keep crying. God, sometimes it feels really good to be a complete pussy.
Amy lets me settle in, and after a hot shower I decide to call Tommy. It rings a few times before he answers bitterly:
What the hell do you want?
Look, I'm sorry about this morning, okay? I just had a lot of shit going on in my head, and I just blew a fuse, okay? So no hard feelings, I just want you to know I'm really sorry.
There's silence on the line for a few seconds before Tommy eventually responds: Yeah, I guess that's fair. And I'm sorry for being such a dick. I suppose we've all been under a lot of pressure.
Right, I agree, can I talk to Doc or Sam?
I don't know, they're both pretty pissed. It'd be better if you just come back. He smirks, you really are such a f--king drama-queen.
Nope, sorry Tommy, I'm not coming back. I've moved in with Amy.
I sigh, look, it's not like I'm quitting the band or anything, we're still going just as strong. I just don't think it's a good idea that we live in such close quarters. We'll just end up pissing each other off again. Besides, I add, Doc's place was only supposed to be temporary in the first place, and since I have a serious girlfriend with an apartment why not, you know?
I suppose Tommy mumbles insecurely, just meet us at the studio tomorrow.
Alright, peace. I hang up.
Amy's standing behind me. What's the verdict? she asks.
I think it's going to be ok, I respond. I'll talk to them all in the studio tomorrow, it'll be alright.
I give Amy a long hug, before we make dinner together. As I'm chopping up carrots, I contemplate on my situation: I've moved in with Amy. That's quite a step. At first it just seemed like my only option after leaving Doc's place, but now I realize that this choice has some serious consequences: we've taken our relationship to the next level. What might that mean? How far are we willing to let this go, and how fast? I wish I could just be like everyone else and just let things flow, see where they go without second-guessing. But I can't. Right now I need stability more than anything.
After dinner, Amy rolls a joint and we sit down and watch a movie. The weed makes me dizzy and disoriented, it's pretty strong. It seems to have quite an effect on Amy as well, and we haven't seen half the movie before we're making out. She carefully pulls off my shirt, and I put my hand on one of her breasts. She slowly slips her top off and unclasps her bra. I get out of my pants, and she pulls her panties off from under her skirt. Before I know it, I'm inside her, and we're moving back and forth together. She presses her body against mine on the sofa, and I feel a beautiful warmth come over me as I work inside her, pushing into her over and over, harder and harder, faster and faster without getting rough. We hold tightly around each other, gasping in unison, I feel her warm breasts against my chest as she groans with ecstasy. I run a hand down her neck, fondling her breasts before we both come, and lie gasping on the sofa. The movie keeps running. I can't even remember what it was we were watching. Something with Edward Norton. We hold each other closely, making out until the insides of our mouths are raw. Maybe moving in with Amy wasn't such a bad idea after all. Maybe we are ready. It certainly feels that way.
I whisper in Amy's ear that I love her, and she smiles. I look at the clock on the wall: eleven in the evening. Shit, I'm supposed to be in the studio at nine tomorrow morning. I turn off the TV and tell Amy that I need to get to bed. She nods, going into the bathroom and brushing her teeth. I don't even bother, I just set the alarm on my cell phone and go under the covers. Amy joins me a couple minutes later, and we fall asleep holding hands.
It's seven-thirty and I'm munching on cereal while reading a book at Amy's kitchen table. I left her sleeping half an hour ago, but now I hear footsteps and she comes out of the bedroom in a bathrobe. She looks tired.
Morning, she says, rubbing her eyes.
Good morning, I respond, I helped myself to some cereal, I hope you don't mind.
Not at all, she yawns. I guess we should get used to this, right?
I suppose next round of groceries is on me in that case. We've been making good money off of our last few gigs, and I feel obligated to pay for something.
So, what are you doing up this early? I ask.
Amy laughs weakly. Are you kidding? I have an exam in two days, and I have shift down at the caf tonight. I need to get studying.
Hm. What's your exam about?
Development of economical structures with low-budget capacity.
I smirk. Okay, definitely leaving that one up to you.
We spend the next half hour discussing our schedules for the next few days, and she gives me a copy of her key.
Can you make dinner tonight? Or order in? she asks.
I kiss her goodbye, grab my bass and head out the door, catching a bus downtown.
After a couple of gigs and several requests for a demo, we decided that we were ready to record the few tracks we had finished. This way we would have something to sell at concerts, not to mention we could get a Myspace page up and running. We got a friend of Tommy's to take some pictures of us while we were playing in Doc's basement, at one of the gigs, and a few pictures of us posing in front of an old brick wall. This friend of Tommy's (Susan? Sarah? Who knows) photoshopped them to give them a slightly vintage and stylized look, so basically all we need are the recorded songs. It should be good for promotion. If there's one thing I've learned from Amy, it's that you should treat your band like a business; it will pay off. We found a decent recording studio with good equipment and experienced technicians at an affordable price, so we decided to go for it. We have two days to record our six tracks, and we're counting on efficiency.
I get off the bus a few blocks away from the studio, lighting a cigarette as I go. It isn't raining, but certainly cloudy, and the streets are wet. A slight breeze gives me the chills, and I wrap myself in my coat, sucking in the smoke and counting my steps.
I get to the front doors of the recording studio and flick my cigarette butt away. Stepping inside to the makeshift lobby, I greet Simon, the technician who will be helping us. I haven't seen him since we made the arrangements with the studio about a month ago.
Anyone else from my band arrive? I ask, nonchalant.
I saw your drummer and vocalist ten minutes ago. They stepped outside for a smoke.
That's odd, I think. I know Tommy doesn't smoke, and I'm pretty sure Doc doesn't either, at least not on a regular basis. Besides, I didn't see them outside. I step out the door, looking around. A sharp whisper comes from around the corner, from an alley.
Andrew, over here.
I walk around the corner and see Doc and Tommy passing a joint back and forth.
Hey guys, I say in a low voice, trying to lock eyes with Doc so as to coax some conversation out of him, try to make things less than awkward after what happened yesterday. Jesus Christ, I attacked the guy. What was I thinking?
Hey buddy, Tommy responds.
Hi, Doc mutters bluntly.
I offer Doc a hand, look, how about a sincere apology? I really am sorry about yesterday. I said things I shouldn't have said, I did things I shouldn't have done, and I don't know what else I can say. So there you have it.
Doc looks at my stretched out hand sceptically. Are you sure? Look me in the eye and say that you're sorry.
Doc; I just said I was. Take my word for it or not, that's the truth.
He keeps a straight face for a second more before grinning, grabbing my hand and enveloping me in a bear hug.
Goddamn, it's good to have you back, Andrew. He laughs.
Alright, alright, you big commie gorilla. I break up the hug. Where's Sam?
Tommy and Doc look at each other uneasily.
He said he'd meet us here by nine, Tommy explains. He said he had something to do.
It's ten after, I grumble, where the f--k is he?
Just then, my phone rings. It's Sam.
Sam, I answer, where are you? We're at the studio.
Andrew, he says calmly over the phone. I told you yesterday that if you left, you wouldn't see me on Monday.
I told you that we needed to work through our problems, instead you just left. And I refuse to work with you if you're going to be that unstable.
I send a panicked glance towards Tommy and Doc. They shrug and mouth the word: what?
Nonono! I babble, Tommy and Doc and I are fine! We've made up, we have to get going! Our studio time is ticking!
F--k you, Andrew, Doc was right: this project is for shit. I'm out.
He hangs up, leaving me staring at Doc and Tommy with frightened eyes.
Robert Ippolito, January 2010