Just One Chord. Part II

Have you ever had that feeling of your heart beating in your throat coupled with the desire to vomit?

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August 3, 2000

I woke up at about 11:00 with a headache from Satan himself. My nose probably would've felt better had it been removed completely from my face. If this is what boxers feel like after fights then either they're in the running for the world's biggest masochists. I kept tossing and turning in my bed since I didn't really need to get up and get going until 3:00 since getting from Manhattan to Queens is an arduous trip that no man in his right mind would ever really need to embark on, but Tyler wanted to call a band practice the day after the show. That's fair, I guess. The sun burned through the curtains and slapped me awake. I gave in to its demands and did the whole morning routine (It's not morning after 10:30). My shower has the bad habit of sending out bullets for water streams so when I tried to wash my face my neighbors just heard this scream that resembled a dog barking at its own tail.

Chloe, my Fender, may just be the most reliable thing on the planet. She makes gorgeous sounds and you have to be on some level of attachment with your musical instruments to personify them with human names, but I and Chloe are bound together. Yeah, I'm a bit crazy, but crazy is fun. At about 2:50, I tuned up as best I could, packed my case and left. And no matter where you are in New York City, it's always going to be a madhouse. And with a guitar case in one hand you essentially have a battering ram since it hurts like hell to take a guitar case to the knee. I took the R train into the lower part of Manhattan and walked off the station only to be entertained by subway performers. And I don't care what anybody says, these guys have some true talent. One of them, Ray, was an old classmate of mine back in freshman year. He could tear any guitar a new input jack and I swear he could probably shred just as good as Jeff Loomis would ever. He got so enamored with his music that he dropped out of high school in an effort to make his dream come true. And for the past three years he's been traveling around the boroughs performing at street corners in an attempt to scrape up some cash for something to eat. I feel bad for him I really do, but then again it was his fault. I always drop in some change every now and then to help him. A lot of people know him by name since he makes himself known pretty easily. So in a way, his music made him famous, just not the fame either of us would ever think of.

Tyler's apartment had some very unique touches that would always stand out in my mind. He came back to his apartment drunk out of his mind one time and he dropped the keys on the floor since he was too drunk to even find the doorknob. And in this drunken stupor he found it as a good idea to punch a hole in his apartment door and unlock it from the inside. He has the most random picture of a smiling Keith Richards to cover up the seemingly unnoticeable hole. And Tyler was a smoker, but he was a three packs a day smoker. And the smoke was so acrid at times that it would actually seep through the bottom of the doorway and into the hallway so the people coming out of the elevators could smell a pack of Marlboro being lit on fire. As if those two criterions weren't enough, he'd blast Johnny Rotten to trillions of decibels. The neighbors complained day in and day out but his mantra I'll do what I want. always stood as firm as the tar in his lungs. I had to kick the door for him to actually hear me.

I told you I'll give you the rent when I have the money!

Dude, you sound like an absolute prick to your landlord.

He doesn't like me smoking.

I can smell your cigarettes from the elevator. He may be on to something.

Get your ass in here already.

I walked in and my lungs hated me. I tuned up and he plugged in his bass. In my opinion his skill as a bassist made up for his lack of likeability. He hated the idea of using a pick so he always played with his fingers. I and the others would joke around how girls loved his hands. In truth he sucked at getting women since his breath was smoke incarnate.

Where's the others? My eyes were watering from the smoke.

Randy's still hung-over from the show and Trent is back in Staten Island visiting family.

Randy's still hung-over? What the hell did he do, wake up drunk too?

I wouldn't put it past him to do that.

I push this aggravated sigh out of my chest yet there's nothing I could've done about it. So we did the best we could without them. We threw down some riffs we were tossing around and swigged down some cases of Dr.Pepper in the meantime. In a band of retards, Tyler seemed the most rational about things. He and I always did our best to see the big picture and to avoid putting emotion into very frequent discussions we have with Randy and Trent. I liked Tyler more than the other two for various reasons. We practiced for three hours and I headed back to my apartment. I got back at about 7:30ish since heading home on the train is suicidal in nature. I walked up to my apartment door and swung it open to see two letters the mailman had given me. My neighbor every now and then, when he isn't nailing some broad, gets me my mail also. The lock to my mailbox downstairs was broken when I first moved in here and someone's too lazy to get it fixed. One letter was deformed at the corners and it had this fluid penmanship of it. It was from Nicole.

Have you ever gotten that feeling of your heart being in your throat coupled with the desire to vomit? That feeling hasn't stopped for the past three months whenever that name comes up.

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