We were up on stage in a bar called Dino's. I was sweating like crazy under the bright stage lights, and I held onto the microphone stand and swayed back and forth while Meghan and Jen played. We were nearing the end of our set. On our second last song they played softly for a while and I did a little spoken word piece, something I'd basically lifted from Dostoevsky's "Notes From Underground," and then I went quiet and danced while Meghan played this endless solo on her guitar and Jen pounded along on her drums. Toward the end I would sing a little chorus bit, but mostly I just danced.
It was our third gig, and we'd already come a long way. Our first little show at the art gallery hadn't amounted to much except to inspire us to come up with more material. Our second show had been on the college campus at an afternoon event in one of the big multi-purpose rooms. We'd been the third of seven acts, including poets, performance artists, drummers and dancers, and a few more traditional bands. We came away feeling like we had a long way to go, but that we definitely had massive potential. We just needed to keep getting better.
Dino's was our first time playing in a bar. Getting the gig was a result of Meghan's hard work. The band was definitely her baby, and she'd been recording us at practices, putting our music online, and hustling to get us gigs anywhere she could. She found us a spot opening for a bigger local act at Dino's, which was a pretty typical rock bar. They always had bands play, and it they were good about giving new bands opportunities.
Meghan was really working out on her guitar. I was holding the mike stand and bending way over, sticking my ass out and waggling it back and forth. The little black skirt I had on showed off a lot of leg, and it made my ass look great. I figured I was giving the crowd a good look at my cleavage, and just as importantly, I was giving Jen a good look at my ass.
I was still working on her, and she was still playing me hot and cold. She would cold-shoulder me, ignore me, and then suddenly go down on me and make me come like crazy. She was driving me insane, and I hadn't even seen her completely naked yet.
Meghan and Jen worked their way to my cue, and I put my lips to the mike and starting to sing: "I will disappear, I will disappear, but I won't let you ignore me, I won't let you ignore me..."
My lyrics didn't make much sense, but I was still just getting used to songwriting.
Jen beat the cymbals to end the song and I stepped back from the microphone. There was some clapping and cheering. We'd invited friends to come see the show, but the bar was mostly full of strangers. It was nice that some of them were enjoying whatever the hell it was we were doing.
I turned and smiled at Jen. She wiped a towel across her forehead. She was as sweaty as I was. She dropped the towel and saw me, gave me a smile, and began tapping out the rhythm for the next song on the snare.
"This is our last one," I announced into the microphone, and Meghan started blasting out a riff on her guitar. The two girls played while a swung my hips and whipped my hair around, trying to look like a rock star. When it was my turn, and I pressed my lips to the microphone and started reciting the broken-hearted love poem I'd originally written for some douche-bag two years before:
"In some faraway place in some other time we would live forever just you and I..."
It wasn't great material, but it was good enough for now. Jen and Meghan kept reassuring me, when we write better songs, we can stop playing the ones we don't like.
We played it through, ended our set, and got a good cheer from the crowd. The stage lights finally went down, and the house music went up, and Jen, Meghan and I started clearing our stuff off the stage so the main act could get ready.
"Really good," Meghan said. "That was really good."
"Yeah," Jen said, toweling off again. "Way better than the first two."
"Drinks," I said. "Let's get some drinks."
"Do the gear first," Meghan said. "We can hang after."
I didn't really have any gear, so I helped Jen with the drum kit. We collapsed everything and carried it off the stage and right out the back door to where Jen's little car was parked. We jammed everything in, including Meghan's guitar and amp, then locked the car and went back in for a drink.
Jen was driving, so she just ordered a soda, while Meghan and I ordered beers. Guys crowded around us at the bar, trying to chat us up, while the friends that came to see us squeezed in as well. It was a busy scene.
Someone bought me a second beer and someone else bought me a third. Everyone was having a good time and before I knew it, I lost track of Jen.
I pinched Meghan's elbow and asked where our drummer had disappeared to. "She left," Meghan answered. "Didn't she tell you she was going?"
I frowned. "I guess she forgot," I grumped.
This thing had been going on for a while now. I had a theory about what she was thinking in general, and it was something along the lines of her being mostly heterosexual and usually being with guys, and only part of her wanting to really connect with another girl. That was why she would usually deflect or avoid me: because she was afraid of letting her bi-side out. But occasionally she would get worked up and her inner lesbian would explode out, and she would end up with two fingers in my p-ssy and her lips on my clit.
I wasn't like that at all: I went from crush to crush, boy or girl. And right now I was crushing on Jen, although I was starting to get fed up with the runaround she'd been giving me. But I hadn't given up yet.
Our next band meeting was in the middle of the week, and the three of us were meeting in Leaf and Bean, a small downtown coffee and tea shop. We were supposed to meet at three, and I arrived at five past. Jen was already there, sitting at a table with a takeout cup and a paperback novel open in front of her.
"Hey there," I said, sliding into a chair across from her. "What's going on?"She shrugged. "Same sh-t. How are you?"
"Ah, you know," I said. "Busy. School. Being a rock star. All that stuff."Jen grinned. "Right. We're not rock stars."
My phone buzzed. I pulled it out of my purse and checked it. There was a text from Meghan: "gotta skip meeting. go ahead. call later."
"Looks like it's just us," I said, holding the phone over the table so Jen could read Meghan's missive. "Do you want to bother?"
"Sure," she said, closing her book and slipping it into her bag. She was wearing a purple leather jacket that I hadn't seen before. Jen was always stylish, and her makeup was always nice. Her lips looked dark cherry red, her eyes smoky with grey and silver.
"New jacket?" I asked.
"This? No," she said. "I got this years ago. I just rotate them in and out of the lineup."
"That's cool," I said. "We should go shopping sometimes," I said. "I love your style."
"Yeah right," she said with a smile. "Like when you wanted my advice on what to wear to our first show? You just brought me over to your place to try and have sex with me. If we went shopping together you'd probably try to nail me in the change room."
"That could be fun," I said. "Anyway, what's the point of this meeting? What are we supposed to be talking about today anyway?"
"Not much," Jen said. "There's not much point without Meghan anyway. We were going to talk about music to add, like, covers. Other than that I think she just wanted to hang."
"Did you bring anything? Any music?"
"Yeah," she said, pulling out her phone. "I was thinking we could do a Joy Division song, although I haven't figured out which one. Do you know Joy Division?"
"Not really. They're older, right?"
"Yeah, late 'seventies. Kind of gothic post-punk, really cool. Here, listen to this." She cued up an MP3 on her phone and handed it over with its earphones. I put the buds in my ears and listened. The music sounded sparse and thin. There was a precise drum track, joined by a bass line. Not much guitar. Vocals eventually joined. A male singer, singing baritone. The song would sound completely different if we played it. This song was very restrained, tightly controlled. We tended to be all over the place.
"I don't know how we would do this," I said. "Nobody would even know it was the same song."
"That's okay," Jen said. "We could just use it as source material and then go wherever we want with it. Or we could add a bass player. Joy Division songs kind of need a bass player. But I've been thinking we should add one anyway."
"Oh," I said. "Do you know a bass player? Hopefully we can find a hot girl, right? That way she would fit in with the rest of us."
Jen laughed. "Yeah. And you could try to sleep with her, right?"
"No!" I said. "Is that what you think, I'm just here to find people to sleep with?"
Jen took the phone back. "Well, you slept with Meghan, didn't you?"
"Yes," I admitted. "But I'd had a crush on her for a long time."
"What about me?"
I smiled at her, then looked away, embarrassed. "I got a crush on you after meeting you."
"So we get some hot chick to play bass, and you would drop me and get a crush on her?"
"What do you mean, drop you?" I snapped. "How can I drop you? You avoid me like the f--king plague. It's not like we're dating or something. You won't even meet up with me."
Jen shrugged. "I'm very busy."
"Yeah, right." I sank down into my chair, sulking.
"Oh, forget it," she finally said. "I don't know any hot chick bass players anyway. I don't really know any at all. How about you?"
"No," I grumbled. "Well, I know one, but he's really not an option. Actually, Meghan and I both know him, but he's not appropriate."
"Our mutual ex-boyfriend plays bass. So like I said, not an option."
"Who, that guy Steve?" she asked. I nodded, and Jen sipped her tea, thinking it over. "Is he any good?"
I shrugged. "I don't really know. I don't think so. He doesn't play in a band or anything."
"Well, that means he's available."
"He's a meat-head," I said. "Do you really think it's a good idea to ask a guy that's already gone out with Meghan and me to join our band? That's just drama-sh-t. And obviously, Meghan and I have both already rejected him as a person. Doesn't that tell you all you need to know?"
"Ah," she said, waving her hand. "We don't need to hang out with him after the show. And besides, if you've gone out with him already, it will save you the work of having to sleep with him now."
I laughed despite myself. "You b-tch," I said.
"It's just an idea," she said. "Anyway, forget it. We can worry about it later. Come on back to my place. We can listen to some music."
(This is an excerpt from the full ebook, which is available for all devices at Smashwords.com. Visit my profile page to learn more.)