After Bart dropped Ziggy off, he turned the car toward Cambridge. We parked behind the McDonalds, but crossed the street to the Middle East where greater quantities of food could be had, cheaper, if you didn’t mind rude waitresses and a lot of spillover noise from the club room in the back. He wanted to know what had gone on between me and Zig on the loading dock. I told him how I came down on him for not being reliable and how he came down on me for being a self-righteous prick. In other words, everything was fine.
We talked about the indie label idea again, and about finding a drummer. I fretted. Bart suggested we not hold our audition in the park this time. “We must know someone,” I said, again.
“How about Chris?”
“Christian. From Miracle Mile. Formerly Highway Death?”
“I thought their drummer’s name was Mark or something.”
“No, the keyboard player. But he’s really a drummer, I remember him telling me. He wants to quit playing with the Mile. I think.”
We settled on putting up some signs, me near Berklee, Bart at the studios where he’d been doing dubbing work. I said I’d call Carynne and ask her to ask around, too.
When Bart dropped me off at home I called her, figuring I’d get her machine. To my surprise, she picked up.
“It’s Daron,” I said. “Hey, how are you?”
“Oh my God you are so full of shit I can smell it through the phone,” she said with a laugh. “What kind of favor do you need?”
“What, I’m not allowed to just call up to say hi to an old friend, who by the way only lives half a mile from me but who I haven’t seen in months?”
“Dude, live with it, I’ve got exams and stuff. Now seriously, of course you can call me up anytime, but I can tell you didn’t call to say hi.”
“Maybe I should be haranguing you to come see me play.” I sat down on the futon and cradled the phone with my shoulder while I flipped open the Ovation’s case with my foot.
“Okay, okay. Do you know any drummers? We need one.”
She laughed. “You’re kidding, right? I thought drummers were a dime a dozen.”
“A good one.”
“Oh, well, that’s different.”
“Bart says Christian from Miracle Mile wants to quit playing keys for them and get a drumming gig. Do you know him?”
“As it so happens, I do.”
“And I’ve never seen him play drums, but he’s good people, if that’s what you’re asking.”
I supposed it was. “Cool. Bart’s going to call him.” I wondered if I could make things work out with Christian just by wishing it would all be fine. Right then it felt like I could. “Meanwhile, you should still come see us play sometime. We’re working on new stuff all the time. We’ll be at the Ret next week, oh no wait, that was last week… shit…” I couldn’t reach the notebook with our upcoming gigs in it. It was usually by the phone, but apparently I’d carried it over to the card table. I needed to get a cordless phone.
“Well, how about telling me about a show before instead of after? Then I might actually show up, you doofus.”
“Yeah, okay, I know we have some coming up…” We chatted a little more after than and when I hung up the phone I felt pretty good. She didn’t make any weird come-ons and I hoped she really would come to a show and bring friends.
It was almost midnight by then. I couldn’t stand the thought of lying in bed thinking about Ziggy sitting next to me and chewing me out, so I plugged in my four track recorder and headphones and started to play. I figured I’d just put down a few ideas that had been rattling loose in my skull for a while. It didn’t work out that way. At some point I felt a crick in my neck and I raised my head to find the sun coming up over the skyline of Boston.