So I did what I did best for the next couple of days, which was avoid thinking about it. And compose and play a lot on the soundtrack thing. I’d pretty much been on the cusp of a bunch of stuff falling into place anyway, and one night (morning? afternoon?) I was reading my email and came across a long screed on the electronic music list I was on with detailed instructions on how to program the DX7 to make certain timbres and the next thing you know I had programmed a bunch of sounds that worked with what I was playing…
I think I might have been at it for 20 hours straight. I’m not sure.
Somewhere in there when I felt a little unsure about something, I talked with Chernwick more about the specs. His take was I didn’t need any more specs since I wasn’t trying to score it like a movie–meaning I wasn’t trying to time cymbal crashes to climax moments or something–I was just supposed to hand over a bunch of stuff that they people in post-production could paste in at will. So I just made the songs sound how I wanted them to sound. Some contemplative, some majestic, some borderline comedic… mostly contemplative, though. I know part of what was in my ears was–well–the way the universe sounded when I had been on acid on the other side of the world. I hear music all the time: in the shower, on airplanes, in the white noise of the background it often sounds to me like there’s a song there if only I could “tune” the radio in better and fade the static out. One of the effects of LSD was the static stopped mattering. It wasn’t gone, but I could hear the music in the background better. The DX7 helped with recreating some of those acoustic spaces that I know were really the echoes inside my skull.
I convinced myself I was also subconsciously ripping off the background music of every nature documentary I had ever watched as a kid because some of the songs sounded so… quintessential. Was it actually like something I’d heard before or had I only heard it in my own ears?
I asked Chernwick if he would come over and listen to what I had or if I should bring a demo tape to the office. He said he’d come over in the afternoon–by which he meant the next day, Friday–and asked if it would be all right if he brought a friend who was in from out of town. Chernwick, you might remember, was fifty-something and typically hid his receding hairline with a hat. I said “sure” to the friend comment without giving it much though.
At lunchtime on Friday, when they showed up, I found out the friend was a slightly aging skinny blond bombshell coke queen from Belgium with huge tits and no English-language skills. We spent about 45 minutes listening to the demo, with the two of them cuddled up like love birds on the couch. Then they snorted coke and did to each other on that couch what I had done more than once so I didn’t really feel like it was my place to complain. I mean, really, if you were going to design a couch that was good for sex, this would be it, you know? Probably not a coincidence. I took a can of Coke–the soft drink kind–out by the pool and had my daily swim.
One of the things about coke–the drug kind–is that the effects don’t last terribly long. Long enough for a good, heart-busting fuck, and then it fades. The two of them were in the shower when I went back inside. I made myself a sandwich and when they came out asked if they wanted any fresh-squeezed juice. The bombshell said something I took to be her expressing that I was kind of cute and charming. She kissed me on the cheek. They had some juice, then Chernwick said I should finish up whatever last bits I needed to on the tape and then turn the fucker in.
“It’s not too cliche?” I pressed.
“And even if it was? Don’t you think that would make those fuckers approve even more?”
“Huh. I hadn’t thought of it that way…”
“Stop stressing yourself,” he said. “It’s not a cliche. It’s better than that.” He blinked and looked at me seriously. “Oh, yeah. Don’t drop it off yourself. Bring it to my office. Okay?”
“Anytime next week. Just quit fussing with it. It’s good.” He patted me on the shoulder and then the two of them got into his two-seater sports car and away they went.
If I sound non-plussed about a business associate of mine doing drugs and having sex right in front of me, it’s because I was. Later I thought to myself, huh, that kind of thing probably would have freaked me out a year or two ago. Now, well, okay I had a healthy respect for how fucked up drugs could make a person, but as long as I wasn’t being asked to take them it was clear to me they were “business as usual” for a lot of folks. So was boning a former Miss Belgium or whatever she was.
It did occur to me to wonder why Chernwick had brought her here to do that but maybe it was just they didn’t want to do drugs at the office. Or for all I knew maybe he had a wife…? This didn’t occur to me at the time though.
At the time my main thought was this: I did sort of wonder what the best way to clean the couch was other than to leave a note on it for the actual cleaning lady. I wasn’t sure when she was coming by next, anyway, and I was likely to forget and sit on the couch myself without paying attention. So cleaning it was the next order of business.
This is how my phone call to Carynne went:
Me: Hey, quick question.
Her: Is this important?
Me: No, just quick.
Her: Um, okay sure.
Me: Can you clean leather with Windex?
Her: I’m pretty sure… no. You can’t.
Me: Okay. Hm.
Her: Do I want to know why you’re asking?
Me: I gotta go.
Maybe Ziggy would know.