(Another Saturday bonus post! Want to do it again? Click here to give. Thank you everyone for your support! -ctan)
After getting Bart and Chris’s suitcases settled at a hotel, we went over to the rehearsal space to check it out.
Sarah’s team had been using it before we moved in, but it still looked much more like an abandoned industrial building (which is what it had been) than like an arts complex. The floor was rough brick in a lot of areas including the big main room where an entire full size stage could be assembled including lights and everything. Right now there were a few road crates sitting off to one side, one lone piece of truss as long as a semi, and some empty cardboard boxes lying around in there and not much else.
There were two side rooms with another one top of them that jutted out onto the main floor. One of the side rooms had been outfitted as a kitchenette/break room, while the other had a couple of desks and bulletin boards. I went up to the upper room which had windows on three sides facing the factory floor but no windows to the outside world–the bosses in the old days must have keep an eye on the factor from up there. There were chairs scattered around and some sound equipment, and three-prong power running from a strip all the way around the room. The floor was carpeted by mismatched area rugs overlapping each other haphazardly. This was clearly the right spot for rehearsals and auditions. I made a list of what other equipment I thought we’d need or want while Bart and Chris carried gear in.
And then we went over to Ziggy’s for them to drop me off, which ended up being just a dropoff of my duffel bag and such and a pickup of Ziggy, and then the four of us sneaking off to Chinatown.
I say “sneaking off” because we didn’t tell Barrett where we were going and we didn’t take a bodyguard (Tony) with us. Really this does not count as “sneaking” at all. Four adults going to dinner together isn’t exactly a subversive act. But I had a sense that Barrett didn’t like not knowing where Ziggy was at all times and that there were probably places we shouldn’t go and things we shouldn’t do.
Eating peking duck wasn’t one of them, though. And I think somehow all four of us felt it was important to get some time together. I hadn’t realized that it would be before, but when the chance came up I suddenly did.
So we were crammed into a table for four in a restaurant across from the Chinatown police station, under a wall-affixed statue of a phoenix that had lightbulbs coated in scratched red paint for eyes.
“So how are you guys?” Ziggy asked once we’d ordered. He was very lightly made up and wearing his old “plain” black leather jacket (i.e. the one that only had a few drawings on it in silver spraypaint pen and not the “fancy” one that had the studs and rhinestones and stuff).
“Not bad, yourself?” Chris said automatically. “Still hanging out a lot at Limelight?”
“Yeah, now and again,” Zig said. “Trying to stay away from the E crowd, though. It fucks with my meds. Not worth it.”
“And is there really no way to avoid the feeling of being hit by a cement mixer the next day?” Bart asked. “I’ll stick with mushrooms and acid, thanks.”
“I’ll stick with this,” I said, and raised my Tsing Tao. “Did I tell you Court got an internship at RCA? She starts Monday.”
“No, that’s great. What department?”
“P.R., I think?” I decided not to tell him the bit about my mother’s gallbladder surgery. Not right then, anyway.
We chit-chatted until the food came and then as usual got quiet while we stuffed ourselves for a bit. Ziggy was the first to slack off eating, and start talking again. “So who’ve we got coming in Monday?”
“I dunno.” I wiped sauce off my face with a napkin. “Carynne took over actually fielding the calls from those inquiring. My plan is to go in there with an open mind and open ears.”
“You want me there for that?”
“Unless you don’t want to be.”
“No no, I want to be.”
“Good.” No seriously, good. I wanted his input about who we hired, especially if they were people we didn’t know. Ziggy was always good at reading people. “Has Linn taken your measurements yet?”
“No,” I said, then to the others, “The Aesthetician.”
“The what now?” Chris asked.
“The costume, stage, and lighting designer,” I translated. “Her name is Linn but everyone but Ziggy calls her The Aesthetician.”
“Sounds like the title of a literary novel,” Bart said. “What kind of costumes are we talking about?”
“We might be in black ninja suits hidden from sight for all I know,” I said, taking a nonchalant pull on my beer.
“I doubt that,” Ziggy said with a shrug. As was normal I had the feeling he knew more than he was saying. “And you guys can wear whatever you want in your opening slot.”
“I hadn’t even thought about that,” I said, looking at Bart.
“We’ve got until September to decide,” Bart pointed out. “Let’s worry about the music first.”
“Speaking of music, there’s a show tonight we could check out,” Chris said. “Outpatients are down here now.”
“They used to be in Boston?” Bart asked, trying to remember.
“Yeah. Here.” Chris had apparently talk to somebody either at the show with the riot or maybe heard from the Providence guys and wrote it down knowing that we were going to be in town. The show info was on a slip of paper in his wallet.
“Hardcore?” I asked.
“Only partly?” he answered. “They’re a little more eclectic than that.”
“Sounds good,” Bart said. “Let’s go.”
So we paid for our food and then went on a hunt for a fairly tiny venue. Actually the club wasn’t hard to find, but parking was. We ended up a couple of blocks away and walked. In New York City you can be walking past a car mechanic garage at ten pm on a Friday night and there will be guys in there working. Boston is just not like that. I don’t know why.
No one appeared to give a fuck who we were at this place, which was comforting in its own way. The opening band, whose name I didn’t catch, were very loud. I put my earplugs in. Then I saw Ziggy sticking his fingers in his ears. I dug in my pockets and came up with one more earplug and tried to hand it to him.
“Don’t be stupid,” I said into his ear. “One is better than none.”
“But it’s used,” he said into my ear. “Ew.”
“You’ll let me stick my dick in your ass and my tongue in your mouth, but you won’t wear an earplug I once wore?”
He sighed and gestured for me to give it to him. He put it into his right ear, the one closest to the PA, and that was that.
(By the way, thanks to everyone who spread the word about SPANISH NIGHTS! During last week’s sale it got all the way up to #15 on the erotica bestseller list! -ctan)