820 words (3 minute read)

Pt. 3

It’ll be better when the fireflies come out. Genevieve lies on her giant sofa, it tenderized by years of abuse, rescued from craigslist oblivion when she moved into her new apartment two months ago. She strums an old ukulele, staring at the dust illuminated by sunlight streaming in from the window.

Genevieve pauses reaching upside-down for a pen and her moleskine. Even writing upside-down, her handwriting is without fault. She’s ambidextrous. Just this last new song and then all practice from now until Tuesday. The end of summer fast approaches. She opens for Evan Fields next week.

A thump of a bass drum and the flange of an electric guitar grow drifting into Genevieve’s apartment. She sits up trying to discern the direction. That has to be people playing. It’s too alive to be a recording. Setting her ukulele down she flings the door open a little too hard. Beads of sweat form on her legs from the hot humid Chicago summer air. She’s wearing high-waisted denim shorts and a Vashti Bunyan t-shirt, hair fastened into a loose ponytail.

The concrete in the apartment complex is cool on Genevieve’s feet. The sounds of the drum and guitar duel grow louder and louder as she descends from the third floor to the ground level. Turning to the entrance she sees the garage, the door cracked open ankle high. She considers for a moment. I’ll practice my set tomorrow.

Lifting the door easily, Genevieve startles two comfortably trendy dudes not much older than her. Both sporting blonde hair, the one on guitar brandishes a thick mustache and a Hawaiian shirt standing over a sea of pedals. The other guy sits shirtless behind a beat-up drum kit dripping with sweat.

She grins. “So that’s what this gets used for. You dudes want to keep the door open? It’s like a sauna in here.”

Both guys chuckle, clearly stoned.

The one with the mustache extends a hand, “How’s it hanging, I’m Curtis and that’s my younger brother Clayton.”

Clayton nods silently grabbing a towel from a bin behind him.

“We were definitely in a serious groove there. We’re not making too much noise are we?”

“Oh sorry, and no you’re not at all. I felt like being distracted for a little bit. You guys in a band?”

“About a dozen or more, but bands come and go. This summer we’ve been playing together as Monomyth Jive.”

“That’s so cool. I’m a musician too, mostly folk stuff. My name’s Genevieve. I live in number nineteen.”

“Oh radical. Nice to meet you. Our pops owns the place and let’s us use the garage to practice in every summer. Everyone’s super chill in this town. Say, you wanna join our little jam sesh?”

Genevieve feels the weed smoke and pachouli filling up her lungs. Her left eye scans the room noticing a beautiful cream-colored rickenbacker bass guitar. She turns back to Curtis who’s taking a hit off a joint. “Why the hell not? May I play your bass?”

“Of course! We’re always hoping to meet other tuneful spirits in this mad dystopian world we’re livin’ in now. What say you Clayt?”

Clayton just smiles and twirls his drumsticks.

Genevieve feels the weight of bass hanging off her shoulders. Before she can ask what they’re all going to play the two brothers bust into a slow interplay, heavy snare and bass drum and slow guitar riffing with a thick chorus effect. She closes her eyes and dives in too. Her fingers find the key and let loose. She can’t tell the words Curtis is humming. Is he singing backwards?

“Wow, that was some sick form there G. Wasn’t it Clayt?”

Opening her eyes Genevieve sees bother brothers smiling. How long did we jam for?

“That was really great.” Clayton spoke in a deep tone that betrayed his youthful look.

“Thanks. Truth be told I don’t get to jam that often.” Genevieve brushes her hair, now dripping, from her face. “I’m opening for a band at Lincoln Hall next week and I’m trying not to be nervous.”

“Far out! We might have to ditch our audition and go see your set.”

“Oh no, no, don’t do that. I’m sure there will be more shows.”

“All good, all good. I don’t think Clayton wanted play for all the snobby rich folks in space anyway.”

Clayton shakes his head.

“Oh, I heard of that. It’s kind of crazy. It’s all corporate though.”

“Yeah who wants to play bad Dylan covers all day anyway.” Curtis laughs taking another hit.

Clayton clicks his sticks together. Curtis howls diving into a crunchy riff. Genevieve starts plucking a small groove that wobbles in the tiny garage. Her fingers fly without a care in the world.

Next Chapter: Pt. 2