890 words (3 minute read)

Pt. 4

Genevieve steps off the Metro stage making her way to the green room. She cools her face flapping her panama hat back and forth. Her heart beats a mile a minute. She can only hear the clicking of her stetson boots. The tech guy Tim flashes a smile beneath his beard and gives a righteous thumbs up. She turns her head back to look at the spotlight on the stage, now empty. The crowd is still cheering.

“That was fucking incredible man,” Virginia Do, of Virginia With A Middle Finger, tackles Genevieve.

“Ah thanks V, I feel great.”

“Of course you do, that was a great set. Let’s get you a drink.”

Taking another large bite from a veggie dog, Genevieve wolfs the rest of it quickly. Virginia marches over to the table with two double shots.

“Is that whiskey?” Genevieve raises an eyebrow.

“You bet your sweet robot-handed ass it is!”

Genevieve rolls her eyes. She’s a real piece of work, but she’s one of the coolest people I’ve met in this town. She raises her lips to the glass, but Virginia ushers her in close.

Bringing her shot level, Virginia whispers, “To the beginning of your conquest Genevieve Zeitlyn. May the bad men of this world fall dead at your feet.”

Genevieve closes her eyes. I’m ready for all of this. She takes the shot. The rest of the night becomes a blur.

I’m glad the Greene brothers stopped by for a bit. I think I got to give Omar a hug? He’s still the sweetest but fuck, Evan is so awkward. Lead singer dudes are the worst… Genevieve is sitting on the rooftop of the Metro, her mind suddenly hyper-aware. She feels a prickly warmth from the bonfire pit on her numbed face. She gazes out along the Chicago skyline. It’s a Saturday night, and the city is buzzing. Hmm, The zeppelin is out over the lake again… Her eyes drift back and forth with the spotlights emitting from the sleek ship, its long tendril hoses going into the blue abyss. Collecting water for another dry winter.

“Oh come on, Bob Dylan is one of the biggest phonies in music history and you know it.”

The words bring Genevieve’s attention back to the circle. Virginia is passed out drooling on a bench. Tim and the ticket gal, Megan, are passing lines back and forth. And the two gentleman currently in heated debate are Andrew Vance Little and Isaac Meddings. Andrew performs quiet folk tunes under the moniker, Knocked On and Isaac is the founder of Strifeminer Records, the biggest indie label currently in the midwest.

“I’ll say it again Andrew, Bob Dylan was totally full of shit. He never believed in the movement. He betrayed the folk movement. He revealed himself for the inauthentic, trend-hopper that he was.” Isaac speaks with a booming voice that is only matched by his giant beard and barrel-chested appearance.

If Donkey Kong was a lumberjack. Genevieve giggles to herself feeling the contrast between her cold hands to the rest of her body. I never get as drunk as much I used to. She covers a yawn.

Andrew just groans fiddling on a small casio keyboard. “You’ve got it all wrong my friend.” His hair covers his face nearly drowning out his soft voice. “Dylan is the only one who is truly authentic. He didn’t pay lip service to the masses. I’m going to go electric, I’m going to release a series of Christian records, I’m going to be in a Victoria’s Secret commercial. I’m going to make a Christmas album in July. He stayed true to himself.”

Isaac just rolls his eyes taking a puff from his cigarette and another sip from his whiskey . “Miss Zeitlyn What do you think? You agree with this horse-shit?”

Shaking her head, Genevieve looks up from the plate she had grabbed from Megan. “Oh dude, I gotta side with Andrew on this one,” she says while wiping her nose. Andrew leans in for the high five.

“I’m very curious to your explanation from someone as unique as you.” Isaac grins stupidly swaying a little.

“Even if Dylan was full of shit most of the time, I think his inconsistency is what makes him authentic, and ultimately human. I think that constant yearning to change and grow and move on is relatable to everyone.” Genevieve takes another heavy swig from a bottle.

“All right, all right. I’ll coincide to you guys for now. This was just a test to see who would be a good fit for the Freewheelin’ hundredth-anniversary record I’m putting together early next year.”

“If you’re gonna let me do ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ you might as well give a me a record too.” Genevieve blurted out. I feel really good right now, so why not ask?

Everyone in the group goes quiet for half a second before Isaac bursts out laughing.

“Well let this be your origin story then Miss Zeitlyn.”

The clinking glasses from the cheers ripple out from the rooftop screaming into the night.

The times they are a-changin’ indeed. Genevieve smirks at her dumb joke and finishes her drink.

Next Chapter: Pt. 3