In The Waves – I

The lights go down and then back up on the stage. Four clicks and the animal is unleashed for everyone to see. He drives ahead and leaves time and anxiety and doubt and love and hate all in the dust that is tossed back into the air by the pound of the bass drum. His hair shakes with his head a sweat drips down on to the head of the snare.

Standing all around are three men, strapped with strings. From the beat comes the tune picked to vibrate every atom in the room. Harmonious waves cycle through the floorboards, through the people, through the glasses on the bar in the next room only to be beaten out of steam by the brick confining the scene. Soul by definition is indefinable.

Soul to sole and so bounce the people in the room, some more in tune than others. I’m there. So is she. He’s there too. I’m drunk but I can’t tell you much about the others. The band doesn’t so much distract as it does encourage me to daydream and wonder and trick myself. She does seem to be enjoying herself but he’s mad that I’m here. As if he could be blamed.

We drank earlier in the Japanese restaurant down the street. None of us we of age but they have these nice little booths with doors that close. Order a coke and just bring the rum with you. This was a jug of the good old brown stuff. The wonders that a woman’s purse can hold.

I couldn’t tell you the name of most of the songs, but I could tell you the name of everyone in the band. I did car bombs with the drummer after the show. Again not of age but few kind words and a positive attitude can get you quite far with a bartender. If you don’t know what a car bomb is, try one. I had three and they talks like milk. They don’t actually but metaphorically I suppose they do. After that much rum the milk taste also becomes understandable.

I don’t remember what I did the rest of the night but the bottle can do that to you. That is not the point. I don’t know what the point is but I figured that would be a vague enough place to start. I won’t tell you my name, I’ll just wait for someone else to say it. I won’t tell you where this is because it could be anywhere. I won’t tell you why I’m doing this because there need not be a reason.

“Have another one Stephen?” said the bartender to the drummer.

“Have another one Max?” said the drummer to the narrator.

“Let’s have another one,” is what Max said to Noel.

Noel is the bartender who knows the two people he’s serving are not 21. I’m Max and I break the law. This is my friend Stephen. He breaks drum sticks. We are left with no choice but to abandon the social construct for our own. We are the oppressed. We are the offspring of the former middle class. We are the generation who was born in a fog. We are angry and bored. We will take over the world if it’s not destroyed first.

Noel pops open two bottles of Guinness and slides them to us. He put two shot glasses on the table and pours Jameson and Baileys in as we fill our glasses just enough. Quick now, grab the shot, touch the table click them together and drop. Now drink before it curdles. And there you have it, milk moustache and all.


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