Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Curse of The Other One (Expanded!)

I sped toward the highway off-ramp with reckless abandon, without an inkling of concern for whatever law enforcement might happen upon us.  The Flight Medic had taken his time in meeting me, thus putting us at an arrival time which I was hoping would not coincide with the end of The Other One’s set.  My purpose in going to the show was for a proofing of shots from an older show, but I secretly adored the music and desperately wanted to see the band play.

I was nervous, yes, but surprised at much more nervous I could’ve been given the circumstances.  I hadn’t actually spoken to The Other One in years, and this time, I had a secret weapon.  It was to be my third date with Flight Medic, laid out before the eyes of the one man who used to be the standard to which all others were compared.  As we made our way towards the festival, I struggled to brush of the memory of the last time.

It was the summer after my sophomore year of college, and I was dealing with the consequences of what would come to be one of the silliest decisions I’d made – dumping my first true love. But I was young, and more importantly, invincible.  I was just starting to enjoy the powers that come along with womanhood and I wasn’t about to be tied down.

There was one small problem, however, and I, for once, sought the maternal wisdom of my mother.

“I gotta problem,” I muttered, approaching my mother as she laid in bed, lazily watching television as the summer afternoon passed. 

“Just one?” she joked.

“Well, no, but that’s neither here nor there,” I replied.  “I have these tickets to see this band…they were supposed to be for Mark and I, but, well….”

“But you dumped the loser?” My mother never did like Mark.

“Yeah, much to your shagrin.  Anyway, I don’t know a single soul who even knows this band aside from me, let alone someone who’d actually want to go. I wish Craig were around.”  My brother would’ve been willing to go with me, had he not been stationed in Japan at the time.

“Well, let’s think for a minute,” my mother said.  I could see the wheels beginning to turn in her mind.  “So you say Craig likes this band…so, would it be a logical assumption to make that perhaps some of his friends like this band?”

“Eh, not really.  Most of them are football players, with no musical taste.”

“Ok, well, let’s look then at the non-jock friends,” she said with a sly smile.

“Uh uh…no freakin’ way,” I protested.  “Like I could ever pull that one off.”  I knew my mother was insinuating that I bite the bullet and extend an invitation to The Other One, probably the only person I’d find who’d be into it, given his far more advanced sense of everything musical.

Without skipping a beat, I witnessed my mother suddenly turn into a teenager before my eyes.

“Aw, come on! You’ve got nothing to lose,” she urged.  “Plus, you can spin it as a favor for a ‘broken hearted girl who just broke up with her boyfriend’! Think of the sympathy!”

“I don’t even have a way of getting in touch with him,” I informed her smugly, wondering how she was going to argue that point.

“I’m sure it’s somewhere on an old phone bill in the files.”

As if overpowered by some unseen force, I suddenly found myself elbow-deep in my father’s filing cabinet, pulling out old phone bills from my brother’s various college breaks.  Before long, the home phone number of The Other One was staring me in the face.  After several minutes of giggling and excitement, my mother had convinced me to pick up the phone.

I returned a few moments later, sporting a somber look on my face.

“Well?” she asked.

“Yeah…he, uh, said yes.”

Excitement quickly turned to panic as we frantically discussed what would be worn that evening, and just what my plan was to attract the romantic eye of my new show-date.  LIttle did I know that the five minute phone call I had just had with the man of my dreams would have involved more conversation than our entire forthcoming evening together.

After waiting for what seemed to be months for the big night, I sat there under the pavillion, unable to enjoy a rare acoustic set performed by the main act, instead focusing on my apparent inability to form cohesive sentences around The Other One.  The night seemed to drag on and on as the realization that I would always be ‘Craig’s little sister’ bore through my head like a drill.  I had wanted this night for as long as I could remember, and now, all I wanted was to go home.  Every movement I made, every comment, every attempt at acting like a normal human being seemed to fail miserably.  Life had given me the perfect chance to woo this man, and instead I would’ve had more success wooing a pigeon.

I snapped back to reality as the Flight Medic and I scoured the scene at the festival.  The band was playing, indeed, but there was no sign of The Other One.  I looked around, trying to mask my impending panic, and soon noticed him standing directly in front of me. 

“Look at this kid,” I said flirtatiously, playfully jabbing The Other One in the ribs.  He spun around, smiling, and performed what looked to be a double take before scooping me up in a hug.  Suddenly Craig’s little sister was all grown up.

We chatted a bit, catching up on the highlights of the past couple of years.    I mentioned Craig, giving an obligatory update on the various goings-on of my brother’s life, and a sly smiled slowly spread across The Other One’s face.

“Speaking of Craig,” he said.  “You should’ve gone ahead and kicked that girl’s ass at the show. That was the best thing any of us had heard in a long time.”

I laughed as I could feel myself suddenly blushing.  News, as it were, had traveled rather quickly from Japan of my near-miss three weeks ago at The Other One’s band’s show.  I didn’t have to look over at the Flight Medic to notice the shocked look on his face.

“It really wasn’t my fault,” I reasoned.  “Drunk and flirty may work with men, but she should’ve known better…”

Torn between embarrassment and pride, I proceeded to explain to both the true reasons for needing to make a quick exit from the show that night.  For needing to have my big brother almost drag me out of the club, lest I wanted to end up in jail that evening.

It started off innocently enough.  Jason and I waited by the side of the stage for The Other One to make his post-set appearance, watching each band member come through the door without him.  Failing to wrangle through the hordes of swooning college girls, Jason tried desperately to get the singer’s attention to try to determine The Other One’s whereabouts.  He managed somehow to find out that no one seemed to know where The Other One was.

“Nice set by the way,” I interjected, masking my brother’s impatience with some obligatory flattery.  The singer looked at me with a smirk and held out his hand.

“Why thank you,” he responded coyly, taking my hand in his.  I quickly pulled my hand away and smiled.

“Could you just let him know that Abby and Jason are here waiting for him?” I asked, deflating his front-man ego.  The poor lad had naturally assumed I was swooning for him.

As we waited (and waited….), a somewhat heavy-set, mostly-drunk, definitely annoying dark-haired girl who was standing behind us on a balcony had decided to flirt with Jason.  With one eye on the stage door, I couldn’t help but commend Jason’s patience with Ms. Chubby McDrinksalot as he playfully laughed off her drunken attempts to swipe his glasses from his face.

Suddenly, I felt a hand trying to grab my own $10 not-really-necessary fake spectacles.  Without a moment’s hesitation, I was suddenly standing on my seat facing the drunk girl.  I snatched my glasses out of her hand and looked her dead in the eye.

“It may be cute with him,” I warned her.  “Touch me again and you just might lose that hand.”

I turned back around and focused my attention once again on the stage door, wondering where the hell this kid was.  After a few seconds, I could feel tiny splashes raining down from above me as Chubs was now flicking bits of her drink down on my head.  I grabbed Jason’s arm.

“Get me outta here,” I instructed him.  “Otherwise, you’re gonna need some bail money if we don’t leave right now.”

 

 

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September 24, 2008 - Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. very good.

    Comment by van | September 24, 2008 | Reply

  2. This would make an amazing first chapter of a book.

    Comment by Jen K-R. | September 24, 2008 | Reply


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