Inside My Head

the literary rantings of Angie Frissore

Soundman Sam.

My relationship with Sam had always been an odd one.  We had a strange sort of love between us that took into consideration the limitations of our separate realities and in turn, imposed absolutely no expectations whatsoever on either party.  Sam’s profession and on-the-road lifestyle negated any possibility of us having a real, solid and committed relationship, but underneath everything there laid an unconditional love between us. I didn’t even care what Sam did when we weren’t together – where he’d go, what girls he’d see.  When we were together, he made sure I knew for those moments, I was the only woman who existed.

I met Sam when I was nineteen years old.  I can still see clearly his striking face looking down upon me from the back of the truck as I helped unload equipment.  He was twenty-seven.

Beth had roped me into volunteering to help set up for the college’s spring concert, convinced it would snap me out of some major-emotional-crisis-of-the-week.  I went, reluctantly, mainly just to shut Beth up.

Throughout the evening, Beth and I were rotated through various posts – ticket taker, hand-stamper, and finally, the ultimate blow – bathroom monitors.  Luckily, we only had to maintain each post for about fifteen minutes until we were put on something else.  Randomly, here and there, Sam would emerge from the gymnasium, his intense gaze scanning the crowd.  I could see by his expression upon finding me that I had more than managed to capture his attention.

“How long are you stuck out here?” he asked me, placing his hand on my arm.

“Not too much longer.  If they stick me on bathroom duty again, I’ll probably go postal,” I said slyly.

“Well, when they release you, come backstage and find me,” Sam said flirtatiously.  As he turned and disappeared into the crowd, I caught a glimpse of Beth chatting up one of the lighting guys.  She quickly looked over at me and shot me a grin.

The lighting guy walked away from Beth to do his lighting-guy thing in the gymnasium, and Beth made a bee line over to me.

“Holy shit man,” she screeched.  “How hot was he?”

“Nice job dude,” I said.  “He looked pretty into you.  Tell you what – you go and flirt with him.”

“What? No way, I don’t have the balls,” Beth protested.

“Ok then, how’s this – you go talk to him and give him your number, and in turn, I’ll give the sound guy my number.” I marveled at how expertly I had managed to turn my secret desire to flirt with Sam into a favor for Beth.

“Deal,” she said, grinning from ear to ear.  She headed off to find her lighting man, and I made my way through the packed gymnasium towards backstage.

……………

The show ended, and as the lights went up the almost-empty gymnasium was buzzing with activity as dozens of us worked to break down the stage and sound and lighting equipment.  I kept looking for an opportunity to work my magic on Sam, but he was wrapped up in breaking down his stuff.  After about twenty sweaty, dirty minutes, there was a lull in the action, and I made my way towards Sam, armed with a piece of paper that had my number on it.

“Hey,” I said, with a playful grin.

“Hey yourself,” Sam flirted, looking me up and down hungrily.  “What did you think of the show?”

“It was great,” I said.  The band that year had been the Violent Femmes, who had been a consistent long-time favorite of mine.  “They sounded really great.”

“Well, you know, I do what I can…” he said with a grin.

“So, I have something for you,” I blurted out.  “But, there’s a catch.  You have to promise you’ll use it if I give this to you.”

Sam smiled broadly as he watched me flirt madly with him.

“Oh yeah?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.  “Ok, I promise to use it.”

“Excellent,” I said as I handed him my number.  He glanced at the piece of paper and gave me a toothy smile and I swear I saw him blush a little.

“So, I have a few minutes before I have to head out,” he said nervously.  “Not to sound like a dirty old man, but do you wanna sit for a minute in my truck?”

I accepted his offer and told him to hold tight, as I ran to Beth to ask her if what I was doing was stupid.  She looked up from her conversation with the lighting guy, grinning.

“Stupid? Maybe.  Should you not do it? Hell no….you have to do it!”

I ran back to Sam and we headed out to his truck.  We sat in the moonlight, making some small talk and eventually getting to know a bit about each other.  I asked if he realized how old I was.

“Well, I kind of have an idea given you go to school here,” he said.  “I’d say about 20?”

“Wow, that’s pretty good.  I’m nineteen.”

“How old would you say I am?” he asked.  I pondered the question for a moment.  Up until that point, I hadn’t really thought about his age.  Aside from his black leather jacket and tattoos, he had a boyish charm to him that made his age seem a mystery.

“Hmm…I’d have to say about 24?” It was a total shot in the dark.  I truly had no idea what age he could possibly be exactly, and I didn’t want to offend him.

“I’m 27,” he said, with a somewhat serious tone.  “Is that a problem?”

“Why would it be a problem?” I asked.   Sam smiled and, holding my face in his hands, kissed me gently.

“That was nice,” he said in a sultry voice. “I kind of want to do it again.” He leaned in and kissed me again, slightly more passionately this time. After a moment, he looked at me and brushed away a stray hair from my cheek.

“Why don’t I walk you back inside?”

He held my hand as we walked back towards the gym.  As we neared the door, I could see Beth looking around for me. I waved to her, letting her know I’d be ready in a minute.

“So we’re doing this show on Friday at Brandeis,” Sam said, as he turned towards me, still holding my hand.  “I’d love it if you came.”

…………

“Make sure you stay right behind me,” I said to Beth as we both got into our cars.  We had stopped for dinner somewhere in Burlington, and knowing Beth had no idea where we were headed, I wanted to make sure she followed me closely.  I was taking the opportunity to go back home for the weekend, given Brandeis was conveniently located within miles of the homestead.

I pulled out of the parking lot and up to the light to the highway onramp.  Beth was nowhere to be seen, and I wondered just how it could be that someone so smart could be so easily confused.

On the highway, there was still no sign of Beth.  I thought of pulling over and waiting, but thought better of it when I realized that Beth would most likely drive right past me in a panicky fit, never noticing me.  I told myself that she’d catch up eventually – after all, she could easily get directions to where we were headed.  She’ll figure it out.

As I pulled into the college parking lot, I could see an incredibly long line of show-goers waiting for the doors to open that snaked across the street and down the block.  As I hurried towards the front doors, a moment of panic swept over me.  I couldn’t remember his name.

I had been so wrapped up in flirting with this…roadie that I had actually neglected to commit his name to memory.  Luckily for me, Beth had not stopped talking about her lighting guy for two days.  His name I knew.  I bypassed the line of concert goers (as various looks of ‘who does she think she is’ swept through the crowd) and approached a lone security guard at the door.

“Hi, I’m here to see David Martin of Pacific Lighting,” I said, quite matter-of-factly.  The guard disappeared into the lobby for a moment, returning minutes later with David trailing behind him.

“Abby, hey! Good to see you here,” David said warmly.  “Where’s Beth?”

“That’s the thing,” I said, with a look of concern.  “I lost her on the highway and I have no idea where she is, and I don’t even remember the sound guy’s name! I’m so awful!”

“Sam…his name’s Sam,“ David laughed.  “Do you think Beth will be okay?”

As the question was asked, I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of Beth’s car and breathed a sigh of relief.

“Yeah, she’s fine, there she is.”

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October 3, 2008 - Posted by | No Messages - Excerpts from the Draft | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Well done! Pretty much the way I remeber it with a few embellishments and omissions. First story on the page to boot. I am extremely flattered Abby,
    SAM

    Comment by SAM | October 4, 2008 | Reply


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