Of Eons and Stars Part 007: Down the Drain #1
Angelica steps from her brown beater and gently shuts the car door behind her. On her drive to Bolton, she decided that her new article byline may not have paid her enough to get a new car, but it did give her a new outlook. Her poor degraded, ramshackle of a ride would henceforth be known as Lucille. There are many that might argue that her car was a boy-car, however, she thought, there are many that might have mistaken her for a boy-person a time or two before in her life, and she’d be damned if anybody was going to gender shame Lucille.
It’s noonish and the sun is shining on her face giving her a warm glow. It’s been a long time since she enjoyed seeing daylight. The life of writing and concerts that she is currently pursuing does not lend itself to vitamin D, she forgot how much she missed it. She pats Lucille on the hood as she walks across the parking lot towards a large metal warehouse.
She hears a whistle and looks to her left to see a face poking around the far corner of the building and waving her over. The building is huge and from this distance, the person seems extra small. She thinks they might be wearing mouse ears. Oh great, a kid’s show. Nothing worse than turning up to a show and finding out it’s at a 21 and under club, no drinks.
As she gets closer she realizes that this pocket-sized person is actually a fully grown woman. She’s about 5’2 at best and slight, but shapely. What Angelica thought to be mouse ears are, in fact, two puffballs of dyed light blue hair on the sides, a la Princess Leia, only higher up.
“Angelica!” the girl calls out with a smile and gets on her tippy toes in order to give Angelica a full around the neck hug. Angelica feels doubly uncomfortable, her arms hanging at her sides, hugged by a stranger, and noticing this micro-humans chest against her stomach and face against her chest.
The girl steps back, but somehow manages to still be holding Angelica’s hands, looking up at Angelica, she says, “I’m Biscuit”.
“Yes, you are,” Angelica quips.
“I know, not the coolest nickname. You can blame my Grampa,” Biscuit responds.
“Are you a member of the band?” Angelica inquires, becoming more and more aware of Biscuit’s unbreakable death-grip on her hands, “…and can I have my hands back?”
“Oh totally,” Biscuit answers sheepishly, unleashing her steel-like clamps, “Sorry, I’m a lover. Yeah, I’m in the band. Follow me.”
Biscuit continues talking about nothing and everything as Angelica follows her into the warehouse. Inside there is an expansive open space with a concrete floor and a large stage at the far end. In the middle of the room, there is a group of people talking.
As Angelica and Biscuit walk up to the group it thins out a bit, people leaving to go to their sound and set up jobs leaving only the band, Down the Drain.
Biscuit introduces Angelica to the group then introduces the band to Angelica. “The tall one is Two-Bit, he plays guitar and sings. The medium one is Carter, he also plays guitar, and these two ladies,” Biscuit points to two almost identical Hispanic girls, “are Tiffany Tiffany and Debbie Debbie, known together as the Rock Pops.” Angelica looks at the two and raises a flat hand in greeting. They seem welcoming enough as the slightly taller one winks and the other points with finger guns.
“What an odd bunch,” Angelica thinks to herself, taking in the amalgamated group. “Are these rich kids playing goth or goth kids playing Kanye meets Valley Girl?”
Biscuit had her hair in near-perfect blue puffs, light skin, 80’s pink lip gloss, blue eyeshadow, and a leather corset with skirt, fishnets, and boots. The boots even had heels, making this tiny girl even tinier than initially guessed.
Two-Bit was tall, well over six feet, with a blonde feathered pomp, a polo-style pink Izod shirt, form-fitting pleated slacks oddly matched with black eyeliner and lipstick.
Carter matched Two-Bits motif quite well with matching makeup paired with blue boat shoes with no socks, white slacks, an inverted color Joy Division T-shirt, and a mint green sweater tied around his shoulders.
Tiffany Tiffany and Debbie Debbie had matching suits on, schoolgirl uniforms with dark plaid skirts, white shirts with little ascots, and ratted black hair above black eyeliner, black lipstick, and black blush.
Angelica makes the appropriate handshakes and nods, then asks, “How long until the show?”
“About three hours,” Carter responds, meticulously adjusting his flopped over sweater arms so they hang evenly.
“Great!” Angelica exclaims, “Did you want to do the interview now?”
The group seems to chuckle in unison. “No,” Carter returns, “We’ll have to do it after the show, we’ll feel more ourselves.”
Seeing Angelica’s confusion as to what to do in the meantime, Biscuit chimes in, “But. there’s a great little bar and restaurant down the street you can have drinky-poos at and get some dinner while we finish setting up.”
Angelica Walks into The Wave and Meadow, the “Great little bar and restaurant down the street” suggested by Down the Drain bassist, Biscuit. She marvels at what they thought to be a little place was in fact a full surf n’ turf steakhouse connected to an emerald eighteen-hole golf course called Bolton Downe Greens.
Angelica steps to the concierge and asks for a quiet table outside.
The concierge looks down his romanesque nose with a glare, appearing to eyeball her thrift store sweater and Converse combo. “Your name?” he asks.
“Angelica… Whateley,” her answer sounding like another question.
He looks down for a sec at a spiral book on his podium, looks up and says with a smile, “Ah, yes, Ms. Whateley, please follow me.”
Angelica follows her svelte porter through the opulent dining room marveling at the ornate wood carvings and argent silverware. He leads her to a back patio with open fireplaces and running water and offers her a table away from the others. She sits down and thanks him. Reaching down to her bag she realizes that the running water is coming from a koi pond right next to her table. She pulls her laptop out, thinks to herself, “Maybe I should take money from Dad and Charles”, then starts to write about the first half of her experience with Down the Drain.
If there is one thing that you can rely on in life, it’s that the time a concert says it’s going to start is not when the concert is going to start. Knowing this, Angelica shows up thirty minutes after the show is scheduled to start to find Tiffany Tiffany and Debbie Debbie smoking their last pre-show cigarette behind the warehouse.
“Hey there, Angelica, go ‘round front, we’re about to start. They have your name at the door,” the shorter of the two yells to her.
Around the front Angelica walks in the front doors with just a nod from the doorman. The inside is packed. Full of rich twenty-somethings that all looked like they passed out at a Skull and Bones frat house party and ended up getting drunken makeup drawn all over them.
There are half-naked girls and boys swinging from pulleys amid the fog machine mist and pseudo-water laser lighting shooting across the floor. She can’t tell if when she strikes up a conversation with a fan if it will be about cutting one’s self or stock options. These were the alpha preppies, the actual rich kids on LSD.
Before she can take in another moment of the ergonomically charged emo fuckfest, the lights drop to complete blackness. For a single second, she sees nothing and just hears hoots and hollers across the umbra.
Then, Down the Drain Starts.
It is a thunder of guitars and flashing lights. A total assault on the senses, the music like Rammstein and Skrillex made a baby, beat it to near death, and left it on the side of the road to grow up eating roadkill and turning tricks. Needless to say, Angelica didn’t really like it. So she sets her cynicism aside and redefines. “Okay, it’s a Thrill Kill Kult or Bauhaus rehash without the newness or sound quality,” she thought.
In front of her a mound of bodies dancing, or fighting, or possibly fucking; a mound of bodies fuck-fighting? She could make out limbs and the occasional mohawk from the guy or girl who didn’t get the yuppie-death-cult newsletter.
Beyond the horde of angry horndogs, was the stage and the band. The crowd was doing all the work, the band just stood there. Biscuit smiling with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and both hands on the keyboard next to Two-Bit strumming away and screaming into a microphone. On the left Tiffany Tiffany and Debbie Debbie, both leaned back playing staring up at the ceiling with indifference. On the right was Carter playing guitar. Angelica doesn’t particularly like this band’s style, definitely doesn’t like their music, and doesn’t like having to wait until after the show to interview them, but she does think that Carter looked pretty good up there. “Fuck it,” she thinks and grabs the closest drink she can find and walks toward the mob of fans to join the copulative melee. She has enough to write about, even if she wakes up in a haze.