Gladys & Mary
After what felt like the longest wait in his life, but to Johnny all waits are long, Johnny and Ivan finally step from the RV into the oppressive sunlight of day. Playing in a band and traveling on the road, daytimes tend to be for sleeping. Neither hated the day, neither is bothered by it. It is more like a confusion, a new perspective, or at least, an old one that had not been revisited for quite some time.
Both of the men immediately put on their sunglasses, taking a moment to acclimate to the glare and heat.
“Ahem, excuse me,” a pleasant voice grabs their attention. They look down from their sunlit trance to see two college girls in matching uniforms looking up at them. The one on the left is holding a few small binders and is pert and seemingly nice with brown hair. The other, large chested, loosely buttoned and bleached from a bottle with a look on her face like she’s the only one who gets a joke.
The pert one speaks, “You are members of Ivan Rocket, right?”
“That, we are,” Ivan responds.
“I thought so,” The pert girl continues, “I’m Mary and this is Gladys. We’re here to show you the campus and where you’ll be playing tomorrow night, as well as direct you to places to eat and get cleaned up and all that.”
“Oh good, cuz my man Ivan here just put on a shirt from the floor of the RV,” Johnny chimes in.
Ivan drops his chin to his chest so he can make disapproving eye contact over his glasses with Johnny.
“What? Clean shirts are for shows! Am I right girls?” Johnny adds.
“Um, I guess so,” Mary says.
“You guys are weird,” Gladys says between smacking gum.
“Well, as much as I appreciate your offer, if I don’t get some coffee I’m going to fall over. Can you point me in the direction of Coffee?” Ivan asks.
“Of course, the cafeteria is straight down the main thoroughfare, there on the other side of campus,” Mary tells him. “We can take you there.”
“Oh no worries,” Ivan says quickly, “Johnny here is our logistics guy. Take him around and he’ll report back to us. Johnny goes to argue but Ivan is already walking away.
“Oh, you’re the logistics guy, huh?” Gladys asks sarcastically.
Johnny responds with some confusion, “Apparently I am. Should we find the rest of the band? They aren’t in THe Behemoth.”
“Oh, The Behemoth. That’s the name of the RV, “ Johnny slaps the side of the RV, “She ain’t pretty, but she gets us there.”
“Isn’t a Behemoth a boy?” Gladys asks as Mary jabs her with her elbow.
“I don’t know, I try not to look at its private bits. I’m a gentleman.”
“You guys are weird,” Gladys says between smacking of gum.
“You’re repeating yourself, darling. Now, let’s get this logistical operation a-logisticifying.”
Johnny follows the two girls as they begin their trek across the campus. From behind Johnny takes in his guides. Gladys, the more outgoing of the two, has an almost stereotypical 80s bad girl vibe, skirt a little too short, constantly glancing back at him with an informed smirk he finds somewhat off-putting. Mary, the demure one… now that he thinks of it, also has a stereotypical 80s look. But, in her case, it’s the look of the good girl damsel, the horror final girl. The girl that gets away due to her innocence. “Are the 80s in again?” he thinks to himself. “Weren’t they just in? I’ve heard about off the beaten track towns being out of date, but the highway isn’t that far away.”
“So, what kinda music is big around here?” he calls up to the girls with a little jog, arriving between the two. “Rock n’ roll, hip hop, Jesus stuff?”
Gladys responds, “Oh, great. Is that what you play? Jesus stuff. Like we don’t get enough of that shit around here.”
“Aren’t you two supposed to be into Jesus and that stuff?”
The trio continues their walk through the campus. The trees are green, the bushes… also green, all cobble and marble, iron and ivy.
“This place is perfect”, Johnny notes.
“It’s alright,” Gladys says.
“And over here,” Mary continues the tour ignoring the two, “Is the physics lab. Our physics lab is state of the art.”
“Hmm? I didn’t think Catholics cared all that much about science?” Johnny mutters, immediately regretting it. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to presume. It’s just… ya know.”
“No, I get it,” Mary responds, “the world believes that science and technology are mutually exclusive, but they aren’t. In all likelihood, they are two sides of the same coin.”
“New age Cathlocics,” Johnny blurts out, “That I can dig.”
“So, what kind of music do you guys play?” Gladys asks him.
“Didn’t you guys invite us here? Shouldn’t you guys know?”
“Meh, it was set up by the higher-ups,” she continues on in her snarky manner, “figured it was something churchy.”
Johnny finds this very amusing. He gut-laughs while trying to talk, “Well ladies, if that’s what you’re after, prepare to be very disappointed.” He collects himself. “Except you there Gladys, I suspect you would have been disappointed no matter what.”
And with that, Mary laughs too.