20100714

wormwood, pt. 3

Based on a true story.

Rosalind's roommate was called Nicole. They met when they were still in high school, when Nicole's father was looking for someone to give his daughter some cheap guitar lessons. Rose was the only person to offer something he thought was reasonable, in the form of fifteen dollars for a session.

They smoked some pot Nicole had and spent most of the two hours she was there kissing on the floor. Rosalind went home without having taught Nicole a single chord--but she went home with fifteen dollars and a phone number.

They were older now. These days they smoked less and actually played guitar sometimes. They had shared a shitty studio apartment for over a year now. Today they spent most of the day listening to some of Rose's vinyl records and drinking absinthe. After one of the more apocalyptic post-rock albums in her collection, Nicole got restless and they started jamming.

It wasn't until fairly late that evening that Winston did come over. "I cleaned up your blood, Rose. Just thought I'd let you know, you don't need to worry about it anymore. Think nothing of it."

"Good to see you too, Winston."

"Actually, I got distracted watching the news. Did you watch it today? It's crazy out there. Like, the water in the Midwest just went bad. Killed off lots of people. Now they're rationing out the water and everyone's rioting. They don't know what caused it, but they think it was terrorists."

"They think everything was terrorists," Nicole said, and prepared Winston a glass of absinthe. "They didn't say anything about the water here being poisoned, did they?"

"No, but--"

"Then drink up. I'm so fucking tired of the news these days. I already know the world's going to hell. I don't need to be reminded every day."

By the end of the evening, the conversation had long since moved on, and Nicole had fallen asleep on Rosalind's shoulder. Rosalind was mostly sober and playing a bleak melody on the guitar.

Winston sat deep in thought against the wall, trying to force his eyes to focus. "You ever feel like . . . like something's wrong?"

"Mm."

"I dunno, I feel like I've been in the city too long. You know? Like, I need to get out, enjoy the fresh air. You want to go camping?"

"If Nicole can go."

"What if she can't?"

She stopped playing. "Then I'll stay here. You should go, though. You'll like it. It'll be good for you. Finish up that book you keep swearing you're writing. Just you and the stars."

"Yeah. Yeah, you're right. I think I will. Thanks, Rose!" He staggered to his feet and pulled his jacket on.

"You heading off?"

"Yeah, it's nice out, got a lot to think about."

"Try not to do anything stupid. I'd hate to see you get hurt."

He hesitated at the door, then smiled drunkenly. "Not even going to touch that one, Rosie."

"Good. That would probably qualify as doing something stupid. And Winston?"

"Yeah?"

"Never call me Rosie again."

"You got it, Rosie." He winked and ducked out the door. She opted against giving chase.

2 comments:

Semicolons said...

This was long enough to warrant a comment. Also i'm reading this with a text editor open. Lucky you!


"Based on a true story"

Were the first two parts not based on a true story?

Fifteen bucks a session is worthless. None of the musicians i know go under 50 bucks a session (most charge by the hour too). The general rule of thumb is if you don't walk away with about 50 bucks, you aren't really getting paid. But that is by today's standards (and even then by Spokane's standards) and maybe your story takes place on mars in the future.

Lesbians. Nice...

Ah, that one chick finally gets a name (Rose).

"Then drink up. I'm so fucking tired of the news these days. I already know the world's going to hell. I don't need to be reminded every day.

I can relate to this. It is a sentiment shared by many I know, and i can't help but think, "well at least i'll have seen it coming. god damnit."

Why would Winston want to go camping with Nicole and not with Rose, when they are obviously together? For that matter, why is going alone also an option? Secret pining for nicole? Secret man vangina? only time will tell...

Rob said...

"Were the first two parts not based on a true story?"

the guitar training session thing actually happened to a friend of mine.

"Fifteen bucks a session is worthless. None of the musicians i know go under 50 bucks a session (most charge by the hour too). The general rule of thumb is if you don't walk away with about 50 bucks, you aren't really getting paid. But that is by today's standards (and even then by Spokane's standards) and maybe your story takes place on mars in the future."

well, these are 1990s dollars, for high school kids. a fine time to charge way under the industry standard for your services.

also, Spokane? I'm sorry for your loss.