It was the same as every Friday night. I was home alone, some nights I would read a book, maybe go on my computer for a bit, watch a movie if I felt like it. And just like every Friday since the little bushy haired kid had moved in next door, the thumping of a shitty bass amplifier and slightly off beat kick drum rocked through my bedroom walls. Our houses weren’t particularly close together but somehow I could hear them every single night. I had never gotten a particularly good look at them but they were always in black or some obscure band t-shirt and sometime I would see shocks of orange hair through the windows.
There’s no use in lying, I was curious about the band. The first few nights I hated their music just out of spite for the noises keeping me awake, but as the nights went on and my temper became manageable, I began to actually listen to the music they made, some nights I even found myself tapping my foot to the beat of the song they were playing.
Usually they were done and out of my neighbor’s house by midnight at the latest, not tonight. It was 3 am and they were still practicing, or trying to. They would start the song, something would go wrong, I would hear crashing cymbals and shouting and then they would start over. Finally after what seemed like the billionth time of them starting over, they got a good minute into the song and kept playing. It was a fairly warm night out, spring had just begun, so I decided to step outside to ‘look at the stars’ and maybe try and hear them better.
I wrapped myself in a small blanket and quietly crept out the back door of my house. The music wasn’t much louder out here than it was from my bedroom but at least I had a better view into the garage window. Well now I knew whom the orange hair belonged to. I don’t exaggerate when I say my first glimpse of the band ‘performing’ took my breath away.
The orange hair was a little guy holding a guitar, jumping around like he had been living off of straight caffeine shots and occasionally screaming into the lead singer’s microphone. The lead singer himself was quite a sight to see, he was very passionate in his vocals, anyone could see that, he had very awkward jerky movements with his legs and sang with his eyes closed most of the time, but there was nothing awkward about how he treated the microphone. When the little orange-haired guitarist wasn’t using it, he treated it somewhat like a lover, gently caressing it, sometimes he would bump it slightly with his knee on accident, and when his vocals became more emotional and somewhat terrifying, he would grip the microphone like it was a lifeline, pulling it down slightly and raising himself up to his full height, nearly screaming into the microphone with every ounce of energy he had. The bassist seemed almost magnetically attracted to the vocalist, not in a sexual or even somewhat romantic way, but like the vocalist was his security blanket. It wasn’t obviously noticeable but the bassist seemed to almost hide behind him at times, aside from that the bassist himself didn’t move much. He had an attractive timidity about him, seemed very shy unfortunately; you would think being in a band would help with that. The other guitarist, and unfortunately my next-door-neighbor was the bushy-haired fiend. He would occasionally share the microphone with the lead singer as well but with softer more harmonizing backing vocals than what the orange haired one provided. I couldn’t get a good look at the drummer but he constantly lost track of the timing, unfortunate, the band could be great with someone better on drums.
I didn’t realize how long I had been staring until the music stopped. Guitars were packed away, amplifiers unplugged, and the garage door was opened. There was no hiding for me now, I was directly in the line of their sight, if I ran and they caught me that would be even worse. So I stayed put, wrapped my blanket tighter around my shoulders, and walked up to the now open garage door.
With newfound confidence I knocked on the wall, catching their attention. Five heads turned to face me and I was lucky I didn’t pass out.
“You know, you guys could be a pretty good band. That is if you didn’t keep your neighbor up well past midnight nearly every single Friday.” In my mind I tried to pretend I looked calm and collected, just chilling in my Spiderman pajamas at 3 am, talking to 5 guys outside their garage, completely normal. However, reality has a way of being quite a bitch so I knew that my voice was shaking, my pajama pants probably had grass stains on them by now and I wasn’t wearing any makeup so I probably looked like shit.
“Oh, eh, sorry about that dude.” The bushy-haired one rubbed the back of his neck.
“Dude!” the orange-haired guitarist exclaimed, “You cant just call a chick ‘dude’, you gotta be proper and shit or something.”
“Frankly I don’t really give a shit,” I paused, “dude.” We all laughed for a moment before the bushy-haired one spoke again.
“So I’m going to seem like an even shittier neighbor, we’ve been living next-door to each other for like 6 months and I still don’t know your name.”
“Jace, and don’t worry, you’re not too much of a shitty neighbor, I don’t know your name either.”
“Oh, ha, I’m Ray, the quiet one is Mikey, our esteemed singer man thing is Gerard, on drums we’ve got Matt, and the orange-haired idiot over there is Frank.”
“Well it’s lovely to meet all of you, I would curtsy but pajama pants don’t really permit that.”
“Dude is that Spiderman? I love Spiderman!” Gerard shouted
“Yeah, ha, he’s pretty cool.”
“Pretty cool? He’s one of the best superheroes ever! It’s my dream to write a comic about him and-“
“Alright,” Frank cut him off, “you can continue your little nerdgasm later Gee, I don’t think she really cares.”
“Sorry,” Gerard shrugged, not seeming to actually care much, “I get a little excited when someone brings up comics, kind of like Frank does when anyone talks about Black Flag.”
“Hey they’re a good band, you can’t blame me.”
I watched them banter for a while longer, it was entertaining, like two overexcited puppies getting a new toy or something, but I suppose in this case the new toy was me...this just got weirder than I intended.
They seemed to remember I exist again when they all turned towards me.
“So Jace, do you play any instruments?”
“Nope, I’m not particularly musically gifted unfortunately.”
“That’s okay! Mikey didn’t think he was either! He learned the bass for this whole ‘album’ in like a month! He didn’t even know how to play bass beforehand!’
“Damn, that’s pretty impressive dude, okay, way more than pretty impressive.”
“Thanks.” Mikey seemed the visibly cringe whenever he had to speak, I almost felt bad for the little guy
“Well, this had been fun and all guys, but it is in fact almost 4 am and I would like to get at least a little sleep so I bid you men goodnight. Nice officially meeting you guys.”
“You too!” Ray shouted after me
As I turned to leave the garage I felt a hand on my arm. When I turned back around I saw Frank, I have to say, up close, he’s extremely good looking, but I won’t dwell on that.
“Hey Jace, you should come to one of our shows sometime! It would be cool to see you there.”
“Yeah I’ll have to see if I can make the next one, when is it?”
“We actually aren’t sure yet but you could give me your number and I could text you when we find out?”
“Sure thing!” damn this boy works fast, “It’s 973-870-4444.” He pulled a pen out of his pocket and scribbled my number on his hand before looking back up at me.
“I really hope to see you again.”
“And you, Frank.”
We locked eyes for a moment before he grinned and nodded, walking back to his band mates.
“Night guys!” I called over my shoulder. I heard a chorus of “Night Jace!” as I walked back to my house.
As I crawled back into bed I smiled to myself, they really are a pretty good band.
Hello Killjoys I'm back!
I've had writers block on the longer story I'm working on so enjoy this fluffy little one-shot!