Good Invitation

You want to go see my buddy’s band next Monday? They play at 11 at this bar in Waukesha. It’s not really a bar, it’s more of a karate studio you can smoke in. I’ve never been, but my buddy’s playing this acoustic bass he got on Craigslist three weeks ago because he needed something to do after he broke his ankle playing ping pong with his niece. She got a slice past his right side and in diving for it, he flung himself over the banister right onto his sister’s DVD rack. At the hospital, my buddy told me the ping pong table’s placement on the upstairs landing was only temporary while he moved it out of his room to look for some bass picks, but he could never turn down a game with Mattie. Why he sleeps on a ping pong table is a long story, but it’s some calculus to do with a house fire, his sciatica, and a nauseating fear of ants. 

So he has to play in a cast Monday, which sucks for him because it’s his first time with the band. He used to play bass in that band Dr. Gore, that funk black metal band my buddy said sounded like “early Chili Peps defiling H.P. Lovecraft’s corpse”? I never saw them, but they all wore baseball caps. 

Well, they all wore baseball caps except the DJ, who had a rare condition where his hair hurt. Doctors said it had to do with extra nerve endings bottled up on his skull his hair that caused him searing pain at the slightest touch. One tousle could send him into a coma. Before my buddy joined, the band had to cancel a gig due to a long stretch of breezy nights.

The sad thing is, my buddy didn’t know about the DJ’s hurting hair, so his first night with the band during the DJ solo, my buddy noticed he wasn’t wearing his cap so he went behind him and slapped his cap on the DJ’s head, who without hesitation keeled over onto his turntables. At the police station, the DJ’s lawyer told us that that the words "DON’T TOUCH MY HAIR OR I COULD DIE” printed on the front and back of his shirt were all the grounds he needed to file an assault with intent charge. My buddy swears that he thought that was the name of a band he played with Pewaukee. The case is still in the early stages of litigation, but his bail bond put him deep in debt and then when his house caught on fire, he had to move in with his sister and her daughter Mattie. 

They live in the subdivision with all the McMansions on the west side, but are totally house poor after his sister's divorce. The only other piece of furniture in the living room other than the DVD rack is a couch that sits in the middle of the carpeted room that faces nothing. There's no window, no wall, no mantle, no TV, you sit on the couch and there is this unnerving feeling you are looking at nothing, such is its geographical positioning and the voiding architecture of the room. Of course, you are staring at something, but the room seems to slip away to the periphery. There are doorways that hint at structural meaning, a pathway into what can be be seen as definitively a kitchen, surely a coat room, of course stairs to the basement, but the view from the couch lacks any kind of function, only space defined as space, a glint of a banister, corners of drywall, an endlessly beige carpet, and Mattie waiting to play ping pong. 

The couch is where my buddy is sleeps now, because of the cast. He takes off the seat cushions and sleeps on the wooden slat then covers himself with garbage bags, because of the of ants. 

His new band is supposed to be pretty good. My buddy says they sound like "Violent Femmes trying to unfuck the economy.”

Also I think it’s doors at 11 and my buddy’s band goes on after the openers.