Convincing Constance (The Blow Hole Boys)(4)

By: Tabatha Vargo

“Sorry. My mom pulled some shit.” The leather couch was cold against the back of my thighs when I sat down. “So what’s the plan for the night? Is the party staying here or is everyone going to Icehouse?”

I silently prayed the party would go to Icehouse, a little shithole deep in the city where KC and Shay liked to party. I went a few times, since every now and again they’d have some decent bands playing.

“Icehouse, biatch! You coming?” Shay asked as she fell on top of me.

I’d known them for a good bit of my life. I’d gone to private school with them in sixth grade and we kind of stuck together since. I wouldn’t say best friends, since I never let myself get close to anyone, but decent friends. Enough so that they gave me a place to crash as long as I promised a third of the rent.

“Who’s playing tonight?” I asked.

A night out with good music didn’t sound awful, but I wasn’t about to sit through one of the shitty underground bands with the same sound and high hopes of a record deal.

“I don’t know, some new band. You should come. It’ll be good for you,” KC said as she bent and pulled on her knee-high boots.

An hour later, I was at the bar, watching the girls take shots as we waited for the band to start. I sipped my water and stared at the purple-and-white Fender sitting in its stand on stage. It was beautiful. Not as beautiful as mine, but still nice.

Once the band came out, I relaxed into my stool and nodded my head to the music. They were new to the scene and didn’t sound half bad. I doubted they’d ever get signed by any real label—but still a good sound. The lead singer, a guy named Leo, carried the weight of the band and had real potential, but I’d seen that before with better bands that never made it far.

Two hours later, the band was finishing up their final song. The room seemed smaller since the crowd had grown, and the scent of sweaty bodies, drugs, and spilt liquor swarmed around me. I was finishing up my last few sips of my third water when the lead singer started talking to the crowd.

“Someone informed me that Clarke McClaire’s daughter is hiding in the crowd somewhere out there,” he said as he used his hand as a visor and searched the crowd. “That someone also told me she could play circles around Rick,” he said as he grasped the shoulder of his lead guitarist. “It sure would be an honor to play with a legend’s daughter. Why don’t you come up here, girl?”

I could have kicked Shay in the mouth with my steel toes since I was sure it was her that went blabbing about who my father was. The man had been dead for three years. Didn’t anyone understand the meaning of rest in peace? But when it came to Shay, anything that got her close to the band, she was doing, and since everyone in the music world knew who my dad was, she had a golden ticket to backstage, always.

I could have easily ducked out of the bar and went home, and I was on the verge of doing just that when KC and Shay grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the stage. I didn’t fight them since I didn’t want to look like a scared little bitch, but they’d know how pissed I was when we got back to the apartment.

“There she is. Come on up. Damn, I’m digging the pink hair,” the lead singer said into the mic.

The crowd cheered for me as I stepped onto the stage. I took the purple-and-white Fender when it was handed to me and hooked it around my neck. At least one good thing came out of this night. At least I got my hands on the beauty I’d been admiring earlier.

“How about we play a Black Daze song in honor of your dad?” Leo asked.

I nodded my answer, even though I had no desire whatsoever to play my dad’s music.

Before the first chord sounded I knew exactly what song we were playing. The song that hurt the most—the one that was written for me during one of my dad’s coke binges. “Constance Insanity.” Even the first chord broke my heart.

I put my head down and dug my fingers into the strings. I’d played the song so many times in my life that I didn’t even have to think about the melody. I didn’t have to think about anything but the pain that dug into my chest every time I struck the chords. Why, of all the hundreds of Black Daze songs we could have played, did they have to choose the one that burned me?

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