The Drummer In The Band

His name was Matthew. He was the drummer of a grunge band and lived in Seattle. It was summer of 1991 and being on tour to that band, meant stuffing instruments and flannel clad bodies into a small vw van and playing every roadhouse along Highway I-5. My best friend Donna new him from elementary school and she awaited his arrival at one of her bi-monthly semi gothic themed dinner parties. From the random blink of Christmas lights and the drone of Dead Can Dance, I looked up to see this blue eyed musician type, with wild curly hair and a penchant for Marlboro Reds and frozen taquitos. Matthew was wearing a red flannel and these ripped dark jeans and his hair would move with every motion he made pushing passed people in the kitchen to get to where I was sitting. All I saw was electric blue eyes and this pouf of hair and these gorgeous lips sitting in front of me. At the time I had long brown hair, wearing all black and a Sagittarius Arrow necklace, the style being what was called "hippie witch", although I never dabbled in the wiccan arts. Donna literally danced by us and said in this knowing tone "this is Matthew..you two need to hang out" and she vanished into the smoke filled den. I remember we were immediatley connected, speaking about music and analyzing the elements of the grunge era and the decline of industry standards in our culture (it was after all, Generation X, give me a break...we talked like that back then too, kids)  He spoke of his life and how he always felt there was some other purpose behind getting in the van and touring with the band. It's as if something in him was pushing him to this moment. I told him I wasn't going to come to the party tonight but somehow I knew I needed to be there, aside from the fact it was my turn to buy Taco Bell for everyone.
I read Matthews palm, because well, I knew how to do that kind of stuff. It was my excuse to touch his hands, which were suprisingly soft from all those months of drumming. Every so often his eyes would light up and he'd give me this look like I was a Happy Meal and he was starving at Mcdonalds. I knew I identified with that feeling because I had the same look on my face. I told him about his future as a musician and read his 'life line', he leaned in and told me I had the most unusual green and grey eyes he ever saw and that he was sorry he couldn't stop staring at them. He compared it to Elizabeth Taylor having violet eyes and the rarity of the color and how people are drawn to it, only that mine are this electric grey and green...I told him mine were dilated from smoking a joint earlier and probably reddened from all the clove smoke in Donna's kitchen. He told me if we went outside we can look up at the sky and see Jupitor, I told him that event wasn't until next month, but I wanted look anyhow. I remember the feeling of him leaning in and pointing to the sky, and I can smell his hair, it smelled like a combination of Pantene  Shampoo and coconut incense..and cigarette smoke...and it was the most amazing scent. In the darkness of Donna's street we wandered, we talked of many things. I recall the energy between us being very electric, almost a static that drew us closer and eventually finding every excuse to touch shoulders and brush arms against each other. I told him that this connecting with a man was very new to me, and he suprised me and said it was new to him as well. I thought he was full of it, but turns out we were both going through the same motions. We went to his van and he put in a cassette tape and the Charlatans "The Only One I Know" blared through the small speakers. We lit a joint and he nervously said "let's do a shotgun hit" and I laughed and said that was a good way to lean in and try to kiss me. So I said 'what the hell' and we did it anyhow. When Matt and I reflected on that moment a few years later, we recall feeling anxious, and almost as if we were standing at the edge of a cliff ready to jump into something unknown. Landing on whatever may be at the bottom. Will the bottom drop out? Will we survive the fall? All I knew, as a young fledgling writer/actor, was that this moment was going to change the rest of my life..forever. Matthew felt the same way. The kiss was like heaven...it felt right and one always should go with one's heart, and that's what we did. Donna and our friends wiped their brows and were relieved "We thought we had to drug you two and drag you both to a gay bar or something". Often the people closest to you always know, or have a notion...and that is ok, because with friends like that, the process makes it all worth while.
Matt and I sat at a coffeeshop many years later. Suddenly, it's as if 'the universe' knew we were hanging out and over the speakers came that Charlatan's song and we laughed like hell....Matthew looked at me and said, "Did you know that for the rest of our tour that summer I made my band cover that song and everytime I drummed to it, I dedicated it to you?"  I showed him the black onyx ring he gave me back then and told him how it's the one thing that comes with me in a fire. It was all worth it, and telling people about us at that time was no day at Disneyland, but we did it anyhow and we came to find that it's not only about a 'coming out to others' process, its also about coming out to yourself and following that amazing energy. The point being, you never forget your first, and you cannot deny the love...no matter who it is, or how crazy it may translate to others, you never ever settle for anything less than that magnetic energy. Go forth and love freely...you'll be glad you did.

gagepetronzi gagepetronzi
31-35, M
3 Responses Dec 7, 2012

Great story. You have written it so eloquently,
I'm hooked

Absolutely. Great story!

Wow I really loved your story! Thanks so much for sharing it! You're a fantastic writer, it really drew me in!