Magnetic Man were kicking over the speakers as I shut the door. Never really been into them, not because I don't like drum and bass but because... well, because there's other things to do. Number one on the list is fix the laptop Earl dropped off last night. Probably needs a new hard drive. Then we can drive up and down Northmoor Road looking for a buyer. Which in that turns out a fail there's the back up of Cash Converters.
Stonk will buy anything as long as its new. Turned up once with the some 78s, blues and jazz. Collectible. King Oliver, Sioux City Six. And a shed load of Black Swan and Domino label. He didn't even know what a 78 was. Would've used them as place mats. In the end had to dump them in a wheelie bin at the bottom of his road. And because Earl thought it was funny he threw a cat in as well.
Ha de fuckin ha I said.
Well fuckin take it out if you're that much of an animal lover he said.
We left it in there just because it looked like it might suffer from agoraphobia and would've scratched the shit out of anyone trying to remove it.
But cut back to the chase. A new hard drive. New meaning rummaging around in the drawer upstairs I keep all the parts in, until something that'll last at least as long as a demo turns up. Or a packet of fags. I've been giving up two years now but for some reason I keep finding cig packets hidden all round the house. Like in the fridge or on the floor next to the bed. Or Stonk puts them in my back pocket. The joke there is I sit on them and then they rip the piss out of me when I light up a mangled cigarette.
On the other hand I don't blaze so at least I can remember what day it is. And more specifically what time we're supposed to be at our kid's performance tonight. She's competing in some school music event, beating the hell out of the drums and pretending to sing. I think the band is called stuck like a pig but for the school they call themselves stuck. Genius name, does what is says on the tin. Not even any hidden ingredients. Especially if we're late.
I remind Earl of this fact but he doesn't reply to my text, which means:
a. he's been arrested;
b. he's being arrested;
c. he's about to be arrested;
d. him and his girlfriend have broke up again and now he's fucking someone else. Probably that dumb bitch he keeps in reserve. She behaves like a schoolgirl. Even wears a school uniform five days a week. Doesn't have any problems getting into clubs though. That's where he met her, begging drinks off anything with a wallet and a dick.
And singing. For her supper mum would've said.
Dumb bitch I would've said, but I'll give her that, she can sing. Got long legs and big tits too so you can guess what that means. Or if you can't think x-factor, with the x in this case being vodka lemonade and the factor being testosterone. She can get pretty much any man to buy her a drink, even the fat lazy arse fags. And I'm not saying that with disrespect but a fag is a fag and somehow when confronted with her even they stump up for a drink.
I don't though, because I don't like her. Reminds me of my teens when I used to wander for miles at night, Just walking up and down the streets, turning back when I reached a main road. Watching out for the shadows that turn out to be people. Walking until I was exhausted.
Of course none of that happens any more. Instead out the window the moon looks like someone was allowed one shot with a snowball and missed. And in the window it sounds like someone was allowed one shot with a microphone and missed, but that hasn't stopped them from repeating over and over again the same fucking mistake. I don't know where these drum and bass MCs get their inspiration from but they dress like they're going out of fashion and control the mic with the verbal acumen of a dead hippo. Apparently the audience is fruity. Don't know what kind of fruit, probably the kind that wakes up and finds itself trapped inside a tin can. Or the kind that knocks on the door and when it don't get an answer keeps knocking.
Turn your fucking music down will you I say to the squirt. If I have to come in there again.
So the squirt turns it up.
So I go in his room and settle the matter with a knife. Third time this week. We keep it up and besides hating me he's also going to run out of flex. Then I answer the front door, on the other side of which someone is still knocking.
Nice knife says the Earl. You wanna show me what it can do?
Whup your lazy ass says the man who answered the door. If we're late she'll batter us.
Nice knife repeats the Earl. Then you know what man, these school show things are boring. I got things to do.
Like stand on the doorstep says the man who answered. Or make yourself a brew. You know where the kettle is. I'll have you but the grey version.
Should do, I've lived here.
Which is the truth, until he kicked himself out. Doesn't come in though, stands on the doorstep skinning and whistling. He type of looks like a boy when he does that. A lost boy pretending he's found something important to do with his life.
Roll me one says the man who answered while he gets his wallet.
Wallet found I shut the door and we walk back down the street. In fact I walk in the road, childhood habit, navigating the potholes. Earl is doing his slinky going down the stairs routine and somewhere behind us the moon is waiting a long time to die. I walk with my eyes closed, listening to the scuff of my brother's feet. Sniffing whatever dinner type smells are wafting about. One of them has an aftertaste. Of barbeque ribs. I hear a car turn the corner.
How good is she? asks Earl.
Good enough I say good enough. Maybe if she gets lucky she'll join some half arsed white band as the token nigger and make a living from it.
Not bad says Earl seein as how she's only quarter black and ain't got no other talents.
You tell her that then, we can laugh at you with a pair of drum sticks stickin out of your ass.
Sure thing star he says with his prefab musical tone. Waiting for something to happen.
Which in it never does. Until now. The last thing that ever happens happens. Then it's no longer me, just Earl. Earl and his big bad muthafucka lost boy kind of laugh.