High

Three young women have one thing in common: Music. They have their own issues such as suicide, alcoholism, weight gain and depression to deal with, besides their husbands rather fragile egos. These young women are going places, on their own terms and must overcome lifes’ obstacles. Do you think suicide, weight gain and fear will hold these woman down? No way. Beth must deal with her own inner demons and overprotective mother. She is in love with Jon, her guitar playing boyfriend. She is his muse, his inspiration for his music. He loves her except when she screws up. Stephanie has to learn to let go and shake off her abusive past, destructive parents and be free to love Ian, her bass playing husband. Heather is stuck in a humdrum relationship with Phil the pessimistic drummer and learns that breaking away sometimes is the payoff to success in the world. Catch up on all the hilarius girl talk in High.

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6. High

Chapter 6

 

Beth boarded the plane holding her carry on bag in one hand and he cell phone with another. She was waiting for Jon’s’ call. He knew today was her flight to New York. Just as she was sliding into her window seat the phone rang. It was him.

 

“Hi” he said

 

“Hey! I didn’t think you were going to call me.” she lied.

 

“Why?”

 

“I don’t know, but I’m glad that you did….I thought we broke up.”

 

“I came back from Austin.”


“You did?” She was shocked.


“Yeah, I’m back. I didn’t dig it out there too much. Too many cowboys I guess.” He failed to mention the accident.

 

“Wow!!.”

 

“So, you’re on the plane huh?”

 

“Yeah. We’re about to take off.”

 

Tear started to roll down her cheeks. She blubbered into the phone.

 

“Jon, I’m so sorry for everything.” She whispered into the phone.

 

He was crying too, at the other end of the phone.

 

“Yeah, me too. I feel like it’s my fault. I really love you still. It’s just really hard for me to deal with your problems, you know?”

 

Silence.

 

“Yeah, well, maybe you can come and visit me.”

 

“Yeah, okay. I will, one you get settled into your new place. Alright?”

 

“Alright.” She wiped her nose on her sleeve. “The plane is taking off, I have to go.”

 

“Bye”.

 

“Bye”.

 

The plane took off and Beth stared out the window. The buildings and cars and houses all got smaller and smaller and she cried a little. The flight attendant came around with a drink cart and a headphone set.

 

“Would you care for anything Miss?’

 

“Yes, I’ll take a vodka on the rocks please.”

 

She needed this last drink. She needed it bad. For the first time in a long time she suddenly felt grown up. She wanted to forget the pain, all the pain she felt and let the world slip away. She was going to make her own decisions now. There would be no one to blame but herself. Her life was changing. She was going to take control of her life.

 

 

 

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and Phil was doing his usual, watching the game on TV. I was busy organizing our clothes and doing laundry at the same time. Things seemed peaceful. I thought about the band. It was good that Jon was back, now things would get back to normal again. I thought about Beth, all alone in Brooklyn.

 

I was lucky, I thought, to have a stable relationship. Oh sure, we had our nitpicky fights and squabbles, sometimes a major blowout when I would threaten to leave, but we always made up quickly and life was back to normal again. I must have threatened to leave one hundred times. Phil never once said he would leave. Never.

 

I couldn’t imagine life without Phil. He was a huge part of me, sometimes I didn’t know where one of us stopped and the other one began. I knew all his jokes, his history, his showbiz career. I knew his many moods. His hungry mood, his leave me alone now moods, his EBay mood, his don’t fuck with me now mood. And he knew mine. Most of the time.

 

Sometimes I would slip into the past and try to deal with things that have happened to me, ugly things that I would never tell him. But those were times gone by. They just lingered a bit and he would wonder why I was pissed off. He had no idea it had nothing to do with him or us, just shit that happened by jerks a log time ago. They seemed so unimportant now. I wondered why they still lingered in my memory. It’s hard to totally erase the past.

 

He knew if I was caught in a little white lie, he knew if I was late, he knew if I was over-eating or hiding something. It was actually kind of sickening knowing someone so well. But that was it, we knew each other after fourteen years together.

 

“Baby, get me some more soda.” He cried from the armchair.

 

“Ok.”

 

What was he? Too helpless to get it himself ? I poured him some soda. There was a postcard from Jon on the fridge. It said, “Music is life.  Jon”

 

I thought about Jon and his intense drive to be a musician. It seemed like it was the most important thing in his life. But what would happen once life stepped in and threw him some obstacles like a wife and snot nosed kids? Would music still come first? Or would his priorities change? I knew he was dreaming big time, Grammys and limousines and gold records. What would happen if he had to become a manager at an auto parts store? I hoped that his dream would happen for him before it got too late.

 

I handed Phil the soda and kissed him on his head.

 

“Thanks baby,” he said absent-mindedly.

 

I went back to folding laundry. Sometimes even a boring day was satisfying.

 

 

 

Chapter 7

 

 

The guys were gigging again, tonight at an Irish bar. It was Jon’s’ first night out again since his comeback, so everyone was in an upbeat mood. Stephanie was sitting with me, in a large wooden banquette covered in green leather, chatting away about her day while browsing websites on her Blackberry Playbook. The guys sounded good tonight, they were pretty much in sync.

 

I glanced over at Phil and blew him a kiss. He smiled but had a focused look on his face. His playing was intense. Ian was onstage, smiling and looking pretty careless. Stephanie and I were deep in conversation about buying houses, her allergies, our obsession with aromatherapy. There was so much to talk about. We were still both wondering about Beth but no information had escaped Jon’s lips, not yet. We would be sure to get the scoop eventually. The music was so loud I was convinced that I was going deaf.

 

Something in me was restless tonight. I felt a longing to run away from my humdrum life. I had been fantasizing about far away places like Africa and Bora Bora and Thailand. Anywhere but here in dullsville, living my dull and predictable life. I guess part of me loved the dull life and part of me loathed it. I often told myself I should run away and do something exotic. But I never did. I just sort of plodded along. In my world even changing my brand of toothpaste was exciting. Something to Twitter about anyhow. I Tweeted the most useless tidbits of information to complete strangers. That’s what my life was coming down to. I have turned into a social media geek.

 

I could visualize my humble tiki hut home close to an ocean, with bamboo-covered floors and a modern kitchen and a bedroom with a four-poster bed with mosquito netting around it. I wanted to live that dream. If only to escape reality for just a little while. The table jolted and Stephanie grabbed her handbag.

 

“ I need my inhaler!” Stephanie gasped. Her face turned a deep red and her chest was heaving up and down.

 

I sprang back to life and watched as she almost choked, wheezing and huffing and puffing. Stephanie’s’ allergies were acting up tonight. Must be the dust or the alcohol or the mold in the ceiling.

 

“You feeling better now?” I asked

 

“Yes.”

 

“That sucks.”

 

“I hate it…I have to go to the doctor soon and get shots.”

 

“That sucks. I am glad that you feel better.”

 

We sat in silence awhile and just listened to the band.

 

“It’s so weird without Beth huh?” Stephanie said

 

“Yeah, I was just thinking the same thing. Have you heard anything?”

 

“No.”

 

We didn’t know how Beth was doing. No one had heard from her. I was wondering if she could get her life back together again. Maybe her and Jon would get back together. They were both so young and so in love time would tell. Meanwhile Jon had a lot of young, willing and able chicks that dug him. One chick in particular kept prancing around in front of the band in her short shorts……Jeez, did these women have any morals? The guys didn’t care. They loved it.

 

Jon played guitar like a menacing God. The crowd was awed. I looked around at the chairs and tables, the stained glass ceiling and at the flickering TV screens on the walls. The place was jammed with thirsty patrons out for a good time.

 

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. It was Patrick, the guitar player from the band next door. I guess he had come over to check out his competition.

 

“Band sounds good except for the crappy drummer.” He said jokingly.

 

 I laughed. Patrick was a wild man but seemed really impressed by our boys, evilly watching them with a slightly jealous stare.

 

The band laid into, “Voodoo Child” by Hendrix, with a long, screaming solo and nonstop drums and bass. The band was really pumped up after being apart from each other. Jon was rocking it out, singing his heart out.

 

The night went by talking our girl talk and hanging out with our guys on break. I felt somewhat detached from it all and Phil was ignoring me. I felt a bit unloved and neglected. But I wanted him to have his band time with the guys. I wasn’t so important. I ordered some fries, mostly to relieve the boredom.

 

“You shouldn’t be eating this late.” Phil finally noticed me now that I was eating.

 

“I’m hungry.”

 

“You’re not serious about losing weight are you?” he persisted.

 

Oh God, here we go again, more nagging. Nag, nag, nag.

 

There was a bit of change in the air tonight. Later that afternoon I had slipped Jon a number for a Nashville producer. Jon was as broke as a flea on a camels back. He needed money. He needed fame. He needed to get the hell out of this town…

 

I was looking forward to getting home to peace and quiet. But it would be hours before the guys would pack up. There was the job of getting paid, getting rebooked, packing up the gear, talking about shit and more shit, having one last shot or beer and counting and dividing the tips…..I knew the drill only too well. Music wafted around me. I’d love to be home in bed now, my head buried in the soft pillow, away from noise….

 

 

 

 

Beth sat in the back of the cab watching the Brooklyn streets. There were storefronts going by and rows of brownstones. Korean grocers and Laundromats lit the night on every corner. It stared to rain violently. The rain was beating down on the windshield. The cabbie pulled over in front of a large brownstone and stopped the meter.

 

“This is it Miss. That’ll be twenty-five.”

 

She paid him and slipped him a five-dollar tip. So this was it, her new home. She ran out of the cab, getting soaked. There was a mailbox by the door. She turned the key and dragged her suitcase inside. There was a flight of stairs ahead of her. The cabbie jumped in the foyer.

 

“Let me help you.” He picked up her suitcase and bound up the stairs with amazing strength.

 

“Thank you so much.”

 

“Take care Miss.”

 

Beth turned the key in the door. It opened slowly. She stepped inside and switched on the light and took her first glimpse of her new apartment.  The place was a light airy studio with wooden floors. A white paper lantern hung from the ceiling. The walls were painted linen white and there was a quaint fireplace in the living room. She went to the window and looked out. The city lights were dazzling. She had a home now. This was the beginning. Her landlord had ordered her a futon and she plopped down. She felt alone and excited at the same time. This was her new life. Her own new life.

 

She went downstairs to the Korean grocery store down the block. The rain had stopped now and the streets were damp and smelled of wet, fresh concrete. Some young guys gave her the eye in the store. She didn’t stare back. She helped herself to the salad bar, filling up a plastic container of food and vegetables. The little old Korean lady behind the counter smiled at her.

 

“You new here? I never seen you before girl?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Ah good….You very, very pretty…. Now I have another customer. You come see me, my name Lucy.”

 

“Ok thanks Lucy…I’m Beth.”

 

As she was heading out of the store Mike brushed by her. The stalker.

 

“Hey! What a fucking co-incidence!” he said.

 

“Mike?”

 

“Yup. I just moved in the neighborhood Beth. Looks like we’ll be neighbors now.”

 

“Yeah….Cool.” Mike definitely spooked her out.

 

“I heard about you and Jon. That’s tough babe.”

 

“Yeah. I’ll be alright.”

 

“See ya around.”

 

“Bye…..”

 

She took her food up to the apartment.  She ate, and thought of Jon. What was he doing now? She wondered. Was he thinking of her? She doubted it. She was probably the last thing on his mind. She tried to not think about her time in the hospital. That had to be a thing of the past. No more fuck ups in this new life. Tomorrow she would see about a job in the city. She had an interview at nine am. Time to get some rest.

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