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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8. High

Chapter 11

 

Phil was in his usual not so charming, fucked up mood as he loaded in his drums at Surf Café. The band was on again. Loading and unloading equipment seemed to be his biggest obstacle. This ritual took place before and after the intake of alcohol at every show in order to calm jittered nerves and anxiety about how the show was going to go.

 

At this point, I tried to stay out of the way of all oncoming disasters. It seemed no matter what I did nothing was ever right. It was very tiring and draining, all this energy wasted in stupid shit like dropping a bag of sticks or mishandling a snare drum. Very irritating stuff. I retreated to my corner table.

 

The rest of the band wasn’t here yet. Music blasted over the sound system, the house lights were down. A smattering of people hung at the bar. Phil was settling into his groove. I sat at the back, alone at a table, glad for the distance between us.

 

Earlier today I had been reading about a celebrity rock n roll wife who split with her rock star husband of twenty years. She was battling alcohol and pill addictions in a hospital in California. The hospital representatives told us  she was recovering well, in the ICU. I felt sad for her. She had loved and lost and surrendered herself to drown out her emptiness in pills and booze in a sea of loneliness, although maybe being married to a rock star was no less lonely in some weird way. I’d hate to share my husband with 3 million fans.

 

I checked out her photos from the past. She was blonde, petite, a real fashionista. She would wear cute, lacey outfits to awards shows, charity events and movie premiers. She was so pretty, a fragile doll now broken to pieces in a stark hospital bed, surrounded by stone faced doctors poking and prodding her back to life. Tragic. It was amazing what life could do you. Life could literally suck the life out of you.

 

Ian and Jon have arrived, moving in the bass amp gear and microphones. Jon was decked out in a black hoodie jacket over his white undershirt and Ian was decked out in a brown casual ensemble sporting flip-flops. Lady Gaga pounded on the speakers. I love Lady Gaga, what style, what panache, and what music. What a package, singer, performer, she is hot. It would be cool to be her, maybe for one day. It would be great to see the inside of her closet….

 

I wonder if she does normal things like buying food and doing laundry. I doubt those items on the to do list are high on her list of priorities.

 

Today at the check out line at Publix I saw a rag of Cher, she’s having Chaz issues. Cher is so cool. I ‘d love to be her forever. I would not want to be Chaz though, too messy.

 

 

 

 

Beth waited in the lounge of the Colony Hotel for Jon. The lounge was an open, airy courtyard filled with palm trees. An old, wooden bar lined the wall and the bartender was a throwback to rat pack days gone by. It was 12:30 am and his gig had been over for an hour. Tonight she was dressed up in a black cocktail dress, black choker and strappy black heels, a la Pretty Woman. She wanted to look as seductive as possible for Jon.

 

She watched as fish in the large fish tank by the bar swam in endless circles through mazes of rocks and coral. She toyed with her vodka and cranberry juice. She needed to be buzzed a bit before she saw him tonight. Some creepo guy at the end of the bar was giving her the eye. She stared at the fish, intently.

 

This was her last night in town before heading back to New York. Work was going well. Her boss Melanie was cool. She sometimes wondered if her boss was a lesbian, she kept prodding at her personal life, asking her what she was doing and who she was seeing. She still loved Jon. She wanted to make tonight special. She had a room upstairs at the hotel. The hotel was an old, magnificent 1920’s building, with grand ballroom and nooks and crannies, libraries, billiard room, and swimming pool.

 

Her room had a king size bed in it, with crisp white linens and fluffy white towels in the bathroom. She had a candle by the bed and a bottle of red wine for later. She looked at her watch. Where was he?

 

The sound check was well underway. Jon was in a daze, coddling his guitar, swigging his beer, bathed in a red spotlight. Tracy Chapman played on the stereo, something about driving a fast car. The bartender, a pug nosed, bitchy blonde went ballistic on a customer and the sound man brought the levels up to speed in the monitors.

 

Jon was into a cool, funky groove on the guitar. He felt good tonight. Life sucked, no doubt. He had no car, a girlfriend on the edge of sanity, parents that still tried to control him and seemingly endless bad luck. He had no job and was living off his credit cars until they ran out. Then what? He was up against the odds. He really needed a break.

 

He couldn’t handle another relapse by Beth. If she fucked up one more time he would close the door forever. Jon dreamed of making it big. His songs were good. The right ear balls hadn’t heard his songs yet. No one recognized his talent. No one cared about him now that he was just a skinny, homeless, and no name punk kid. One day he’d be big. A Grammy award winning recording artist. The young chicks would flock to his shows. They would throw their Victoria Secrets G-strings at his feet and leave keys to their rooms. He’d wear designer rags and play on Letterman. One day. One day. One day.

 

 

One day he and Beth would settle down and have a couple of kids. He’d teach them guitar in between his gigs. He’d be bi-coastal, have an agent in Los Angeles and one in New York. He’d have a press agent handle his entire PR, he’d have an entourage. The once in awhile he would do the odd film. He’d transition from music to film like Johnny Depp did…..He kept telling himself all this as he scrounged for money for drinks and bummed cigarettes from his slowly dwindling group of friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 12

 

 

Stephanie parked the car and walked towards the large

K Mart sign. K Mart, where smart shoppers shopped. She needed some new clothes. Cheap stuff to wear. Ian was playing tonight so she had the whole night to browse at her leisure without being nagged to hurry up and leave the store. Men were terrible browsers.

 

Her weight loss plan was beginning to pay off. Her face had slimmed down and she was down 1 size already. She was now a 14 but planned to get down to an 8. It would happen, it was all part of her master plan. She had found this awesome new protein diet on the Internet. She was cutting out all the breads, rice and other starched from her diet and eating only chicken, greens, nuts and fruits. It was working!!!

 

She was having doubts about Ian even though he did bring her flowers the other day. He still wasn’t attentive enough. Sometimes she thought about leaving him but the thought of being alone scared her. The thought of being single scared her. She needed Ian. She would become the woman he wanted her to be. She would become superwoman.

 

Stephanie hit the racks and searched through some T-Shirts and tops. She picked out a pink T and a star-studded black belt. She found a pair of jeans for $6.00. this was a hot outfit! Soon her transformation would be complete. Then she would see. She’d have Ian begging for sex, she would make him worship her. She checked out with her new credit card. Ah, the joys of fresh credit. Only $27.00…..

 

Soon, soon, soon……

 

Phil was at my side on the break lamenting about Jon.

 

“He thinks he’s a star.”

 

“Maybe he will be.”

 

“Then where are the people? The fans? He hasn’t got any.”

 

“I don’t know.”

 

“You don’t tell the world you’re going to be a star, the world tells you….”

 

“I know…He’s young…”

 

Phil was hard on Jon. It was the voice of experience vs. the voice of youth. The show kicked off and Jon was rocking in the spotlight. Two of Jon’s’ fans walked in. Ugh! It was the chick I liked to call the Cougar. She was looking to jump his bones for sure. Phil said she was more like his Mom but I could see the calculating spark in her eyes every time he sang once of his yet to be discovered songs. She basically eyed Jon as her own private rock and roll star, her latch to fame. She never said hello to anyone, maybe because her Dad was some investment banker and this was her foray into slumming with the “artist”.

 

Beth continued to wait at the bar. It was now 1:00 am. Still neither hide nor hair of Jon. The creepo at the other end of the bar came over.

 

“Hi…I’m James….I couldn’t help noticing how stunning you are. Nice dress.”

 

“Thanks…..” (Thanks you freak)

 

“Can I buy you a drink?”

 

“Ok, I’ll take a vodka and cranberry”(If you’re buying then why not)

 

“Anything you want, babe, anything.”

 

“Thanks.” (Loser)

 

 

James ordered the drink. He kept looking hungrily at her, licking his lips like he was going to eat her. He handed her the drink slowly, taking time to caress her hand.

 

“I can tell that you are waiting for someone”….

 

“Really? How can you tell?” (What the fuck?)

 

“The dress, the look in your eyes.. I hope that he doesn’t show so I can take you home.”

 

“Well. ….He’s coming so I guess you are out of luck tonight.” (Loser)

 

“A man can only hope.”

 

Beth was amused at the flirtation. Jon would walk in any minute now and catch her in the act. The she would be saved from this noodle head.

 

“Where are you from?” he asked her

 

“New York.”

 

“Oh, a big time city girl. Watch Sex and the City? I’d like to take a bite out of your apple.” He was so close to her she could feel him spitting on her.

 

 

She looked at him like he was out of his mind.

 

“Care for a dance?” he pressed on.

 

“Nope….Excuse me….”

 

Beth slunk away from the bar and into the ladies room. She washed her face with some cold water. She was feeling woozy from the drink. She dialed Jon’s’ cell number but it was off. She left a message.

 

“Babe…It’s me…I’ll be waiting in the room. It’s room 202. The Colony Hotel. See you soon. Bye”

 

Beth rode the elevator to her room. She opened the door. The room smelled like pineapple air freshener. She lit the candle by the bed and lay back. The sheets felt cool on her skin. Later Jon would be here. Later. Later. Later……

 

 

Jon held the guitar behind his head. He sang with anger and conviction. He wasn’t kidding around tonight. Did anybody in this lea bitten bar give a damn about his music?

 

 

I sat and watched the show and wondered where Beth was. She was still in town. Jon dove into his next original tune, a Hendrix song. Phil and Ian were into it as well. The band was definitely grooving tonight. His voice was homey and familiar. He sang the lyrics effortlessly. He was on tonight. Where was Beth??? I often wondered about those two.

 

Sometimes I would see him with another girl, a girl he’d had a fling with. He always let everybody know that they had done it. That was one thing about being a band wife, you saw and heard it all. You knew all the backbiting, who drank too much, who stole the tip money, who had tacos for dinner, who was fucking up and who was in a pissy mood that night.

 

Jon had his fair share of conquest although generally he was pretty insecure around women. He seemed to have a fear of saying all the wrong things. I know he toyed with the idea of finding himself a “sugar mama”, some rich chick that would set him up in a condo, buy him sports cars and guitars at Guitar Center. But then, didn’t all broke musicians think like that?

 

But deep down in his heart he was a romantic. A true blue, one-woman man. The kind of man that would like to ride off in a convertible Mustang with his bride at his side. I saw him and Beth that way, but somehow circumstances beyond their control would fuck up their relationship.

 

 

 

Beth lay in bed dreaming. She was in a mansion, seated at a long dining table. A zebra with a reverends coat on sat beside her. Music played while they feasted on pheasant and figs. The zebra began playing a violin…..She was floating above the table…..She tossed and turned.

 

 

 

Jon played more Hendrix. The guitar was at a fever pitch. The sound was Godlike….I stared at Ian’s’ flip-flops onstage. The people at the bar ignored Jon. I watched Phil playing the drums….He would stare ahead and then sneak peeks at me. The room shook from the steady pounding of the drums. They were deafening.

 

A surfing video plays on the giant TV screen. Scenes of suntanned Gods splashing in the waves and girls in bikinis walking down the beach. Ride that wave dude. Freeze frame. I sip my Coke and spaced out. I’ve heard all these songs one hundred times before, I know every word, every note the band will play.

 

The band does their last song of the night. Just then the door opens and the most fucked up looking woman I have ever seen walks in. She’s about six feet tall, has tits out to Toledo, she’s dancing and waving her arms and falling on the stage. She throws herself at Jon’s’ feet and writhes around the floor on the stage. Guys at the bar grab her and pull her off the stage but she fights them off. She is strong, probably on smack or acid, she’s tripping for sure.

She gets thrown out the door and the guys barricade the door. She’s yelling and screaming and eating grass outside the club. She starts to strip, taking off her jeans a to reveal her pussy. She lies in the street and bends over, causing oncoming cars to stop and stare. The owner of the bar calls the cops. The cops come to take her away.

 

Now that the drama is over, the band can get back to packing up and getting the hell out. Phil waits nervously at the bar for the cash. This club pays cash. Cash is always a bonus. Checks suck because then you have to run it through the bank and maybe even declare it. Cash is king in music.

 

Jon packed up his guitar and amp. He had a few beers tonight, maybe a few too many. He was definitely buzzed. The guys had their chitchat about what a fucked up night it had been. Phil packed up his drums and stashed them away in the car. We were ready to leave. Another gig over.

 

Jon turned the key in his ignition. Lady Gaga played on the radio. He turned that shit right off. He checked his messages. Beth was waiting for him at her hotel. Shit! It was late…She would be pissed off. A cop from across the parking lot watched him. Jon pulled out onto the road and the cop stealthily followed. Jon didn’t notice the white squad car behind him. He lit a cigarette and ran a stop sign in front of the 7-11. The cop put on his lights……He was busted.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck……

 

 

 

Chapter 13

 

We were playing again tonight, two nights in a row. Jon was out of jail. Looking bleary eyed and worn down. We were all running on a few hours of sleep after the bang up night last night. Everyone was still buzzing about it. Tonight was a gig at South Shores, a local hang out on Lake Worthless, Florida. I was sitting in a booth, watching football as the guys set up. I am not much of a football fan, I jut like to imagine the players in the locker room after the game. Tom Brady? Sure…….

 

I’ve never dated a football player, I am not that kind of sports trophy wife. Sometimes I watch basketball Wives on TV. It’s a dog eat dog world of nasty basketball wives vying each other for fame, fortune and trophy husbands, many of who are unfaithful to their opportunistic wives.

 

My husband is far from most would call a trophy husband. He is a reader, a tinkerer, a technician and an artist…He’s a genius of sorts. I like to consider him that. He also can nag and get on my nerves. If we were major celebrities we probably would have been divorced long ago. No woman would put up with the amount of hassling that he hassles me. It’s all a compromise really. I know I get on his nerves too. We are both imperfect.

 

The band is setting up. Reggae music plays in the background. I am thirsty as hell and need refreshment. Phils’ hooch is in my bag, his alcohol fix for tonight. He also brought a weed cookie tonight, hope he doesn’t freak out if he eats it and ends up like that woman last night, stripping out in the road, baring his bony ass to oncoming traffic.

 

I try to imagine the lives of famous band wives like Yoko Ono, Heather Locklear, Pamela Anderson, Heidi Klum, Christie Brinkley, Valerie Bertinelli. I’ll bet these women have stories to blow you away about their famous musician husbands. They are the bad boys of rock and roll.

 

Tonight I’m wearing a beautiful heart shaped pendant Phil gave me for Christmas. He picked it out for me and surprised me with it. I love surprises. Sometimes I think I like to give surprises more than receive them. I guess that’s part of the control freak in me that does that.

 

Al the local flower man is here giving out flowers. He tells us that he’s been married for fifty years up until his wife died. He gives us a rose for our anniversary, even though it isn’t our anniversary. Sweet man. I love my rose.

 

Some say love, it is a river

That drowns the tender reed.

Some say love, it is a razor

That leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger,

An endless aching need.

I say love, it is a flower,

And you its only seed.

 

 

Phil is all revved up tonight, the testosterone pumping in his veins. He has this phobia about people touching me. When you are the wife of a band member, people touch you, grab you, kiss you, shake your hand, kiss your hand, hug you…..It’s hard to escape them. Phil has some very intense issues……It’s hard to believe we’ve been married for fourteen years.

 

I study the drink menu and ponder what to order. There’s the Tiki Colada, with Bacardi Cherry Rum or the New Orleans Hurricane with orange juice, passion fruit, lime juice and Grenadine…that sounds good. Might as well get buzzed and listen to the band.

 

Phil comes over to get his double shot of Captain Morgan and sprite. He needs the injection of alcohol to calm him down so he can zone out into playing. The place is buzzing with people, laughter and music. I wonder how the night will go.

 

Beth arrived at LFK and hailed a cab to Brooklyn. It was a cold January night and she felt alone. Jon had dumper her again. This was it for her. She didn’t buy his DUI story at all, it was lame. She paid the cabbie and walked up the steps to the brownstone. She opened her door and went in, shaking the slush of her shoes. Home at last. She checked her messages.

 

“Hi dear, this is Mom…call me when you get in. I was worried about you.”

 

Beep

 

“Beth, its me, Jon….Call me.”

 

Beep

 

“Beth, this is Melanie. I need you in the office Monday morning at 8:30 for a meeting.”

 

Beep.

 

Beth sat on the couch and curled up in a warm, blue blanket. What she needed now was a nice hot shower and a warm cup of herbal tea. She felt as though she was coming down off of a high. Life would go on. Screw Jon, he was such a conceited, self-absorbed jerk.

 

Stephanie sat at the bar watching the guys. Her friends Star and Lauren were there, both were in the process of breaking up with their boyfriends who were also in other bands.

 

“He told me he needs more space.” moaned Star.

 

“You’re the best thing that ever happened to him. What is he? Nuts?” Stephanie said, eyeing the perfect blonde in short mini dress beside her.

 

“Men are such pricks,” lamented Lauren “I don’t even know why I like penises….”

 

Stephanie agreed, though she still was in love with Ian.

 

I went over and gave Stephanie a big hug. Tonight would be a major girls night out, a man bashing, drinking party. The band started. People were dancing. I wondered if there would be any nudity tonight.

 

Lauren was bumping and grinding on the dance floor, making goo-goo eyes at Jon. She had a boyfriend, a bass player named Ed. Ed was an old guy. Lauren thought Jon was young and cute. Plus, she was wasted.

 

I cornered Stephanie by the ladies room.

 

“How are you girl?”

 

“Good…”

 

“How’s it going with Ian?”

 

“It’s alright but I really need to kick some ass.”

 

“I hear you……

 

“I’m planning on making some major changes…”

 

“Alright, can’t wait to hear all about it.”

 

I smiled. Stephanie was the best. We walked back to the lounge. Jon began singing an original song and dedicated it to Beth in a weird, sarcastic way. It felt like the end. I had heard about the fuck up last night. Too bad those two were always the victims of some weird fateful co-incidence. I guess that time would tell, if there was any left.

 

Some chicks from a nearby table requested that the guys in the band take off their shirts.

 

“Three for the price of one.” They yelled out.

 

It was going to be one of those nights. Jon stripped off his shirt and a woman put a $20.00 in his jeans.

 

There was nudity after all. Where was my cell phone came

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