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In Concerto This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     The bright neon lights blaze on me, turning my skin and hair shades of blue and green. I am an intergalactic mermaid with a sticker-covered black Stratocaster as my trident. I face the sea of my worshipping fans as they show their perpetual devotion by singing along to every song I perform. My band stands behind me, an army prepared to play their instruments to their death.

Suddenly I am transported back to reality and find myself in Davey's basement. Scores of posters and torn magazine cutouts plaster the walls; crushed Pepsi cans litter the floor, some tangled in guitar straps while electrical cords wrap around others. Our amps scream out static and mayhem while Bry's bass seems to zone out every 10 minutes. Davey's drum set is backed into the corner. Next to his seat are a dozen broken drumsticks. He goes through at least six every practice. "I get caught up in the moment!" he explains feebly, even though our budget is $25 a week and drumsticks cost $15 a set. Keegan stares off into space while playing his melodramatic rendition of "Stairway to Heaven." After four months of practice we still haven't even agreed on a name. "Morphine," "Blood Hounds" and "Kiss of Death" are Davey's morbid suggestions, while Bry is stuck on hippy names such as "Floyd Revisited" or "Green Grass." I decide to stay out of their heated debate since they don't even listen to each other.

This is our world for four hours every Saturday morning. You might think that it must be hell jamming with three guys, or you might think it's easy. It is neither. Guys can be just as demanding and obnoxious as girls. They feel the need to bash each other constantly, belch at any given moment, and make sexist jokes when they think I am out of earshot. Bry's mother excuses them by saying "Boys will be boys," but I have begun to think that guys feel they can get away with more because society is constantly giving them excuses.

On the plus side, the boys give me a sense of admiration and deference. When I do voice my opinion, they listen attentively, even if they don't agree. I've become the matriarch of our little group. They come to me about their relationship problems and I advise them to get more sleep. Like a family, we share our hopes and dreams with one another. We listen to one another's rants, and wars erupt unpredictably over the most trivial matters. Through it all, we have convinced each another that we will be the next rock phenomenon.

The dark curtains close, enclosing me in a blanket of shadow. The only light comes from backstage and reflects off Keegan's electric guitar. The crowd screams for an encore as if they were crazed fans at Yankee Stadium. The curtains open again and in a thin coat of perspiration we are revealed to perform one more song before we leave the arena.

Maybe someday. c

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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