I swear there was no way that I could get any more tan.
If I was to get more tan than I was now, I would become black, no doubt.
So if I was to stay out in this screaming hot sun any longer, I was surely going to become black.
Shit, I already listened to rap. I already did rap. All I needed was gangster clothing and Id be all set.
But I would not let this shitty job make me change ethnicities.
I dragged the back of my hand across my forehead, wiping away salty sweat that was literally leaking from my pores. I hated this job. I really, really hated this job. And still, I ask myself every day why I work here, and why I wanted to work here in the first place.
It was the only place that was actually hiring, or at least the only place that would hire a sixteen-year-old like myself. But I couldve looked a little longer, at more places. I hate the outdoors. I hate flowers. I hate excessive sun and sweating and all of the other bullshit I had to be put through. Why couldnt the old ladies working here do this job? Why couldnt I just stay inside, in the air conditioning, and run the cash register?
Well, at least the sun was setting. And it was almost nine o clock. Thank Jesus, I could go home and finally sleep or something. I needed to write more lyrics. Brad had been killing me over my lack of creativity. I guess he didnt understand that I had this job to pay for our equipment. And I was the only one out of both of us that had a job. So I was the only one paying for mine and his shit. I should make him write lyrics, just to show him how hard it is when you have to juggle trying to manage to write good lyrics, working full time, and band practice all in one. He was such an ass sometimes. But I loved the dude. He was like a brother to me, so there was no getting rid of him anytime soon. I just wish he wasnt annoying like one.
I hung the last of the flower baskets up where they belonged and made my way back to the store, with the air conditioning. It was about time. I seriously felt like I was about to pass out from heat exhaustion. July in California could do that to you. Agora Hills here in Cali was probably the hottest place on the planet, besides Africa, of course. It was always hot. Even in winter, its warm. When it rains, it feels like youre being scorched by boiling water falling from the sky. It doesnt even snow here. Thats how bad it is. Sometimes, I really wished I didnt live here at all.
I opened the door to the building of the florist and instantly exhaled deeply in relief of the cold air hitting my whole body. I wanted to collapse onto the floor and convulse a little bit. But I didnt. I kept my composure and saved it for when I would get home.
Mike, did you finish hanging up the petunias?
I scowled slightly at her voice. That was the manager, Rita. She was an old lady in her seventies with the usual poofy silver hair, black dress slacks and floral button up shirts. She was so annoying. Usually, old ladies like that were really sweet and nice. But she was like the clone of Satan. Every day, she would make me redo everything I completed earlier because I didnt do them right. Shove it up your ass, lady, if you dont like it, do it yourself.
Yes, Rita. Im punching out for the night. Its nine. Ill see you on Monday, I said as I walked straight to the back, punched out on my time slot, and walked straight out the door. I didnt even wait for her to complain about the job I did. It was Thursday, and I had a whole three day weekend from this hell hole. Hoo-fucking-ray.
When I got out into the parking lot, my dad was waiting there for me. I sighed in relief and quickly opened the door to his car to get in before Satan-spawned Rita came chasing after me.
Hey dad, I said, exhausted, slouching back in the seat, buckling myself in and turning on the radio.
Rough day, huh? He asked. It did go up to about one-hundred-and-two today. I cant imagine what the heat index was.
The heat index was probably about three-thousand. I leaned my head against the head rest and rolled my eyes. I turned my head to look out the window to see all of the orange-painted buildings, cars, trees, and everything else passing by as we drove. The sun was setting behind us, igniting everything in its path on fire to burn until the cool, bright moon came up to put it all out. It would be so much more glorious to see all of these things from different parts of the world on a tour bus, or a plane, with a band to call my own. Brad and I had talked about it before; this is what we really wanted to do.
Music was never just a past time or a hobby for us, it was a passion. I knew the first day that I touched my fingers to a piano that it was what I wanted to do. Theres something about it thats so moving, so inspiring, and so wondrous. Its a way of communicating to people, to groups of people. Its a way to get out your feelings without screaming and yelling your lungs out. Music is something that doesnt require an explanation; you hear it, and you know what it is. It can be simple, like the tapping of your fingers on a table or the song you hum when youre bored, or it can be complex, like a whole two-hundred-man orchestra or a band with different players and instruments.
Music is my life, and its Brads life, too. He and I both agreed that we would be in a band together, no matter what it took.
And thats what we were working on.
A couple of minutes more was all it took until Dad and I got into the drive way. It was silent except for the few words that were exchanged earlier. We dont talk much anymore, due to the fact that Brad and I are always busy trying to put stuff together and hes always working when Im not occupied. I wanted to talk to him more, and get comfortable with him again, but I just felt too far away from him now. It would be awkward. Eventually Id get close again, I knew that.
I walked by Mom as I went straight to the staircase to go up to my room. We exchanged his and goodnights, like always, as I jogged up my stairs to get my clothes off and turn in for the night.
My hands turned the knob to my door that was covered in stickers, posters, and pictures of bands, friends, and everything else that I seemed to like. After pushing the door open past the pile of crap that was in front of it, I walked in, and immediately started to take my shirt off, pulling it over my head. I used it to wipe off the sweat that still rested on top of my caramel skin, and then tossed it to the floor with the rest of my dirty clothes.
I then started to undo my belt, but as I did, my phone rang.
Brad was calling again.
He was getting pretty good at the timing. I guess he knew exactly when I was able to get into my room after work.
The phone beeped when I pressed the talk button to answer.
DUDE! Oh no. An excited Brad. Thats possibly one of the worst things ever.
Yes, Brad? I repeated, but with more annoyance in my tone. I undid the rest of my belt and pulled it out of my belt loops with one hand, then rested the phone on my shoulder to unbutton my jeans.
I think I may have found us a lead singer here in Phoenix.
A lead singer. In Phoenix?
I knew that there was something good behind him leaving with his cousins for two weeks. Luckily, it was his last week there before he was coming home.
Seriously? I asked, now holding the phone in my hand again, giving up on unzipping my pants. This was seriously good news.
Seriously, bro. His names Chester, I guess he used to be in a band before, and then they kicked him out. He was just up here at this karaoke thing, at this little bar down here. He sang some STP, and he sounded really freakin good. So, afterwards, I introduced myself and talked to him for a while, and then asked him if he was interested in trying us out. I was dazing off into his words, imagining the life of a real, touring musician. I fell back onto my bed and stared up at my ceiling. He said all we had to do was send him a demo to sing over, dude! Aw man, Im so super excited, you have no idea! Do you know-
Brad. I interrupted, stopping him from his crazy rant of joy.
You had me at I found a lead singer.