Mint Lit: Fiction – ‘Loafing’

ANNA YOUNG, Evergreen columnist

You’d think being in a rock band would be the dream life, but this is how it really is:

Maliki sits across the room, fiddling with the cords sticking out of his synth. He’s obsessed with it, won’t let anyone touch it and sometimes will yell at people just for looking at it for too long.

Skeet twirls his drumsticks absentmindedly, occasionally bringing his foot down on the bass drum pedal with a loud THUMP! that makes me jump but everyone else ignores.

Brandy’s fingers flutter like ghosts over the thick strings of his red bass guitar, playing fragments of songs he hasn’t yet written or sung.

And I rap my knuckles impatiently against the body of my electric, waiting for one of the guys to call the shots and get us to actually do something.

A couple of times Brandy would take a big, loud breath, on the verge of giving some kind of direction, but then he’d avert his eyes and go back to playing directionless riffs on repeat. The room is ours – no other bands will use this space – but none of us can get the others motivated. We’ve found over the years, that musicians as ourselves are notorious for coming to dead ends like this, where no one wants to practice the old stuff and there isn’t any new stuff. Writer’s block for rock bands.

I strum a dissonant chord with my fingernails. “Writer’s blooooooockkkk… for rooooooooockkkk…”

“Stop,” Maliki grumbles, bashing his head onto the keys of his synth. Funny how he mistreats the thing, considering how much he loves it. “Brandy, do something. This band is your baby, now take care of it.”

“Yeah,” Skeet concurs, answering in his usual one-syllable format. The drumstick he is twirling goes on hyper drive and slips from his fingers, flying across the room to hit the leg of the synth.

“Dammit, Skeet!” Maliki yells, flipping him the bird while dropping to the floor to inspect the damage. Skeet just shrugs and lets a new drumstick slide from the sleeve of his hoodie, hardly missing a beat.

Brandy sighs like the whole world is against him and drags himself to his feet. “Alright, fine. Let’s run through the opener for tomorrow’s show.”

“Aww, what?” I groan, joining the unanimous complaint from the guys.

“You said you wanted to practice, so we’re going to practice. Now let’s go!” At this we push ourselves off the floor, and Skeet sits up from his horrendous slouch.
Brandy starts nodding to a beat the rest of us can’t hear yet. “And one, two, one two three four-.”

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