Wednesday, January 27, 2010

8/4/76 - 13

Rick was in a state of great agitation.

"Where'd she go?" Jim asked.

"She told me she was coming back!" he cried.

I told Jim I'd sit with Rick while he looked for Jenny. I opened the cooler, got two beers, and handed one to Rick.

Up onstage the song went like this:

Well I ain't often right but I've never been wrong
It seldom turns out the way it does in the song

"We'll find her, man," I said.

He was weeping. "You sure, man?"

"Of course, man."

He gulped his beer and shook his head.

"What if something happens to her?" he moaned.

"Nothing's going to happen to her," I answered reflexively. I felt a stabbing certainty deep in my heart that something was going to happen to her. And to us, too. Something big. There seemed to be no truer truth.

Jim came back.

"I dunno, man. Can't find her," he declared.

"Where did you look?!" Rick howled.

"I looked around. Jesus."

"We have to find her!"

"Let's stay here for a little while in case she comes back," I said. "Then we'll go find her."

The band took a set break. The stage lights went down and an old black-and-white film was projected onto a screen behind the drums. The title came up: the Three Stooges in "Healthy, Wealthy and Dumb." The crowd cheered lustily as the doughy men barked, whimpered and jabbed at each other. I felt a second darkness encroaching upon the night. So this is it? I wondered. This is what it comes to? I hung my head and muttered a grim, despairing prayer. We were doomed. That much was clear.

I looked up, expecting to see my anguish mirrored in Rick's face. Instead he gazed blankly at the screen. Movie light flickered faintly on his mentholated warpaint. He took a sip of beer. Moe hit Curly with a hammer and he laughed.