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Soon married


The bride is asleep across town, and she and I have made no real plans. Yet I feel a pang of Soon married each morning. I feel that same ache now while I sit with my guitar across my lap, drunk and trying to stay conscious at four in the morning. Galvez bangs again, and I wish he would go to bed, that he would Soon married be happy for me, that he would leave me in peace and let me finish writing my song.

I met her a year ago, in the summer, after I lost my job at Record King. I had just formed a band called Farrago. The other members were old friends: Aaron, the drummer; and Carl, the bass player. We came together because we had few complaints with each other as human beings, unlike the members of my previous band, which had dissolved when I punched the drummer in the eye. Over time we developed a repertoire of slow boleros, sleepy waltzes, and lugubrious country Soon married that I sang passably.

One night we played the Love Hospital, a small club here in Toronto. In the sparse audience, a black-haired girl sat alone, her backpack balanced in her lap. A skinny punk at the next table was trying to make this black-haired girl, leaning his chair back and rattling his bracelets. A college boy two tables away was trying to make her too; I watched while he stroked his damp upper lip and gathered advice from his friends.

Even the barmaid was trying to Soon married this black-haired girl, trailing a hand along her freckled shoulder, pulling a braid aside to whisper in her ear. The girl smiled serenely at each of them but kept her eyes on the stage throughout our set, her braids bracketing her pale, serious face, her eyes the color of varnished teak.

I decided if I was going to approach her it should be right after the show, while I was still stoked from playing. After Soon married encore, I headed to the bar to plan my next move, but she was already at my side, so suddenly it startled me.

I introduced myself and prepared to discuss what girls usually want to discuss after shows. I thought maybe she was shy, until I followed her gaze to where my wool sock had fallen and saw she was staring at Soon married ring of scarlet Soon married around my right ankle, some circled in faded blue.

They looked like plague sores. I mean I would fit with your band. The next day she left two Soon married there: Each night for a week I lay on my infested mattress, headphones covering my ears, and listened to her singing over a Soon married organ, her voice breathy and close against a cheap microphone. It never occurred to me then whether her voice was good or bad, skilled or unskilled.

It was just a voice in Soon married distant room that had become a voice in mine, a voice singing late at night, trying to empty some restless sorrow while not waking the parents in the next bedroom. I listened to the tape every night, rewound and replayed it until the battery light on my Walkman dimmed to a tired amber eye.

I invited her to a rehearsal. Aaron and Carl sat and watched while she laid out her yogurt and bottled water, placed a small stuffed ape by her microphone stand, took off her shoes and socks, and stretched as if she were about to run a sprint.

I saw the others exchange glances during the second song, which was followed by a silence that Elzi broke with nervous laughter. "Soon married"

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We ran through our set once, then a second time. There was no consultation or vote. She came to our next rehearsal "Soon married" sang at our next show. Elzi and I dated for a few weeks, went Soon married matinee movies where I gave whispered explanations when the actors spoke too quickly, window-shopped in front of Bay Street boutiques where we could afford nothing. She came to my place a few times, though she would never stay the night, because her aunt would worry. She always dressed and left after the evening news.

I like you, Tommy. I just think our music is more important. The band is just about to get big, right? If you and me stayed together, and things went badly between us. Things have gone well Soon married the year since then, better than any of us imagined, with growing crowds and a successful EP on a local label.

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Or, rather, things were going well until one night a week ago when I walked Elzi home after rehearsal. At her door she invited me in for coffee.

Elzi lived with her Soon married in an apartment squeezed into the right half of a two-story house. My visa expires soon. Or they deport me. What about the band? I read it wrong, the information.

I thought my aunt would be enough for them. But I got a letter. She cried then, muffling her sobs in the crook of her elbow. When I told Soon married — when I promised — that I would do whatever she needed, she cried louder and kissed me on the temple, dark braids wagging, then said good night and climbed the stairs to her Soon married. I finished my coffee, let myself out, and walked home like a sleepwalker, in a spray of rain that failed to rouse me from my dream. Jonny Woodbine will probably make an appearance, as he has at a few recent shows.

None of this means much to me. My expectations now are modest.

Farrago is specialized and offbeat. Tonight I play guitar and watch Elzi, who stands between me and the faces ringing the stage Soon married her thrift-store cocktail dress, barefoot as usual.

Elzbieta is our main attraction. No one but her would deny this. Many of our fans are young men who stand rapt as she sings in her closed-eyed, swaying style, cupping the mike in her hands as if it were a small bird. I suspect many of these young men Soon married hearing this voice across an unlit bedroom.

She appeals to women, too, though in them her voice awakens a pleasurable brooding.

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After our shows, the men look stirred, sharp-eyed with longing, ready for adventure. The women look pensive and morose, ready to go home early, to think and reevaluate. A small throng waits for Elzi after each show. She talks and shakes hands, accepts the adulation gracefully. Tonight, after our important show, Elzi makes the announcement to our bandmates over a bottle of wine backstage. Carl claps and whistles. Aaron says nothing, Soon married looks from one of us to the other.

After the others leave, Elzi wants to Soon married the bottle with me and make wedding plans. I scowl and sip wine.

I lay out my other conditions: I tap the bridge of my nose, the broken blood vessels there. They warned me about you. I should have found a nice boy who will be good to me instead of. Then she kisses Soon married cheek playfully and heads home to her worrying aunt. I say nothing, feeling shamed and cross, like a schoolboy caught passing love notes in class.

Jonny Woodbine has appeared, sniffing around the stage with his Chairman Mao hat, engineer boots, spiral notebook, and tattoos. He greets Aaron but not me. Jonny is a local boy made good. In the photo by his byline he twists around to get his Celtic shoulder tattoo into the shot. Jonny is looking for Elzi. Jonny glumly helps Aaron tumble the Soon married drum into its case.

And, of course, the vocals are tremendous. Jonny regards him uncertainly.

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If you gave me a tape, I could play it for him. Aaron and I exchange looks. Archer is a successful Chicago indie label that would Soon married a good match for us.

Aaron digs through his backpack and flips me a cassette. While Jonny Woodbine pauses to write some pressing thought in his notebook, I hesitate.

Jonny looks puzzled, then pockets the tape and salutes us before he leaves, just like on television. Later that night, I lie on my mattress like a capsized tortoise, unable to get to my feet or even pick up the beer I set on the milk crate just a moment before.

Maybe it was a joke. Or maybe I wanted Jonny to hurt like Soon married did when I first listened to it — not just the pain of knowing you will never hear that voice singing only to you, but the ache that you were not present at the moment the sounds were made in some dark Krakow bedroom.

My amplifier is switched on, sizzling, and I "Soon married" the cord in my hand. I touch the bare lead to my tongue, and the amp faintly pops, but I feel nothing — no energy, no charge, no release. You got it if you want it. Play a set, then get hitched.

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