Molly’s room looked like it was designed by Office Depot. The only thing remotely human about it were framed pictures of Molly shaking hands with different important looking people littered about her stacks of files. She must have tucked herself into a manila folder every night.
Amelia’s voice sprang up on me from behind, “You shouldn’t be in here.”
She’d brought me back to her place and put a hiatus on my questioning by graciously inviting me to pour us some vodka from the freezer. After, she disappeared into the bathroom for twenty minutes while I suppose she expected me to sit still.
“Sorry, I was curious. I can’t picture this as being her room… or anyone’s really.”
“How well did you know her?”
Did: So Molly had already become past tense.
“I can’t really say.”
“Well, come on already. Let’s go.”
She’d somehow rebounded her energy. I started taking off my jacket.
“I called another Uber. You can just give me cash for it.”
I put my jacket back on.
“You wanted to see Chicago Fire right?” She beamed, gnashing her teeth. I began to suspect she had stashed more in her medicine cabinet than just toothpaste.
“I didn’t mean go see a show – ”
“We’re just going to meet up with them. I’m dating the drummer… and the bassist sort of too.”
She wheeled me out the door into the same Uber we’d ridden in twenty minutes ago.
Amelia took me to some apartment in Old Town. She screamed into the intercom until we were buzzed in, just in time to see someone on the stairs pass out into a pool of their own puke.
The band lived in loft waiting to be made into an art gallery, loaded with superfluous sets of Ikea furniture in an apparent attempt to class the place up.
In true punk rock fashion, each member of the band had such a unique “fuck you” style, that it was hard to tell them apart. I guess I could best describe them as five anorexic carnies with a Hot Topic sponsorship.
“Annie!” One of them exclaimed.
“Amelia!” He corrected.
They were gathered around a Jerry Garcia impersonator on his knees with a portable tattoo kit, trying his best to hold down a squealing teacup pig.
“Hey guys, this is a huge fan of yours or something that wanted to meet you,” Amelia said, shoving me forward. “Here you go. Now, Chad, can we discuss that ski trip we were going to go on… to Colombia?”
Chad hoisted himself up, and Amelia abandoned me for the bathroom again. I meandered my way into the musician’s circle. The teacup pig was making whatever Jerry was trying to write illegible.
“So, uh, were all of you guys really in Bienen?”
“No shit Sherlock.”
“That’s a good school.”
“Maybe, if you’re trying to limit your music to the tastes developed by a canon of upper class white men that spent their days wearing knickers and promoting patriarchy.”
“Sure, leather is better for the people.”
“What are you guys focusing on now?”
“We’re helping people unlearn society’s standards for good music. Right now we’re kind of in a Dead Kennedys meet Russell Crowe from Les Miserables phase.”
“Neat. So, you guys haven’t been keeping up with anyone at Northwestern have you? Maybe someone in Medill?”
“Do you mean Molly or –”
Amelia and Blondie barged out of the bathroom practically hopping.
“Oh my God! Chad was just telling me about “Have It Your Way.” You guys have to play it.”
“Molly Chambers! You just mentioned Molly Chambers – ”
“Yeah, of course. We – ”
“We don’t just play our songs.”
“Oh come on,” Amelia said, snaking her way over to the eye-shadowed dissenter. “You guys perform for me and…” She whispered the rest.
“Alright guys, come on. It’s just one song,” he said, springing to his feet.
Smoke eyes waved the others up eagerly until they shuffled over a heap of instruments they’d left it a corner. Without an audience, Jerry left the pig free to run around the room squealing.
They can’t tell me what to do.
I’m gonna have a Whopper.
If I want chicken fries too,
They ain’t no stopper.
Fuck what they say,
You gotta have it your way.
“It’s a jingle?” I asked.
“Are you an idiot? It’s a statement. It’s a parody of capitalist pop music.”
“Is it though?”
“See, I told Papadopoulos people would be too fucking stupid to get it.”
“Felix Papadopoulos? What does this have to do with him?”
“Sometimes he just gives us some notes on our songs.”
“Chad told me Papadopoulos wrote it,” Amelia interjected.
The teacup pig started nuzzling into my ankle.
“Felix wrote that?”
“Shut up you goddamn narc. Look, I don’t care if Annie says you’re our biggest fan or whatever, if you don’t get art, you need to get out now.”
“Why would Felix write you guys – ”
“FUCKING LEAVE MAN!”
One of them tried to throw a guitar at me, but they forgot to unplug it from the amp and it stopped short about fifteen feet. I grabbed the teacup pig at my feet, and ran out of the door.