“Yeah, um, like can I speak to the joker who plays drums in this house?” he mumbled in a raspy voice.
She had been expecting this. Most of the people in the street had been over to say something about the drum playing. Usually they were the really old people, the wrinkly ones, who lived in the street. She had heard it all. Some said they “didn’t like the noise” and “that little girls should be seen and not heard”. Others said they would call noise control or even the police. Some people had even been “encouraging” but what they were really trying to say was that drums were not an “appropriate” instrument to play in a suburban area. Maxine thought lawnmowers weren’t appropriate either. They were noisy, smelly and dangerous. And cars were the same. These thoughts raced through Maxine’s head as she imagined that the drummer of this household was going to cop it again. She guessed again that her opinions would be of no consequence as usual when dealing with members of the older generations. But she hoped that this man would come round and see sense, as most others had, and understand that drums were highly appropriate.
So here was this weird, stooped looking guy standing on her doorstep. She could tell he wasn’t even remotely interested in her existence. He kept looking round as if he was afraid someone would catch him talking to a kid and think he was uncool. If there was one thing Maxine hated it was people who were so hung up on being cool. At least her face didn’t look like a pincushion. She’d made a vow long ago that she was never going to mutilate her body – like her 18-year-old cousin, Sheree, had done. Sheree had tattoos in unlikely places and had pierced parts of her body that kept bringing tears to Maxine’s eye when she thought about it. Ouch!
Maxine waited until the human pincushion finally looked her in the eyes. Then she spoke.
“I’m the one who plays the drums here.”