“What did you guys do to the poor kid?” Chaz was laughing as she said this.
“Chaz, Chaz. Don’t you worry that pretty little head of yours about such things. She caught
us at a bad time,” said Dooby.
“Every time is a bad time for us,” added John. “If we are asking her to help us we have to
be a bit more awake at 3 in the afternoon. We gotta try and see things from her
point of view. She looked terrified. What’ll she say to her Dad? We need her if
we want to get known around her and establish a following. We’ve got this High
School gig coming up pretty soon. Way too soon for my liking.”
John was torn. He loved creating and producing “Art”. But he came from a family of
workers. You get up early. You work hard. You put your head down. You work
hard. You what you are told and you get on with it. And this was his dilemma.
Somehow he and his friends were living a lifestyle in which they were getting
up later each day and going to bed (if they went to bed) later each night.
Every so often they were awake at the “normal time” when the rest of the
society was awake and doing stuff. Then this time of wakefulness would slowly
shift back to a more nocturnal lifestyle.
This lifestyle involved various binges. Sometimes they would binge out creatively
and write heaps of new songs. Other times they would binge out and eat food.
Other times they would drink to excess. This would be followed by sleeping
binges and then (if this coincided with daylight hours) they would participate
in marathon games of soccer that could occur anywhere and involve object such
as socks, cardboard boxes, tin cans or a soccer ball (if it wasn’t flat or
lost). Unfortunately for John, he would have to drag himself out of this
lifestyle, shift back into “normal” time and attempt to function properly at
the job he had to occasionally go to. Be a good worker. But invariably he
wasn’t at his best for his employer. The reality was he was denying the fact
that this was not the most responsible lifestyle to be leading. But as long as
there were resources available to keep funding this lifestyle John felt he
didn’t need to face what his family might have called “reality”.
However, Dooby was great for correcting what he called John’s wrong thinking. Like now.
“John, John. Relax, buddy. And don’t get all ethical on us,” pleaded Dooby mockingly.
“Anyway, this drummer girl’s just a kid. She is probably more worried about
what cartoons she is missing on TV.”
John felt like he wanted to scream and kick Dooby up the backside. It seemed Dooby hadn’t
even noticed the girl was a reasonable musician who had improved their music
just by adding a few upbeats on the bass drum – the sort of stuff Keith would
never have attempted. Dooby was so insensitive and arrogant. But John just kept
quiet. He needed Dooby… a lot. Dooby was… well, Dooby! He was a highly
charismatic sort of person. People (especially the girls) were so fascinated by
him that he made for a perfect lead singer. Dooby was the inspiration of Munga!
and he knew it. And John knew he couldn’t cross swords with Dooby because
Munga! was the most exciting thing in his life. If he wasn’t the bass
player for Munga! he would have tidy hair, be wearing a cheap suit and have a
highly boring desk job somewhere, “getting on with it”. As it was, he had a
part-time job earning a few extra bucks to keep the band’s van with petrol and
WOFs. Someone had to worry about nuts and bolts stuff.
John shook his head. He couldn’t help thinking about Maxine’s look of shock as she had
witnessed three grown men trying to get it together at 3 in the afternoon. She
would surely tell her Dad the dreadful sights she had witnessed, and he might
then start hanging around here if he was keen on extending his daughter’s
musical abilities (which he obviously was). John could not handle the thought
of being scrutinised by a responsible adult. He was sure Dooby would hate it
too. But then Chaz would tell Dooby to think of the “bigger picture” and Dooby
would listen, strangely enough.
John was worried what this Chaz woman was capable of. She had been a fairly recent
arrival in Dooby’s life and had had an odd effect on him. She could actually
get Dooby to do things she wanted him to. John had known Dooby for ten years
and had rarely been able to influence him. It had always been the other way
round. Mates since the end of primary school. Always doing crazy stuff—at
Dooby’s insistence—but luckily never getting caught. John often regretted doing
the things he did with Dooby and no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t talk
Dooby out of doing crazy stuff.
But Chaz was incredible. If given the chance she could probably manipulate an elephant
through the eye of a needle. And she definitely had Dooby wrapped around her
little finger. She had ambition. And she had ambition for Dooby too. John hated
to contemplate the idea of Chaz “stealing away” Dooby from Munga! and setting
him up with some “real” musicians.
John had once tried to talk to Noise about his worries but Noise wasn’t the slightest bit
“Nah, mate. Dooby’ll never go off with her. He doesn’t have the confidence.”
Well, Noise was slightly right there. Even though Dooby could stand up in front of a
hostile crowd and sing to them he did have insecurities. That was part of his
charm and mystique – confidence, arrogance, and general nastiness mixed with a
childlike insecure quality.
Oh, that poor little Maxine. She has been dragged into a real mess here.