Dating : Feathers and Leathers

h2>Dating : Feathers and Leathers

Venmo Medium

It was only nine-fifteen and we’d been waiting out front for almost three hours now. I turned to Abel and asked him for a cigarette, but he told me he left them in his car. I could see the pack bugling out of his pocket. I’m sure well after the show is over and the band packs up and leaves we will still be hanging around and I’ll see him pull it out and smoke. He knows it and I know it — he’s a bad friend.

When we were eleven we met at a Karate overnight camp. It was an insane experience. Two weeks of “hiiii-YA” and bowing to everyone all the time. It was my first time away from home and on the first night I peed my bed. He made fun of me so much more than the other kids, which is partly why I think I wanted him to like me so much. We only lived about fifty minutes apart, so my mom would drive me over to his house sometimes on the weekends and we’d steal from his dad and prank his sister. When you are that young any friendship just works.

The bouncer asked to see our IDs, but I knew we wouldn’t be let in. The tour bus hadn’t even arrived and Cody the bassist just posted on Instagram that they were still at the hotel. He always posts right when things happen. He’s even posted about how he hates when people post about something way later after it happened, like they are still their doing it. I agree with him. That sort of delay-posting to make yourself look way cooler is total bullshit.

Abel jabbed at my side. “Michael, what the fuck dude?”

He hadn’t even looked up from his phone to see my reaction, he was still staring down and waiting for me to explain something. Of course I had no idea what he was going to say.

Just as I was going to say, “what the fuck what?” A girl about ten people back from us screamed. She shrieked so loud I thought someone died. Then Abel turned his phone to me. It was a post from Jaylor’s Instagram saying Ibrahim (one of the best drummers alive and half the reason I was there that night) had died of an overdose. The entire line knew at that moment and people started to freak out. I swallowed hard and tried to say something funny.

“Bummer drummer.”

Abel laughed to let me know he hated that, but that we were still friends. He stepped out of line and just expected me to follow. Of course I did.

We started walking down 11th towards The Red. I hustled to keep up. I couldn’t see his face, but part of me thought he was crying. Did he really love Jaylor that much? They were a great band, but I was a much bigger fan than him.

We walked for almost ten minutes before either of us said anything. Him tripping and weaving, and me speed walking to catch up consistently five feet behind Abel.

The next few hours felt like nothing could’ve been better. We sat on the curb near the park and talked about Jaylor’s music. We talked about music in general and about fame and about friendship. Abel had some long drawn on speech about power and the government that felt lifted from some conspiracy theory channel on Youtube, but during it he referenced me as his best friend. He used it as an aside, but said something like, “ you are a rock for me as a best friend, and no record label ever wants to pony up dough because they only care about their self interest..”

We ate and talked more. We even sat in silence for a while longer. Later when we said goodbye I touched his shoulder and said in the most nerd-dad voice I could, “Glad you are my pal.” He turned to walk away and not say anything. So I figured that was our goodbye. After a few steps though I looked back and he was just starting to turn around, too. He said “bummer drummer.”

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