Or dairy maybe? I’m eating Easter eggs, because, hey it’s that time of the year. Anyway, this week is going so darn slow. But, I’m perfectly fine with that. Because, guess what’s happening this weekend. Well, technically next week? I don’t have any relief work and Mark practically twisted my arm to join them as part of their Merch crew. Which would be fine…but the band they’re supporting. Big sighs, right?
I’m partially dreading it, but at the same time I am excited. It’s going to be a great experience for Mark and the others. I’m so happy for them. Just hope I don’t get hurt in the process…
It’s a little annoying. The feelings inside me. I thought I was past all that. But, then again, perhaps the decision I made was somewhat idiotic. I’ve had messages from some of Pierre’s friends – they’re my friends too – asking me if I’ve got my head out of my behind and am ready to go crawling back to him. Which really isn’t helpful. They mean well, even if they’re a bit crass with it.
It’s been just under two years since I walked out on him. And I’m content.
“School holidays over Easter and ANZAC Day? Best thing, ever,” Mark said as we were walking to the staff parking. I lifted an eyebrow above my glasses.
“Um, sorry to burst your bubble, Mark, but only Easter is in the holidays.”
Mark looked at me; I smiled and said, “It goes by the Lunar calendar, remember.” He rolled his eyes at me, grinning.
“You know everything, don’t you?”
I just smiled some more and unlocked my car, waving to him. “See you Sunday, okay?”
Sunday would be the first and only day of rehearsals for the band before Simple Plan arrived later that night. Not a lot of time, really, but Mark and Bianca were relishing the chance to just even be in this. They always treated soundchecks as mini-rehearsals, along with random jam sessions while travelling or just hanging around. They were organic when it came to that sort of thing, and I enjoyed sitting in and listening to them. It was as refreshing as when I was singing at church on a Sunday morning.
Speaking of Bianca, we were catching up for coffee today and I was really looking forward to it. Not only because I didn’t have many girlfriend’s in the music scene, but just because it was hard not to. Bianca was an effervescent soul. It was difficult not to enjoy being around with her. She had an inner joy that shone from her, and in the short time knowing her I knew she was the kind of person I wanted to be around. Especially, considering what was about to happen.
Which brought me to a certain conundrum. I wanted to confide in someone about my history with Simple Plan, and specifically with Pierre. I’d debated in my heart who that should be, and I came to a tentative decision. If it came up in conversation, then I would say something to Bianca. No harm, no foul, right?
Traffic was awful, pulling out of the school. Double demerits were in effect since the day before. Most of the Independent schools had already finished for the holidays. The Catholic schools were a day later. It took me twenty minutes to get down the stretch of road that usually only took five during term time to the shops on the corner of the main road.
Popping an Easter egg in my mouth – Red Tulip, if you want to know – I peeked out of the windscreen as I turned into the car park. The explosion of chocolate in my mouth was one of my favourite things. Chocolate was a good boost as far as I was concerned. Everything in moderation, of course. Just like the amount of frustration I always felt when trying to find a spot for my car. Sometimes I wondered how other people even acquired their licences. A Kellogg’s cereal box, perhaps?
Finally managing to park, I got out and headed for the coffee shop, looking out for Bianca’s sunny smile.
And, there she was, striking a comical pose outside of the Dome. She was very hard to miss what with the long pink streak of colour through her dark hair. A new do, obviously.
“Hey, that for the tour?” I said, joining her at the doorway. Bianca just grinned, latching onto my arm and tugging me inside to sit near the counter.
“Isn’t it exciting?” She was gushing and her excitement was infectious. I let her sit me down and organise the ordering of hot beverages. I just needed to sit and relax. She had enough energy for the both of us. Bouncing on the balls of her feet she almost seemed to dance over to the counter.
Leaning back, I observed her, wondering at where it came from. I mean, I knew the feeling. Used to know it very well…
“Here you go,” Bianca said with a flourish as she set my Cappuccino-to-go in front of me. I smiled in gratitude, taking it and sipping carefully from the cup. She sat opposite me, clutching her own cup close to her chest, still grinning away.
“Nervous?” I said with a smile over the top of my coffee. Bianca shifted on her seat and nodded.
“A lot. But, excited too. I mean…a proper tour. Supporting an international band. Like…I’d never even envisioned it.” She shook her head almost in disbelief. “It’s crazy, Marly. Like, seriously crazy.”
“Have to agree. Isn’t it odd that it’s over Easter, though?” I set my half-drained cup on the table, adjusting the napkin next to it, an absent gesture.
Bianca rocked on her seat. “We’ll travel over Easter, I think, so they’re won’t actually be a gig on Easter.”
I nodded again, even as I tried to think of some way to bring up Simple Plan…
“You’ve seen them live haven’t you?” And she gave me the opening I needed.
“Yeah, once. Back in ’05. Brisbane,” I said, keeping my answer short. Bianca swirled her cup gently, nodding.
“Did you meet them, or anything?”
I sat up a little straighter, thinking, this was it. This was where I said what I wanted to say…
“Yeah. But, not at the gig itself. My friend, Carly, and I bumped into the frontman, Pierre, at a bar after the show.”
Bianca’s lips made a small ‘oh’ then she tilted her head at me. “What was he like?”
I looked away toward the window, and said, without meeting her eyes, “Sweet. Charming. Down-to-earth.” Rough, hard to read… I paused to gauge her response. Bianca didn’t seem to pick up on what I was really trying to say, though. And, maybe that was okay for now. I didn’t have to tell her about that yet.
“I’ve heard that about him. And the same with the rest of the band.”
I nodded in silent agreement, thinking about them for the first time, really, in a long while. Chuck was always so approachable. He had so much time for the fans. I remembered when I first met him, it was several days after meeting Pierre. Chuck was warm and welcoming and had none of the hard edges that Pierre did.
Then there was Jeff. He was a consummate professional. Always practising his craft, and taking care in everything he did. Sebastien, Seb, was the same. A little less mature as the youngest in the band, but I loved his sense of humour and his love of life. Oh, and he was a cat person, like me.
Last but not least, David. Crazy David. Life of the party…
“I heard David is gay.”
I blinked as Bianca’s statement brought me out of my reverie. “Hmm?”
“The bassist. He’s gay?”
“Not that I know of.” Which was the truth. David was just, David. His sexuality wasn’t something I really thought about. It was a non-issue. I mean, sure, he wore women’s clothing and he was effeminate in some ways… But, he enjoyed women. Though, who really knew? It wouldn’t make any difference to me.
“Right. Well, not that it matters,” Bianca said with another one of her flashy smiles. I smiled in return as I drained my coffee. She fiddled with her own cup then looked at me. “Anyway, Mark says I gotta explain your role while we’re on tour.”
Nodding, I settled back with my coffee, preparing to take everything in.
* * * * *
“So, you have to call their Merch guy, I’ve got his number here.” We were in my car now, heading for my place and Bianca was still talking about the Merch. I glanced at her from the corner of my eyes.
Bianca checked her phone contacts. “Patrick Langlois.”
I nodded, not reacting to his name as I concentrated on the road. “When?”
“Before we meet up on Sunday.”
I squeezed the steering wheel then nodded some more. “Sure. Text me his number.” Though that wasn’t really necessary, since his number was the one I’d kept in my own contact list…just in case. But, it wasn’t like Bianca knew that.
Bianca’s thumb flew over the screen of her phone and I felt my phone buzz in my pocket. “There you go. So, what’s the plan for tonight?”
I smiled, relaxing at the chance to change the subject. “Have a couple of movies I want to watch.”
“Oh, a girls’ movie night. Got popcorn?” Bianca said. I rolled my eyes.
“Need to go to the shops and get some.”
Bianca lifted an eyebrow. “Shops are closed by now, though.” Typical for Perth, really.
I shook my head.
“I’ll cook my spag bol, then.”
Bianca grinned and said, “Sounds like a plan.”
I lifted an eyebrow slightly at her choice of words, but made no comment. After all, it isn’t as if she actually followed through with the obvious pun…
And I knew I was grateful for that. Right?