From the time I started singing in front of the mirror to my Beatles records to the time my guitar teacher told me I ought to find some dumbasses and make a band before my hair fell out, music was good to me. Delicious, in fact. I wasn’t entirely awkward socially,  especially for a short uncoordinated little bastard who could not make the dance.

Strangely, the drama folks let me be in some of the high school plays that required dance. When the sweater draped choreographer came round to telling me my moves they usually just shrugged and said: “Do whatever. Just try not to get in anyone else’s way.”

That’s not just a dance lesson, it’s a way of life. I found I could mimic dancing by jumping on tables on the set, and taking dangerous falls. This was historically at the tender edge of the litigious society, so in a sense, the drama coach and the choreographer had balls. Neither of them were avowedly homosexual or heterosexual, but they married, after the drama coach flushed the choreographer’s Mexican headache weed down the toilet and made her an honest woman. I suppose part of the deal was that she would trim his neat little forked beard in exchange for his  abject renunciation of coitus.

Me and the pit drummer smoked some trash  with her one night. We had to drive to a cul de sac in one of the new suburban hells that was springing up. The first one we tried was already being staked by a cop car, so we kept driving until we wound up on a road by the Flat River. She was nervous, being with two guys, even though I kept trying to reassure her we were musicians. I hated smoking pot myself: it was a kind of duty. It made me sullen, when I wasn’t paranoid enough to ask to be let into the trunk of the car and driven home. The drummer wasn’t a pot etiquette freak, so it wasn’t too harrowing as we settled into smoking from a superheated machined piece of brass  and Teflon.

The choreographer heard it first.

This was around the time of the first Omen movie, so it was unmistakable. Latin. Chanting. Probably about fifty yards away from the car. The only thing I knew about Wiccans at that point was they tended to be in the military,  they had embarked on the same tendentious course of study I was about to embrace in college, and they shared some pathologies with Stevie Nicks.

Choreographer began hyperventilating.

I tend to superimpose memories, but even with rigorous auditory memory analysis it still sounds to me like I was hearing E.F.EF HUTTON. E.F.HUTTON, BLAH BLAH.  We’d never  even heard Carmina Burana, so it struck us as weird. She started to crawl out of the car. The pit drummer told her to sit still. I wasn’t a smoker yet, so when she broke from the car in a kind of sidelong run I sort of halfassed followed her, looking over my shoulder for the Duke geeks who were probably processing infants into candles, or blending exotic teas from cow-itch vines. I stressed that the most likely means of escape from the devil worshipers would be  the station wagon over there. The very one she’d been sitting in, not three minutes ago. I just desperately  wanted to be home with my Gabriel era Genesis:

Is there a tiny, remote spot in history where someone has not been a dick?

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