Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You (9 page)

BOOK: Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
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Maggie, in short, is going to be ten times the adult than she was a teenager—she already is, such that people meeting her for the first time this evening could not possibly have any idea just how awkward and strange she often appeared only ten months earlier, because she's radiant right now, maybe even literally. Because, sure, there are bright lights pointed at her, but it's almost as if she is more than just reflecting the light; it seems like she's luminous all on her own, because Darren can swear she's brighter than the rest of the other lit-up musicians next to her onstage.

And so Darren is overwhelmed, because even though she invited him to get on a plane and fly to New York (of course she'll be in New York) to visit her (she even coordinated his visit with her roommate's trip home so the two of them—holy crap—will have her dorm room all to themselves), he strongly doubts that he can compete with the dozens of guys who are surely lining up to date or even just talk to this amazing woman.

But just as Darren is getting ready to go hide in the bathroom and plan his escape in order to cut his devastating losses, a song ends (“My Funny Valentine”). At which point Maggie walks up to the microphone, where she says, “We have a special guest in the audience tonight. My boyfriend, Darren, flew in today from Chicago to visit me this weekend.” Darren is so terrifically embarrassed just two short sentences into her announcement that his face feels heavy with all the blood rushing up to it. “And not only is he cute and funny”—Maggie sort of laughs here—“but he's a kick-ass bassist.”

Darren feels like he might now die, especially once he sees the quintet's bassist, who is probably twenty-five and has an actual adult beard, carefully set his bass (his massive, hollow, acoustic, stand-up bass) down on the stage, which he then steps off from, smiling. Maggie has her left hand, the one not holding her trumpet, up against her brow, shielding her from the bright lights aimed at the stage. “C'mon up here, Darren, no hiding!”

Darren is at this point saying and doing all the things a person says and does when wanting to appear intent on declining a public invitation, waving Maggie off with his hands, muttering, “No, no, no,” but of course, this is not a polite act on Darren's part. He does not in any way want to go up on that stage. But Maggie, the rest of her quintet, and the crowd simply will not take no for an answer.

Still, the applause and the chanting of “Dar-REN! Dar-REN! Dar-REN!” are not enough. It takes a smiling and mildly exasperated Maggie stepping off the stage, walking all the way to him, reaching down to take his hand, and, most of all, whispering warmly in his ear, “Please, Darren, for me, please,” for him to agree. And it wasn't even the words of her request, it was feeling her breath on his skin as she spoke that somehow cured him of his fear. As if she blew a magic spell onto him. Or into him.

So he ascends to the stage, familiarizes himself as best as he can with the instrument, this being the third time he's so much as touched a stand-up bass, and looks over at the group's bassist, who nods casual encouragement Darren's way. Maggie turns to him and says, “ ‘Footprints,' whenever you're ready,” and then tells the other guys, “He'll take eight measures.” And he does, he takes eight measures, and his solo is ten times better than it was in the jazz ensemble concert. In fact, he feels like a real jazz bassist for the first time, because, let's face it, unless you're playing fusion or something, you don't play jazz on an electric bass.

2.
 They have loads of sex. Tons of it. An absolutely immense amount of full-on sexual intercourse. All the time. Multiple times a day. Around the clock, even. And a lot of this fantasy isn't really a single fantasy, it's just a bunch of images of them doing it, or Maggie in a state of being ready to do it, which means naked or getting naked. For some reason he keeps picturing her sweaty, or glistening—no, it's sweaty, supersweaty, in fact, like she just finished a long workout at the gym, who knows why. And though it's tough for Darren to concentrate enough to come up with a single scenario to develop, he finds himself getting pretty interested in a couple of related settings: a grassy field and a forest. Honestly, it's the forest that really excites him, even though he has to admit it's not exactly the most conducive setting for really getting it on. For making out, sure, but ultimately—at least, he's pretty sure of this—you are sort of going to want to be on the ground, and the kind of forest he's thinking about, with trees pretty close together and fallen braches strewn all over the place, even with a blanket it wouldn't really work.

Why in the world logistics are so stubborn in this fantasy but not the other he has no idea, but he's nothing if not determined. So he creates for the two of them a small forest clearing, an intimate and smooth grassy patch surrounded by massive trees, magically mowed in the recent past, a place that not only offers a little bit of both settings, but also addresses the main shortcoming of the field, which was the way it just sort of had them doing it right out there in the open where pretty much anyone could see.

1
Additional Maggie-centric Fantasy Darren Has as He Enters School

1.
 Holding hands with her and walking quietly down a tree-lined city street. Preferably in the fall.

6
Particular Places Darren Searches for Maggie during the Eleven Minutes Before First Period Begins

1.
 Her locker, even though he doesn't know exactly where it is, but he's pretty sure it's right off the math hallway over by the elevator

2.
 Edie Ross's locker, which is definitely right around the corner from

3.
 His locker, because maybe she's actually looking for him

4.
 The English hallway, since he's pretty sure she's in AP English, which he's pretty sure Nate had first period back when he had it

5.
 The drinking fountain at the end of the English hallway

6.
 The library, and most of its aisles, though he gives up at around 500 in the Dewey decimal system, because what the hell would she be doing looking for a book on magnetism at 8:19 in the morning?

1
Place He Finally Finds Maggie, Who Might Have Actually Been Holding Hands with Tyler Weintraub, or Whatever the Fuck His Name Is, and Who Then Sort of Tries to Hide This, but Not That Much, Meaning She Doesn't Really Care if Darren Saw, Which Either Means That It Doesn't Actually Mean Anything to Her That She Was Holding Tyler's Hand, or That It Does and So Too Bad for Darren, and He Kind of Gets the Sense It's the “Too Bad for Darren” One, Since She's Just Not Being Very Friendly with Darren at All, to the Point That Darren Can't Even Get Himself to Ask in This Kind of Joking/Friendly/Intimate Way, “Hey, So How Was the Pie Last Night?” Which He Had Been Looking Forward to Asking Maggie Ever Since He Entered the Building, So Much So That He Was Already Picturing It Becoming Some Kind of Inside Joke between the Two of Them, Even If He Wasn't Sure What Exactly It Would Mean or in What Situations It Would Be Used

1.
 Tyler Weintraub's locker, or whatever the fuck his name is

8
People or Things Darren Wants to Pulverize by the Time He Retreats, Sweating and Red in the Face, from Tyler's Locker, Even Though Right at the End There Maggie Gave Him This Little, Little Smile That Might Have Meant She Was Sorry or Even That She Might Still Want to Have Pie with Him

1.
 Maggie, but really her trumpet for some reason, which he'd like to flatten over and over with a steamroller he himself is driving

2.
 Tyler and his stupid teeth

3.
 Tyler's locker, if he could somehow dent it without breaking his own hand

4.
 Adrian Levy, who just stood there the whole time, repeating over and over some asinine line he probably heard on TV the night before

5.
 The first row of computers in Ms. Dunlop's class, which he could see into over Maggie's shoulder, and he'd want to throw at least one of them out a window

6.
 Ms. Dunlop, because you can just tell she hates everyone at this point, the way she shut her door as the bell was ringing like she's surrounded by animals

7.
 The stupid bell

8.
 Wayne Shorter for writing “Footprints” or Mr. Keyes for convincing him to take that solo, or John Lennon and Paul McCartney for getting Nate into music, which led him to buying a guitar, which led him to forming a band, which led him to getting Darren to play the bass, which led to him joining the jazz ensemble, which led to last night

15
Words on Señor McLaughlin's Vocabulary Quiz, Which Darren Totally Forgot to Study For

1.
 
baño

2.
 
limpio

3.
 
entrar

4.
 
toalla

5.
 
lavar

6.
 
hacía

7.
 
conclusión

8.
 
sucio

9.
 
cajón

10.
 
calcetines

11.
 exit

12.
 toiletries

13.
 repeat

14.
 bed

15.
 pants

2
Main Components of Darren's Still Pretty Nebulous Plan, Which Begins to Form Less Than Three Minutes into a Stupid Animated Video Narrated by a Sultry-Sounding Woman and Showing a Happy Spanish-Speaking Family Getting Ready for School or Work in the Morning

1.
 Skip the rest of school today.

2.
 Go to Ann Arbor without his dad.

5
Text Exchanges between the Jacobs Brothers That Take Place While Señor McLaughlin Is Busy Correcting the Quizzes and Pretty Clearly Not Paying Any Attention to the Class

1.
 Darren:
What if I come by myself?

Nate:
?

Darren:
To visit u

Nate:
Bold

Darren:
Should I?

Nate:
Yea

Darren:
Really?

Nate:
Mom and Dad will be pissed but fuck them

Darren:
I kinda want to go now

Nate:
Yes fuck skool 2

Darren:
Fuck everything ever

Nate:
Nothing will happen to u anyway

Darren:
You think?

Nate:
Yea

Darren:
Cool. But how?

Nate:
Hold on

2.
 Nate:
Yo theres a Superbus to ann arbor leaving union station at 1145. Another at 1. Costs $18

Darren:
Wheres that?

Nate:
Hold on weenus

3.
 Nate:
Corner of Jackson and Canal. Take red line. Switch to the brown. Get off at quincy

Darren:
ok

Nate:
You got the $?

Darren:
Sweet yea I have over $22

Nate:
Right on

4.
 Darren:
What about clothes and stuff?

Nate:
We'll figure it out

Darren:
k

5.
 Darren:
Shit how do I get to el?

Nate:
Go to patio. Derek Schramm. Offer him $3

Darren:
k

4
Words Darren Got Right on the Pop Vocabulary Quiz

1.
 bathroom

2.
 enter

3.
 conclusion

4.
 
pantalones

12
Items in Darren's Backpack

1.
 Cinnamon gum

2.
 Wallet

3.
 One pencil, no eraser

4.
 One pencil, tip broken

5.
 One pen

6.
 Keys to his house and his bike lock

7.
 Spanish folder

8.
 Two quarters, one dime, three nickels, and eleven pennies

9.
 Brown bag lunch

10.
 Dark green metal water bottle, two-thirds full

11.
 Program from last night's concert

12.
 His dad's copy of
When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times

24
Gerunds (and Gerund Phrases) Various Parties Might Employ to Describe Life on the Patio, Which Is What Everyone Calls This One Stretch of Extra-Wide Sidewalk Containing Ten Cement Benches and a Half-Dozen Trees Near the Student Parking Lot

1.
 Smoking on the sly

2.
 Ruining your life

3.
 Taking it easy

4.
 Sticking it to the Man

5.
 Playing a little hacky sack

6.
 Chilling

7.
 Kicking it old-school

8.
 Daring you to say a word about it

9.
 Just hanging

10.
 Blowing it

11.
 Subverting the dominant paradigm

12.
 Going through a difficult phase

13.
 Getting a head start in the race to lung cancer

14.
 Rocking in the free world

BOOK: Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You
11.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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