This is an excerpt from one of the chapters to a novel I’m working on titled Jeanne Mercury.
”what’s the matter? I came down as fast as I could!” said Jeanne bursting into the foyer with a rum and coke already in her hands, to a frenzied Kate checking and un-checking her cell phone.
“God! You couldn’t have taken any longer!”
“Well, aaaafter I got your message, which was pretty hard to understand on account of the hysteria in your voice and the band soooo conveniently placed next to your phone, I had to fight traffic on the 101 ON a Saturday night, and then feed a meter 50 cents because all the parking lots around the theater are overpriced-”
“-That’s nothing compared to the hell I’ve been in so far!”
“I didn’t get to the part about FINDING a fucking meter! Another good story ruined!” Jeanne joked taking a gentle sip.
“I don’t have time for one of your stupid jokes right now! I’m about to kill myself!”
“But that’s the best time for a joke. By the way,” toning her enthusiam,”is there anyone interesting watching the bands? Guys, I mean.”
“Jeanne!” Kate pleaded. She pleaded with such a degree of seriousness that it seemed as though the very wrinkles of her frown dragged the corner of her eyes, and the rest of her face for that matter, down toward her ankles.
“Alright, alright… they say the same shit all the time anyway. Okay, what’s the matter?”
“Okay, so… there were three bands scheduled to perform tonight for George’s party.” stated Kate.
“George! The love of my life…?”
Kate gave her a look. “Anyway… the first band already opened the show and the next one’s already started their set… But the problem is the manager of the the band that’s headlining tonight! He’s got an old phone or something because I can barely make out what he’s trying to say and he refuses text! Who doesn’t text!?”
“Was he hysterical?”
“Oh! He was standing next to a live band!”
“He was at his hotel!”
“You were next to the band then!”
“No, you bitch! I have no idea whether the last band is showing up or not!”
“Then the current band better be a good one or else tonight’s gonna be full of a looooot of unhappy and uninteresting guys. And you know where that could lead.” Jeanne replied solemnly. Both Kate and Jeanne then peered through the double doors to count the number of bobbing heads in the audience. Kate huffed and throwing her body away from the double doors and began violently checking and unchecking her phone again.
“Fuck, Jeanne! They looked bored! Shit!”
“Not all of them, simmer down a bit now. Some of the weird ones seem to like the song,” and after a thought, “I’m kind of digging it too, actually.”
“What am I gonna do, Jeanne…”
“Well, let me start by saying; its not your party anyway and what’s more is that you’re not even the event coordinator, you big lush!” Kate gave a calming gaze as Jeanne continued, “you can either go; home, get yourself a drink which I’ll help you with, or you can keep trying the manager from way the fuck out here. Let them sweat it out. So, what do you want to do? It doesn’t matter which you choose because my stupid jokes and I are going to follow you to the end of the night, anyway.”
Kate was still watching her. And it seemed Kate’s eyes had been widening incrementally as Jeanne spoke. Then, all of a sudden like the burst of a solitary ray of sunshine paying the fare through the overcast gloom, a smile happened upon Kate’s now frown-less face.
“Where the fuck have you been?” Kate rhetorically said, lightly confusing Jeanne as her arms had stayed open for Kate’s response, “this is the Jeanne everyone’s missed!” Our girl’s back! …and she needs a refill!”
“…and a cigarette!”
“And a cigarette!”
Kate watched Jeanne giggle the same way she did when they were both younger. When they were just girls. At that moment, Kate realized Jeanne had really gone to hell and back in the last 15 months, yet there she was, cracking stupid jokes, and severing the unnecessary worry that everyone subjects themselves to. ‘she came back a real woman,’ Kate thought.
Kate was right. Although Jeanne’s return to her old self had been a blessing, she returned with the wisdom of eternity masked by an ever-enchanting candor of youth. Jeanne no longer had a fear of time or death: for she danced with them into tomorrow from tonight,forever.
Together they walked over to the bar and filled their lonely hands with cocktail glasses and all at once, Kate ceased mooing over the uncertainty of the next band’s attendance, and decided to enjoy the not-too-shitty one that was already playing.