Today is a day to be remembered, a day that will shine brighter than any other in the annals of history. For I, Deathblow (née Daniel Rosenberg), have formed a band: Sockhop Babykill Redux. Our music will bring false prophets to their knees as it cuts a swath through the niggling trivialities of daily life, a swath that will reveal nothing but pure, blinding truth. Kings will weep when they gaze upon us, weep with the knowledge that despite their royal splendor they will never amount to anything but a fraction of our collective, splendid worth.
We’re still short a bassist, though. We’re having open auditions for the spot.
What luck! We have already found our bassist. She is a goddess when she plays, she and her bass becoming inextricably intertwined to form a singular entity of stunning beauty and grace. Her name is Festering Axe Wound.
Here’s the note my roommate/bandmate left on the fridge this morning:
I am off to secure a gig for Sockhop Babykill Redux. Once our performances begin, we will become a plague unto this land, wrapping ourselves around northeast Richmond like a foul mist. With music in our hearts and hatred in our voices we will wake up these accursed zombies, releasing buckets of bile from their filthy, rotten throats as they realize what a horrific charade this despicable American scream has become!
P.S. We need milk."
Why is it always I who must obtain milk, Diary? Why is it always I?!?!?!?!?!
All hail Bloodslurp!!!!! My intrepid roommate and drummer has secured us a show two weeks hence at Mike’s Bar and Grill, which, according to Bloodslurp, consists of a sickeningly banal midrange eatery underneath a large, accommodating musical venue. I inquired as to how he fulfilled his mission without so much as a demo tape, but he wouldn’t say. Mysterious are the ways of Bloodslurp.
In other news, something seems to be brewing between Festering Axe Wound and me. Tonight at practice she kept complimenting me on how “so very primordial” I looked, and then she did this crazy solo while staring at me the whole time, her tongue flicking out seductively every few seconds like some sort of beautiful iguana. An intriguing development, old friend.
Swampfiend said he saw it too.
It’s official: Festering Axe Wound and I are a pair. We consummated our union behind the Stake ‘n’ Shake in a manner so frenzied, so visceral, so … CARNAL that, had we filmed it, even Frey, Norse god of fertility and love, would have had no choice but to order it on pay-per-view in his motel room. It was a night I will never forget, and it occurred in the familiar surroundings of my mother’s van, which she lent me for the evening.
Oh, and also, it turns out that Festering Axe Wound is Jewish. Weird.
Writer’s block. The suffocating algal bloom that can suddenly infest even the healthiest, most free-flowing fonts of creativity. And now it has struck me, its most unlikely victim! I simply cannot figure out where to go with this song I am writing. The first line is good: “I will kiss you with your intestines wrapped around your face. / I hate you so much I love you, you cheap disgrace.” After that, however, I am at a complete loss. The tortured life of the genius is not to be envied, Diary.
I knew things were too good to be true. Earlier today I received a call from a representative of Mike’s Bar and Grill, who was checking to make sure we were still on for our “open mike” performance. OPEN MIKE?!?!?!? OPEN MIKE IS FOR ADDLED, PIMPLE-STRICKEN TEENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE SOCKHOP BABYKILL REDUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks, Bloodslurp. Way to be honest with the rest of the band.
The show was a complete disaster! Curses upon Mike’s Pub! May that foul establishment burn, burn, burn for all eternity! I was talking to the manager, Carl, yesterday, and I explained to him in no uncertain terms what we needed for our performance. We are a simple band, with no quirks or gimmicks save one: a giant bat with a 40-foot wingspan that vomits blood all over the audience at the end of our show. I told Carl that while we would assemble the bat and control it through a remote, Mike’s would have to be responsible for all of the wiring necessary to suspend our horrific pet from the pub’s beer-soaked rafters.
Carl said no, and it marked the beginning of the end of the end of Sockhop Babykill Redux.
I can’t fully blame the audience (which was filled, by the way, with automatons who could never, ever understand what we were trying to accomplish even if we dangled it in front of them like the dollar bills they so feverishly chase all their short, painful lives); we were lost out there. Our three-song set felt like it went on for eons. “Your Head Is in My Lap (But Then It Rolled Off),” which was supposed to be our explosive opener, came off weaker than it ever had in our rehearsals. “A Toast to Tomorrow’s Dead” didn’t go much better, and by the end of “Tasty Giblets of a Disabled Aunt,” we shared the audience’s desire to have us off the stage as soon as possible.
We convened in the parking lot afterward, trying to regroup. Festering Axe Wound was the first to speak.
“I have an announcement,” she said. “I am no longer Festering Axe Wound. I am now Gaping Axe Wound, for the scars of this day have opened a breach in my soul large enough to admit all the ghosts of forgotten promises past.”
And that’s when it hit me: Gaping Axe Wound can really be a drama queen sometimes.
There was little to say after that. The harsh inevitability of the moment hovered above us like our furry protector, who lay disassembled in my mom’s van on the other side of town, should have. Sockhop Babykill Redux was no more. Deathblow and Gaping Axe Wound were no more. Northeast Richmond, starved for truth, justice, and dignity, would have to wait for another band of heroes to shake it from its prolonged, complacent slumber.