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alone, finally

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The thump of the bass can still be heard in the background, the night showing no sign of winding down even though the main act wrapped up an hour ago. Some local band with a budget copy of Kurt Cobain with none of the soul but a boatload of manufactured angst.

But there’s no cover charge and the drinks are cheap and there’s not much to do around here of a weekend so it’s as good as you get unless you head further out, to larger towns with even more budget Cobains.

The night is cool, respite from a sea of flannel and ripped denim. The warmth of many bodies packed in rolled in with smoke, beer and sweat.  He’ll stink of smoke and cheap beer when he comes home, and will probably be complained at for it the next morning.


Not that he cares.


Jonny sighs and lets his head rest against the wall and scuffs the toe of his boot into the asphalt, hands deep in his jacket pockets.

Normally being packed in like that, lost in the music feels good, makes him feel part of something, feel alive, feel like he’s not stuck in a shithole.

But not tonight, something is off. And instead of the buzz he usually gets, he’s getting something suspiciously close to a headache. Somehow it was too many people, it was too loud, it stunk.

The band wasn’t terrible, they were… bland. And somehow that’s more offensive.

The sound of giggling makes his head turn briefly. Out of the corner of his eye he catches several girls leaving, and he’s pretty sure none of them are old enough to be here, but then that’s nothing new, he’s been guilty of it himself.

They’re too bubbly, too high pitched, too perky for this sort of scene in his eyes. Probably have no idea what the music about and probably brought those jeans pre ripped from the mall.


Jonny slumps further.


He has no watch and he knows it’s not late.

He toys with the keys in his pocket

If he left now, in younger years it would be the unspoken code for ‘I have a curfew’

Is… is he tired?

He can’t be, it’s not late, it’s a Friday night.

He has no curfew

He can’t be tired.

It might’ve been a shitty band, a shitty crowd, a shitty vibe in a shitty town.

He didn’t drink but he’s sure the beet was shitty too.

But, he’s not tired, he’s not done for the night.

He can’t be.

He can’t have had enough one hour in.

He just can’t.

There’s no way he’s hit the ‘in bed by ten’ point.

He’s not old.

He’s not tired, he’s not old.



Jonny admits defeat and heads for the car.


He does have work in the morning, that’s all.