There is no better feeling in the world than chilling out with your band mates after a show. Especially if it was a show you just got done performing in. We were all seated around a booth at Nickels, the "after party" hangout for our band. Nickels is this sweet little diner that serves the greatest burgers and fries in the whole city. It's located downtown, near most of the clubs and venues we play at, so it's a very convenient place.
A lot of our fans usually meet us there and congratulate us another job well done. It's great for ego-stroking. The waitress, Penny, always gives us coffee on the house, since we help bring in so much business on the weekends.
So, hi! I'm Jill – rock star by night, average high school kid by day. Well, maybe not quite so average. How many kids get to attend the most prestigious arts academy in New York City? How many kids have absolutely no dress code? How many kids can curse in class and get away with it?
Not many. So I guess that means my daily life is kind of cool. I wear jean skirts with fishnet stockings and converse to school. I wear black t-shirts with some of the most disgusting slogans on them. Sometimes, I even wear bondage gear to school! You know, PVC corsets, giant platform boots, and mini skirts?
Which is actually not much different from what I wear to our gigs. Of course, I tease my hair up a lot more and slick on some colorful makeup. But enough about what I look like – even though I could go on and on and on. Let's get on with the story.
Right – we're at Nickels. We just finished playing at House of Crack, one of the coolest alternative venues in the city. Wanna know why they're so cool? Because they let in people under twenty one years old. Yeah, you just have to be 16 or older to get in. How rockin' is that?
It was totally a full house tonight, but it usually is when we play. And most of those people are here with us at Nickels now. I posed for a few photos and then went back to munching on my fries.
James, our lead vocalist and stand in guitarist, was chowing down on two chicken burgers, while our drummer, Remi, was daintily picking away at a salad. Anita had a very large cup of coffee in front of her and a bagel.
Anita was the newest addition to our band. Since Anna moved away to Maine and left us hanging without a lead guitar, we needed to find a filler – and fast. Anita tried out and we hired her on the spot. She was fabulous. She grew up in Greenwich Village with hippy parents and wore her hair in dreadlocks. She looked pretty sweet for a white girl.
Remi was an anorexic pretty boy. Okay, I kid about the anorexic part, but he is really thin. He sports long blonde hair and blue eyeshadow – but he hasn't reached drag queen status quite yet. James is the truest punk of our band. His hair is fashioned into a nifty green mohawk and he has a shitload of metal in his face, along with some tattoos.
Of course, I'm not without my share of facial piercings. I have one in my eyebrow and three in each ear. I'm looking forward to getting my lip done, as soon as I can convince the 'rents to give me permission.
"Excuse me?" a girl tapped on the shoulder and I looked over at her with a mouthful of fries.
"Yesh," I mumbled. She smiled shyly.
"I'm a really big fan, so I was wondering if I could get a pic with you?"
I grabbed James' soft drink to wash down my fries and stood up. "No problem."
We posed together and she held the camera up in front of us. Yay, a Myspace angle. I grinned stupidly and she did the same, clicking the button. The flash nearly blinded me.
"Thanks a lot!" she squealed. I chuckled.
"Sure. Make sure to come see us play again!" She nodded and ran back to her group of friends. Silly emo kids. Meh, they were pretty big supporters of the music scene, so it was cool.
James turned to me. "Hey, did you get your video project done?"
"I'm almost finished," I told him. "I just have some editing left. I really hate that program we have to use though."
James nodded. "Yeah, it's kind of confusing. I need to do a couple more shots before I start editing mine."
James and I had a lot of classes at school together. We were part of a class that pretty much just made video documentaries. So we made documentaries of a lot of random things. And New York is full of random things. The whole reason we took the course, though, was to gain knowledge of camcorders and how to make videos.
"Quit talking about school," Remi complained. "I feel left out." He was pouting over his salad, looking woefully at us. Remi didn't go to the same school as James and I. He attended a lame public school where the curriculum sucked and he wasn't allowed to wear makeup.
I offered him a fry, which he turned down, and apologized for leaving him out. We didn't bother much with Anita, since she was on her cellphone, arguing with her mom.
"So Remi, how is school for you?"
Remi let out a long and dramatic sigh. "I hate Algebra so much. I'm just not good with numbers. And we have an exam coming up in a week."
"Sounds shitty," James sympathized.
"Yeah," Remi fed on our attention. "And I got kicked out of my history class the other day because the teacher didn't like that I knew more about the American Constitution than she did."
"That's so fucking lame," I grumbled. Sure, I had some teachers I didn't exactly get along with, but none of them were irrational idiots. I chopped down the rest of my fries and drank all of James' soda. He gave me a stern look, but he didn't complain.
I stood up and bid everyone a good night. "See you guys on Wednesday night at Western." I gave them all a cute salute and headed out of the diner.
"Have a safe trip home!" Penny called out as I left. I turned and waved to her.
Outside Nickels, I stopped and took a deep breath. Man, I was fucking tired. And I would have to wait for the night bus to take me to my neighborhood now, since it was way after midnight and the local buses had stopped for the night.
I checked my watch. Well, that gave me 20 minutes. I hefted my guitar bag up and over my shoulder and set off down the street. The bus stop was about four blocks from here, which gave me more than enough time to get there.
An old man was sitting on the steps of a closed shop with his hat on the ground, turned up. I fished around in my pocket for a couple of quarters and threw them into his hat. He bowed his head at me and I continued on my way.
It wasn't often that I gave money to bums, but I'd seen this guy here before and people always treated him like shit. I guess I just sort of felt bad for him.
It took me about ten minutes to reach the bus stop and I wasn't the only one waiting. A couple of college guys were there, done with a night of clubbing apparently. They seemed really drunk and kept talking about this "chick" they had tried to pick up.
I made sure not to stand too close to them, but kept an ear on their conversation in case they tried to come over and hit on me. I might not have looked like the type, but I would gladly use my guitar as a weapon if I had to. Anyways I was fortunate, I didn't get hit on this time.
The bus came and I hopped aboard, glad to be heading home for the night. I needed a shower and then about eight hours of soundless sleep. But since I had school in the morning, I'd be lucky if I got five decent hours of sleep.
The night bus rolled and bumped along down the lively city streets. It didn't matter what hour it was, this city was always awake. Well, most parts of the city were awake.
I lived on the outskirts of the city, in a more suburban area. I lived in an apartment with my dad and younger brother, Jake. Most of our neighbors were immigrants from Asia or families with at least four kids. Surprisingly, it was a quiet and safe neighborhood.
I got off the bus two blocks from my street and walked the rest of the distance. It was a beautiful night and if I wasn't beat I would totally enjoy it more. I could almost see stars when I looked up, but the city smog fazed most of them out.
It was a shame really.
I entered the apartment building, punching in the security code and pulling the heavy door open. I tromped loudly up the stairs to the third floor and knocked on door number 309. Dad was totally paranoid, so he kept the doors locked at all times, even if everyone was home.
After a few seconds, the locked clicked and Dad opened the door, peering nervously out. He let of a sigh of relief when he saw it only me.
"Evening pops," I smiled, sliding past him.
"Do you have any idea how late it is?" he asked. "I thought you were gonna be home by midnight, not two in the morning."
"Sorry," I shrugged. "We were having fun and I forgot how late it was."
"Go to bed," he said, heading back to his room. I nodded and watched until he shut his door.
Alright, now it was time for that shower. Then I'd head to bed and try really hard to fall asleep right away.
My eyes widened as a thought hit me. Shit! I'd forgotten about my art history report!