Kara talks to Bob
The television interview started with the guys sitting on a couch. They seemed to be in another location, maybe backstage. The host was in a studio with an audience. She cringed when she saw her husband wearing short pants and Oh My God, the socks. Where had those been hiding in the luggage? Lord, he needed a keeper.
Host: “That’s a lot of leg you’re showing. Could you pull that trouser down? Is that a short trouser you’re wearing? What are you wearing there?”
Bob: “It’s for comfort”.
Host: “Well it’s clearly not for style”.
Bob: “You can’t see it behind drums.”
Host: “Yeah but we can see it not so put the damn leg down. You look like Robinson Crusoe with beige socks.”
Bob grabbed a pillow off the sofa to cover his legs.
Host: “You’ve got ginger hair and you’re wearing beige socks. Possibly the worse combination you could do. I’m all hot now the beige socks and the ankle have made me furious. It’s upset my delicate aesthetic balance."
The video cut to another segment of the same show. The host was talking to another guest about facial hair and piercing. Suddenly the camera cut to Bob again. Everyone started laughing and Bob threw his hands over his face. The rest of the guys were laughing hysterically.
Host: “Well what a surprise. What a surprise that Robinson Crusoe hasn’t shaved.”
Bob sat back, lit a cigarette and got comfortable. This was the kind of interview he liked doing – on the phone. It was much easier for him to answer questions when he wasn’t face to face with the interviewer. He wasn’t exactly shy but…
The first question was in the form of a statement. “You’re not the original drummer for My Chemical Romance but you definitely put in some valuable time with the band”
Bob smiled, “It’s been over two and a half years now. The point when I came into the band was really an unsure time for them. I didn’t do the previous record. I came in pretty much the day after that one was done. The band was having a lot of internal problems. Also on one knew if it was going to be successful or how the public would take it. So when I came in it was a van tour and we were playing to ten kids a night and that happened for a few months. But then when we did the first video things started to take off a little bit and it looked like things might work. It just grew from there.”
“You were originally a soundman. Where did your playing experience start?
Bob took a drag of his cigarette; “The quick story is I’ve been playing drums when I was four. I was really into playing jazz and orchestra percussion. I was going to go to school and study orchestra percussion but it didn’t seem I could do for the long run and still feel happy with it. So I started to join bands and play rock music. That’s when I started to imitate Dave Weckl and Neil Peart. But I couldn’t find a band that would drop everything and go out on tour, which is what I wanted to do. I wanted to be in a band that would write songs, buy a van, sell everything we owned to tour the country every day of the year. And it wouldn’t matter who we played with or where we played. Eventually I gave up and went to school in Florida and ended up getting my degree in Recording Engineering. From there I started working as the house soundman at The House Of Blues in Chicago. I was there for a couple of years. I then went on tour as a drum tech and soundman. And then I started tour-managing bands. I just moved up the ladder to the point where I was really doing well in that field. I had no problem getting work and I was making good money. But I was still watching the drummer and I’d be like I want to be playing the drums. It was so frustrating because in-between soundcheck and the show I’d stand and play on a practice pad in the corner. I didn’t touch the drums for a long time. Then I met the guys in My Chemical Romance and we just clicked. I started out doing sound for them. But then they were like “Come play drums in our band.” I quit my tour-managing/soundman gig the next day.”
Bob smiled to himself thinking back to that day. His life had changed so much when he had become their drummer. The rest of the interview went by quickly. As he finished up he realized just how wonderful his life had truly become. He was where he wanted to be career wise but more importantly his personal life was all he could ever had hoped for. In his mind he pictured Kara. Yes, life was good.
Kara answered her cell phone, "How'd the interview go Robinson Crusoe? Did you wear long pants? Remember to shave?"
Bob was taken aback. "Oh, you saw that did you? Was it really bad? Shit, Frank's still giving me grief about it. The fucker's calling me Gingersnap now."
Who the hell was that interviewer anyway? He was vile." Oh course Kara didn't point out that she whole-heartedly agreed with a few of his points. That didn't alter the fact that the host was a douchebag.
"I don't know. I guess he's big in England. Was it really bad?" Bob asked again.
"No, Honey. That guy was just being a dick for laughs. Hey, think of it this way - you got all of the airtime." Under her breath she added, 'such as it was.'
"So, tell me about Kelly. What's going on?"
"Geez, what isn't going on? Okay. Reader's Digest Condensed Version. She went to a party with Mike, no parents but plenty of booze. I guess Mike and all of his cronies got good and toasted. Dylan was supposed to be the designated driver, except someone forgot to tell him that that meant he couldn't drink the alcohol. So Mike drove. But not home. He drove to Willow Point where he hoped to get some, but Kelly said 'no'. He got mad and took it out on her. She slapped him and he punched her. She tricked him into letting her drive by promising to go to his house for some of what she'd already said 'no' to. Instead she was driving back to our house when she was stopped at the DUI checkpoint. The car gets towed and Mike and Kelly get police escorts home. Once home, Sister Dear proceeds to lie about all of the night's events. THE END."
"Fuck, you're kidding. Is she okay?"
"Not really. Bob, the bastard bit her.....hard. What kind of jackass does that to a girl?"
"He did what? Does Monica know?"
"No, she's still lying. She swore me to secrecy."
"So you told me?"
"You don't count. We're married. We're one person. She tells me. I tell you. You tell no one. I'm deadly serious. You can't tell Gee. I'm trying to get her to tell the truth. I know she will eventually, but if she doesn't do it pretty quick, I might have to rethink this."
'What did the police say?"
"I don't really know. Mom and Kell went to the station this morning. They pretty much just gave her a slap on the wrist. She got a ticket for driving without a license. I don't know what, if anything, is happening with Mike. His parents are out of town. The cops know he was drunk but it's not like they caught him driving and Kelly won't admit that he hit her. Bob, I don't know what to do. This wasn't the first time he's hurt her. I don't get it. She saw what happened to Mom but there she is right in the same boat; lying, making excuses, protecting the sorry excuse of a man." Kara gave a growl. "Argh, I'm so frustrated. Shit, if our grandmother was still alive she and Jerry would have had a little chat with the guy."
"Jerry?" Bob asked.
"Her shotgun. She named it after Jerry Lee Lewis. She'da filled his ass fulla rock salt. He wouldn'ta set down for a week."
"Do you realize that when you're really mad, your accent gets really bad? I can hardly understand you for the twang."
" What accent? I do not have an accent. These Jersey people, now that's an accent. Drawl."
"Whatever. Still wish Grandma was here. She didn't take shit off anyone. She even taught Kelly and I to shoot."
"You know how to shoot?" Bob sounded truly surprised.
"Why is that so hard to believe? I'm more than stunning good looks, you know." Kara gave a weak laugh. "Seriously, I hope she stays away from him. She promised she would.... I'd feel a whole lot better if she'd tell Mom the truth. Then I'd know that she was really serious about being through with him."
Kara and Bob lapsed into silence.
" So how was your interview today?"
"It was really good." Bob happily told Kara all about it, steering the conversation to lighter topics until they eventually hung up.
After she hung up, Bob made a small note to himself.
Hear the twang, hide the gun.