Armed with a pen and printer paper, air in his lungs, and the drive to take charge and do rather than think, Mitch reached out. The message contained the following: a lengthy greeting, inquires about how they’d been, and finally Jodie’s gig offer -if they were interested. He shoved his phone back into his pocket after hitting ‘send’, and expected nothing. The band had parted because life got in the way, he reminded himself, but Mitch always felt at fault.
Because no one explicitly said it, but the fact remained that his addiction took its toll on everyone.
The last message before hiatus hung heavy and contained comments about reuniting, though it never came to fruition. Now that he was sober, Mitch read between the lines and saw their concern and sympathy; possessing a clear head had that effect, or at least that’s what the professionals told him. So he took his phone back out, swallowed his pride, and admitted to the chat that he’d gotten clean.
He wondered if either of them harbored any ill will about the past and his actions. Both of them frequently commented on his wrestling posts, and Mitch was invited to the drummer’s intimate wedding after Liner Notes disbanded. But even if bygones were bygones, would anyone actually want to meet up and perform cover songs instead of original material?
No matter, he already sent the message. Try as he may to will a response via staring at his phone, his only option was to wait and see.
Humming along to the tune in his head, Mitch again turned his attention to music. He jotted down the tabs and strummed them once more, making further adjustments as he went along. If nothing else, these tender shoots of creativity needed nurturing, whether he was solo or in a band.
Sometime between transcribing and scrawling, Mitch’s phone vibrated. He paused his work and found several paragraphs worth of messages awaited. The bassist reintroduced himself as Basil, and explained that due to the recovery from his top surgery a few weeks prior, his schedule was wide open. He agreed to the gig.
Mitch congratulated him, initially shocked; within seconds of reflection, he concluded that no, none of this came as a surprise. Back when they were roommates, a lot of late night conversations revolved around gender and sexuality and whatnot, and Basil often seemed dissatisfied with something unidentifiable. Within the last year or so, he abstained from sharing any personal information online, all social media posts kept strictly to either self-promotion for shows, or the odd blurry photograph of city scenery with strange poetry used as its caption.
Darius, their drummer, chimed in with a hello and a congratulations as well to Basil; he then continued, saying he’d have to check with his wife since weekends were usually slammed at the shop. But regardless, he insisted they should all have a jam session sooner rather than later because he needed to exorcise a few beats that only made sense as a band. Specifically their band, he clarified.
That make any sense? Darius asked.
lmao no man, Basil responded.
Mitch cracked up. Could he find another drummer if Darius was unable to commit? Technically, but he preferred the entire unit together, otherwise it wasn’t Liner Notes. Hell, if Darius couldn’t make it, either Basil or himself could handle the drums without any issues, they managed it several times when Darius’ then-fiance-now-wife was pregnant.
But the mere prospect of being reunited with them, even for fun and nothing else, made Mitch’s chest swell. He clutched his guitar, strumming the chords and progressions that tripped him up earlier, this time equipped with a confidence and enthusiasm that he lacked until that moment.