Phoenix Chapter Six: Christmas

Phoenix Chapter Six: Christmas

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg
"

Christmas

"

Chapter Six: Christmas 


Friday night, Rita and Ryan greeted him at Marco's with raised glasses and congratulations. 


“I knew he'd get in,” Rita crowed. “Remember? I told you that night.” 


“And I knew you were right.” Ryan squeezed Rita close and they both turned to Rogan. 


“When's your first show?” asked Rita.


“We haven't talked about that yet, but my first practice is Sunday.” Rogan looked at Rita and said, “Thank you for giving me that flier. I think this is going to work out.” 


Then he told them about the expenses of such an endeavor, the expensive amp and the huge investment of time it will take to learn all of Ancient Doom's original songs. 


“No time for the babes, eh?” Ryan leered at him. 


Rita gave Ryan a repressive look. She hadn't forgotten the Kirstin incident.


“Well, it's not like I have much time for that anyway. Working man and all that.”




***



There were over a dozen songs on the flash drive J.D. gave him. Rogan started the only way he knew how, one at a time. He got about three down pretty well, playing by ear. 


On Sunday, J.D. was impressed with how quickly Rogan learned so many songs playing by ear alone. Playing with others equally proficient was an intense experience, one that was hard to describe, communicating on another level, lighting up new parts of his brain, satisfying a deep need. 


After working on the three songs Rogan knows, J.D. informed the band that they were going to start a regular practice schedule, Thursdays at 7 pm and Sundays at 3. 


Practice broke up early, as Rogan only had three songs he was prepared to play.


“Need a ride?” Buzz asked. When Rogan nodded, he tossed him the keys again.


Everything seemed to be falling into place. He felt happier than he had since he bought his guitar this past summer. 



***


Every evening Rogan practiced the five songs J.D. assigned him. Days of work seemed to fly by now that Rogan had something to look forward to. Sunday rolled around and he set off to practice in the afternoon. 


Once again, J.D. was impressed with Rogan's facility in learning new material so quickly. They practiced the five songs Rogan now knew. When they ended the last song with a tremendous crashing of cymbals, J.D. punched air.


“Let's get a beer at Molly's,” J.D. suggested.


Buzz offered Rogan a ride again.


Molly's Tavern was a typical neighborhood bar, a range of bottles in front of a mirror and a long expanse of bar, polished wood gleaming darkly. There were a dozen bar stools, but Buzz gestured towards a round table under a green shaded lamp.


“Grab us a table, I'll buy us a round.”  


Rogan sat and saw there is a pool table through a large arched doorway and a jukebox beyond. As he was inspecting the surroundings, J.D. came in, saw Rogan and grabbed a chair. 


“He's getting us a round? He beat me to it.” They both looked at Buzz as he waited for the bartender's attention. “Buzz likes you. Buzz is a great judge of character.” 


“I like Buzz, too. He's a good guy.” 


“There's more to him than most people see. Most people see a big lunk behind a drum set, but he's actually a high powered computer programmer. Works for a little company, he got in on the ground floor, doing CGI innovations. Every now and then he has to go to California to work on things with Silicon Valley types. Smart guy, Buzz.” 


“What do you do?” Rogan asked.


“Me? I'm a night auditor for Sleep Inn. Got the night off tonight. Here we are.” Roy and Buzz converged on the table. 


“I was just telling Rogan what an egghead you are,” J.D. told Buzz.  Speaking to Roy, J.D. said, “Rogan here is a mechanic, too.”


“Just a grease monkey at Midas,” was Rogan's explanation.


“I work at AutoHaus. Been there five years now.” Rogan was impressed. AutoHaus was an import shop, working mainly on Volkswagons, Mercedes and BMWs, a high end place to work.


“You guys do a lot of vintage work, yeah?” Rogan asked. 


“Most of it is just old, no vintage about it. But we do get a cherry every now and then.”


Conversation moved on and after a while, Rogan noticed their group was drawing a bit of attention. He guessed it's not often an entire heavy metal band shows up in this neighborhood bar. It was nice hanging with a group of musicians again.   



***



Rogan volunteered to work Christmas Eve to let the other guys at Midas have the day off. Rogan had no plans, himself, so he might as well work. After work, Rogan considered his evening. He finally decided to get a pizza delivered and spend his time practicing. Leo was out of town again, so he cranked it up. 


After a good, long session on the guitar, Rogan put his feet up on the coffee table and surveyed his domain. It was pretty messy, with a dirty uniform cast off on the floor, next to the overflowing laundry basket, coffee table strewn with his possessions piled up haphazardly, guitar picks, his laptop, empty coke cans, a coffee mug, the band flier, a few guitar magazines. But it was his. He was out, escaped his father's house. He had his own place and a good job and he was in a band. Who cared if he didn’t have anything to do for Christmas? Ryan was distressed and seemed to think Rogan was just putting a good face on a sad holiday, but Rogan really didn't care. His father thought the whole point of Christmas was to tell his family how hard he worked and how little they deserved the meager presents their mother would buy. Then he'd get drunk and maybe smack Ma around a little. Christmas was never a good day. But tomorrow he planned to have a good day for once. Practice a little, maybe watch some TV, clean up a bit, do some laundry, listen to his music collection.  


Rogan woke to silent snow falling from a gray sky, only an occasional car hissing by to disturb the scene he observed through his picture window. Mid afternoon, it was still snowing, but just warm enough to keep the streets clear of accumulation. By three he was feeling a bit restless and the park across the street looked inviting, a broad expanse of virgin snow, surrounded by trees frosted with white. When he crossed the street and entered the park, the snow was three inches deep, deep enough to sink his boots into. The snow made tiny scrunching sounds as he walked. He scooped up a large double handful of wet snow and compacted it into a rounded shape. He nailed the handicapped parking sign and his snowball sprayed apart. He threw a couple more before returning to his room. He took off his motorcycle jacket and Motörhead knit cap, and unwound his black cashmere scarf. He hung up his outer clothes and looked around at his tidied up room. Life was good.




© 2021 SweetNutmeg


Author's Note

SweetNutmeg
Thank you for reading. Any and all comments are welcome, as always. Also, I'd like to know, is this too much nice stuff, without any conflict or catastrophe? Is it boring with nothing dramatic going on?

My Review

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Featured Review

Things seem to be falling into place for Rogan! I was a bit surprised it was already Christmas in the story. It felt like Halloween was only a few chapters ago. Time flies, doesn't it?

I feel sorry for Rogan's mother, having to live with an abusive husband like that, but I'm happy Rogan got out of that place. I still remember the first time my old roommate went out of town and I had the whole apartment to myself. The freedom was so good. And although I don't throw huge parties while my roommate's gone, peeing with the door open is an amazing feeling not everyone wants to admit.

The only mistake I caught in this chapter was "...his lap top..." I think you meant "...his laptop..."

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

There's plenty in store in the next chapter, never fear. Poor Rogan. lol
Wathanya.5KY3

1 Year Ago

Haha. Exactly. This is the calm before the storm.
SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Youch, that is awful, tiny font + no spaces. Will fix immediately.



Reviews

I've skimmed the previous two chapters and re-read this one. All looks good, with the following being the only things I want to mention.
1)I'm wondering what it is they've done to shake people up a bit. Is it just the sight of them? "He's forgotten how fun it is to push borders and shake people up a bit."
2)In this sentence, I recommend that you put a comma before and after himself-"Rogan has no plans himself so he might... "

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

First, yes, I was thinking just having an entire heavy metal band hanging out would push borders. Is.. read more
Samuel Dickens

1 Year Ago

I guess it might depend on how mild the locals were.
For the latest edit:

1. The format thingy hasn't been kind to you at all. This time it's both the font size and space between paragraphs.

2. In "...J.D. tells Buzz. Speaking to Roy..." there are two spaces between "Buzz" and "Speaking"

Whew! The tiny letters in blocks of text sound like a call for a new pair of glasses that I've been putting off since last December.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Youch, that is awful, tiny font + no spaces. Will fix immediately.
Everything is nice at a nice pace love this chapter glad to have something to read to break my boredom of time LOL. how are you doing by the way?

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Thank you for following Rogan along on his adventures. :) I've been busy, and my health took a turn .. read more
My stepfather used to love watching the 60's tv show, "Combat". Occasionally, he'd shake his head and say, "Boy, we sure didn't do it like that". Being a highly decorated veteran of WWII, he certainly would've known when something looked phony. Now, being that my family is full of guitar players, I must tell you that Rogan's whole band endeavor seems a little off. I'm not saying it couldn't happen the way you've written it, but it seems unlikely. First off, when bands lose a member, they usually look for someone who has been in a band before. If they're just starting up, then that's different story. Also, practicing together is a must for several reasons, but certainly to gauge a prospective member's suitability for the band. I mean, he/she may play guitar like Hendrix, but if they can't mesh with the other members, they'll be toast. I use tabs and when I need some, I make paper copies off the internet. Okay--the next ten people who read this may take no issue at all with Rogan's trajectory, but I had to let you know these things.
In terms of technical accuracy and proper story-telling, I think you've done well on this chapter.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Thank you for sharing your expertise. I see I need to change a lot to make this all plausible. Which.. read more
Things seem to be falling into place for Rogan! I was a bit surprised it was already Christmas in the story. It felt like Halloween was only a few chapters ago. Time flies, doesn't it?

I feel sorry for Rogan's mother, having to live with an abusive husband like that, but I'm happy Rogan got out of that place. I still remember the first time my old roommate went out of town and I had the whole apartment to myself. The freedom was so good. And although I don't throw huge parties while my roommate's gone, peeing with the door open is an amazing feeling not everyone wants to admit.

The only mistake I caught in this chapter was "...his lap top..." I think you meant "...his laptop..."

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

There's plenty in store in the next chapter, never fear. Poor Rogan. lol
Wathanya.5KY3

1 Year Ago

Haha. Exactly. This is the calm before the storm.
SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Youch, that is awful, tiny font + no spaces. Will fix immediately.

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Added on July 24, 2019
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SweetNutmeg
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***I am on hiatus and not returning reviews.*** I'm here to improve my writing. I love critiques that give me critical feedback, as well as praise. (Although, I do like praise. Gotta be honest.) A.. more..

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Phoenix Phoenix

A Book by SweetNutmeg



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