Monday, August 12, 2002

Wow...does anyone have email for Martin? The little kibble-eater should be here to give an account of himself. I also never knew Brook and Heather met in the Philosophy department. More on that later.

But first I must ask about this place O'Malley's. Was it what later became the Offshore? (I'm guessing because of the Bristol locale.) The weird place in Johnson City was indeed called Cowboys, and it was actually my favorite place to see the Nightmares, mainly because they made them play something like four sets a night. I think that was every song they had, twice. Which was great for me. Every Thursday night, all summer long, 1986. There was that mechanical bull in the middle of the dance floor, which was kind of a nuisance but could be useful if you were trying to avoid someone. And speaking of covers, this is how I knew I'd found a home...The first time I saw the Nightmares, as I walked through the door at Cowboy's, I was greeted by "Suffragette City." My jaw hit the floor and pretty much stayed there. Something I could get behind? I'd already had a contretemps with JC alterna-culture in the form of James Arwood, fannying about with his mohawk and PiL jacket, along the lines of "sticking your neck out this far for image eradicates all your self-professed nilhism. If you were a real nilhist, you'd just wear sweatpants from K-Mart, like me." Never one to pass a hornet's nest without swatting at it with a big stick, me. I was burning my bridges before they were even built. Nevertheless, if there was a band in town that could play "Suffragette City" and do it justice, I knew something was happening that I had to keep my eye on.

The first place I met Heather was at Cowboy's. In the bathroom. She was wearing a fabulous red mini-dress with maribou trim around the hem. She was attempting to comb her hair, which was terribly tangled, and just ripping chunks of it out. She was saying to Lynne, "Maybe I should take another one. Do you think I should take another one?" and Lynne was saying, "For god's sake, no." I was trying to wash my hands and get out without opening my big mouth and letting mom come out, but every individual hair that was left on Heather's head screamed to me for help. I took her hairbrush away from her and finished brushing out her hair. I was pretty sure she'd never remember it, and in fact I think Heather and I "met" each other a grand total of eleven times before she would remember me at all, and then only because I told her to quit bothering. It probably came across as snotty, but only 50% of it was miffed arrogance on my part; the other part was just truly a feeling of why should it matter. It was at least as amusing as it was offending, and I felt really prepared to embrace that state of affairs, but I don't think it went over that way. I remember where we were; Brook and I had stopped at Lynne's, and she and Heather were having a cherry pie baking contest. Holy domesticity, batman.

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