Now the room was spinning. Now he was in control. He had come to live for that feeling. And even if he couldn’t at first remember which drugs he had loaded up on, he could tell by the type of spins he would get.
If he had been doing coke all day and had neglected to hydrate, he got the kind of spins that were jumpy. If he wheeled his head around, the landscape would come to him in photographs. Empty kitchen. Rusted bathroom. Running sink. Must be a house show.
If heroin were the drug of choice, which was only for certain occasions, the spinning was…nice. He felt like an actor or something. Deep in himself, deep in everything. His movements were watery and succinct, and he never broke a stick.
Pot made him become the drum set. He felt every vibration around him and as the show progressed he spun in perfect meter to the songs they were blasting through the roof of the joint.
Nitrous was out of this world. He was grateful for his dad’s best friend, Dr. Collins. He’d stop by the dentist’s office after his lunch break joint, lay back in the chair, hook up, and drift the fuck away, man. “See you at one, Dr. Collins.” Those spins would last all afternoon. Reality was spinning, orb-like, Jesus splitting through the whiteness.
And alcohol, well alcohol just made him spin dirty. He got primal. He’d search the crowd for some chick with tits pushing through her shirt, the one that was using the front row as her escape vehicle. He played louder for her, hit the cymbals twice as often just to make more noise. Between fills he’d point his stick to her, made sure they exchanged looks, flash his tongue at her and continue banging away. Houselights in his face. Smoke pluming from the crowd. He was fucking that girl in his mind, and he played like it. He banged the drums harder and harder, doing things he hadn’t thought of before. The alcohol built up from somewhere inside him, he could feel the upward mobility of stomach acid, floating and swashing, but forced it down with a rebel yell and a crack of the pang. He was a fucking animal.
But tonight, tonight was a big show. The kind of show that gets you noticed if you play it right. This is it, man. This is why we stayed up late for six months in the garage playing our fucking balls off. So he had decided to do a little extra. Take the edge off, ya know. All the edges. Now the room was spinning. He didn’t know what the fuck, and it was perfect. He lashed recklessly, baring his teeth like a warrior. The crowd chanted after an evil fucking outro. Can’t believe TJ wrote that shit. Fucking evil, man. He looked down at his foot on the kick as the crowd grew wild in anticipation of the next song. His stringy hair dangled in front of his face. It was getting thin, but he didn’t care. He hadn’t looked in a mirror in a while. He hadn’t showered in a while. He hadn’t been in a bathroom in a while. Shit. He pumped the kick drum in time, the crowd immediately following his lead.
All of a sudden, a splash of water hit him in the back of the neck. One of the road crew guys must have seen something in his posture. “Hey! What the fuck man? What did I tell you about that?!” Fucking road crew guys. He hated that. He hated those rock stars that threw water all over the place and spat on the crowd, too. Freaked him out. He continued to pump away on the kick and the raucous crowd began to mosh. “D!” from somewhere distant. “D! Can you hear me?” He stared at his foot, focusing on the tempo of the kick. “D!! We’re going straight into Kill Shot! On you!” He was fixed on the drums. His penis was throbbing. The girl was loving him, every pulse of the kick drum was a violent thrust into her. From somewhere the idea of water came back to him, he longed to be floating in it. He was running so hot now. He imagined a pile of fiery, churning shit in his stomach. Focus on the spins. Focus on the fucking sp…
The crowd was chanting the band’s name. Glory. Bring me fucking glory, God, he thought. He came to for a brief moment and realized that he was looking at the crowd, and they were all focused on him. His foot had stopped beating the kick and they were eager to put their angst to cadence. He found the girl in the front row. Good god, her tits made him bite the air in front of his face. If he wasn’t playing he would have ran up to her and grabbed her by the hair. He looked at his guitarist and through the photograph of his shifting gaze he saw his hair shift, which he took for a nod. He looked at the crowd and grew angry at them, for they underestimated his power. Now they would learn. He sucked in what was left of the air around him, feeling the molecules he had bitten through, and reached for his deepest scream; “ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR!”
Photograph by Desi Mendoza