Part Three: Manipulative Bastard

Once upon a time, I was a musician; as unsuccessful in that artistic endeavor as I am with my “career” as an author. Some of you might already have been aware of this nifty little bit of Nikolas-related trivia. Those of you who were previously unaware of my former musical pursuits can certainly allay themselves of that niggling bit of ignorance by going to the following site ( http://www.last.fm/music/Alter+Noctvm…Alter+Idem?ac=alter%20noc ) or by just going to http://www.last.fm and searching for Alter Noctvm…Alter Idem, and giving it a listen. It’s freely available to those with the discerning taste required to enjoy it. Our most, and likely only, notable feat as musicians was that we were the most successful goth/industrial act based out of South Dakota…which is similar to saying that we were the only male students in an all-girl boarding school.
There was a guitarist we wanted to work with on some material, a good friend and talented guitarist as well. The problem we encountered was that, once a guitar was in his hands, he lost touch with anything else going on around him. That single-minded focus on the act of playing guitar made it virtually impossible to work with him. He and I did, finally, record one song together…which, pointedly, lacks any guitar elements.
There were times when his almost obsessive fixation on the guitar could become just a little bit aggravating, if only because it served as painful evidence that we would never work together as productively as we all wanted.
The following anecdote is about one such occasion…and it should serve as a relatively lighthearted counterpoint to the previous post, and one that will perhaps help to show you that I am the monster in this overarching narrative rather than the victim, regardless of how some of what I share may cause you to elicit some sympathy for me.
Our guitarist was dating a girl who occasionally came over to hang out at the apartment where my roommate (at that time) and I lived. She was a nice enough girl, but I didn’t really consider her a friend. My roommate however, was quite attracted to her.
One afternoon she came over and was greeted with the sounds of our guitarist playing by himself in what had previously been my bedroom until I began sleeping in the living room and treating that location as a sort of home recording studio and a place for me to do cocaine with my roommate. It may be worth noting here, though I don’t feel it is relevant, that during this particular interval in my life I was ingesting reasonably large quantities of both cocaine and LSD, often in conjunction because I found that specific state of mind quite appealing.
The topic of our guitarist’s focus on the guitar quite naturally came up as we sat in the living room conversing and being serenaded from the back of the apartment. It wasn’t long before I suggested that it might be interesting to test just how strong his focus was by having his girlfriend and my roommate casually walk down the hallway and begin having sex in front of him.
To their credit they both stated that they would need something to drink before even seriously considering such a prospect. I gladly produced the cash and sent her to procure the requisite liquor for the occasion.
She needed the alcohol to build up the nerve to do something so utterly deplorable to her boyfriend, though she did make it clear that the relationship was not exactly working out between them…and my roommate needed it in order to quell the fear associated with having the shit knocked out of him by our guitarist (who was no small man). I was happy to oblige.
After another hour, having been sufficiently plied with alcohol and manic encouragement by myself and my fellow musician, they made their way down the hallway and got down to business.
It didn’t take as long as we had thought before the guitar playing began to take on a more discordant quality and harmony became noticeably soured…and we laughed it up in the living room each time we heard evidence of the focus shifting, it was just too damn funny to those of us in the living room.
Shortly after that our guitarist came trudging down the hallway muttering, “That is some fucked up shit.”
He asked us if we knew what was going on back there and we acknowledged it, while neglecting to specify our role as partial impetus behind it.
I smiled as I informed him that I had a way we might be able to have a little bit of fun ourselves, as I took him to the kitchen drawer where I had a number of water pistols (yes, I was an adult, and in my early 20s at the time…and yes, I had a collection of squirt guns). I suggested that we rain on their parade in a quite literal sense and our guitarist was on board.
We filled up the water pistols and made our way stealthily down the hallway where we burst through the door and began shooting the naked figures entwined on the carpet. They predictably screamed at us to get out and chased us back through the doorway before locking us out.
I asked if he felt satisfied, but our guitarist did not appear to have reached that sweet spot where revenge has been obtained. It took me a minute or two before remembering that the window into my former bedroom was open, leaving nothing more than a screen separating the carnal activities between his (at this point it is safe to apply the term former) girlfriend and my roommate.
We quickly made our way outside, down the porch, and around the house. Upon reaching the proper location we managed to use the uneven brickwork of the lower floor to climb up to window level where we began our second watery fusillade.
We both felt satisfied with this second ambush by the time the window was forced closed and we relaxed in the living room until they had completed what they were doing.
There was no violence directed toward my roommate following the intercourse, which showed remarkable restraint on the part of our guitarist (or a pronounced lack of concern for his now ex-girlfriend)…and we simply had a nice but uneventful rest of the day. I don’t know if we ever shared with our guitarist that I was behind the whole stupid situation, but he is sure to find out now (if he had remained unaware) since he is still a friend and may very well end up reading this.

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