**WARNING** Mature content and language ahead—totally rated R. This is not intended for a young audience. Don’t read if your mama wouldn’t like it, or you get offended easily.
“Mick…Mick!…Hey, Mickey get your ass up!” I woke up to the sound of my brother’s voice echoing in my head. My body felt like I had taken a beating and something sticky and foul smelling was pooled beside my head.
“Ugh,” I groaned, and tried to sit up. Failed. “God…Ugh…Smells.” I couldn’t think past the fog in my brain to form a coherent sentence.
“No shit, Sherlock. That’s what happens when you lay in your own puke. Get up, Mickey. God. Get up and clean up!”
I managed to turn my head slightly until I could see exactly what it was I was laying in. It was a mistake and I felt my stomach heave.
“Jesus!” Danny rushed over and hefted me up so that I wouldn’t vomit all over myself…again.
When I was finished, I felt a lot better, though I smelled a lot worse.
“Thanks man,” I managed feebly. “I don’t know what the hell happened.”
“I do. You got drunk, came home, got drunker and passed out here in the bathroom.”
“Why the hell did I do that?” I fought the dizziness I was still feeling and the pounding in my head and managed to stand unsteadily on my feet. The inside of my head sounded like Sherona on her drum set.
“Do you remember anything about last night?”
I thought about it. I remembered bits and pieces, but nothing that would explain why I’d drank so much that I was still feeling the effects after evacuating at least some of the alcohol twice on the floor three feet from the toilet.
“You must have been pretty determined to get shit-faced,” Danny told me. He started cleaning up the mess I had made on the floor. I knew I should help him, but it was all I could do to listen to the sound of his voice over the clanging in my head.
“I got a call from Chris, the bouncer at the Brightmore. You’d bribed him to let you into the back room. Believe me, Mick. Chris won’t ever let you back there again. It won’t matter if you’re the most famous musician in Bridgeport!”
I remember seeing Chris at the Brightmore. He said I wasn’t famous enough to go into his stupid part of the club. But I used some of the cash I had on me from our gig the night before to change his mind.
“I remember bubbles.”
“That’s probably what’s making you so sick now, you idiot! You’re not supposed to mix your drugs, Mick. Alcohol or bubbles. You can’t do both and now you know why.”
There’d been only a few people in the back room. Most were just sitting at the bar or playing darts. I think I had the bubbles to myself.
“Chris told me that after you got good and bubbled up, you started on the drinks. You drank something called a naughty cheerleader and hit on all the girls in the bar. Finally Chris called me and I came and dragged your ass home. You told me I was too pretty to be a guy and that you thought I might have been gay when we were in high school.”
I groaned. That was a thought that was never supposed to have escaped my asshole brain. “Sorry Dan. I never thought that, really. I knew you were into girls.”
“Yeah well, as soon as I got you home I got you out of your clothes and into some sweats. I put you into your bed, where I thought you would stay.”
I remembered having to go to the bathroom, and then I remembered who I met coming out of the bathroom. Lakesha Perry.
Suddenly the pounding of my head didn’t matter. I lunged at Danny. “Oh my god, you fucked her!” Danny was still cleaning up my mess when I grabbed at him and tried, unsuccessfully, to hit him. “You asshole!”
I was such a mess and Danny was so much stronger than me, that he easily blocked my punch and shoved me into the counter. “Don’t you talk about her like that!” He screamed in my face. I winced and tried to get away from him. But I didn’t keep my mouth shut.
“You had sex with her. Jesus Dan! ‘Kesha! You slept with ‘Kesha!”
Dan shoved me again. “Yeah! I slept with her. We’ve been dating, ok? It’s been going on for awhile. Hell, Mickey, this was the first time we’d been together and you’re acting like I treated her like some sort of whore.”
No, that wasn’t true. I didn’t think she was a girl who’d sleep around, but I did think that my brother had taken advantage of her. Hadn’t he? I was so messed up that I wasn’t sure what exactly was making me feel so upset.
I’d been so shocked to see Lakesha come out of our bathroom wearing only her underwear that I went down to the bar and drank a pitcher of margaritas by myself. When I finally got over my shock (or had numbed myself with enough alcohol), I stumbled up to the bathroom and that was the last thing I remember.
“You’ve been dating Lakesha?” I tried to make sense of what I had seen and what Danny was saying. “You’ve been sleeping with her?”
“It was our first time, but I love Lakesha, Mick. I mean it. You can’t go acting like a drunken fool about this.”
“But she liked me,” I finally said, then I groaned and held my head in my hands.
“She was never your girlfriend. You never even kissed her.” I realized that I was making an ass of myself as usual. Danny didn’t deserve this from me. I shouldn’t be jealous of him, but I was. Lakesha had liked me first, but I hadn’t liked her. Now she was with Danny.
“Get cleaned up Mickey. You reek. I’ll finish cleaning this mess up, and then get you some breakfast. I called the girls and told them not to come over today.”
My stomach roiled at the thought of breakfast, but I finally listened to what Danny was saying and got myself over to the shower to wash up—or drown myself. Either would have been find at that moment. Maybe after I stopped smelling like the inside of my guts, I’d be able to rationalize a little better.
So I came down and Danny served me a plate of leftover goopy carbonara. I am not sure how I managed to eat it, but I did.
“Do you want to hear the whole story now?” Dan finally asked me and I mumbled yes over a mouthful of food.
“It started about the same time that Virginia met Fred McGowan,” Danny began. “You remember how they met after that gig you guys had at Euji’s?” I remembered.
Fred McGowan was a young director at the film studio. He mostly made independent films and documentaries, but he was starting a new project, a feature film that he thought my sister would be perfect for. It was a small part he was casting her for, so at first it didn’t interfere with the band at all. But then she and Fred became more than just actor and director.
“I don’t know what it is about him,” she told Sherona, Rhonda and I. “I know I’ve always said that I am not the commitment type, but with him, I just forget about that. I think I love him.”
And that’s when Virginia left the band and started acting full time. Now she and Fred live together and she’s starring in commercials and on TV and has landed several other parts in movies.
I hated Fred McGowan.
Danny continued, “Well soon after Virginia quit the band you guys were playing that night gig up at the Look Out.” I nodded. I had to play with my eyes closed that night because Virginia and Fred were romancing each other and I couldn’t stand it.
“Lakesha came to that concert,” Danny said. “We got to talking and I sort of asked her out.”
“I asked her out, but I didn’t think she’d say yes because of you and prom and everything.”
Prom. Lakesha told me I was scum that night, leaving me with Penelope. I was so mad at her that I’d let Pen talk me into taking her home and we’d lost our virginity together in the empty summer house behind her main house. I tried to forget that night had ever happened.
“I think I was overwhelmed by the romance of that night,” Danny explained. “Remember how you could see the city in the distance? And Fred and Virginia were together and we saw Rhonda kissing her new boyfriend, Ringo, and I think Sherona and Kristopher King were flirting, too. It just seemed like the right moment to ask someone out, and I was talking to Lakesha and having a good time.”
“I take it she said yes,” I growled. I hated being reminded that my sisters were all pairing up.
Ringo was my maid. A guy maid…sheesh. And he and Rhonda were dating. I had no idea what she saw in him.
As for Sherona, I was just glad that she wasn’t with Dane Bijou anymore. I didn’t think she was serious about Kristopher King. I still didn’t like how much he was flirting with her. I’d finally gotten Sherona to see what sort of jerk Dane was. I saw him dancing with some other girl at the Brightmore awhile back and confronted him about it. Sherona prevented me from taking the guy to the ground and pounding on him, but she stopped dating him.
“How often have you and Lakesha gone out?” I asked Danny who continued his story.
“Our first date wasn’t actually a date at all. We got together at our garage party. You and the girls jamming. It seemed like everyone was there. No one even noticed when I slipped out with Lakesha.”
“I took her upstairs away from everyone. We could hear the music from downstairs, but we were private.” Danny got this look in his eye when he described how he and Lakesha had spent the time dancing and talking. I just knew he was serious. Serious about Lakesha. I just couldn’t believe it. I got up from the table and gathered both Danny’s and my own plates.
In the kitchen I tried to compose myself. I didn’t want to believe what my brother was telling me, but I couldn’t deny that he was happy. It was like when he’d left the band to go into sports (which was going really well for him). I had to suck up my feelings about the situation and support Danny.
When I came back into the dining room, Danny was standing there waiting for me. “Look Mickey, I know you and Lakesha have history. I’m sorry that this might bother you a little, but I can’t change how I feel about her. I love her. I think I might want to marry her some day.”
After hearing Danny’s declaration, all of my resolve to be supportive went right out the window. “Jesus! You haven’t even been dating for a more than a few months Danny! Don’t be so hasty. You’ve only slept with her once for God’s sake!”
“I know it’s crazy. I can’t even believe I’m saying it let alone thinking it. But I think she’s the one. I’m sorry if that upsets you.”
I took a deep breath. Then I let it out. “No, I’m the one who should be sorry. I’m sorry for upsetting you.” I gave Danny a one-armed guy hug. “Don’t worry about me,” I said.
“I do worry about you Mick. You drink too much and party too hard. What if I hadn’t been here to clean up your puke?”
“That’s why I have Ringo,” I laughed. “Just because he’s probably sleeping with Rhonda doesn’t mean he gets out of cleaning up whatever mess I make in the house!”
Danny laughed with me. We both took a bit of perverse delight in leaving messes for Ringo to clean. Wasn’t our fault he chose to go into the cleaning service. We couldn’t stop him from sleeping with our sister, but we could make him suffer for it.
Neither Danny nor I knew what we’d be facing a few weeks later. I know that he said he wanted to marry ‘Kesha, but I suspect that he didn’t think that they’d be getting married so soon.
Danny and Lakesha are expecting a baby. She let him know of her suspicions early so that he wouldn’t be surprised. When her suspicions were confirmed, he proposed.
The night that Danny and ‘Kesha told me their good news, I congratulated them. Then I went out to meet the girls at the Brightmore. After we were done playing for the night, the girls left but I stayed. I probably made one too many toasts to my impending uncle-hood. I don’t remember how I got home.
What I know is that when I woke up I was in my own bed, I was naked, and I wasn’t alone.
I’m not sure what is worse—waking up on the bathroom floor covered in your own vomit or waking up naked and next to an equally naked Penelope Junkett.
Of course my body was telling me waking up next to Pen wasn’t so bad…in fact, I might just like it…a lot. But my mind was screaming, “Oh Hell NO!”
“Good morning, Mick,” Penelope purred, stretching out next to me. The blankets slipped exactly as she knew they would and my eyes followed them. I felt her leg rub against mine.
“Good morning Pen,” my eyes never lifted to her face, but stayed glued to the view of her exposed breasts. What the hell, I figured. Damage had already been done. So I rolled over and finished what she was clearly trying to start.
When I woke up the second time, Penelope was no longer in my bed.