Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Oral Dilemma: Little Girl Blue

Will Roxanne ever catch a break? Will she ever find happiness or is fate determined to keep her blue?

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Oral Dilemma: Little Girl Blue

Ellie Mack

“Fired? What do you mean fired? What the hell Mike?” I couldn’t believe it. Surely he was joking.
“Sorry, you ain’t waitressing for me anymore.” He was smiling but there was no hint of remorse in his eyes.
I looked at him in shocked disbelief, standing there staring at him for several minutes.
“ Mike, you’re an ass. Always got to be the joker. That’s just wrong man.” It was Johnny D, in that low sexy voice of his. “Roxanne sweetheart, you got some real soul. Since you are currently unemployed I got an opportunity for you.”
I turned to Johnny, then back glaring at Mike. “I’m listening”
“How ‘bout you open for the band next week on vocals. It’s a paid gig.”
I turned slowly to Johnny. “Seriously? What?” He had my full attention now.
Mike cleared his throat. “See, if you are in the band you can’t waitress. We’ve been wanting to do the live band thing again ever since Lorna left us 3 years ago. Me and Locks here knew last night when you sang that you had the sound we were looking for. I can’t afford to pay you to waitress and sing. Not until we start drawing a large crowd. It would be a raise actually. What do you say Rox?”
I was a little bit miffed at how he did it, but I had to admit it was exciting. Tara and I had the funds from mom’s house, and I felt like I could take a chance and have some fun. Plus, I figured if it didn’t work out I could go back to college.
“Sure, I’ll do it.”
“Alright then” Johnny D smiled. For an older guy he was downright sexy. That smile was devastating. It was decided when we would practice and where. Johnny had a full studio at his house. Mike planned on opening the following Saturday which didn’t give us much time. We met every day at two o’clock. I learned a lot about the guys, we learned about each other’s style and signals. Things just seemed to click as if we’d played together for years.
Of all the silly things Mike bought me an outfit to wear for my first performance. We had a regular party with pizza and drank to celebrate the night before. I wore my leather pants and soft flowing Bohemian style top that Mike selected for me. It wasn’t my usual style but it was nice. After about ten minutes I swore I’d never go back to plain jeans again. Other than a brief moment worrying about my makeup and hair I found myself completely relaxed as if I’d found my true calling in life.
It was difficult to think of it as work really, but in fact we were earning a few bucks. Mike had hired some college students to plaster flyers all over town and on every windshield for our debut. There were maybe forty people there that first night. The crowd steadily increased each week.
We mixed classical blues songs with new originals including several I had written. I was so inspired, I dug out old notebooks that I had songs in. Years of heartache, years of dad never being there, feeling unwanted gave me material to draw on. It was my life and emotions poured into song. I rewrote most of them, but a few were good in their elemental simplicity.
By the month’s end we had standing room only at the club. I’d discovered my own style in clothing, favoring my boots and a leather skirt with a tailored shirt. Chunky jewelry was a luxury I could afford now so I had plenty of it. I knew this ride wasn’t going to last, but I was determined to ride it to the end, budgeting my money with a portion for playing and investing the rest.
Life was good. I was happy, Tara was happy Mike was happy and I prepared myself for the bottom to drop out. It had been five months since this ride began, and I just knew that the end was coming. Knew that for me the ride never lasted.
At the end of the fifth month I had made a decision. I’d get as many songs out of me, out of my system as I could. Maybe it would help me get over whatever it was that plagued me.
It was a grueling night. It had been a long day with aggravation after aggravation, and the evening was just one bit of trouble after another. I walked to the bar between sets rolling my neck to ease the tension. “Make it a double Mark."
“Hello Roxanne. You look amazing. Been a long time.”
I knew that voice. My heart skipped a beat. Could it be?

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