IT ALL started after that stupid show we played at the Juke Box. Anyone who thinks being an alternative musician is as easy as strumming on an ill-tuned guitar and smearing eyeliner all over your face should try to play a bar in a small Ontario town on a weeknight. It will give you perspective, I guarantee it.
Perhaps we shouldn’t have booked there, but I did all the promotion I could. I’d been spamming Facebook and Twitter and what have you for weeks in advance, so I’d expected some kind of turnout.
As a result, there were about twenty people there—including the four members of our band. Mind you, two of them were vaguely cute and not-too-overweight emo girls, so we played to the best of our ability. The emo girls looked bored. The bartender looked annoyed. Even the coat-check girl looked like she wanted to cover her ears.
And then, just as we were doing the final song in the set and the emo girls still looked more interested in their cuticles, Chris, our guitarist, just kind of grabbed me and kissed me. On the lips. In front of the whole crowd… if that could be called a crowd.
I don’t even know how that happened. I was drunk enough by then to barely be able to stand on my own two feet. And it wasn’t so bad, not at all. Nothing like kissing a girl. His lips were rougher, and he had stubble on his chin, but somehow it didn’t bother me.
At least that had seemed to get a reaction out of the girls, who showed some kind of enthusiasm for the first time since the show started. So I kissed him again. He didn’t seem to mind in the slightest.
I only vaguely remember how the show ended. The next thing that was more or less clear in my mind was sitting with Chris on the emergency stairs in the back of the club, sipping tepid beer out of plastic cups.
“Man, that was amazing,” Chris was saying, slightly slurring his words.
“Yeah. Did you see them out there?”
“I knew it, man. I knew it. We’re going to be huge!”
I set my beer down on the step next to me. “So… that reminds me. What was that all about?”
Chris glanced away. “Don’t you know? Girls go crazy when they see two guys kiss.”
I raised an eyebrow.
“Well, you saw them,” he mumbled, still not looking up at me.
I couldn’t deny that. “Still. It was kinda out of nowhere. You could have warned me or something.”
“What? Was it so bad?”
I paused to consider. “Not at all.”
And before I knew it, we were kissing again. Except this time I was pretty sure it wasn’t for an audience because, for one thing, we were alone. And it felt good. So good that my skintight jeans suddenly became way too tight.
When he broke away, the awkwardness was thick enough to cut with a knife. “Maybe we should make it our shtick,” Chris said.
“Lots of indie bands do it. Right?”
I pondered this. “Hmm. Wouldn’t there be some kind of, I dunno, problems?”
Chris shrugged. “Nah. I mean, we live in open-minded times. No one cares about that shit anymore.”
“I suppose so.” It did have a nice ring to it, an air of decadence. Bisexual indie rocker Tyler Whitfield... I could already see it printed in an interview in Rolling Stone.
And then we were all over each other again.