So I wandered the strip of Baton Rouge, searching for The Reign, even though I knew they were playing at a fraternity house. When I ran out of strip, I wandered further- following a string of clues associated with the Greek culture- broken glass, drunk and crying girls, Rebel flags, and the song “Josie’s on a vacation faraway” blaring on endless repeat.
The entire block of fraternity houses appeared to be engaged in civil strife, the area looked like a Union brawl was taking place down at the docks.
Then I heard the boys.
Prepared to drown my broken heart in keg beer and cover tunes, I entered the house unimpeded and witnessed a very ugly scene developing. the band was done, and they were arguing with a bunch of drunk frat-boys who were looking to fight, rather than pay for the soundtrack that had gotten them so wasted. There was a squaring off of forces. I joined my team for the ass-kicking we were likely to receive. It was a watershed moment for me.
I was with the band-man!
There were threats and some shoving, but we got out of there with a check, then we spent the night waiting to cash it in a parking lot somewhere, as far as I can remember.
The guys were truly compassionate about my failed mission with Jennifer, as I was to theirs. What kind of town spurns true love and disrespects rock-n-roll? We had to get out of there.
So we did.
18 years and a few bike rides later, Terry and I realized for the first time that we were in that car together, thumping along I-10. The Reign is long disbanded and Jennifer is probably a soccer mom in some charming coastal community.
Maybe I should look her up?