Hell, Tim died. I was forever tellin’ him he needed my protection. I can always bring ‘im back as a zombie. What good is that? I’m fucked. Maria don’t love me no more. Tim’s the only fag I ever liked and he’s dead. Michael’s all into his college bullshit, plus all he wants is to hang out with his high school girlfriend. Every thing’s fuckin’ boring. I’m pissed at Tim anyways fer not bringin’ the band to Hollywood for the movie he supposedly was music coordinator on. Fuck this. I’m getting’ stoned.
Slamming his bedroom door, Robby plopped down on his bed and pulled out the bong. Frantic knocking on his bedroom window interrupted his morning wake n bake.
It was the last straw.
“Get the fuck out of here. My best friend’s dead. I cain’t get high with a bunch of kids. Scram.”
And don’t come back, Robby thought. Being a middle school pot dealer was a dead-end career. He slammed the window shut in the faces of his stunned sycophants.
Pleasantly baked, his bad mood lifted. Calling Michael at his dorm room, he caught the college boy between classes.
“We gots to go to Hollywood and play a final show at Tim’s wake.”
“You’re stoned,” Michael deflected Robby’s orders.
“And who’s gonna pay for it?” Michael was a naysayer.
“Yer dad. I bet he’s already booked you and Jenna. Tell him ta break out some of that band trust money. It’s our chance to play Hollywood.”
“Nobody but you cares about that.”
“I don’t care what y’all thinks. It’s only right. Hell, ol’ Jack-off will already be there. Hippie and the Jacettes plus Jill will be the only others he hasta pay for. What’s that money fer if it ain’t to get us to play fer the last time.”
“It’s not the same without Tim.”
“Jesus. It’s all about Tim. If’n ya cain’t feel ‘im, best y’all not go.”
We both laughed. Time to pack my bag. I looked out the window. There was a single pre-teen sitting under a tree.
“Get over here.”
He scrambled in the window. Before I got him high, I handed him a handful of dime bags with instructions on how to keep the gang in pot while I was gone.
“There’s ten bags. You’ll owe me ninety dollars when I get back. Keep one for yourself or keep the extra ten for your effort.”
“I need a new name,” I decided, telling Michael who just laughed.
We were at the iconic Troubadour, preparing for the concert after Tim’s funeral. Tim’s friends Nicky Beat and Alice Bag had their bands there as well as Tim’s roommate David’s band the Neighborhoods. My old partner in crime, Tom Petty, had his new band there. An all girl group was being organized by the Runaway’s Joan Jett with Tim’s Harvard friends. It was chaotic.
“How about Robby Rocket,” Michael suggested and laughed at me.
Hippie just shook his head. We were waiting for Jack-off to appear. He was supposedly organizing the whole performance. We needed Tim’s guiding hand.
“Hey, Michael. Can ya still contact Tim and Jace, like ya used ta?”
“That line’s been disconnected. He died, remember?”
“They’re gone, asshole. What part of dead don’t you understand?”
“This show’s gonna suck. We need Tim here.”
“What are you gonna do? Raise the dead?”
“You say you want a resurrection,” Michael channeled the Beatles.
“…You can count me out.”
“No way. We need Tim here to inspire us all, even these LA assholes who don’t know him like we do.”
“What are you gonna do, steal his body? The Church has other plans for it.”
“Why can’t he come to his own funeral celebration?”
“Again, what part about dead don’t you understand?”
“So, Tim could bring Jace back. You don’t think I can’t do it too?”
“Grow up, asshole.”
Jack walked in. We stopped fighting. Surprise, surprise, he wasn’t in tears. Maybe college was good for him. I went over and talked with Tom Petty, my old partner in crime at Skynyrd.
“This the old Mud Crutch band?”
“Naw, that’s history, ‘cept a few of them boys came along as Heartbreakers. I hear y’all’s still dealin’ pot ta kids.”
“Don’t be tellin’ no one. Y’all headlinin’?”
“Who knows. Y’all goin’ ta church fer the service. Tim dragged us’n to mass last month with John Belushi.”
“Is he gonna show up too?”
“Who knows. All these bands; it’s like high school battle of the bands.”
“Maybe we kin all jist jam? We put on a show fer New Year’s Eve where ever’one played separately. Tim had this hillbilly kid doin’ tall tales and MC’ing. I see him hangin’ out with that Iowa football player. Let’s go check ‘im out.”
“Hey, Tommy. Y’all gonna perform today?”
He must still be upset about when I hit him on last Christmas.
“Someone’s gotta stand up at the mic and MC this motley crew.”
“I gets ta tell my tales ‘bout ol’ Huck?”
“Well, those an’ sumthin’ ‘bout Jace. He’s bin livin’ in Lauderdale with y’all, right?”
“Well, be ready.”
“Y’all ain’t all bad, Robby.”
“Jist fer LA?”
‘Gator piped up. “I like it. Rockets, like ‘Gator, goin’ sumwheres. Ya cain’t be stopped.”
I was sure I didn’t need approval from the Iowan ranch crowd.