Rock Band Days

by Ann Bogle

I said to a new person, “I had had this rock band thing”—by way of saying my life had gone out to sea—but since it hadn't been my rock band thing, but someone else's rock band, it took years to realize that I should have said when I showed up safe on shores of heaven, of home, “that rock band thing,” instead of my faults and errors and the need for religions.  The men I had thought of as sailors were living in New York and Madison and Binghamton—they had their addresses—there had not been a sailor in the bunch of rock bands in Houston.  There were guitar players, and as happens with talent sometimes, the guitar players were too talented.  There could not be places for all of them in a single rock band.  Too many of them were too talented and their birthdays were May 1 and Oct.  31, 1966.  One was born on the same day and year as J.F.K., Jr.  One was a Cancer and could overhear voices.  Korn was one of their bands.  They were mean or neglectful or cavalier toward women.  Cavalier was kind of nice.  In fact, I found myself wishing that the new person could be cavalier, to let there be a door ajar to the past.  Instead, the new person was nice, and I did not resemble the person I remembered myself as being during the rock band thing.  He had been a bodyguard and had met many famous people—not famous like my Pulitzer- and Nobel laureates—famous like B.B.  King—and had once broken the arm of a man who had messed with a woman.  He was telling me that at an Irish public house.  An American with a put-on Australian accent, a sea-nymph, was listening to us—he said she was rubbing up on him during the story, but I couldn't see it because she was on his other side.  I had dreamt of it, to know that fury (to break an arm) as he quoted MacBeth.