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An Argonaut Ethos


by Richard Cooper


I was in a box. On a porcelain throne. In the acoustically annoying Executive Ladies' Room. I had peed on the stick, and didn't like the color I'd drawn.

On the flip side, we had a name for this bitch-of-a-disc: Hera's Dead.

Down the hall I could hear the muffled strains of wayward jamming; hopeless riffs and homeless chords; laughter and shouting—all heightened by the acoustically perfect angles of Studio B.

My daddy made all these gold records on the walls, died, and left me to run BadSmack Media, even if I could only manage to run it aground. While still tripping on the ethereal clarity of my own mortality, I canceled three profitable hip-hop contracts; I've always favored a punk ethic.

I rocked as a player-manager, and hooked up with Jason after our first recording session when he said he loved my daddy, the way I played bass "like a man," and my tits—in that order. "Such a pretty, dirty girl," he said. When he was done, I kneed him. Hard. And drove myself home. I felt nauseated; his lyrics were as clich├ęd as a one night stand.

Eros. Flashing seas. Betrayal.

Now, it was time to flush the Prozac and break out of this box. As I entered B, I tapped on the glass to wake up Aggie, the sound guy. The boys in the band looked as eager as dumbass puppies. I plugged in my bass and said, "Let's hit track ten—"

"Whoa, Madee, what about 'Fleeced?' That song's our baby."

"Track nine is a mythic abortion," I said, staring at Jason until he looked away. The studio monitor buzzed, and the man behind the glass announced: "Now recording track ten, take one, 'I Need to Get Revved.'"

I needed it bad.

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