Sean Beaudoin

Enough excellent writing to fill a large tube sock

My Books:

Nick in Nine (9) Movements



Nick becomes Nikki, Duff was always Duff. They start playing in ninth grade because Duff’s stepbrother is in a band called Lewinsky Rescue and sometimes the stepbrother gets laid, so why not? But mostly they drink and wear tube socks and have a van. It’s fun. They come up with a name, Torrentials, and play hardcore which is not punk and so involves constantly correcting people. Duff says, "Hardcore is to a pickaxe what punk is to lipstick."

            There are some fights.

            Duff wears an earring and a Gibson SG, has natural rhythm and easy chops. Shaves his head. Kicks who needs kicking. Nikki’s too pretty to pretend that everything sucks, but he tries. Gets an E-string tattoo, tags deli Dumpsters, parties with that drummer with the infected toe. Still, he’s always a beat behind, a measure off, up in his room running scales every second he’s not being yelled at by the guy who isn’t Dad but moved in anyway.

            Some equipment must be acquired.

            Duff says they should rip off a dance band. Or cut a hole in the roof of Kane’s Guitars, lower a rope and haul up Johnny Ramone’s Strat. "Good idea, tier boss," Nikki says, gets two jobs, quits two jobs, finally snags an off-brand bass on layaway. No label, no logo, made in Seoul. It’s called "Bass." The plastic case is lined with fake pink fur that Duff says smells like pussy which makes Nikki think Duff was lying about all those cheerleaders because it smells nothing like pussy and Nikki would know since he’s been hanging out at Dana Goldstein’s for months, especially on Sunday nights when both her parents work and they can listen to Agnostic Front on the futon.

            Some glue is sniffed.

            Torrentials play their first show, eight bands all ages mosh pits low ceilings. Sharpie X’s and studded belts. Aiming for Fugazi while pretending not to. But it works. The skinheads gob less than usual, say eh, yer okay. The girls in leather skirts nod in time to the beat, in time to each other, gaze over Wayfarers at Nikki’s low rumble.

            Some gas is huffed.

            The next day Duff decides he doesn’t like their name anymore, wants to change to November Regions. Nikki thinks November Regions is the lamest fucking name in the history of lame fucking names.

            It sounds like a tampon commercial.

            It sounds like a free U2 download.

            Which means it’s perfect, since Nikki secretly wants to be huge. Wants to bend over like Green Day, get corporate-label famous, a ruinous admission he covers by pretending to be pissed, punches an amp, cracks two knuckles.

            Duff apologizes by spray-painting the wall of the practice space JESUS LOVES TORRENTIALS. There’s an anarchy circle around the A. Nikki has zero clue what anarchy is, or even wants to be. Something about wallet chains and waiters getting more per hour, plus tips. The band rounds out. A kid named Drew takes over drums, too good for his own good, runs jazz patterns in the middle of songs. Max Verbal is lead screamer, has a pompadour, brings sixers of Bud Lite and refuses to share. He looks sort of like fat Morrissey, which Nikki knows because he stood lookout while Duff five-fingered Meat Is Murder from Record World.

            Torrentials have four songs. Three originals, which suck, and a cover of Thompson Twins’ "Hold Me Now," which sucks. Max Verbal keeps not sharing his beer and going, "Besides, they’re not really even twins." Nikki transposes half a Doobie Brothers just so Verbal can go, "Besides, they’re not really even brothers."

            They play a couple parties and then a battle of the bands in the school auditorium. After the last song Duff smashes someone else’s guitar, sort of like Pete Townshend, except not.

            The audience goes crazy.

            The kid holds his broken neck, his snapped strings.

            Torrentials get the most votes, don’t win.

            There are some fights.

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