The last thing I remember before being shoved into a holding room with a bunch of sweaty nervous boys is Akiko telling me to crush the dreams of everyone auditioning--or something along those lines. The truth is she could have told me she was an alien sent to earth to make a mockery out of me and I wouldn't have remembered, because as soon as I saw auditions were being held at the Crocodile Cafe-- a place where some of my favorite bands of all time have played-- I was done for. A nervous wreck. How could I possibly get on the same stage as world-class drummers? I'm just a teenage girl. A teenage girl in drag-- awful drag at that. What was Akiko thinking with this outfit?
I tuck the front of her brother's baggy red t-shirt into the jeans, slide my lucky drumsticks into my front pocket and glance around the room. Not one of them has their shirt tucked in. I pretend to tie my shoe and while I'm down stealthily pull the shirt out. Who am I kidding? Pretending to be a boy is way harder than you'd think. I can't get the dressing part down I might as well give up on boy-body-language too. They all seem so relaxed, like their bones are 20% rubber, whereas years of dance has instilled in me iron-clad posture.
I tap a beat on my sticks to keep my fingers busy. A guy across from me watches with a crooked smirk. Maybe playing with the contents of my pocket isn't a good idea. I shrug and, feeling the pressure of his gaze, adjust my hat making sure my hair stays hidden. He's still watching. My back stiffens. I force my shoulders lower, trying to mimic the look of a slouch. I hope it works, because I don't feel like I look lazily-comfortable like the other boys-- I feel like I look constipated.
I run my hands down the shirt to smooth the wrinkles. Then I notice every one of them, every single one of the boys in the audition room has wrinkled clothes.
I'm really not getting this.
I sigh and twist the shirt around my finger. A shadow falls over me and I look up to see a young boy, with spiked blue hair, watching curiously. Great. I stop and shrug.
"Nervous?" he asks.
"I have to pee." As soon as the words escape I regret them. Stupid, stupid, stupid, weak girl bladder--and loose lips.
"Dude!" blue-spikes says, with a frown. He nods to the restroom sign and steps away from me.
Have I said I really suck at being a boy yet? Because I do, I really, really do.
I grunt something along the lines of, "uh...thanks," and lean back, swing my arm, and walk. It's my attempt to copy the strut-like-boy-walk. Which, take my word for it, is harder than it looks. After tripping over my own feet--I blame the two-sizes-too-big shoes-- I give up and speed walk to the restroom.
By this point I'm sure they're on to me. I feel eyes burning into my back. I reach into my pocket, pull out my phone and text Akiko a quick message.
I don't wait for a reply. The need to hide out in the restroom until she comes to pick me up is stronger than my need to see whatever ridiculous response I get from her. I use my shoulder to push open the door as I slide the phone back in my pocket.