Chapter 10

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The next evening:
"So, first things first, mate, let's get acquainted with the equipment, shall we? Acquainted. That's a funny soundin word- A-cc-qq-uain-tt-ee-d." Campbell began the class (Boogy like a loony 101 as he called it, since the first choice- Mixology 101 - sounded like a cocktail mixing class!), slightly going off track as he rolled the funny sounding word off his tongue in an absent minded manner. "Ahem, Mr. B...?" Jason snapped him out of it, impatient and eager to learn. "Right! B. B for Bain, B for basics!" Campbell exclaimed giddily, before explaining the uses and proper names of each of the equipment. Jason jotted it all down in a little notepad as his teacher rambled on passionately.
"Right. Now, that we've learnt all that, I think we oughta have voice try-outs, as I like to call em. Just adjust the mike there..." Campbell whispered, leaning forward in his chair as he fidgeted with the microphone, turning a knob here and there while indicating to his protege to watch closely as he did so. "Dontcha think I oughta have like a cool, ya know, hip...real bitchin RJ name though?" Jason interrupted enthusiastically, stopping him in his tracks. "Like what...exactly?" Campbell asked, raising an eyebrow at him curiously. "I dunno. I been thinkin, like- DJ Chase McCluck! Catchy, innit? An' I could be alls like- DJ Chase McCluck in da house, motherf..." Jason replied restlessly, jumping up from his chair as he tested out his new name. An amused Campbell calmed him down, sitting him back down into his chair. "Aye, an' I'd like Elvis to rise from the dead, but keep dreamin, mate! Let's just go with Jason, eh? Lovely name, easy to remember, eh? Let's get on with it now. Now, relax...an' just say somethin." he urged once he'd settled down. He now knew how Eddie'd felt all those years ago, keeping up as his restless, eager and manic self bobbed up and down and around the radio station. "Like what?" Jason stuttered, losing that confidence he had just minutes ago, as he faced the mike. "I dunno, anythin! Go ahead. Yer on air in 3...2...1." he heard his mentor whisper, gulping as Campbell used his fingers to count it down.
Both hands gripped onto the table, clammy as ever as he hesitantly began to introduce himself- "Folks...this is, uh...Jason McCauley- Yer h...host..f...fo...fuck, bollocks...argh, I've mucked it all up...fuckin hell! Fuck this fuckin disease! "
Campbell comforted him as he looked down dejectedly, ashamed by his outburst on air. Kris clamped her palm on her mouth in alarm on hearing her brother curse. Jason hated when he unintentionally unleashed a barrage of cuss words at inappropriate moments due to his mental illness. He hoped it wasn't going to come in the way of his big dream. There was a long silence after that.
"That's alright, mate. Just a try-out. That's why we call em try outs. Let's give it another go, eh? Have at it!" Campbell spoke up, boosting his spirits on seeing him down and out, squeezing his shoulder reassuringly and flashing him that contagious, feel-good smile as they started all over again after the young man had composed himself.
It took more than a few try-outs before he could talk on air without swearing, controlling himself by mumbling limericks to himself whenever he felt like he was about to vomit out a cuss word. It was a coping technique, courtesy the helpful Mrs. Bain. A patient Campbell even gave him tips on voice modulation and they worked on that too.
His wife popped in occasionally to check on them, even bringing them snacks during her lunch break. It took hours, but Campbell didn't mind. There was nowhere else he'd rather be. Nowhere else where he felt comfortable- sitting behind that mixing console, facing that mike with his headphones (the same old ones with his name scrawled on em, which he'd carefully preserved over the years) strapped on securely or hanging around his neck stylishly. Even better, he had someone with whom he could now share and to whom he could pass on that feeling.

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