I Fought The Law (And the Law Won)
There was only one way to get out of it, I knew. I had to get away from her. After soundcheck I slipped out the back of the hall, out onto the campus. I wandered around for hours, summer school students and local kids crossing my path where the walkways intersected. I could have been one of them, a kid in a jean-jacket on my way to the library or dining hall or wherever college students went. After dark, I started heading back for the concert hall. Sitting on top of a brick wall outside, I could hear things starting. The muffled sound of drums and bass pulsed through the night air. I hoped no one was worrying about me. If I waited another forty-five minutes, I'd be safe. When I made out the pattern of the drum solo in "May Day," I decided to go back.
I was somewhere below the back wall of the hall. The backstage doors were locked and no one answered my knocking. I had to go around another building to get up to the front. A single student stood in the lobby, his back to the closed double doors. With his crewcut and at-ease stance he looked like a junior soldier boy. Or maybe a football player. I admired his wide shoulders.
"Excuse me," I said as I tried to go past him.
"No admittance." He put a hand on my shoulder.
"Look, the backstage door was locked. I need to get in there."
He looked down at me like he couldn't understand a word I had said. "Look, there's no admittance after the show starts."
I pulled the laminated tag I wore around my neck from under my shirt. It said NOMAD in their signature style, ALL AREAS. "I'm on the crew."
He seemed to think that was funny. "Where's your entertainment committee pass?"
He pointed to a patch of cloth adhered to his pant leg with the university logo on it. "These were passed out after soundcheck to all band, crew, and entourage." SECURITY was handwritten in black magic marker on his.
"Well, I missed that." It was getting late. "Look, I need to get in there, now. I'm supposed to be onstage in ten minutes."
"Yeah, I believe that, too. Get out of here." He moved from foot to foot, as if moving his bulk alone should intimidate me. It did, a little.
The only thing I had to heft was the fact that I was right. "Get me the stage manager."
"I told you I can't open these doors."
"Fuck that! I told you..." I took a step back as he took a step forward.
He flicked my hair off my shoulder with the back of one hand. "Townie punk, you can just get off the campus before I call the campus police."
I backed away from him. He was probably going to grow up to be a very mean and stupid rent-a-cop and I hoped it got him killed someday. But that didn't help me, now.
I went back around to the stage door. There was still no answer. I circled around the building, looking for the door I had slipped out before. Every door was locked. I was pulling and kicking it, trying to force it open when a flashlight interrupted me.
"Hey, there, hold up." The voice came from behind the light. A uniformed man took the beam out of my eyes and stepped forward. "What are you trying to do there?"
He was campus police. I started talking. "I came out this door and it locked behind me. I'm on the stage crew. They need me in there."
He muttered to himself. "Five and a half feet, long brown hair. You're coming with me."
"No! I have to get in there!" Have cops ever been reasonable? "I have a crew pass, see? Just talk to the stage manager and you'll find out. The head technician's name is Matthew..."
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Daron's Guitar Chronicles: Vols 1-3General Fiction
Daron’s Guitar Chronicles tells the story of Daron Marks, a young gay guitar player, from about the time he is eighteen onward. He arrives at RIMCon (Rhode Island Musical Conservatory) in the mid-1980s, desperate to leave behind a dysfunctional fami...