Sarah and Myles conversed a while longer. When Sarah felt distressed she was able to keep herself on stable psychological footing by talking it out. If in stasis she'd probably have let herself jump to the furthest conclusions and plot the most damaging feats for reparations. She'd already be at Gert's door demanding to see what else she might be hiding, threatening to call her parents on her victimized behalf and beat whoever her pusher was with a table leg. Though she was gracious enough show the bare-minimum of fascination with his character, he knew it was a convo she needed for herself to tidy her cerebral clutter. But he didn't mind.
Trevor slid out of his bedroom on his swivel chair and hopped down the stairs.
"What the hell is this?" Alex was holding a piece of paper. "What is going on here?"
"It's a flyer!" he answered proudly.
"Trev, guy, why is there a drawing of stick figures playing guitars? Why does it say 'two for one' in the top corner? Two what?"
Trevor grabbed the flyer from his hand. "People love a bargain, Alex. Thought it'd get people out, I don't think Ovid's band really will, and everyone loves a deal. Of course there's no single thing being given out, let alone two of them. Just thought it'd be eye-catching, you know. Hook-line-sinker. "
"That's...misleading, I guess." Confused by Trevor, Alex moved on. "Also, it says it's happening at 2743 Northwood?"
"That part's not misleading. One hundred percent verifiable truth, detective!"
"Since when are we having a party?"
"A few of us were talking earlier today about livening up that weird roommate meeting and having everyone over."
"Who's 'everyone'?" "You want a list?"
"Alphabetical or categorical, please," Alex stood with his hands on his hips.
"How about offthetopofmyhead-ical?"
Just then A. Welnot rolled down the stairs. Oddly chipper, he smiled at Alex and Trevor, putting a hand on each of their shoulders. "Good afternoon, gentlemen!" he said as he frolicked into the kitchen, leaving Alex even more unsure of his bearings than before.
Trevor, not paying attention, had his eyes rolled into the back of his head and was mentally flipping through his Rolodex of guests. "OK. There's us, and probably all the dog-punks from the Common and—"
"Why them?" "I was already pasting up posters this afternoon in the Planet Earth dumpster for a friend's cyber-folk show..."
About five years ago, local legend has it, some young enterpriser who understood their targeted demographics once put up a flyer in the dumpster behind Planet Earth health food store on Quinpool promoting a no-frills yard sale on Yukon and had more visitors than National Geographics to huck off. The dumpster behind the health food store was a more popular spot than the actual business itself. On any given day it was brimming with decent day-olds, bruised produce and dumpster-temperature condiments. It was frequented so regularly that it became akin to an office kitchen's bulletin board. Students, steamers, crusties, freegans, discount-day yoga-goers, DIY-ers, thrifties and boheems alike all hit it up. You could often get a whole meal out of the place complete with the essentials for baking and frying.
"I threw a couple posters in there too. Ran into a few of the regulars while I was doing it and invited them personally. Since I invited those folks I figured I should probably invite Jayden. Jayden's maybe-seeing Chris Hahn now too, so I had to invite him obviously, and I heard his band was playing somewhere in town that night, so I told him he could bring his bandmates and they could play in some corner. And the drummer Ovid, he's pretty orthodox and doesn't like doing anything social unless there is some kind of religious presence, so I said he could invite some friends from his church, including that guy Steve, the skittish guy who has the fanny-pack loaded with a reserve of snacks—who got the city grant to be the synagogue's caretaker—"
"You can't invite him!"
Trevor pointed his finger, "Why single him out? Don't be such a bully man, come on."
"No, it's not because he's—"
"And why then, Mr. High and Mighty? He's not pretty enough to stand beside? Don't like his boot-cuts? You didn't flutter a single lash when I mentioned Ovid's band—you know what they sound like don't you?"
"No, it's because—" "Because why?"
"He's the North End Plant Snatcher!"
The new chapter of Half-heard is published in The Coast—newspaper version—every Thursday. One week later it is published here online. So it's easy to catch up online, but best to stay ahead in print.