Chapter 10: Greasers, A Gig, and a Girl

Today, I’m over the moon.

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Go ahead, ask me why. Because me and the gang get to play our very first gig, that’s why! Ain’t that a kick?

Yesterday after school, the boys and me met up at Roxanne’s. That’s the usual hangout, on account of their Cokes are never flat, and their jukebox has a bunch of the good songs, like stuff by The Platters and Frankie Lymon. None of that boring junk my mother and her friends play at their Tupperware parties.

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“You’ll never guess what!” said my friend, Spots. (His name is really Mitchell, but we all call him Spots on account of his face looks like somebody spilled a bowl of freckles on it).

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“Your brother Hector let you drive his car,” said Tony.

Spots guffawed. “No, dummy. Even better. I got us a gig! Right here at Roxanne’s, next Tuesday.”

I gaped at him. “No joking?”

He held up two fingers. “Scout’s honor.”

Hector snorted. “Get a load of Boy Scout Spots.”

I grinned. At last! Our band, The Goobers, had been practicing in my garage for nearly two years. And now, we were getting a chance to play for our first live audience.

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That wasn’t the only good thing that happened. As I swaggered over to the counter to order me a Coke, she was standing there. Donna Wagner. The prettiest girl in school. No, the prettiest girl in town. I thought about saying Hi, I’m Raymond Garrett. I sit behind you in Mrs. Hicks’ English class. But just thinking about it made my hands start shaking so bad, I almost dropped my Coke, and gee, wouldn’t that have been embarrassing?

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So that’s why I’m over the moon. A real, live gig, and a Donna Wagner spotting. Our band is pretty good, you know. Especially me on my guitar. I mean, I ain’t no Elvis or nothin’ – I don’t have any illusions like that. But I’m not half bad. And now everybody else in Hillview will get a chance to hear us play. Who knows? Maybe a talent scout will be hiding in the audience, just waiting to hand us a record deal. Boy oh boy!

While I’m still thinking about all of this and smiling like an idiot, I head into the garage where our band equipment is still set up.

Then I freeze.

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It’s like a big whiff of wind comes along and blows the clouds away from the sun. I am not Raymond Garrett.

This is not my life.

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