What A Performance
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"Wait…what?"

"We were discussing the last time you saw your friends from high school- a Jennifer and a Bradley if I recall correctly."

"Yeah, my bad, trailed off there. It's been years. Close to ten now. I think."

"Were you close?"

"Well me and Jenn were mad close but Brad… well, I don't know much about Brad."

"Could you describe him for us?"

"Who? Brad? Uh yeah, he was…"

C'mon dickhead you know this. He was around every day. We had… well, we had some class together. I mean, I remember him sitting nearby. Must have been a class. Maybe lunch, he seemed pretty chummy with the Janitor. It was me, Jenn, and Chad. We made shirts for homecoming.

"He was around. I don't know. He was at homecoming."

Why is this doctor asking about homecoming? We didn't even have a dance, just a game and a pep rally. Weird ass pep rally though. Flew in some band from another school to play the National Anthem and they fucked it up. Put a weird beat under it, upped the tempo. Pretty catchy though. We had a band, why didn't we just use them? I think Chad knew the other principal or something because he had the same uniform.

"Did he have any defining characteristics? Tall or short? What color hair? Anything you remember would be useful."

"Who? The guy from the marching band who was always around Jess? He was tall and fat, brownish blueish eyes. Wide mouth. Looked like the Janitor. I don't know what she saw in him. I guess cause he was good at music or some bullshit."

This guy won't stop with the homecoming shit. So there were streamers and music and food and a good beat, big deal. You can get a good beat just walking down the street nowadays. Everywhere is playing something. Keeps looping.

"Bradley was in the marching band?"

That was his name…. Brad. That motherfucker. I can't believe I forgot about Brad. The Janitor's nephew or whatever. Weird-ass fucking eye having looking-ass bitch. If I see that dickhead Ted again… for what he did to her, that fucking waste.

"Yeah."

Nailed it.

"It's important you accurately recall this. We are discussing your friends from high school, one Jennifer Vallay and one Bradley DiGiommato. These names are important to you, yes?"

"It was me and her. It was always supposed to be at least. We spent every day together. And we'd flirt and occasionally hook up, but by the end of high school she wound up with Craig, the Janitors son. The guy with the weird eyes."

"I need you to focus. We are discussing Jennifer Vallay and Bradley DiGiommato. These names are important, please keep your mind on them and tell me any important recollections you have of your time with them."

Oh I got this in the bag. I could tell him about the time we went to the lake Junior year and me and the girl bought a lemonade. Saw all our friends in the lake, but couldn't join 'em. Can't swim. Their loss. That was a nice day. Weird seeing the Janitor there though, you forget they have a life outside of school sometimes. Or the time Senior year we rented an electric scooter and drove it down State Street. Fuckin' incel Tad showed up in his custodial outfit and ruined it. None of us could stand looking at his weird eyes.

"Yeah, all three of us were at homecoming… We made…."

Homecoming.

I can feel the fuckin' beat baby.

Homecoming, jesus.

What a performance…

Fuck- homecoming….

"I made tee shirts. They said Brad and Jenn forever. She didn't like them. Said I wasn't the same guy she fell in love with. Said she could see it in my eyes…. The music was so loud, everyone was weird and riled up. I could have sworn I saw the…."

I swear to God whatever his name was had the weirdest eyes. Whenever I think of high school I see 'em in my head. Come to think of it, that's probably why I hated him. I always blamed him for taking Joanne, but I think it was more the eyes. That and the fact that everything was always filthy, but I don't know why I hold that against him.

"I saw the Janitor. He was playing a guitar. And Brad was there, too. Wearing the shirt I made for Jezebel as if he deserved it. As if he deserves anything. He was playing the guitar."

"The shirt you mentioned making for your friend, what did it say?"

"It didn't say anything, it was just a picture of a drum kit."

I love drum kits. She did too. Chad was playing the drums in the shirt, weird coincidence. You can hear the beat if you close your eyes. Can't focus too hard or your eyes change, though.

"Bradley- we need you to focus. We're losing you faster this time. All of our tricks haven't worked, so we'll cut the shit. Describe either the Janitor or the events of homecoming, please."

The Janitor…and his weird fucking eyes.
I could swear he looked just like me if it weren't for those.
But God damn, could he play a beat.

I don't need a woman-
And I don't need a name-
I don't need a future-
Or a past, it's all the same.
I don't need your money or a fancy SUV
All I need is my friends and we can make a symphony.
Know your role.
Know your place.
Know your tempo.
Know your pace.
Keep the beat.
Keep the beat.
Keep the beat.

Keep the beat. Keep the beat. Keep the beat.

I didn't need her anyway.

"Bradley?"

"Wait…what?"

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