The Well Tempered Clavier
by Jeff Baker
The loud music was blaring through the speakers and over the audience from the stage, with a little bit of colored smoke swirling around the keyboard and drum set.
“All right!” Marty said.
“Calm down,” Reg said, leaning into his ear to be heard over the blare. “They won’t be out for about another ten minutes. That one’s from their first album. They don’t play the old stuff anymore.” He pointed up as if he was pointing at the music.
“Are you sure they don’t…” Marty started to say. “Oh yeah, you went to school with whatsisname, the keyboard guy, right?”
“Warren, yeah.” Reg said. “Warren Wentworth the Third. We used to kid him about that guy in the X-Men comic books, but that was back in the nineties. He was a music major and he used to play those Tom Lehrer songs at the school talent shows.” Reg smiled at the memory. 1992 was over twenty years ago.
“Wow!” Marty said, seeming like a twenty-something kid, not a forty year old computer tech old enough to be the parent of half the kids at the concert. “Did you guys, like hang out a lot?”
“Wha?” Reg said as the music kicked into high gear.
“I said, did you hang out with Warren?”
“No, we never really went out. Not really.” Reg said, misunderstanding.
“What? What? You actually went out with the keyboard player for…” Marty yelled, trying to be heard over the music. If it hadn’t been for the music, everybody in the stadium would have heard.
Reg held his hand up to Marty’s ear. “It was very careful. Very casual. Remember, this was…”
The music started playing something softer. Reg sighed and went on.
“Remember, this was the early nineties. STD’s were still on everybody’s mind. Warren and I kind of went out but we never did anything that would have spread a cold.”
Warren had said he was Bi back then and it hadn’t been much of a secret. They’d sat around and talked about which of the jocks they thought was hot. All those long Autumns ago. Reg smiled again.
The softer song ended and there was a rat-a-tatt-tatt rhythm from the speakers.
“Yeah, they should be onstage pretty quick,” Reg said to Marty.
Marty grinned and nodded.
Reg felt the vibration in his pocket and pulled out his cell. He read the text and smiled.
Will be onstage till about ten. Meet at eleven-thirty at our old place. Remember? Warren.
Reg was grinning as he texted back: I remember! See ya!
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The X-Men reference is to “Warren Worthington the Third,” A.K.A. the high-flying Angel. ——jeff b.