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     “A Different Beat”
 
Unable to find
her way through
the social pitfalls
and landmines
of normal life
she hid behind
the long bangs
of her hair
and a pair
of dark
sunglasses,
a couple of
buttons
of protest
on her well
worn
military style
jacket
though she was
fiercely against
any kind of
institution,
she carried an
old style
backpack
more like a
big satchel
with a flap
it contained
all kinds of
random stuff
that she
surprisingly
found uses for
throughout
her day,
she didn’t dress
for fashion
totally unaware
because of that
she had her
own look
going on
one that was
well noticed
by quite a
few of the
boys
not that she
would have
cared,
she side
stepped
an impending
social disaster
today
by not responding
to her only
friend’s text
about an
upcoming
party
one that she
feels a
noncommittal
attitude
is the best
approach taken,
she was more
than just a
little interested
in boys
but couldn’t
comprehend
the odd way
they tried to
communicate
with her
being stranded
in the middle
of a crowded
party
cornered by
a bunch of
grunting
nonverbal boys
is not how
she wanted to
spend her Friday
night,
but she wasn’t
without
a since of
duty
loyalty to her
only friend
who was looking
forward
to being chased
around the party
by any number
of cute guys
all of which
she had written
the names of
on a piece
of paper
which she had
showed her
the other day
ranked in order
of preference
as to who
she wanted to
get caught by
first,
she sticks her
hand
into her backpack
slash satchel
and pulls out
an old
“Walkman”
cassette player
and hits play
the music is
fast paced
but with simple
cords
and drum rolls
a neighborhood
garage band
she has watched
practice
a few times
along with
some of the
other local kids
she heard they
might be playing
the party,
there was a
slight pause
in the beat
as the lead
singer’s vocals
joined in
with the
instruments
quickening the
tempo of the
music
making the
band
have to work
to keep up
with him
his crystal
voice
cutting through
the few patches
of distortion
due to the
low quality of
their speakers
and amps
keeping the
whole song
tight
and clear
as he carried
them along,
she loved
the sound of
his voice
though he didn’t
talk much in
public
another thing
about him
she liked
it wouldn’t be
so bad
she thought
to run into
him
at the party
get a chance
to tell him
how much she
really likes the
band,
the tape starts
to drag a
little
the near dead
batteries
unable to
generate
enough power
to turn the
little knobs
at the proper
rate
maybe she
should
rethink her
position
on this party
matter
return her friend’s
text
with a solid
“Maybe”
after all
she is her
only friend,
she rewinds
the tape
listening to the
same song
again
even with the
little lags
as it plays
she can still
hear his voice
coming through
clearly to her
as she quietly
sings along
she pulls her
phone
out of her
bag
and sends her
only friend
a text
“ok,
I’ll go
to the party,
but only as
a favor
to you,
you owe me
one”
she hits send
then starts
digging around
in her bag
hoping to find
some spare
batteries
lost at the
bottom
of it,
her voice
now
hitting the
highs
as she’s
matching
her notes
with his…
 
     Tom Allen…08-21-2018…