“The show’s over,” Thayer kept saying. But I wanted to go inside. So what if Fischerspooner had finished their bizarre electro boogie? Carlos D was spinning at the after party.
We snuck inside the Canal Room, where the floor was dusted with damp confetti. People-shaped shadows scurried around, dragging ladders and ripping the stage apart. From the ceiling, wires dangled like jungle snakes.
I spotted Carlos at the decks…and a virtual coven of Goths in corsets, huddled in his corner. He was dressed like a well-tailored vampire in head-to-toe black. He ducked down to fetch a record, popped up again, and dropped the needle, ever so slowly. For half a minute, he gawked at the flailing hipsters in polka-dotted dresses and chewed his lower lip.
“Go be a groupie,” Thayer said, giving me a push.
I waited through a lineup of retro 80s tracks (like White Horse, Push it, and Go by Tones on Tail–a mix with a tossed together quality, at times, even train-wrecking, inciting groans from the crowd).
I edged forward. Then someone grabbed me from behind. I couldn’t see him too well in the dark. He thrust a virtual jug of tequilla at me (which Carlos had sipped moments earlier). I shook my head no.
“Awww. You’re shy,” the guy said. I stared at his glittery eyeliner. It was Casey Spooner.
I passed my silver notebook to him. He made a big deal about signing it, complete with doodled hearts and the phrase, “I like you!”
Thayer was drinking from the enormous tequilla bottle, which kept getting passed around. Somebody’s camera flashed. A tough-looking punk girl with bleached hair was hugging Carlos and posing for a digital picture. He seemed friendly enough–draping his arm around her burly shoulders and smiling blankly without showing his teeth. When she left, I moved closer.
It took him a second to notice me standing there. When he did, I smiled and handed him the notebook. For some strange reason, he tried to sign its slippery cover (unsuccessfully), so I folded it open in his fingers. He was concentrating so intensely, gripping it tight, pressing hard, as if the act of signing was painful. Then he bowed and I bowed back, without saying a word.
All he wrote were his initials.