Bus Terminal Band
Oceanside Saturday night. Slick handrail. Painted black. Solid. Cold. Worn. Iron leading downward. Wide cement steps. Gritty hall. Cool air. Wrapped overhead pipes. Fluorescent-lit linoleum floor. Yellow ceramic-tiled walls. Footsteps echo excitedly. Heady disinfectant stink. Mirrors reflect snow-white lavatories. Timed faucets gush. Pink soap oozes. Paper towels tossed. Hurry. Run fast. Go further.
Behind his half-door, musical lures glitter.
Bubs, his nametag reads.
“What can I do for you fellows? That guitar hanging up there? Take one of these picks. They come free, but don’t break any. You two need amps? ”
The pair hungers to jam.
“This one look good? Try on this baby for size. Plug those amps in down the hall. My rates are by the hour, boys.”
Two amps. Two guitars. One riffs in E major. The other follows. Traffic stops to listen. Toes tap.
“Another guitar, Bubs?”
Eighteen strings then wail against the hot summer night. Outsiders linger, forgetting. Time stops. Raw beats grow to become ever-strong, ever-pure, ever-nice. A cosmic connection feeds, pleasing the brotherhood.