|It's Brittany, Bitch | Ερις (eristic) wrote in paxletalelogs,|
@ 2017-05-30 10:30:00
|Entry tags:||eris, pan|
make a joyful noise, look around it's another day
Who: Vinnie & BB.
What: BB stops by for a promised 'strange flute music' demonstration.
Where: Pax Letale, #108.
When: May 3rd maybe?
BB still felt slightly distrustful of the building at large following the strange events of April, so she beat a path down the short stairs to the first floor, intent on a distraction. A momentary exchange between two souls on the network was about to turn into something more, though she'd given the other party no warning.
Hopefully he was good about his assertion that he could get his pants on quickly, though she made a mental note of how Daniel had appeared when she'd nearly burst in on him sans clothes. Hopefully this "Vinnie" would be better than a simple pair of boxer shorts that left little to the imagination.
Clutching her recorder in one hand, she wondered if something about this would make for a good article; for all she knew, all this guy could play was the recorder. If that was the case, the thing was going in the trash before he turned into another Brent. Thankfully, she did not see her erstwhile, tuneless neighbor on his floor, and rather than tempt fate, she made a beeline for one-oh-eight. Three raps in quick succession should have been enough, but BB wasn't exactly known for her patience.
"Hey!" Knock, knock, knock. "Man, you better not be waltzing around in the nude in there. You said you'd show me your..." Now she was beginning to wonder if she'd had her leg pulled, because now she was not going to say 'show me your flute' out loud since that seemed like the magic words to make Daniel appear, snickering in her ear with some crude comment. Shaking her head, she banged on Vinnie's door again. "C'mon, band boy! You promised music!"
Fortune smiled on both of them, for the moment. Not only was Vinnie home from job number one and still wearing pants, he was squeaky clean from the shower he’d taken to perk up. The first set of knocks went unheeded, drowned out by the loud whine of his hair dryer and his own thoughts, Vinnie keeping his eyes locked on his reflection’s. Ever since he’d glanced in a mirror and seen his own eyes wrong, it had become almost a compulsion to check them, just in case.
It was losing concentration on the task at hand in favor of squinting at his own face that led to him hearing a voice at all; he’d tilted his head to catch the light, thinking he’d seen something, and--His head jerked around, hearing a distant yell, followed by three knocks. The dryer was sat down and Vinnie made his way through the kitchen, his eyebrows drawn together in a frown because who the fuck, man?
On hearing the second yell and it’s abrupt halt mid-sentence, the confusion and mild irritation evaporating from his expression as laughter erupted from his throat. This must be BB. One arm went around his stomach as he opened the door, his eyes already gleaming with mirth. “Show you my what, now,” he managed, leaning against the door as snickers wheezed out. Despite his nigh-crippling state of amusement, Vinnie at least managed to move out of the way without falling over. The door might have helped. “You better be talking about my literal flute, because I at least demand to be told I’m pretty before I go showing the figurative one!” Usually.
BB huffed, rolling her eyes to the ceiling. She pranced into his apartment, taking the unspoken invitation for what it was, gaze moving about the room to take the whole of it in. She paused over the paintings and the pictures, clearly curious but not yet rude enough to move closer to peer into their depths. Her gaze paused over the strange mass of cloth and ribbons over the door, though she shook her head when she was unable to make sense of it.
"Ugh, don't be disgusting," she replied as she rounded on him, spinning about on one sneakered heel. Her hair bounced with each movement, nearly a living thing on its own; thankfully, all her limbs were intact and human as she frowned him. BB arched one brow, trying to look imperious and failing at it, instead only coming off as her usual comical self.
"Weird music, huh? I mean, what does that even mean, unless you're, like, pairing it with a theremin or something." Her gaze was pulled away from the strange man to the chalkboard by his door, her attempted judgemental sneer momentarily paused as she flicked a strand of hair back into place. Then her eyes went right back to Vinnie. "Also, is the Romero thing actual or are you just, like, trying to ride on the coattails of greatness? Because you totally could've picked someone less campy. Or culty."
Once she was inside, it was a simple matter to shift his weight against the door proper and thus encourage it to swing shut with a soft click. The man himself stays leaned against, his laughter subsiding into soft chuckles that faded as he watched her take in the apartment. For a moment he wondered if it was the pure curiosity that it seemed to be, but he didn't notice her eyes lingering on exits. Only his things, what of them he'd unpacked.
Just in case Vinnie straightened up, took a step away from the door. Whatever he was going to say was lost when she asks if he's pairing the flute with a theremin (because, despite his nose wrinkling, he's not defending his dick’s honor) , his eyes lighting up as a grin spread across his face. “No, but that would be so cool and I could totally pull it off.” Case in point, the way he began to gesture as soon as his mouth opened, pausing only to grab a piece of chalk and absently mark off the first item on the chalkboard; the name of a local pizza joint, followed by a time frame of six hours.
The question about his name, of all things, pulled a snort of laughter from him. “Hey, don't go mocking campy, it stands the test of time pretty well, on average. Although,” he continued as he maneuvered around his guest, wandering toward the coffee table in his living room. “If I were going to ride coat-tails, I gotta admit I'd go for Del Toro. That man is a genius and I wanna marry his mind.” Vinnie punctuated by scooping up his oddly plain and worn wallet and, after flipping it open, offering it to BB. There's not much in it; a bank card, a couple of photos, and a driver's license for a Matias V. Romero. The picture is of him, albeit a version that looks washed out and drawn under the harsh lighting, and the address still lists him as living in NYC.
BB leaned forward, eyes greedily taking in the offered information. The license didn't look fake, but then again, she wasn't the best judge of those sorts of things. Instead, she nodded as if she approved and leaned back, crossing her arms over her chest with a tempered movement.
"OK, so one thing proven. And the weird flute music?" She arched a brow again, though despite her demeanour, she was honestly curious. She had never been able to master a musical instrument, her fingers apparently turning into all thumbs, but she was always interested in finding out new things that other people could do. "Oh, and you said beer, right? I get a beer out of this?" And there was that mischievous grin that might imply that that was the true source of her visit, though she would probably or most likely at least half-heartedly deny such a cruel accusation.
Vinnie snapped the wallet shut after she leaned back, shoving it haphazardly into one of his pockets. He’ll probably pay for that later in a mad search before heading out toward this evening’s job, but at least it’ll be in a fairly logical place to look.
“Any flute music is weird if you hear it at two a.m.,” he pointed out, both eyebrows raising in response to her one. Any semblance of a straight face breaks a moment later as he beams, an expression full of pride and good humor. Flute wasn’t what most people would expect of him (the band director originally put him on drums for a reason) but he’d always gotten a secret thrill out of defying expectations. “But yes.
To both your questions.” Turning, he waved for BB to follow him to the kitchen. He doesn’t look back to see if she was following; the kitchen isn’t that far, and if she chose instead to take a seat in the living room Vinnie was pretty sure a conversation wouldn’t be too awkward. “Offer of a sandwich is still open if you’re hungry.”
"The beer for starters," BB rejoined, following Vinnie through the small space of his apartment. Even only one floor apart, the layouts were eerily similar as they were all wont to be within a complex of this size. And yet it was very different, via the decor and bits and bobs that made it up as Vinnie's space. She took up a spot on the far side of the kitchen, eyes roving over the various ways it was different and yet the same from hers, until her gaze landed on a sign hanging in clear view.
"Now that is a level of confidence that most would not be willing to claim," she commented, pointing at the sign offering free seduction services by way of awkwardness. "Then again, I guess the only way you could be bolder about it is hanging it right in front of your front door, so some points for modesty."
“Beer for starters,” Vinnie echoed as he made a beeline for the fridge. Despite only having lived here less than a month, he moved through the space with ease of familiarity. He’d lived in a lot of apartments this size, though normally sharing them with at least one roomie. The silence is new, and he still hasn’t decided whether he liked it or not.
Opening the fridge, Vinnie crouched to grab an amber bottle and shivered when the cool air hit his slightly damp hair, a very sudden reminder that he’d been interrupted in the middle of drying it. That’s gotta be a great first-- “Hmm?” His mental tangent interrupted by BB’s commentary, it took him glancing in the direction of her gesture to process what she’d said.
His first response was a laugh as he stood, nudging the door shut with his foot. His now-free hand rubbed at the back of his neck, expression torn between sheepishness and pure amusement. “That was a gift from a friend,” he explained, sliding the bottle onto the kitchen island for BB to grab. “She always told me I reminded her of her brother’s geeky friends, except for--well.” He a ho. “I’m still not sure if I wanna keep that there or hang it somewhere else. Kitchen doesn’t feel appropriate, but it’s kinda bare otherwise.”
She plucked up the offered drink without a second thought, twisting off the cap and tossing it into the nearby sink as she shrugged in the direction of his spoken thoughts.
"Not saying you can't keep it where you want to," she replied, tipping the bottle into her mouth for taste. Her eyes widened imperceptibly, pleased, and she took a longer swallow as her body slanted back against the counter. "I mean, if I had something like that, I think I'd put it in the living room; putting it in the bedroom just sets an impossible and unrealistic standard, you know? But anyway, music?" The mouth of the beer bottle lingered near her lips as she fixed Vinnie with a grin. One item was checked off of her list of items to do while visiting the new stranger; acquire beer. Now, acquire the primary reason for her stopping by.
"So, like, do you do this for a living? The music? Are you in a band? If so, please don't say polka or something because I can't even imagine what kind of a band would have a flute."
Yeah, beer was a success. The corners of his mouth twitched upward as Vinnie half-turned, grabbed a bottled water that he'd pulled out of the fridge for himself when he'd first gotten home. It felt a little too warm in his hand, but at least it was still cooler than tap.
Vinnie actually opened his mouth to refute that ‘impossible and unrealistic’ argument before reconsidering it. There's music to be played; also it would come across as insecure. Instead he contented himself with a slightly smug smile and a slight shake of the head--right before it all broke down into snickering. “Polka? Oh my God no. Does anyone even listen to polka outside of music classes? Or retirement homes,” he tacked on, moving around the counter to head back into the living room.
The conversation he continued over his shoulder, absently setting the unopened bottle on the coffee table as he passed it by. “I’ve played instrumental covers, half the time with friends. Stepped in when a friend's band needed a drummer or for--” A pause as he stretched to retrieve something from one of the shelves; a long black box covered in stickers and random graffiti. “Me to abuse this poor baby by making it scream. I'd tell you to sit wherever you like, but--” He gestured toward the sole sitting area of comfy looking but worn sofa. “I left my old roomie the chairs.”
BB needed no extra encouragement; she all but flounced across the room, following in Vinnie's wake and plopping down on the couch with, making the semi-abused piece of furniture give a small oompf as if in protest. She cradled her beer between two hands as her legs spread comfortably over the leather, but she tilted forward as if she could not contain her excitement.
"No complaints from me," she offered, looking over the box to examine the stickers and writing for some detail missing from the person standing before her; to see if there was some information she could glean and hoard along with the rest of what she liked to do so much. Finally, though, she leaned back against the couch, taking another drink, the brown bottle rising and falling in her hand. "But don't let me stop you. Drums, though? How many instruments can you play?"
The protest of his couch brought a wistful smile to his face, a flurry of memories playing in an instant. He’d bought that couch when he first moved to NYC, and in the last six years it had played host to many a memory he’d wanted to live in forever. Most of them started with a friend flopping down just like that, with a sparkle in their eyes and a bottle in their hands.
He shook his head, dismissing the nostalgia as he pulled his flute from its decorated case, setting the latter on the coffee table. On the end facing BB is a worn sticker of a bulldog with a spiked collar, torn around the edges and faded. Someone’s painted a skull with a flower crown on the top, and under it is lettered ‘The Ungrateful.’ Most of the other scrawlings are in different handwritings, and reference inside jokes or memories left in NYC.
“Two. Ish,” was Vinnie’s answer as he put together his flute, the keys gleaming silver against a black body. It’s good that the motions are automatic for him, as the clarification brings to mind the flute he’d found while they were all trapped inside. The music it had made was deeper, and felt right in the same way swapping places with Samantha had, back when they were both in band. “I’m not as good with the drums, and I’m a fucking disaster on guitar. Trust me, I tried.” And was banned from string instruments forevermore.
Lifting the flute to his lips, Vinnie rattled off a couple of practice notes before glancing up, lifting his chin long enough to say, “Hope you were serious about the freaky part.” And then he began to play a dirge. It starts with quick, moderate notes that sound as though they were originally written for piano (because they were.) Then he slid into a low, ominous sounding note that he held for several beats before switching back to the quick notes, and then high notes reminiscent of a person crying out. And so it went, Vinnie’s hips swaying to the beat as he switched between pitches and occasionally octaves with few pauses for breath, the entire thing coming together in a song that, to him at least, always reminded him of the chases in a horror movie. Panicked hero running, inexorable villain following at a leisurely pace. The crescendo brought the inclusion of a smattering of shrill notes as the tempo of all sped up, and then began to fade away, leaving only the quick notes to end the song as it had begun.
BB quickly found herself leaning forward again; true, the song was ominous, eerie, certainly not something she would've chosen to play on a long car trip or even a short walk to the store. But there was something nearly enrapturing about it -- something that spoke to an unknown being deep inside of her that had been long struggling to emerge in the various ways that it could. Any lingering traces of a smile faded from BB's face as the musical notes moved through her ears and her brain, writing some message that she could not yet translate. Her hands came tighter around her beer bottle, which sat otherwise forgotten in her grip, as she listened and then realized he'd stopped.
"Fuck," she muttered. "That is creepy." For a beat, it looked like she might be too scared to say something more, or might get mad at him for actually sticking to making good on what he'd offered. But something else -- something that had for a long time made BB BB -- unfurled her lips across her face in a wide grin.
"That was awesome!" She finally said, bouncing enough in her seat to reach the edge of it. "So, like, wait, how even and like why the flute? Like, that's amazing and do you have YouTube channel?? Because if you don't that's a goddamn crime and we should fix that immediately." In true BB fashion, her words came out in an avalanche of sound, one question carrying over into the next and overlapping, trying to outpace the former, each sentence tripping up the next.
In the moments after the last notes echoed into silence Vinnie stood still, his cheeks flushed and breathless for multiple reasons. The song he’d chosen was hard; Memphisto was meant to be played by three instruments and vocals, not one man trying to play three parts on a flute. It was also an incredibly creepy song, and in the seconds after BB whispered out her assessment Vinnie wondered if he’d made a mistake. They don’t know each other very well, and he’d just brought her into his home and played predatory music for her.
‘Serial killer music’ is what he’d meant to think, and didn’t have time to explore why his brain supplied the other phrasing before a grin cracked her face. In light of her exuberance, all Vinnie could do was laugh, relief and the high of performing combining to brighten his face with joy and set his fingertips tingling. “The flute stole my soul!” There’s more to it, an entire story of how a prank on a not-loved band teacher changed two young musicians’ trajectory forevermore, but the heart of it is simply that; once he started to play, something in Vinnie’s soul caught fire and never stopped burning. As he stepped forward and bent slightly to scoop up his water bottle the man shook his head, wetting his mouth with a swallow of liquid before answering, “Not unless being in other people’s videos counts. You are not the first to mention it, but I honestly have no idea where to start.” The last word trailed off into a laugh and a helpless shrug.
"Oh," she started, her voice the pitch-perfect repetition of many Valley Girl(tm) tones heard on TV specials, "my God. OK, OK, we can fix this, I can fix this," she continued as she scooted forward and off of the couch completely.
"Do you have a computer? Please tell me you're not living like some granny and don't even have a computer. And you're gonna need a webcam, obviously, but, like, one step at a time, and, like a mic, I guess, some kinda sound mixer program, oh my god we can go to my apartment and do, like, a preview on my vlog channel, and then if audience reaction is good, oh my god I'm gonna be like Simon Cowell!!" She jumped up and down for a minute, and then remembered to focus back on Vinnie, who had the actual talent.
"But, like, seriously, first question: do you have a computer? Because that's where you should start."
Vinnie paused in the middle of lifting his bottle again, his eyebrows lifting as the excited words came tripping out. The corners of his mouth rose as well, echoing her infectious enthusiasm even as a dark corner of his mind hissed at the girl’s utter foolishness. ’Like you’ll ever be more than what you are. You can’t even keep a lover, how are you going to convince random people that you’re worth listening to?’
He made himself tilt back the water bottle to take a deep gulp, buying time to hide any traces of the sudden dark turn of his thoughts. It was probably right, he admitted privately, but the process sounded fun. “You have a vlog? That explains so much,” he said, accompanied by a chuckle that turned into a warm smile. “Yes, I have a laptop with a camera; and a mic, but I don’t know if its good enough for this. I might have a friend’s mic still packed up in somewhere, I’d have to look.
“I can grab it and we can definitely set up the channel. I even have some audio recordings I could slap a picture on and toss up,” Vinnie continued, turning toward the bedroom where, presumably, he kept his laptop. The turquoise of the chalkboard frame caught his eye, as it was meant to, and drew his attention to the remainder of the light scribbled on it. He paused, frowning deeply. “But I’ve gotta be at work in a couple hours. We could do the thing for your channel another day?”
BB big back sounding off a huge ugh at the thought that he had other things that would occupy his time. But this was a start, if anything -- she knew she had a few pending articles to deal with, and they wouldn't write themselves. She took another long drag of her beer, nodding.
"Sure, sure, we can do it another day. Just gimme your email, I'll send you a list of do's and don'ts for setting up your channel so you don't hamstring yourself right off the bat, you know? And then when you're up, I can cross-share something onto my platforms and get you going." She saw no reason why this wouldn't get him attention; people on the internet were always craving the latest and greatest, and this guy had talent. Maybe that was another avenue, America's Got Talent...
She shook her head, focusing on the situation at hand; she turned a grin on him. "So, what else can you do?"