Being In The Band
Being In The Band
"Let’s try it again! From the top, five, six, seven, eight."
Lizard sighed as she started playing the same chords she’d been playing
for the last two hours. She concentrated on playing the keyboards
and prepped herself as the one part she kept messing up at started approaching.
She waited, counted to three, then hit the notes.
Lizard sighed again and dropped her head, turning to face the guys behind
"I’m sorry, I…I…" she stalled in trying to find herself an excuse, simply
because she really couldn’t think of one.
"You can’t get it, that’s what’s wrong," Nick said angrily. Lizard
didn’t blame him, it was his part she kept messing up on.
"I’m really sorry, I don’t know why I can’t get it, I was doing it fine
two days ago," Lizard said, pushing back the strands of hair that had fallen
in front of her face. She rested her hands on her hips as Nick shook
his head and looked away from her, while the rest of the guys gave her
"Its ok, Lizard, you only got this music a few days ago, it’s not your
fault," Brian said, his Kentucky twang coloring his words with kindness.
Lizard felt like smiling, Brian was so sweet to her, like the rest of the
guys. Except for Nick, he had nothing but complaints about her since
the day she joined the band.
"Yeah, its not your fault, you just aren’t used to this. Let’s try
it again, from the beginning of the verse rather than the beginning, ok?"
Kevin asked. Lizard nodded and turned back around, facing her keyboard.
‘Dammit, why can’t this go right?’ She asked herself as she started
playing again. She was doing so well, and then it got to that one
part, and she hit the notes.
"No! That’s not it!" Nick yelled from behind her.
"Nick, that was it, she got it, what are you talking about?" Kevin
"That wasn’t it, she’s not doing it right. She keeps screwing up
and this concert tonight is going to sound like shit!" Nick hollered.
Lizard turned around and held her hands together in front of her, looking
down at the floor, barely glancing up at Nick as he breathed heavily, his
face red with rage.
"Nick, damn man, what bug crawled up your ass and died? She was doing
excellent, she got it and you’re complaining about perfection! Get
over yourself, man, and get your ass back into gear!" AJ snapped.
"She got it wrong. And when she gets it wrong tonight, its not going
to sound right, everyone will know, and I’m gonna be the one that looks
like a fool because most people believe in following the piano when it’s
the performer that takes charge!" Nick exclaimed, waving his arms
around in exasperation.
"Nicky boy, calm down, all right? Forget it, it’ll be fine, and if
anyone screws up tonight, no one will notice. Lizard will do fine,
you will do fine, we will all do fine. So just take a deep breath
and get ready for the next song," Howie said, trying to stay calm.
Lizard felt like dropping and crying, she never felt so bad before.
She turned back to the keyboard and listened as the drumsticks slapped
together, counting off. She played as if she was on auto pilot, not
really paying attention to what she was doing. The set ended and
she walked off the stage ahead of everyone, skipping the usual chatter
after rehearsal. She went underneath the stage and directly to the
green room, grabbing a bottle of water from the table and plopping in a
"Why so glum, Lizard? Not find any flies for feeding time?"
Tommy asked her jokingly, looking up from his laptop.
"Haha," Lizard said dryly, trying not to look at him. She felt tears
sting her eyes and looked down, letting her hair cover her face.
"Hey, what’s wrong?" Tommy asked, walking over to her and sitting
on the arm of the chair. "I may be an idiot with a broken wrist,
but that doesn’t mean I can’t listen to your problems," he said, rubbing
her back lightly with his right hand.
Lizard shook her head and wiped her eyes before looking up at him.
"It’s nothing, stupid, really. What’cha up to?" She asked,
standing up and crossing to his laptop on the table.
"Re-vamping the band site, but I can barely type, so I’m kinda having a
little trouble," Tommy said, following her and sitting in his chair.
Lizard furrowed her eyebrows and pulled a chair over, sitting down.
"What do you want to type, I’ll do it," she said, pulling the laptop in
"That’s ok, I can do it," Tommy said.
Lizard shook her head. "No, come on, tell me what to type and I’ll
type it," she said insistently, gesturing at the screen.
Tommy sighed and started talking. Lizard’s hands started flying across
the keyboard as she tried to keep up with him. They finally finished
and Lizard lifted her hands, rubbing her wrists.
"I haven’t had to type that much since I was writing my term paper for
Senior year," she said, cracking a smile.
Tommy smiled back. "Sorry, I haven’t really done much to update lately,
I really haven’t had time. But now that I do, I’m trying to put as
much as possible."
Lizard nodded. "I understand, trust me, I sometimes check this out
when I have the time, I must say that its not that bad."
"Well, thank you, that’s a compliment coming from you, I believe.
I thought you didn’t believe in compliments?"
"I give compliments, I don’t receive them."
"Because I don’t deserve compliments."
"Total bull, you do too."
"What do I do to deserve compliments?" Lizard asked exasperatedly,
throwing her hands up in surrender of the bickering.
"You’re beautiful, talented, funny, and smart. Lizard, don’t underestimate
yourself, you’re a great person, don’t let those people determine what
you think of yourself, only let yourself," Tommy said, his tone growing
softer. He knew what Lizard had gone through, what she’d experienced.
He was the only one, not even Dennis knew about it, as far as Lizard was
concerned. She prayed that no one knew.
"Hey, Tommy, Lizard, what’s up?" Brian asked as he walked in the
room. Lizard looked away from Tommy and at the computer screen in
front of her, scanning over what she’d just typed, checking for typos.
"Nothing much, Bri, just doing the site," Tommy replied.
Lizard scrolled down the page and stopped when Tommy gestured to the screen.
"I need you to fill in your bio, just put down what you want," he said,
dragging the mouse button over to an icon and calling up a box with preset
Lizard smiled and blocked out Tommy and Brian’s conversation as she read
each of the questions silently before answering them. She rested
her hands above the keyboard and got ready to type.
‘Full name? Elizabeth "Lizard" Collins.’
‘Hometown? Melbourne, Florida.’
‘Pets? Three birds, cockatiels, Baby, Stu, and Paco (he’s a taco…hehe).’
‘Favorite food? Pizza and New England Clam Chowder.’
‘Likes? Warm weather, nice people, music videos, music, and playing
‘Shoe size? Nine.’
‘Influences? Sarah McLachlan, Billy Joel, and Beethoven.’
"Beethoven? Why Beethoven?" Brian asked.
Lizard looked over at him, suddenly remembering he was there. She
smiled. "Two words," she started.
"Moonlight Sonata," Tommy finished for her. "Her absolute favorite,
she told me that was one of the things she wanted to play most on piano,
why she started piano lessons. I told her that she’d play Beethoven,
Chopin, Mozart, and Handel if she wanted to, just as long as she broadened
her horizons and practiced a lot."
"And I did. Now I play Moonlight all the time," Lizard said, quiet,
looking back at the computer screen. She suddenly couldn’t see it
anymore and looked down, pushing her chair away from the table. "Excuse
me," she said, hurrying out the door. She made it out into the arena
and to the bathrooms before bursting into tears.