XOXO

Joy, from the rock band The Carburettors, appears to be a real rock chick. Yes, she looks the part with her neon pink curly hair that can only be  described as dragged-through-a-hedge-backwards-scruffy, black kohl eyeliner, cleavage-revealing vest top, a biker jacket several sizes too large and actually ancient rather than artfully so, a barely there black skirt and tights with runs that speak of hard and long use rather than attacked with a kitchen knife. She is all that a fan would want and more.

Sadly for her band mates though, her heart isn’t really in it, not any more. She’s had enough of groupies and drugs and sex – always the wrong kind of fans, always the saddest of sex. She wants, at the grand old age of 27, to write the Great American Novel. She reads them all, any time she gets the chance and has even been known to read Allen Ginsberg over a hairy shoulder whilst the latest enthusiastic almost-twenty-something guy is doing his best to protract his painfully sweaty three minute performance into something more meaningful and long-lasting, man.

And then she meets the bartender from Seattle. She is stunning, Amazonian, and knows exactly who she is and where she’s at. Disturbingly and more importantly, she has the measure of Joy in moments. She plays her far better than Joy plays her electric guitar, which to be fair, is certainly saying something.

Joy knows she is in thrall to this woman. She knows that if she lets go completely, her Great American Novel will just become another shattered Great American Dream. She has to get away, and fast. But it takes months – hardly fast, at all. Because, unlike most people of her background, she doesn’t own a car, never had. She’d run away to the band at the tender age of 14, before her doting parents could fund her teenage future and her rite of passage of Drivers’ Ed and all that goes with it could grant her freedom. So, she learns to drive, painfully slowly. And all the while, her lover locks all the doors, pins her down and makes Joy hers. Completely.

Joy is 29 now. Still in the band. Still aching to write. Still nothing more than the words ‘Chapter One’ at the front of her notebook. Still in thrall to sex and luv and come to bed eyes.

Ex Oh. Ex Oh-what the fuck…

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