The baby arrived on November 11, conceived Valentine’s Day nine months earlier. This is at least what Jason had assumed, since it was the night he and Lila reconciled their differences again. What he didn’t know, is that it may not have been that particular night but two weeks earlier when Lila had woken up after a “girls’ night out” with a hangover, and a stranger snoring in her bed. But Lila refused to acknowledge the chance that her on-and-off-again boyfriend was not the father, and pushed the one-night-stand so far out of the circumstances she’d almost convinced herself that it hadn’t taken place.
The underground music magazine that I wrote for was a gruesome mixture of punk and metal, and I reveled in its delinquency, making friends and enemies across the city’s various Eastside dive bars. There was still a day job, since the freelance underground punk and metal magazine business was not particularly lucrative, and I struggled during the day to be an adequate secretary. The problem was at that point I didn’t really care about anyone other than myself.
There was a drought. An absence of companionship that sunk in after a fun but short-lived fling with a photographer, which I’d ruined by yelling at him for not calling me in over a week. “This was behaviour he wasn’t willing to tolerate,” he’d told me, rather fairly, before hanging up. I was confused, since I’d managed to convince myself I was never one to get caught up in neurosis over guys. At least, guys I wasn’t serious about. I blame my lack of reason at that time to the weird world of drugs, drinking and anarchic pseudo-hipster culture that was consuming my days on the East Side and inflating my sense of self-righteousness.
Careening as I was between the worlds of punk and rock groupie, it was a natural consequence that I became a punk rock groupie. At the time, the place to be for the punk and metal scene was the Astoria. A haggard and thread-bare prostitute hotel with adjoining pub, located amidst the city’s crusty East Side underbelly. The music scene inside was run by the intrepid Wendy 13, a 50-something woman with wrinkled tattoos and signature blonde, skyscraper Mohawk.
When I discovered my love of live rock n’ roll that rattled forth from various local stages by the sweaty swagger of many a leather-clad musician, I was instantly enamoured. I followed show schedules, wore a number of revealing outfits, and stood below the stage dancing around in the ecstatic bliss of lusty intoxication. I was mostly fond of a local Vancouver band, The Red Hot Lovers. This was their actual name, it is not changed because I could not come up with a more appropriate groupie-conducive band name if I tried.