From Greg Ormson, now living in Apache Junction, Arizona. Excerpt from my nonfiction piece, “Drums: Voice of Wooing”
When Colt 4 broke up, I joined a second band. We were disorganized and talentless, but our singer had access to his grandmother’s remote cabin in the woods. After high school basketball games, our classmates trudged through the woods with plans to party.
They grabbed drinks from the snow and stepped inside. The freezing cabin warmed, and as ice melted from boots, some classmates danced in stocking hats and sweaters. Pounding drums, I heated up and removed layers down to my T-shirt. Steam rose from my sweaty back, and I kept an eye on my Buckhorn Beer, watching golden liquid thaw and bubble up from the brown bottle then dripping down the sides onto the wood-burning stove. The loud hiiiisssssss of steaming beer meant the party was on.
And when the cabin started rocking on its pine log foundations, I worried that we’d tip it over and slide downhill like a wayward toboggan into the river. I imagined a headline on Saturday’s front page of The Eau Claire Leader Telegram, “20 Menomonie High School Seniors drown in the Red Cedar River.”
I’d apologize to my bandmates today, and I would tell them it wasn’t their fault I was a boiling volcano. I lived to smash cymbal and snare. Their loud retorts distracted me from self-recrimination. Secretly, I prepped to burn-down my house or any house. I didn’t have a match. I did have a conscience, and it kept me from turning everything into lava.… read more...