One time at band camp...
'Lunch break!' Our band director, Mr. Carpel, yelled out.
The rest of the band sighed in relief. For the past three hours, the band had been out in the hot California sun, running drills and marching basics. The band director was off smoking weed with the pit and battery section leaders, talking about how great the season would be, while the wind and brass players slaved away under the heat of the sun and all-seeing eyes of the merciless superintendent.
Now the band flocked into the ice-cold air-conditioned band room to retrieve their lunches. The young men that made up the low brass section, plus a horn and clarinet player, gathered around an empty tuba locker. Inside was an old tube T.V, and a gamecube with five controllers and two games, Melee and Mario Kart. As they started playing one of the games, their shouting, jeers, and profanity told you who was winning.
The flutes and clarinets stayed in the band room, with the socially awkward freshmen outside in the shade. The saxophone section all went off campus to a near by Taco bell, despite the director's threats to stay on campus. The high brass players started hiding most of Mr. Carpel's stuff in the theater. The rest of the low brass flocked around the T.V. out of interest to see who was winning. The pit and battery just finished up their last run and were now on lunch break as well. The color guard strayed over to their boyfriends and pulled them into unseen corners.
Then...there was me.
I was one of the four freshmen trombone player, but wasn't especially socially awkward...or keen on playing a videogame with twenty people looking over my shoulder and yelling in my ear.
I headed out side and rounded a corner to find my best friend Cypress who was the chime and cymbal player for the pit. I found her in the shade of a big Raywood ash tree, sipping Gatorade and eating soup from a navy blue soup canister.
'Soup?' I asked as I sat down. 'Isn't is a bit hot for soup?'
'It's never too hot for soup.' Cypress said as she ate another spoonful.
'What type?' I asked, taking out my peanut butter sandwich.
'Yum.' I hate soup.
'So, how's marching?' she asked.
'Hell,' I flopped down dramatically, spralling my arms to emphasize my point. 'Mr. Phillips, the superintendent is ruthless. He never smiles or thinks any of our insults are funny. He also thinks all of our drills suck. Next thing we know, he's going to make up do suicides.'
'What are those?'
'You'll find out soon enough.' I replied, groaning inwardly at the thought.
'You need to join pit, we don't do anything.'
'I know, and since your section leader is always gone, smoking pot most likely, no one can yell at you to do anything.'
'We just joke around, quote memes, and throw food at each other.'
'Lot more fun than suicides.'
‘Mother nature, Mother noose.' Cypress finished her canister of soup and pulled out a bag of chips.
'Got any trash you want me to throw away?' I asked, standing up.
Cypress dug around in her bag and pulled out a Fiber One granola bar and her soup canister 'Just throw the whole bag away.'
I started munching on an apple as I walked to the nearest can, which was by the band room. The closer I got to the band room, something started to smell like fresh spray paint. A few seniors in the trumpet section had spray painted Don't Be A Dick in large block letters over the band room door. Underneath that, someone had written in with sharpie Like Mr. Phil in smaller letters. I rolled my eyes, pitched the lunch bag along with my apple core, and started walking back to where Cypress was.
I heard snickering behind me and turned to see the trumpets who most likely did the deed. Matt, Damion, and Miguel. Matt was a tall white kid at about 7' 2''. Damion was a short Asian who came up to about Matt's chest. Miguel was a heavy set Mexican with dark eyes.
I was looking behind me, so I didn't see the cans of spray paint rolling on the ground in front of me. As I stepped on one, the world turned upside down. My back met the sidewalk, and my head became re-acquainted with the ground. Not hard enough to knock me out, but hard enough to give me a nasty migraine.
The trio only laughed harder, come to see a little freshmen tripping over their spray cans. They put them there for the obvious reason to watch someone trip over them. I covered my face with my hands, hoping that blocking the sun from my eyes would help with the migraine.
'You alright, Astrid?' Someone asked to my right as I moved my hands from my face to see who would be so kind and friendly to my poor freshmen self.
When my vision had cleared, I saw that my helper was Jack, another freshman trombone.'More or less.' I replied. He offered me a hand and I gladly took it.
'Need help with anything?' he asked.
'Uh n-...yeah. Where's Tammy?' Tammy was the local band mom that dealt with students and their complaints. Anything from sunburns to mental break downs to indigestion, she was the person to go to.
'She took Aaron's tuba to Mr. Cantu to get the bell un-dented and extension fixed.'
'When he'd do that?'
'When he face planted last drill rehearsal.'
'Nice, when she comes back, ask her to give me Ibuwhateveryoucallit.'
'Ibuprofen, and sure.'
'Thanks.' I said as I walked back to Cypress with a pounding migraine.
'What took so long?'
'Impatient much?' I asked making a weird face at her.
'You were just throwing something away, you-'
'I ran into some seniors from last year and said 'Hi'. What's wrong with that?'
'You know people who graduated last year?'
'A few. They stopped by and were just leaving.' I lied just wanting the conversation to end.
'You sure you're fine?'
'Yeah, minus the fact that my head feels like it was sat on. I'm gonna attempt a nap. Wake me up when lunch break is over.'
Around twenty minutes later, our well deserved lunch break was over, and it was even hotter outside. We broke into sections to go over the drill and music, and get help on anything we may need help on.
'SUICIDES!' My section leader, Rook, yelled. We all groaned. When I say all, I mean the five of us.
For all you curious souls out there, a suicide, is not fun. What it is, is a complex series of lateral slide drills. A lateral slide is when someone is marching one way and has to point their bell another way. Example for all the confused people. You are walking...marching west and the judges stand is North. You have to turn your upper body so the bell and your face points north while still marching west. Get it? There not fun. Trombone Suicides consist of fast one-count direction changes, ducking to avoid the confused person's slide, getting hit in the face with your neighbor's slide, and a severe case of whiplash.
We started off at 130, the tempo of our first movement. All of us were lost, except Joseph, who was a sophomore and had done this before. After getting hit in the face five times by Alyassa and twice by Jace, we moved to the tempo 150. After that 172, the tempo of the third moment, then just so Rook could laugh at us, 200.
'Roooookk, why do you hate us so much?' I complained.
'Shuddit Shorty'. He snapped.
'Least I don't have to duck.' I mumbled. I was now between Jack and Joseph, who were both much taller than me, so I didn't have to duck to avoid getting hit by a trombone slide when one of them was off. They had the worst end of the deal, getting nailed in the abdomen when I screwed up.
Hearing my comment, Rook jabbed the butt of his trombone slide at the back of my head. 'Pay attention lil'shit.'
I stopped because I was soon confused and had lost my place, so I backed up to avoid getting hit. I found Jack next to me, 'When I say three, we attack Rook, the others already know.' He muttered into my ear so Rook wouldn't overhear.
'Fun' I mutter. 'Just what I want to do, piss off Rook even more than we need to.'
Jack poked my shoulder 'Hey, I think we all agree that he needs it.'
'...You have a point there.'
'What are you shit's doing?' Rook yelled at us when he noticed our lack of participation. His neck and face were sunburned; now as red as his hair from the lack of sunscreen.
'Now?' I pleaded to Jack.
'Sure, now.' He said.
'Three!' I yelled to the other trombone players.
Simultaneously, like it had been rehearsed, the three of them dropped their trombones and ran towards Rook along with Jack and I. He barely had time to say 'What the f-' before five trombone players jumped on top of him.
'What the Hell?! THIS IS MUTINY, MUTINY I SAY!' Rook screamed.
'Shut him up.' Alyassa said, trying as hard as she could to contain her laughter.
'Gladly' Joseph said. He ran over to his case and pulled out an old spit rag. He ran back over to us and shoved the spit rag in Rook's mouth.
'MMMMMMUMHUM!' Rook protested in anger.
'Be nicer to us, and I won't have to sit on you again.' Jack taunted. For two milliseconds, I almost felt sorry for Rook, but then the other part of me told me he deserved it. Jack was a water polo/ex-football player, so he was a big guy...roughly twice my height and weight. The funny thing was we were exactly two months apart.
'Don't get cocky, freshman' Joseph spouted.
'What?' Jack grinned. 'Just trying to logical here.'
'Logical? How is this being logical? We look like we're following our section leaders orders, so we don't get in trouble with Mr. Carpel, we got annoyed at our section leader, and now were attacking our section leader...isn't that human instinct?' Jace asked.
'Whatever. You guys knock yourselves out, Maria's calling me.' With that, Joseph left.
'Wonder what their going to do? Make love in the corner?' Alyassa wondered aloud after Joseph and Maria started swallowing each other's faces.
'By the looks of it, I would have to guess they hate each other.' I snorted.
With one less person to hold Rook down, the skinny ginger started to gain the advantage over us...us consisting of four freshmen, three of them being under 5' 4'' and 120 lbs.
Alyassa was kicked off first, then Jace fell. Jack, the idiot, stood up to see if Jace was fine. Rook now had next to nothing on his back, he rolled over and jerked up, throwing me off. He took the spit rag and flung it down. 'You little fucks, are soo dead!'
'Do my eyes deceive me...' I thought of anything I could to buy time. 'HEY LOOK, IT'S HALEY'S COMET!'
'OMYGOD...WHERE?' about twenty people yelled. Like the idiot with no brain cells he was, Rook turned and looked in the direction I was pointing. I took the three seconds I had to get off the grass and started running toward the band room. 'Jack, Jace, Alyassa!' I yelled at them to follow, but they were still trying to find Haley's comet. They quickly got the hint and started sprinting off with me, with an enraged skinny ginger on our heels.