Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Interview

GBE prompt - week 38 - upset

3rd chapter in the unfolding fictional story of Kari.

      Kari couldn't believe this mornings turn of events.  She had arrived at work this morning fearing she might lose her job but instead here she was driving across town to do her first big newspaper interview.  Okay, so maybe it wasn't the  interview of a lifetime, he wasn't famous or anything, but it was her first interview and her first chance to prove to herself and everyone that she was a real journalist.    It would be her first human interest story and she would show Devin and the others at the paper that her talent was being wasted as a music reviewer.  
     She couldn't shake this odd feeling in the pit of her stomach.  It had been bothering her since that strange dream about Keith last night.  She had never felt this faint gnawing before...almost like fear or dread...but of what she had no clue.   She had no reason to be apprehensive about meeting Joe Rizer, the musician.  She didn't even know him.   It must be nerves.  That was it; it had to be nerves.   But why did thoughts of Keith keep running through her mind?
     Kari walked into the club and saw Joe sitting in a booth.  As she approached him she noticed the rough lines of his face; tell-tale signs of too many late nights and hard living, visible even with his dark chocolate colored skin.  He stood as she came near and extended his hand.   Was that a look of surprise, shock or recognition that flashed in his eyes before he gathered his composure?  Of course not, they had never met before; it must have been her imagination.  She sat down and pulled out her notepad and pencil.
     She started with the usual questions...where was he from; how did he get into music; did he have any musical influences other than Jimi Hendrix?  Kari glanced up from her notepad and suddenly became uneasy.  This was not her imagination; he was definitely staring at her face.   When he realized she had seen him he dropped his eyes.
     Joe hadn't meant to make her uncomfortable but he had to know if it really was her.  What were the odds?   That part of his life seemed so long ago and so far away.  But then again, hadn't he seen that picture and heard about the beautiful Kari at least a hundred times every day for months.  He knew it was her.
      "Please forgive me, Ms Snow.  I didn't mean to stare," he said with a heavy southern accent.   "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question?"  
     Taken aback she wasn't sure what to say.  Even though she was surprised by his request her journalistic curiosity kicked in and she had to know what was on his mind.  Nodding her head gently she gave him permission to proceed.
      "Do you know a man named Keith Farmer?"  he asked.  Her breath caught in her throat as tears welled up in her eyes.  Memories flooded her brain as if a dam had burst; memories she had pushed away for so long.  Who was this man and how did he know about her and Keith, she thought to herself.  Shakily she forced the words from her mouth, "How do you  know Keith?"
      Joe began to tell her his story.  On June 29, 1969, he had attended what turned out to be the last performance of Jimi Hendrix's band, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, before they broke up.  He had traveled to Denver, Colorado to attend the Barry Fey Denver Pop Festival 3 day event held at Denver's Mile High Stadium. 
      Joe's voice trailed away as Kari remembered that night vividly.  Keith was obsessed with Jimi Hendrix and he had persuaded her to go to Denver with him for the music festival.  Reluctantly, she had agreed.  The massive crowd pushed and shoved as if their desire to get closer to Jimi had taken over their existence.  Keith was pulling on her and pleading with her to come with him backstage.  He hadn't told her until that night but his plan had been for them to become roadies and follow Jimi on his tour.  He knew someone on the crew that had promised him jobs for both of them.  He wanted her to live with him on the road.  She couldn't believe what she was hearing.  They had always talked of going to New York after college, her to find a career in journalism and he to pursue his music.  Why was he talking crazy trying to throw away all their dreams?  "But Babe," he pleaded, "this is Jimi Hendrix!"  "No!" she had shouted over the loud music.  She had watched as he turned his back on her and disappeared in the crowd.  She had turned, fighting her way through the crowd as the pain and shock of what had just happened set in.  She had just reached the outside door when....
      "Chaos and panic broke out everywhere," Joe was saying.   "No one could believe that police had thrown tear gas into the crowd.  Mass hysteria caused screaming mobs to run in all directions.  I had been hanging around backstage hoping to get a job on the road crew.   Trying to escape the tear gas I ducked into the first open van outside the back door just before it took off.  Keith had run out behind me and jumped into the same van.  The van turned out to be part of the road crew and Keith and I both ended up with jobs.    Over the next 3 months Keith and I became friends and every day he would stare at that picture of you he carried in his wallet, showing it to me so many times that I felt like I knew you.  He would anguish over what a fool he had been for leaving you and that he would never be able to face you again.  You deserved better.   Finally, things around Jimi became so volatile, what with the drugs and alcohol and band members coming and going; things constantly changing, that Keith and I both decided to take off.  I left to pursue my own music and I never knew what happened to Keith.  I haven't seen or heard from him since."
      Kari sat there dumbfounded.  Could this really be happening?  She had come here today to find an interesting story behind this musician who's music was obviously so much like the guitar legend that had been larger than life.  She had hoped to find the story that would give her her big break - and she had gotten it.  Not only had Joe been influenced by Jimi, but had actually worked on his road crew.  He had traveled and partied with the man himself.  Everything a journalist could want.  But could she write the story? 
     She was more than a little shaken by this connection to Keith.  She had tried for 6 years to block the pain that had consumed her for what seemed like an eternity.  She still had a hard time trusting men and never let anyone get too close.  Now because of a chance meeting all the pain had come rushing back.  Could she get past it and write the story that she knew might change her career forever?













     

12 comments:

  1. I am getting hooked! More more more

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    1. I hope I can keep coming up with enough to finish the story. It's really fun writing it. I do have a few ideas. I glad you are enjoying it!

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  2. I have a feeling this is going to get better and better! :O)

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    1. I hope you are right. I really want to see it through to some kind of closure. I have some ideas - I just hope I can bring them together cohesively. Thanks for your support.

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  3. I like the way this story is progressing Kat!

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    1. Thank you so much k~. I really appreciate your encouragement. I have to admit it is fun writing it!

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  4. wow how interesting! Waiting to see what happened next
    www.thoughtsofpaps.com

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    1. Thank you Paps. As soon as I decide what happens next I'll let you know. :D)

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  5. This is really good! I am intrigued and hooked!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you Kathy. Watch for the next installment soon.

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