Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, Boswell had played in local bands. Some even went beyond ‘local’ in terms of success. Driving around New England, opening for J. Geils and Aerosmith. For a while, he kept in touch with Joey Kramer. He had all these stories about ‘unsung heroes,’ as he called them. Bands who never quite made it. Thundertrain. Third Rail.
Boswell had a great voice. Really thin and buzzy. Like Roger Chapman’s, from Family, or John Fogerty’s. In a small club, with a decent PA, it could cut through the bassy din of overfed Marshall amps.
When the music thing wound down, Boswell moved to New York to be a drunk who worked at various records stores. A few years later, he returned to Massachusetts and decided to lay off the booze. He got a job at the bakery. His girlfriend looked out for him.
In September, when the college girls would return to Smith or Mount Holyoke or Amherst or whatever, Boswell would start singing in the kitchen. Real soulful stuff. Billy Eckstine and Al Hibbler. The girls would inevitably wonder about the voice emerging from the back, and Boswell would poke his head out, all bashful and wondering what the fuss was about.
This worked for a few years, but times always change. His repertoire began to drift away from what these girls were interested in. When he ‘spontaneously’ fired up Billy & The Beaters’ “At This Moment” in the presence of some Hampshire riot grrrls, he found himself at the wrong end of a small but vicious and satirical article in the local weekly.
Boswell became half-owner of the bakery and bought a nice house in Northampton with his girlfriend. He invites people over a few times a year for shows. His big number is “Never Been To Spain.”