The girl with the teeth grabbed the blue metalflake Diamond Ranger by the neck. Sitting crosslegged on the floor, she wrestled the guitar into position and took a deep breath and pressed her index finger to the thickest string, just behind the third fret and, as a result, produced a ringing Gnote.
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Counting up to three in her head, and then a quick two, she followed the G with a B and then a C. As she repeated the figure, her tongue as just beginning to peek out of the corner of her mouth.
She was as unaware of this as she was to the fact that she was holding her breath. At the highest note of the figure she almost missed the C#, the crucial note, the one that defined the riff, she caught herself then, found she couldn't swallow, did anyway and managed to play the whole mess backwards without mangling it too much and once she landed back on that glorious G, she started it up again. And again. And again.
She sat there in that Jersey bedroom, the late May sun breaking in rays through the dust of her nineteenth summer.
Above the dresser, taped high on the wall closest to a corner was the foldout from that month's CREEM magazine. A young boy with wild red hair and a wet, pulpy face screamed into a microphone, his eyes on fire with life. The article called him Johnny Rotten. The girl with the teeth hadn't heard his band yet, there was just something about the picture she liked, something almost Dickensian about the sadness in those eyes.
This boy knew. He somehow knew all the fear and uncertainty and boredom and the scathing dissappointments of life. The wavering sense of inadequacy that pushed and pulled like a tide, the ebb
and flow of confidence. He knew just how goddamned hard it could get to leave the bed somedays. She decided that he would sound the way she felt, that he would give voice to her rage and her glory. It was to this picture that she sang.
"Smoke, I'm your daughter
fire, I'm your child."