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 Part-Time Player, Tag: Christine Wentwick
Andie Walker
 Posted: Jun 21 2018, 12:58 PM
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Townie
Shade


Andie didn't get to perform all that often. Now and then, some place around town would let her play on an open musician night. The Odyssey Club had been really good to her, perhaps because she was bi-sexual or maybe because she was a single mom. Who knew? She was usually only able to play a few songs, but she took what she could get. Who knew? Some big wig could be passing through and she could make it to Nashville or Vegas or wherever. She doubted it, but it didn't matter. She was pretty dedicated to running Excalibur Comics.

Andie got on stage and just gave everyone a smile of pre-performance gratitude before she began to play. Several in there knew her as a patron, so she didn't really have to introduce herself. The song she picked was Wake Me Up , one of her favorites to listen to and play. Once she was done, she gave a small bow to the applause, and then headed to the bar to get a drink. She wasn't planning on getting drunk, but she was glad her daughter's babysitter, Zoey, was with Diana.

"Great job, Andie," said a couple she knew fairly well.

"Cheers, mates," she said. She then looked at the bartender. "Angry Orchard please."
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Christine Wentwick
 Posted: Jun 21 2018, 03:13 PM
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Townie
James


This wasn't usually Chrissy's scene; too many youngsters making her feel like the elderly aunt. She was even a little tentative about coming here at all - too many of these places were full of people in various states of undress or wearing a leather thong and not much else. It was probably the catholic prude in her, but that all just creeped her out. Sure, Adam & Eve were able to get away with just a fig leaf, but they didn't have anyone else around who might not have wanted an eyeful of hairy chest. Her concerns had proven to be unfounded; maybe it was a quiet night.

Open Mic Night. "Huh," Christine mumbled, as she made her way past the sign at the door and claimed a space at the bar. "Well, it can't be any worse than some of the nonsense in the charts." When she made it to the bar - "G&T, please," - the show had already been going for a while. Someone had just said their goodbyes and walked off the stage with a guitarist in tow, making way for another woman, short-haired with an unusual accent. After the first few bars Christine was able to narrow down to 'somewhere down under', and in fairness she didn't have a half-bad voice. Obviously, it couldn't possibly compare to Christine's shower singing, but it was a very strong effort.

Not sure about that song though. It was a little sterile and soulless, but as far as Chrissy was concerned music had peaked sometime in the early nineties and been mostly naff since then. Well, she hadn't bothered putting on a nice dress to spend all night drinking on her own; she swallowed her pride in readiness for being told to sod off, shuffled on over as the singer made her way to the bar, and wearing her second-least nervous smile, said "Hiya. That's a nice set of pipes ye've got, y'know? Rather enjoyed tha', I did."
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Andie Walker
 Posted: Jun 21 2018, 06:18 PM
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Andie wasn't trying to be the best singer or trying to play songs that everyone loved. She had only begin learning guitar a few years before, but had gotten good enough at it to perform like she did. She wasn't looking for fame or a fan base. It was just something to add to the things she did to move on from her husband's death. She was grateful that some people did like her music well enough though. She supposed it made the practice and effort worth it in the end. Her biggest fan was her daughter of course. Diana always brightened when Andie play and sang for her. THAT definitely made it all worth it.

Andie was taking a swig of her Angry Orchard when the woman walked over to compliment her. Andie tipped her bottle to her and nodded.

"Cheers, love," she said. "Just a little hobby of mine, but it's fun." Her cell phone then rang. "Excuse me one moment." She picked it up. "Hey Zoey, everything going okay with Diana? Oh, she wants Chinese delivery again, does she? I think I've got her hooked on Veggie Lo Mein. Number of the place is on the fridge, and I'll pay you back when I get home. What are you two going to watch? That's a PG movie, right? Okay, that's fine then. Be home soon. Thanks, Zoey. Bye."

Andie hung up and smiled at the woman.

"Daughter's babysitter," she said.
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Christine Wentwick
 Posted: Jun 22 2018, 08:38 AM
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Townie
James


Oh bloody hell, she's got kids. She'll have me roped in before I know it. If Christine wasn't interested in getting to know her before, she certainly was now. Taking a slow sip of her drink, she leaned with her back against the bar. "I hope yer not rushing off too quickly there, Miss. At least let me get you a drink." This didn't come naturally to her at all. She felt like a creep, and her skin crawled with each hackneyed, worn-out word. "Chrissy Wentwick, pleased tae meet yer. How old's your little girl?"

That was a silly question. If there was a babysitter at home dealing with requests for a Chinese takeaway she couldn't have been much older than eight or nine. Worse, Christine thought she sounded as though she was scoping her daughter out so she could steal away into the night with her and cook her like an old fairy-tale witch, or worse. "I teach at the local highschool, how long before she's giving me hell and telling me my lessons are boring?"
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Andie Walker
 Posted: Jun 24 2018, 12:39 PM
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Andie shook her head about rushing off.

"Nah, I don't go out too often, but when I do, I hang around a bit," she said. "And my daughter is in good hands with Zoey. She's a very good babysitter." Andie then thought over the drink. "If you want to buy me another Angry Orchard, I won't argue."

Andie smiled when Chrissy introduced herself.

"Well, you probably heard the guy announce me to the stage, but I'm Andie Walker. Nice to meet you as well. My little Diana is five, but will be six next month. Taking her to Disney for her birthday." A bit too much info, but Andie was a proud mommy and that meant going about her favorite little lady.

Andie chuckled about how long it would be before Diana went to high school.

"You've got a good while," she said. "She's going into First Grade this Autumn." Andie took another big sip of her drink, thinking of how to keep the convo going. It was nice to meet new people. She had a host of friends from running Excalibur Comics, but that was that part of her life. Hang out buddies were something she was lack just a bit at the time.

"So, what music usually floats your boat?"
she asked. "Being a part-time musician, I have to ask."
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Christine Wentwick
 Posted: Jun 27 2018, 11:47 AM
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Townie
James


"Oh, I'll listen to anything, as long as it's not come out of a computer," said Christine, while flagging the barman down. Waving a fiver didn't catch his attention any faster either. Typical - who did he think he was, serving the people who had gotten there first?

My little Diana is five, but will be six next month. Taking her to Disney for her birthday. A jealous pang struck Christine's heart as she imagined how much she might have enjoyed spending those years with a child of her own, with all the horrible details and the grinding tedium scrubbled out for good measure. If there was any regret, she didn't let it show, as the drink finally arrived.

"So, when you're not tearing up the boards here, what are you up to?" In truth, Chris was only half-listening. She was letting herself get carried away, watching Andie more than she should. When she realised, she shook her head, scrambling to come up with something - anything - to say that would make it look like she wasn't just groping her with her eyes. "I...uh...sorry, I completely drifted off there for a second, it's been a long day - is it just you two at home, or is there a Mr.Walker?" Christine waited for a moment before she realised exactly where she was. "Uh...I mean a Mrs.Walker - sorry."
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Andie Walker
 Posted: Jun 27 2018, 06:49 PM
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Andie chuckled, both at the remark about the computer, and the woman trying to wave the barman down. She was still on her current bottle, so she wasn't in a hurry.

"Yeah, I like listening to music the old fashion way too," she said. "I still have this old stereo that works. It's got a record player at the top. Glad I kept it given how LPs are makin' a big comeback."

Andie shrugged about what all she was up to be when she wasn't tearing up the boards.

"Well, bein' a mom of course," she said. "And when I'm not doin' that, I run a comic book shop on Plum Avenue. I'm a big geek- Comics, Harry Potter, Gaming, all that stuff. Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you can't be a kid at heart, right?"

Andie sighed a bit when Christine brought up Mr. Walker. She was cool with the mistake of thinking it was Mrs. Walker, as she understood given where they were. She took a deep breath and began to explain:

"It's Mr. Walker," she said. "I'm bi-sexual. And my husband was killed some time back... car accident. Other person was drunk off their ass." She took another big swig of her drink. "He opened the shop with me actually."
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Christine Wentwick
 Posted: Jul 11 2018, 07:28 AM
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Townie
James


Well, go on then smartarse, get yourself out of this one. An awkward silence fell over the conversation as Christine tried to work out exactly what she was meant to say next - 'sorry' just sounded thick, and she could hardly change the subject without seeming like a bitch. A few more seconds passed, and Christine became increasingly aware of the painfully long silence stretching on and on.

Think small talk, Chris, think. Weather? No, too unnatural - nobody would segue from their dead husband to talking about the clouds. "I...ah..." Oh, fabulous, now she was stuck there with her mouth hanging open like a singing carp. Next time I'll just stay indoors and get drunk with the cat. "So, er...what do you do fer a livin?"
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Andie Walker
 Posted: Jul 13 2018, 06:29 PM
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Townie
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Andie felt terrible. She picked up on the awkwardness with Christina right away and she knew exactly what caused it. She felt the woman deserved something of an explanation.

"I'm sorry to dampen the mood," she said. "Trust me, not long ago, it would have been impossible to get me to talk about my late husband without it ripping me apart inside. But as time's gone on, I've become more comfortable with it, and I guess I tend to talk about it a bit too easily at times. If it made you uncomfortable though, I do apologize."

Andie then took a sip of her drink again, a long one this time. She had steered an otherwise fairly delightful conversation in a rough direction, and she needed to get it back into a better one.

"So, are you thinking of going to the pride parade that's coming up?" she asked. "Someone asked me if I wanted to play there, and I considered it. As much as I want to go, I have a shop to run and a daughter to take care of. I could bring Diana to the parade, but she gets a bit weird when she gets caught up in crowds."
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Christine Wentwick
 Posted: Jul 16 2018, 11:14 AM
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Townie
James


"Forget it," said Christine, glad to finally move on. She had seen quite enough death for one lifetime without having to hear about it from others as well. "That'll teach me to stick my nose in other people's private lives, eh?" joked the Ulsterwoman, drawing her glass to her lips. She briefly considered suggesting some sort of toast, but discarded the idea as the sort of thing that only happened in old spy movies.

"Truth be told, Andie, I'm not sure it's my scene." Christine weighed the words carefully in her head for a few minutes, aware that mispeaking could cause her to sound like some raging evangelist. "I mean, I'm all for equality and not getting lynched and such like, but I've never really been very comfortable with those kind of marches, y'know?" She set her drink down, placing her hand on the side of her face as she tried to think out what she meant, find the right set of words to say exactly the right thing.

"The last time I saw something like that was about...oh, god, about 2013? I was in London at the time, and that just happened to be the day the parade was due to go through - I'd somehow completely missed it, being an eedjit, and just after lunchtime I had the shock of my life as this massive gay carnival rolls into town." Stifling a chuckle, she continued, "Listen, I love men as much as the next lesbian but there's something about seeing a hairy fat bloke in leather shorts that just doesn't sit right with me! I guess I might just be missing the point, but it doesn't make sense to me why for the whole year we're saying 'hey, we're normal, you know, just treat us like anyone else', and then one day a year we blow the whole thing out of the water by marching about wearing the most ridiculous stuff we can and frightenin' old ladies." Christine leaned back a little as she finished, "I don't know, maybe I'm just a closet homophobe - have ye been before? I mean, is it like London or what? To be fair, I'd be surprised if it was, London is a very silly place."
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