Musical Hanukkah: Other Side of the Curtain


Penis swallowed and nodded at Chrome. He wasn’t ready to face the ShapeShifter guys just yet. Sure, it was seven years later — and probably as many inches that he’d grown since then — but if they recognized him, he’d have to wrap himself in chains and throw himself into the river.

He snapped the elastic around his wrist, glad he’d brought the extra. Reggie didn’t like him meeting new talent with his hair down; he said Penis lived up to expectations when it was pulled back. But he needed that elastic to snap. No darting outside. No toot. No drop. No stolen minutes with Chrome.

Pure professional.

He paused behind the curtain. If there had been an audience, they’d all be staring at his back, judging his ass. But the real judges were in front of him, on the other side of that curtain.

He’d been seventeen and stupid. He’d thought throwing parties for the band after almost every show would make them let him into their world. He’d been too stupid to know when he was being used. He’d done everything everyone had told him to — and a few things no one had mentioned. Not once had he gotten anything more than a companionable chuff on the arm and a gruff “Nice party.” He wasn’t even sure they knew his name.

Chrome started talking and immediately, Penis stiffened. He remembered those voices. Sure, Mitchell’s was a bit rougher these days, but after touring the way ShapeShifter did, it made sense. Daniel’s voice, though…

Penis closed his eyes and remembered. He snapped the elastic and pulled himself back to the present.

“Ahh, you’re the ShapeShifter guys,” he said as he stepped around the curtain. He swallowed hard as they looked him over — the same way everyone else did, he realized. Like they were expecting someone who looked like a penis. “I’m Penis.”

It was a horrid nickname, but it was also a safe hiding spot. No one thought to look beyond the nickname and at the person who wore it. He was Penis, the guy who ran The Rocket Theater.

The band’s manager started talking ten miles a minute, pulling him in one direction while the band guys walked off in another with Chrome. That made it easier to focus on business and forget they were two men he’d once dreamed of being best friends with. It had been a long time ago that he’d wanted that, before two stints of rehab and the meeting that had given him the chance to prove himself here.

He was the one who was pushing to open The Rocket Theater to someone other than the queens. He loved the queens, but dammit, he wanted to see if he could handle it this time. Being around rock and roll. Handling the hard-on the music gave him without drugs, without cheap sex, without whoring himself to guitar players and drummers and singers.

As they met up with the band, he snapped that elastic around his wrist. He could do this. It didn’t matter if they recognized him. He wasn’t that kid anymore. He was Penis, and The Rocket Theater was his.



  1. Wylie

    December 19, 2008 3:24 pm

    Really loving this guy… despite his name;)
    You really managed to bring out his angst – his inner insecure former self. Hope we see more of him. And the elastic wrist snapping — what a gem of a trait.

  2. Susan

    December 19, 2008 4:04 pm

    Yep, there will be more of him.

  3. Jennifer

    December 19, 2008 9:59 pm

    Just have to say: a very funny and attention-getting opener (in case you didn’t know!)

  4. Leo

    December 19, 2008 10:28 pm

    Great first sentence!

  5. Alice Audrey

    December 19, 2008 10:56 pm

    I love the layers you have going here. Thanks for the fast post. So, you know what I’m thinking, right? Next, please!

  6. koe whitton-williams

    December 20, 2008 9:34 am

    Susan – Oh my word (as they say) what a horrifyingly truthful posting. You can’t be shy in the business you write about and this character, for all of the ‘safe hiding spot’ of his nickname, um, fits right in.

  7. Thomma Lyn

    December 21, 2008 12:52 am

    hehehe! Wonderful. Penis is rounding out magnificently as a character… oh dear, a double entendre. 😀

  8. West of Mars » Blog Archive » Musical Hanukkah Flashback #10

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