Reverse of a Bomb

Wives speak as little as possible

I wrote that down, and Dean watched. He had been worried before about sounding pompous, and that's probably where it was going to happen. But it sounded right to me because I used to feel that way, too, and maybe I still did, even if I hadn't thought about it much lately. We were still talking as we left, this kid who wanted to do an interview where he said as little as possible, and as he showed me the Dodge minivan they toured in, he said, "Sorry, I usually talk a lot more."

They were maybe two songs into the set, and Randy was balancing on the edge of the monitor, his face set and sweaty, gliding his guitar toward any kid who wanted to paw at it. As the song slid to a stop, he pulled the guitar back in one strong, fluid motion and pivoted to face Dean, fingers light on the strings, tensed, ready, a muscle set to snap.

"Hey! Hey!" someone right up front yelled, a reedy baby chipmunk squeak. "Where's a song for ME?"

"This song!" said Dean, and there it went, and everyone let their breath out.

Wives perform with Mannekin Piss, Battleship and Rainbow Blanket at Koo's, 530 E. Broadway, Long Beach, (562) 491-7584; www.koos.org. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $6. All ages.
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