The Drum Solo

Jeff pushed open the front door of the inner-city terrace and navigated his way down the narrow corridor. It involved playing a game of Frogger, negotiating a bicycle, odd shoes, a discarded backpack and a random pair of his flatmate’s underpants.

Passing the closed bedroom door to the right of the corridor he heard the muted dialogue of a television and the running commentary of male and female voices. With a quiet knock he called to the inhabitants, “Hi Shane. Is Bernadette with you?”

“Hey, Jeff,” echoed Shane. The conversation continued through the closed door.

“You eaten yet?” asked the female voice.

“Nah. Late lecture at uni and a ton of reading to do for an assignment so I dodged the cafeteria.”

“I made a curry. There’s a plate for you in the fridge.”

“Thanks, Bernie. You’re a legend. You up for a jam on the weekend, Shane?”

“That’d be cool. I’m picking up my guitar from the shop on Thursday.”

From the door to his bedroom Jeff lobbed his backpack towards his desk, clipping the cymbals of his drum kit before targeting the kitchen. Waiting for his meal to reheat in the microwave he tapped out a rhythm on the bench top with his knife and fork. His plate of curry in one hand and a can of Coke in the other he retreated to his room and began his assault on the night’s readings.

The noise from the television tumbled over and under, through and around Shane and Bernadette’s chat. Jeff created a cone of silence by opening his computer and plugging in headphones. Firing up some tunes he pushed the distraction to the edge of consciousness.

Some time later a distraction punched through the cone of silence.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

Jeff frowned, stopped reading through his lecture notes and listened.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

He paused his music and lifted the headphones from his ears, trying to identify the location and cause of the sound.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

It was rhythmic, almost hypnotic, with a wooden tone. Absentmindedly Jeff tapped his pen on his notebook as he searched for the source. Turning in his chair he noticed it was coming from inside the house. In particular, behind the thin adjacent wall connecting the two bedrooms.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

From his flatmate’s bedroom came the undeniable sound of horizontal folk dancing. And it was a passionate dance. Jesse grimaced at the thought of Shane’s hairy backside rising and falling like the moon. The shenanigans next door needed some assistance; Jeff wondered how a guitarist lacked rhythm. The drum kit beside his desk offered a solution.

Taking a seat at the kit he began to feather the bass drum using the sound of the bed head thumping next door as his metronome. Lightly the bass drum beater touched the skin, brushing up against it to produce a low muffled tone. In small increments Jesse added more power to the pedal, producing a whump, whump, whump, whump.

With his other foot the hi-hat produced a clean chick, chick, chick, chick in unison with the bass drum. The bass drum and hi-hat, two heartbeats, kept the pulse steady underneath.

Sticks in hand he tickled the snare drum in a light roll, keeping the sticks low. The snare roll increased in intensity as accents cracked from right to left and left to right.

And still the pulse was steady.

The snare buzzed and popped with accents, a simmering tension waiting for release. Punctuation on the toms dropped like spits of rain, the approach of an impending tempest. Quick bursts played between snare and toms suggested, coaxed, teased.

With the ferocity of a summer storm, waves of notes tumbled down the toms, sweeping from high to low and low to high; rising and falling from soft whispers to shouted declarations.

A quick pause for breath as the rush subsided to a low rumbling on the floor tom as the pulse throbbed beneath.

The floor tom rolled on, holding back, threatening to break open at any moment.

The pulse quickened, a heartbeat racing towards climax.

Cymbals crashed sparsely over the quickening roll. The crescendo exploded, accented with strikes on the snare.

Lows and highs merged together. Bass drum and cymbals erupted in a climactic crescendo before silence as the sounds rang out.

Jeff rested the sticks on the snare and watched the vibrations of the cymbals shimmer before coming to rest.

There was a polite knock on the bedroom door before it opened. Shane stood there, the door covering enough but allowing Jeff to see he was naked. His face was still flushed and a little flustered.

“Dude, what’s the difference between an orgasm and a drum solo?”

“I have no idea, mate.”

“You know at some point the orgasm will end.”



16 responses to “The Drum Solo

  1. Awesome description of the depth and emotion in the drum solo – it’s got lovely light and shade – love this bit “The snare buzzed and popped with accents, a simmering tension waiting for release. Punctuation on the toms dropped like spits of rain, the approach of an impending tempest. Quick bursts played between snare and toms suggested, coaxed, teased.”

    Very nice and I tittered like a Catholic school girl at the end 🙂

  2. A healthy relationship that could do with a couple boxes of earplugs.

  3. Ooh, do I get to make the first comment referencing the rhythm method? Because I think they’re doing it wrong.

  4. Ha! Great interaction between the two, ahem, organic rhythms.

  5. haha very cool.

    And Frogger is such a classic.

    I bet he wished it wasn’t a drum solo ;p

  6. Written as only a drummer could. Very funny.

  7. So it was all over pretty quickly for Shane? Wonder how Bernadette feels about that. Brings to mind Ian Dury: “Hit me with your rythm stick”…….

  8. Yeah, great descriptions re the drums. I wasn’t sure where it all was going till the end. Am I too cleanminded? Ha, very amusing.

  9. Loved the idea, and a great suprise ending.

  10. That punchline was what sealed it.

  11. Very funny I enjoyed it!

  12. I’m with Icy — I gave out a great cackling laugh at the end. Fortunately Mason isn’t old enough to say “why?” just yet. 😀

    Personally, I think Shane and Bernie got what they deserved. Jeff provided some awesome commentary with his drum kit.

  13. Pingback: The #FridayFlash Report – Vol 3 Number 25 | Friday Flash

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