Dave knew he had it this time. This was it. The was the very thing. He would have the satisfaction of seeing his brother loose his cool.
Of course, he would rather think of the problem in this perspective than in the one that this was so so very gay, and oh my god so very not cool. Especially not to him. Cool kids did not do chorus. But what the hell was he going to do? The school mandated all kids should do one extra curricular kind of activity. They had four choices: sports, chorus, band, or theater. Sports were for kids who wanted to kiss ass to adults or beat up other kids; the band teacher was a harpy from hell that Dave knew he couldn't escape without slamming her; theater was for kids who sat in the corner and wrote crappy emo poetry and wore too much black. Chorus was, for all intents and purposes, the least of the evils.
Though not by much.
He shouldered his way into the apartment, pushing aside a renegade mountain of plush puppet ass that had collected behind the door. Apparently Bro had just gotten in a shipment of them, and he had been taking them out of boxes and tossing individual examples into a big pile out of the way. Because most of the rest of the free space was crawling with long quivering noses peeping out of box flaps and tufts of brilliantly colored hair trapped under wrapping tape. A pile of them on the couch shifted, and Bro looked up and over his shoulder and his nefarious minions to spot his brother. "Hey, man. You're late."
"Some shit went down at school."
Bro knocked his shades down a bit with a tilt of his head to look at Dave over the rims. Christ he looked shitty; those shades did more than make him look cool. They hid the big ass bags under his eyes. He cocked an eyebrow at his charge. "Kinda shit?"
Oh yes. Now, the time was.
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
"I joined the chorus."
Damnit, there wasn't the volley of derisive laughter Dave had been expecting. In fact, Bro's face looked pretty blank, like he didn't quite know how to handle this revelation. Finally, with nary a change in tone, "Okay, cool. How come?"
Urrrghhh he was making this SO HARD to be ironic. STOP BEING CHILL AND SUPPORTIVE GOD. Dave shrugged, thrown out of whack. "'Cause all middle schoolers have to choose some recreational bullshit as a credit requirement."
Bro's eyebrows bounced again as he nodded, as he considered this new scholarly development. "You done any of it yet?"
"Eh. Not really. The teacher handed out music, and then we went home. What's all this stuff," he deflected, waving an arm at the mounds of smuppets. Bro looked at the soft rolling hills of articulated ass surrounding him. "Got a special holiday shipment in." He smirked and chose one from the pile. It was a deep evergreen velveteen specimen. "Whaddya think?"
Bro laughed this time, unearthing himself and scattering puppets every which way. "Look, I gotta run for a few hours. You chill here til I get back." With that, he tossed the tv remote to Dave, and grabbed the skateboard from off the carpet and was out of the door before Dave could get properly ornery that he didn't get his brother's goat.
It's like, what older brother was cool with his little brother joining chorus? Oh man, unless he just wasn't letting on so that he could get Dave riled because he wasn't getting riled. Aw yeah, he had it figured now. He just had to wait for the pressure to build.
Dave swept jiggling chunks of ass off the couch to change it from Spike TV to MTV. He'd catch up on some of the mainstream artists before getting started on his homework.
Dave was flipping the fuck out in a totally cool and not spastic way at all. It was 8:00 PM, and he was getting chumped by this goddamn chicken scratch bullshit on the photocopied pages he got from his teacher. His computer bleeped, and he glanced over to it. The other three guys were similarly busy, or in Rose's case asleep, so he hadn't been expected to get pestered.
But when he brought up Pesterchum, his brother's chumhandle flashed at him. What the fuck?
nP: Bro come out for dinner
TG: why are you chatting me this cant you just yell at me
nP: I had no idea what you were doing or if you were plugged in too deep to hear me. plus that's kinda dickish
TG: errrrr kkkkkk
nP: ... ?
nP: you cool?
nP: fuck the pans boiling over brb
TG: ok so i will not come out if i hear that shrill motherfucking smoke detector going off
nP: whats up bro, you're acting kinda spoody
TG: i just
TG: I AM SO FUCKED UP OVER THIS FUCKING CHORUS THING
TG: I MEAN
TG: I HAVE A FUCKING SOLO TO DO
TG: CUZ ITS LIKE "OH GIVE THE NEW KID SOMETHING TO MAKE HIM FEEL SPECIAL OH ARENT WE ALL SPECIAL SNOWFLAKES"
TG: AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT ALL OF THIS SHIT MEANS ON THESE PAPERS
TG: AND IM GONNA LOOK LIKE A TOOL IN FRONT OF EVERYONE
nP: wow that is a lot of caps. i can practically hear your despair aimed at the heavens
nP: haha okay dude, come down and we'll hash it out.
TG: nuuuu i don wanna fight you right now
nP: ha no bro, i'm not gonna fight you
nP: i'm gonna teach you what all that shit on the papers mean.
np: bc i'm assuming you're talking about the sheet music
TG: im comin
When Dave fought his way through the boxes of plush puppet rumps and into the livingroom, he found his brother at the freestanding stove, poking at a pot of noodles and bopping in place to something with a really sick beat. He tossed Dave a nod, and asked, nonchalantly, "Wha's happenin', brah."
Dave fought back a scowl, because he felt like such an idiot for not knowing how to do something as simple as read sheet music. His brother did it all the time, pretty goddamn flawlessly. Dave didn't know how he'd managed to live 13 years with this guy and not pick something like that up. Bro, in the meanwhile, craned over the open flames to take a taste of the sauce he'd poured out of a jar, and nodded in satisfaction. He wiped his hands on the backs of his jeans, and the held out a hand. "Let's see the good, bro."
Okay, so it was time to swallow some of his pride. This whole damn plan to ruffle his brother's feathers had backfired big time, and now he was stuck singing like a monkey for a few weeks. At least the school gave them the choice of dropping it if they wanted to after the mandatory period. Dave shuffled over and handed the papers to his brother, who shifted to stand at his side to hold the music between them. "Man this shit's old. Okay, first we gotta find what key this thing is in. You know how to do that?"
Dave shook his head.
"Look at these little hash marks over here." Bro pointed at the top left hand corner of the page. "Three of 'em. That means G. So if this is middle C," he hummed a brief note. Bro actually had a good singing voice, but Dave rarely heard it unless he was mocking some other music. "This is G," he hummed a slightly lower note than the one before.
Dave looked at him, skeptical. "How the hell can you pull notes out of your ass like that?"
"Perfect pitch, brah."
"What the hell is that even."
"You don't believe me?"
"No. I don't even think that's a thing."
So they consulted the mighty technological oracle, Google. Bro hummed the note again before opening a web-based midi file marked "middle C", which popped up continuing his same note.
So Dave shut up and learned how to read music for the next few hours.