my raccoon eyes and cringe. Jesus. No wonder everyone I passed stared at me like I was crazy. I look like shit. I look like a crack addict. I look like a homeless person. And all of this in front of the world’s hottest rock band—and I know I said I hated Taint and everything they stand for, but show me a girl who doesn’t want to look good in front of that many rock stars and I will eat my own damn pussy, or I’ll die trying.
I run the tap and splash a little water on my face, trying to remove the makeup I slept in. My efforts only serve to smear it further, and make my panda eyes that much rounder. It could be worse, I suppose. I could have woken with jizz on my face—not that that has ever happen to me before, or anything.
I pat my face dry with a paper towel and stare at myself some more. I don’t know how I got to this point. Three months ago, I was happy. Three months ago, Brad and I were moving forward. We were living in a slightly crumby but also kind of cool Ultimo apartment, along with our friend Tim. I’d loved living with those boys; there was no drama. There was cheap tequila, and a jar of peanut butter, and ramen noodles were our friends, but then we graduated from university and got jobs. Tim got engaged and moved out to live with his fiancée and Brad and I got desperate for a new roommate in order to meet the rent.
We’d gotten a new roommate, alright—a stripper. I’d spent the weekend in hospital with my Grams and came home to find that not only had Brad not talked to me about the possibility of having to share my space with some whore who takes her clothes off for money, but that he’d already helped her move in.
Before long, he and his mates were going to watch her shows, something he’d tried to hide from me at first, until Tim let it slip. He made out like it was just the boys blowing off steam, and I’d begged him not to keep going. Bad enough that we had to see her perfectly sculpted long body strut around the apartment in a towel—I didn’t want him seeing her pink bits up close and in stereo. Not long after that, I’d gotten my very own peep show when I came home and found her giving Brad his very own special lap dance. On. His. Face.
I moved all my crap into my Grams’ house. It was nice—if not a little pathetic—living with my eighty-two-year-old grandmother, but it wasn’t long before her in and out visits to hospital turned into longer stays, and then to something a little more permanent. The leukaemia eating away at her frail body won, and suddenly, within the space of three months, my whole world had shattered. My Grams had raised me, she had always been there, and then she was nowhere … she was just gone.
The bank had foreclosed on the house, and by the time the funeral expenses were paid, all that I’d been left with was my shit-box of a car, my measly half of the savings that Brad and I had eaten away at while we made our way through uni and Grams’ bastard cat. The only good thing to happen to me in the last three months had been landing my dream job at Harbour Records. Sure, my boss was a mega bitch from hell, but everyone else in the office was fine, and all I had to do when the Lizard Queen started ranting and raving about how long it took to get a decent coffee was look at the pictures I had taped up against my cubical wall. Pictures I’d taken at concerts. Pictures of Josh Holme and Kings of the Iron Age that I’d cut out of Rolling Stone , and a picture of a very fresh-faced me with my arm slung around the shoulders of Billy Idol, and another of me with Robert Plant, a huge smile on my face and sparkling eager eyes.
One day, I’d be managing bands like this—assuming there were any bands like this left to manage, because if Taint was the future of the industry then music was screwed every which way from Sunday. Okay, maybe that wasn’t true. If they could just pull their heads out of their arses for five minutes and quit letting the record label