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Revision as of 23:15, 10 September 2019

Not My Jam
Dramatis Personae

Elli, Gaétan, Harmony

2019-09-06


"I think I'm getting hopeful out of desperation."

Location

<XAV> Workshop - XS Grounds


A large barn-like building situated at the far end of the gardens from the mansion proper, this makerspace functions as a classroom for many of the more hands-on classes. An expanse of workshop space, it is subdivided into smaller segments for the different types of activities: Woodshop, Welding shop, Machine shop, Electronics, Bike shop, Screen Printing and Photography, Fabric Arts, and the Rapid Prototyping Lab with a trio of 3D printers.

The space comes complete with a large host of tools available for use, although many of the more dangerous require prior clearance from administration to use -- students with appropriate clearance to use them can gain access to locked equipment with their student IDs. From sanders to MIG/TIG welders to soldering stations to industrial sewing machines to its own darkroom, though, this space is well equipped for teaching students how to make.

The first day of classes has passed without too much mishap, a new crop of students acclimatizing to a school that is, at the very least, still standing as they head into the weekend. Gaétan looks not too much the worse for wear, hair a little mussed, some flecks of color splattered onto his jeans and the blue plaid button-up he wears open over a black tee. He's over by the screen printing presses, a stack of plain fabric squares nearby and several others -- brightly colored with a flying top hat over the stylized words HAT TRICK -- drying on the rack. He's checking his phone with one hand, his expression kind of disinterested; with his other, rolling more ink over a new square with the large squeegee.

Despite the black shirt, black jeans, and black boots, Elli's hair has been done in a riot of color. Though the sides of her head are close-shaved and dyed to match her clothing, the rest of her hair is colored in layers, from a dark red along the back of her neck up to bright yellow-reds at the tips as if it was some kind of keratin wildfire. Her boots clip-clop along the floor as she enters the workshop, head tossing back and forth without dislodging the airpods stuck in each ear. Music can be faintly heard even a few feet from her, grunge-punky noise surrounding her like a bubble. Making a beeline straight for the screen printing area, she flashes Gaétan a wide grin when she sees him at the press. "Hey stranger," she says, pulling one of the earbuds out. "How's your first day back treating you?"

Harmony is as quiet as Elli is loud, slinking in with an apprehensive glance and only relaxing after seeing the occupants. They're dressed in a leaf green linen tunic that hangs to their knees, light brown wrap pants underneath, leather boots that wrap around and button at the ankles, and a knitted shawl in dazzling rainbow colors draped around their shoulders. They pad toward the wall of spooled threads in the fiber arts section, but slows to study the patches sitting beside Gaétan. "Hi," they say quietly, glancing up at him, then Elli. "What's 'Hat Trick'?"

Gaétan looks up, if only barely. A quick flick of his eyes, then back down to his phone. "Hey. Sup." His chin jerks at Elli, and he pockets the phone. Peels the patch from the press to set it to dry, lays down another. He chuffs out a quick almost-laugh, looks up with a very earnest expression. "Jonathan," he tells Harmony solemnly, "started a band this summer. He's very serious about it. I'm sure there'll be posters, too."

“Same shit, different place. You know, the usual.” Elli gives a very disaffected teenage shrug, leaning back against a counter and watching the ink splay over each patch in turn. “So, this is merch? Huh. Are you gonna print the posters too?”

Harm's eyebrows hike up, up, up. "Are you in the band, too?" After a brief consideration, they add, a bit more dubiously, "Is there anyone else in the band? Because the name, um..." They shrug. "It'll be good to have new music on campus, anyway."

"I mean, sure, if he pays me." Gaétan raises an eyebrow at Harm. "Please. Who do you think I am?" He adds more ink to the top of the screen, pulls the squeegee down again. His mouth twitches. He can't keep the laughter out of his voice when he says, "There are four people in the band."

Elli grins at Gaétan, pushing off of the counter and walking over to one of the computers. She sits in a chair -- backwards -- and logs into the computer. "Who are the other two, then?" she asks, voice teasing. "You, Jonathan..." She leans back far enough to look at the other two, albeit upside-down, flashing them a smile that would make the Cheshire cat proud.

Harm blushes, but smiles, as well. "One of the best bassists I know?" they venture. "Thought maybe Jonathan finally got an appreciate for other instruments. It's kind of necessary for making ensemble music." Their eyes slide over to Elli, blink a few times, dart back to Gaétan. "I didn't have much musical community most of the summer, I think I'm getting hopeful out of desperation."

Gaétan's other eyebrow joins the first at Elli's question, hiking up towards his shaggy dark hair. He doesn't answer it. Just snorts. Looks back down at his press, continuing the repetitive task. "The school has a band. You could join that. Or," he considers a moment. "Start your own. I think enough people play things here." His mouth twists to the side. "I always kind of imagined everyone out in California was just playing music on the beach nonstop, though. I'm going to have to revise my mental picture of your state."

"California is a big state," Elli reminds Gaétan. "Maybe he lives in one of the other parts, not the blonde-surfer-beach-musician part." Turning briefly back to the computer, she opens up an image (a World War 2 propaganda poster, with the enlistment message altered to read with "Defend Your Country / Punch a Nazi") and quickly sets about splitting it into brightly colored CMYK layers for screenprinting. "No need to change your whole worldview."

Harmony's mouth tugs to one side at the mention of the school band, but their "Maybe I will" sounds sincere enough. Perhaps they were thinking of the second suggestion. Their shoulders hunch in a little at Elli's words, though it's hard to say what part. "I was staying in San Francisco with my dad. He's...not big on letting me run off to play music on the beach. Though there actually is a lot of that, generally." They sound wistful. "It was mostly tutors and doctors for me. How were your summers?"

"I didn't say anything about blonde." Gaétan's tone is extremely dry. "I had a tutor, but they were teaching me music, so --" His shrug is small. "My brothers are chill but summer was kind of high stress, actually. I didn't think I'd be glad for school to be back, but -- uh."

"It was alright. Only got lost a couple of times, which is a lot better than it was last summer. Ended up here once, which was weird, but.... Mostly just hung out around the house. Kinda boring, honestly." Elli shrugs her shoulders once and swivels in the chair to turn her eyes back on the other two students. "I wanted to do some traveling, but my parents wouldn't let me."

"Most of the surfer beach musicians I know aren't so blonde," Harmony says, shrugging. "There's only so much chill can do for you. I hope the stress is -- well, getting less stressful, anyway. You'll have plenty of that from classes soon." They blink at Elli. Blink blink. Blink. "If I could open doors to other places, I'd probably have snuck out every chance I got. Did some sneaking out regardless, and my dad has no chill."

Gaétan flashes Harmony a smile, quick and small and grateful. "I think the stress is definitely coming to a middle." He sets his latest patches on the drying rack and wipes his hands. "You can portal to anywhere and you mostly hung out around the house because -- your parents -- wouldn't let you?" He echoes this slow and careful. Kind of considering, in time with a thoughtful sweep of look up and down over Elli. "Huh." Also just thoughtful. His expression is impassive as he starts to clean up the press. His chin tips toward Harmony. "You want people to play with, there's a jam session at my arts collective this weekend. I bet Matt would sign you out if you want to come home with us tonight."

“If I could reliably show up where I was trying to get to over distances, I’d’ve been all over. But considering the places I’ve ended up, I tend to accidentally need airfare home. I told them I could just rest up and try again, but...” Elli’s voice is defensive; clearly, this is a sore point.

Harmony blinks again, but then nods slowly. "That..." They trail off, frowning. "That sucks, I'm sorry." But at Gaétan's suggestion they perk up. "That would be aw --" Their voice cracks on the last word when their tone rises in excitement, and they wince. The blush that comes after is very mild, easy to miss. "Awesome. Oh, right!" Only now remembering what they presumably came in to get, they measure out an arm-length of emerald green thread and wind it expertly around a tiny plastic spool, then tucks it into their bag. "Alright, I'm so ready to jam."