Giacomo wasn’t listening when Roberto asked him for new guitar strings, and therefore had to be asked two more times as they sat in a tiny trailer and prepared to play at the town’s annual succotash festival.
Giacomo tossed medium gauge strings over to Roberto before hanging his head over his own guitar, lost in heavy contemplation.
Roberto ignored Giacomo’s angst; he was used to Giacomo fixating and dwelling on trivial things, like lost baseball cards and pets, his parents getting divorced, and the time when they were hunting rabbits and he witnessed a man clad in a fine Italian suit gutting a hobo like a freshly-caught trout and stuffing his cavity with cocaine and gold bars. Giacomo dwelled on that for weeks, replaying the image over and over again in his head, stuttering about it with raspy breaths.
And you could hear him packing it in there. PATPATPAT. Like my grandma stuffing a turkey.
Roberto really wanted to tell him to get a fucking grip and move on, like he had. Sure, it was a disturbing image, but Roberto was able to forget it thirty minutes later, when he was skinning a fresh rabbit.
"Roberto, I have to talk to you about something," Giacomo whispered, fidgeting with the diamond in his ear. "I have a secret." Roberto pointedly ignored him, choosing to give the set list a final once-over before they were set to take the stage.
Giacomo rose and tugged on Roberto’s sleeve. "It’s really important, Roberto." But Roberto shrugged him off, figuring it was something innocuous. He knew Giacomo well.
Their manager, Harv, barged into the trailer just then, waving them forward with a red, sweaty face and an urgent hand. "You’re on in two minutes. Make sure your fly’s zipped this time, Benny, how ’bout it." Benny’s face blanched as he shot his hand down to check, blocking his crotch with his accordian.
Roberto and the band filed onto the stage with little Giacomo trailing behind. Kicking a beer can out of the way, Roberto adjusted the mic stand as Giacomo tugged on his shirt once more.
"Please Roberto, it’s important, I did something terrible."
Shrugging him off again, Roberto snapped. "What, you little creep? What did you do, piss in my egg cream again?"
Just then, the curtain rose. As the band commenced with a flat rendition of Pat Boone’s "Love Letters in the Sand", Giacomo leaned in close to Roberto and shouted, "I stole your sister’s virginity" and then promptly vomited, coating the front row with churned succotash.