VI. Hot Topic

Hot Topic


I don’t know what the vice principal discovered, if anything, but Farrington was gone today. After class, Carmen told me that the school hadn’t fired him, but he was under continuing investigation.

Other than that, the day went by as usual, except for it seemed way slower than usual. (by the way, it doesn’t help when the sub for Farrington was just like the “Clear Eyes” guy with a monotone voice the matched the enthusiasm of a snail.

But hey, you gotta deal with the crap before you can get to the good stuff, right? (well, that’s what people like to say…)

After school I met up with Carmen and Kim at their lockers. Kim was still acting pretty distant towards me, but at least I wasn’t getting pushed away by her.

Carmen, on the other hand, was happy to see me. She invited me to go with them to Kim’s house. I glanced at Kim to see what she was thinking but could get nothing out of her expressionless blue-gray eyes.

So I agreed. I mean, come on, I had nothing better to do. And since Kim didn’t seem to care either way…I’d be happy to join.

Kim lived just a few blocks away from the school, so we walked. Her house doesn’t look all that different from my house (that’s the nature of the modern beast, it seems) but it was a nice 2-story house. Kim almost looked out of place with her baggy black jeans and fashionably torn Sylvester the cat T-shirt. Her room was almost even more astonishing. Where I had a ridiculous amount of posters covering my walls (if it were up to me, there would be no free space on my walls. and that includes the ceiling), but Kim’s walls were empty except for a single Joan Jett poster by her bookshelf.

“No posters? Pictures?” I couldn’t help but to ask her.

She glanced at me and shook her head. “I have some, but I don’t want to put them up. After all, I’ll just have to take them down when I move out.”


So that was her reason.

She sat on her bed and picked up an acoustic guitar which had been resting on a stand (right next to a stand holding an electric guitar) and started playing some notes.

“You play?”


Carmen was grinning at me and then back at Kim, I wondered if she was okay.

“Just for fun?”

“Not just,” she answered, a few notes played in a discernible melody. “I’m in a band.”

I stared for a moment, completely taken aback. She hadn’t mentioned anything in the coffee shop when that one guy was ranting on about his band. If I had been in a band with him there, I probably would’ve engaged in a verbal battle of the bands. But then, she’s Kim and I’m not.

She glanced at me, her guitar forgotten for a moment and asked, “what about you?”

“Me?” I shrugged. “I don’t play. but in Chapel Hill I was obsessed with the local music scene. There were a lot of good bands and my idea of a good time was definitely going to shows. and I was friends with a bunch of bands.”

“Cool. Look, Carmen, Hot Topic can have a groupie,” Kim said, grinning mischievously.

“Hey, I was never anyone’s groupie–wait, your band name is Hot Topic?”

she nodded.


At that point Carmen decided to point her zine out to me since Kim, as co-editor, had all the back issues. They were amazing pieces of work-each thought out and perfect in their own independently published imperfections. The subjects ranged from movies to sex and dating.

I don’t know what to make of these girls. I thought in Chapel Hill I’d seen everything there is to see and now here I am in a small town in Ohio and there are two girls here who surpass anyone I’ve ever met in Chapel Hill.

Anyway, after showing off her zine, Carmen took out a notebook and sat on the bed and told me to sit down too.

“Time to brainstorm!”

She was getting ready to work on the next issue of her zine and she wanted me to be involved. so we came up with ideas. we were definitely going to include a piece on the creep Farrington, though we couldn’t decide whether to name him or not, so we figured we’d come to that problem later and a gig review of Hot Topic, since they were playing a gig at Cafe Bourbon St.-a small rock venue in Columbus on Saturday. Carmen made me promise to write that one, since I’d add a new view to the band.

I agreed. It wasn’t until I glanced at the clock and realized that my parents would be wondering where I’d been that I finally left.

Carmen of course hugged me warmly-she was really nice!-and I even got a good bye from Kim. And she invited me to see them rehearse sometime. The practiced at the drummer’s house which was a bit farther away, but if I let her know, I could definitely get a ride.

All in all, amazing.

and I must have some good karma.



*****(note: hopefully by now you know that this is part of the continuing series published every wednesday tentatively known as Riot Grrrl Diaries–get it? like Princess Diaries?–which follows the adventures of high school grrrl, Rosalyn. Read the first part here, the second part here, the third part here, the fourth part here, and the fifth part here.

Enjoy & leave comments if you like what you’re reading.

**EDIT: comments have been disabled on this entry due to the ridiculous amount of spam comments)