The sun blared brightly on that crisp Saturday morning. Kitten Soup was sitting outside a café with their managers, preparing to discuss their tour locations and dates. Lead guitarist Phil had a square, white bandage over his nose, which had been broken in a glorious display of revenge, by Robby the drummer. Phil was glaring at the man, arms and legs both crossed. The two hadn't spoken to each other since the incident three days previous. Robby took his cup of coffee and sipped it, ignoring Phil's dirty look. He was glad Phil had finally shut up.
Tim the bassist had informed Phil the night before that, due to the history he shared with Robby as heavy metal musicians, the two tended to get violent and that it was normal—that it was like Robby punched Phil's lights out as a sign of friendship. Phil accepted this story, though it was possible he only did so after taking several painkillers.
Tim and Larry the rhythm guitarist were sitting at the same table, diagonal from each other, also sipping their coffee. All four band members were keeping quiet, enjoying the unbroken silence of the morning for as long as possible.
"I say we hit New York," Larry finally said, piercing the sky with his voice. "Wouldn't that be great? The kickoff for the tour, right there in New York City. Lotsa publicity." He turned to the managers with hope they would agree.
"And what if you guys end up sucking at this New York City kickoff? You're gonna want your first show to be somewhere smaller. Maybe in the state," Les responded.
Les and his twin brother Ash, who were resting their backs against the railing besides the tables, turned to each other and began to mumble.
"You sure you're not just suggesting it 'cause you were born there?" added Ash after several seconds of considering the downside of such an idea.
"My days in New York," said Larry, in a very bad New York accent, "were the best days of my life!" Knowing he was being sarcastic, the five men surrounding him all rolled their eyes. Lars had moved out of New York when he was three. "C'mon, I'd feel right at home. We could even get my mom to come see us. She loves us. She even likes Phil-"
Phil immediately made a silent gesture at Larry, meaning 'hey man, what gives?!'
"I mean...of course she likes Phil. He's like a fourth son to her," Larry said, barely managing to save himself.
"Why can't we just tour in Europe?" asked Robby, holding his cup of coffee close to his face to keep himself warm. "If it's okay to go to New York 'cause it's Larry's home, I say we go to Dublin."
"We wanna keep it simple for the first tour," said Ash. "If you guys get some really positive feedback, maybe we'll fly out to the UK for a second tour."
"It's not like we're gonna bomb," Tim said, placing his cup of coffee gently onto the table. "We're gonna do Robby's song at our first show. It'll really be big. The fans'll love it."
"Hey!" Phil shouted, throwing his hands down on the glass tabletop with so much force all three paper cups tipped over. "I'm the frontman! Where's my say?! I deserve to choose what songs we do, and my songs are better!"
The three other bandmates quickly grabbed napkins from the dispenser sitting in the center of the table to sop of their spilled beverages, then Tim spoke: "Nobody said we're not doing your songs, Phil. It'd just be nice to play something else every once in a while. I'm sure Ash 'n Les liked Robby's song...?" he glanced up at the two managers.
"That last recording from Tuesday?" asked Les.
"That's the one."
"It's got potential," Les said, placing his hand on his chin and looking up into the clear morning sky to ponder.
"I didn't think it sounded like something Phil would write," Ash said quietly.
"Could be a good song to end a concert with."
The two managers continued to chatter to each other, and Phil took his chance to shoot a nasty look at Tim. "You punk," he mouthed at the bassist. Or it could have been another, more profane word of similar lettering. Tim didn't care, though, he was too busy attempting to land his used napkin in a wastebasket. Phil had no power over him anyway.
"You know, New York might just be a really good place to start a tour," said Les, stepping away from the railing and walking around Larry's chair. He set his laptop down on the table between Larry and Robby, then opened it and navigated to the band's official website. "You guys have plenty of fans in New York. I'm thinkin' that maybe your first show should be free, so that more people will come."
"Sounds good, but how am I gonna get me a cheap whore if there's no profit?"
"Do you really need a cheap whore, Lars?"
Larry shut himself up.
"You can get whatever kinda whore you want, Larry. You're part of Kitten Soup," Robby mentioned. "Isn't that right, Ash?"
Robby bit his tongue.
Les pointed at his twin brother, who was still on the railing. "It's simple," he said. "He's wearing a scarf in this weather. And I...wear less," Les said, pointing at his attire, just a white tank top and khaki Dickies. Ash was dressed in a heavy gray turtleneck and black slacks, with a blue and gray scarf around his neck.
"Right," Robby said. "Well, Les...what exactly do the fans have to say about us in New York?"
None of the band really bothered to check up on their fans. They were usually too busy with their lives, practice, and paying off the mortgage for their studio.
"We have different forums for different areas. The southeast bay is by far the largest of the groups, with the most members and posts, and from what we've read, the most potential for a good crowd."
"Then that's where we'll go first," said Tim. "Anywhere's better than Houston."
A twisted look of discomfort appeared on Tim's face, as if he had no idea why he'd said that.
"Why not-" Larry began to ask.
"I'm gonna go get a refill," Tim muttered, not allowing Larry to finish. He slipped out of his chair and slunk back inside the café.