insalubrious – Unhealthful; unwholesome.
The American Heritage Dictionary. (1983). New York, NY: Dell
“So this is what a successful songwriting career will buy ya” Perry said.
“No” Todd answered. “I’m a successful songwriter. You’ve been to my house.” Todd pushed the button to turn off the ignition of his 2011 Toyota Prius. “This is what a multiple Grammy-winning songwriting career will buy ya.”
“How many acres do you think he’s on?” Perry asked without pausing for an answer. “Must be twenty. Unless he owns what’s behind those hills. Is this a working ranch?”
“Doubt it. Stoney is no rancher” Todd answered.
“Fly Stoney. I wonder what his real name is.” Perry nodded to the entrance on their left where a 72 X 48 sandblasted sign hung on the security gate. It read “Lifeguard Station” in red and white with a red cross painted in the middle. “He’s no rancher, but he’s a lifeguard?”
“He’s The Lifeguard in this town. He rescues drowning songs and resuscitates them” Todd answered.
“Let’s hope” Perry said.
“Listen. Stoney’s not gonna pull any punches with you. If your song’s crap, he’ll say so” Todd warned.
“That’s what we want, right?”
Perry sounded confident, but Todd knew better. No songwriter likes criticism. Hell, no person likes criticism. “I don’t know if it’s what you want, but it’s what you need. And one more thing.” Todd looked around as if to be sure no one had snuck in the car without his knowledge. “You know what insalubrious means?”
“No. I don’t think so” Perry answered.
“You will.” Todd grabbed his guitar case from the backseat, nearly hitting Perry in the face and got out of the car.
Perry followed, grabbing his guitar and meeting up with Todd at the front porch. A red and white lifebuoy hung on the door like a Christmas wreath. Todd pushed the doorbell and both men jumped when, instead of hearing “Big Ben”, the sound of a pea whistle thundered in their ears. Perry guessed that whatever insalubrious was, it didn’t mean subtle.
A woman in her mid to late twenties answered. She was wearing yesterday’s makeup and an oversized grey t-shirt that said “Nashvegas Vacation”. When she moved just so, Perry could see two things peak out at him – glitter from underneath her lower lashes, and men’s boxers from underneath her shirt.
“Hi. Fly is expecting you. Come on in guys” she said. Her voice had a Demi Moore quality; raspy, husky, going in and out like bad cell phone reception. Perry wondered if it was her morning voice, or her morning-after voice.
“He told me to wake him up when you got here. Make yourselves comfortable. Um, can I get you something to drink?” She asked.
“No, we’re fine. Thank you” Todd answered for both of them.
. . . To Be Continued
– Anita, Noted in Nashville
Part II Next Monday