Johnny replaced Tom in the band. He had a goofy smile and long shaggy hair. His appearance led to my friends dubbing him “dumb bass player guy,” abbreviated DBPG.
“No, he has rehearsal.”
The first time DBPG kissed me we were in the middle of the consul general of Argentina’s multi level, ornate back garden. We were all friends with her son and he got us heroin sometimes. The backyard was huge, full of succulents and overhanging trees and stone benches. It was a giant corner lot on Rossmore. Years later her son moved to an apartment on the same street, but farther north, at Melrose, and I would meet him there sometimes. We drove to the valley to buy our dope, then came back and smoked it in his empty living room. When we were high enough to eat we would share a baguette and cheese and chocolate.
DBPG kissed me in the middle of that wild undergrowth, dry grass, avocado and lemon trees, and then after that every time he played I felt something anchor in my chest, the lower octave, his crazy hair obscuring the intensity I pretended to see in his eyes. Sometimes he played fretless like Bill Wyman, and I could feel the buzz in my bones for hours.