Mark Hoppus has had a long day at work. He sets down his stand-up bass.
“So long, Travis,” he says. “So long, Tom.”
“So long,” they reply in unison.
“See you at the party?” he says.
“Sounds good,” says Travis.
“See you there,” says Tom.
Mark leaves the estate and drivers a few miles down the road to the party, where he is approached by a stranger. He and the stranger engage in a round of small talk that, inevitably, forces each of them to inquire about what they both do for a living.
“I play in a house band,” Mark says, with one hand in his pocket and another one holding a red Solo cup.
“Oh?” says the stranger. “Where do you play?”
“I guess you could say it’s an abandoned house,” he says.
Mark notices Alex Gaskarth across the party. This is Gaskarth’s party, and he is probably going to get some ice or perhaps something for one of his guests. They both nod to each other as Gaskarth disappears into another room.
“Who do you play for?” says the stranger.
“Many women who wander the grounds,” says Mark.
“Abandoned mansion,” says the stranger. “How is the pest control?”
“Very bad,” says Mark. “There are very large spiders in just about every room.”
“Is there a dress code?” asks the stranger.
“Very fancy,” says Mark.
There is a pause in the conversation. Mark looks up for a split second to see if he can spot his friend Alex. He cannot.
“So what do you do?” he asks.
“I am a nurse,” says the stranger.
“Oh, that’s cool,” says Mark. “That’s really cool.”
After the party, Mark goes home. On his counter sits a pad and pen. He uses the pen, as he does every few days, to start a grocery list. He takes the cap off the pen and scribbles “black nail polish.” Then Mark Hoppus gets ready for bed.
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