2007-03-05: Jamming The Company Blues Away


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Two Company handling survivors meet in the hall of their building and let loose cares for a brief period.

Date It Happened: March 5th, 2007

Jamming the Company Blues Away

High Rise Apartment building, First Floor hall

Benjamin hasn't been home from work for very long. In between all the insanity of the past few weeks, he's starting to find the quiet can be a little nervewracking. Particularly if there's too much of it. He's trying to not think too much on the fact that Anders now resides a few floors up. Also, that Angie knocked on his door with huge tracts of land on display, and that he was molested by a young woman. All in the space of a few days. Still wearing a nice suit from work, he dons his coat and decides to head out. He's not exactly sure where he's going to go just yet. Perhaps just to walk up and down the street and listen to the music coming from various clubs. As he locks up his door, he finds himself humming softly. Some Bocelli tune, he's in pitch, but he hasn't hummed or even sang in /ages/.

Also exiting her apartment around this same time is the Yale educated musician/lawyer from down the hall. Her hair is tied back into a ponytail, her clothing what she commonly wears to do the street guitarist thing. Jane's expression is solemn, anyone who meets her eyes might pick up on a slightly haunted vibe in them. Hands reach up to adjust the guitar case and pack over her shoulders as she moves toward the exit. A nod of greeting is given to the man she saw Anders and the woman speaking with recently.

Benjamin pockets his keys and turns towards the doors when he hears Jane coming out of her apartment. He stops humming abruptly, as if embarrassed and returns the nod of greeting. A few steps are taken away before he stops and hesitantly cals, "Hey.. uhm.. Anders, the Scandivanvian guy? He's a major jerk.. he'll say a lot of things just to make you mad. He does that to me all the time."

The guitarist pauses as she's spoken to, and turns around slowly. Her eyes size up the man for a few moments as she answers. "He saw me," Jane admits, "at one of my lower moments. And just by him being here will remind me of it. But his work partner is easier to deal with." She eschews elaborating on just what that lower moment entailed, the voice trailing off for a moment as she shifts topics. "You sing."

"We got off on a bad note. It just went downhill from there," Benjamin says without going into detail. "I think he's one of those sick people that get off on tormenting others. His work partner? Do you mean Angie? She's.. " He can't say that she's nice, otherwise she'll hurt him. Reputation to protect and all. "She's not like he is," he finally settles on. "I would tell you to try and ignore him, but he makes it hard." Flushing, he looks embarrassed that Jane noticed, ".. not.. really.. that is.. not in awhile..stage fright." Low self-esteem too.

Her brow furrows, Jane seems puzzled. "Angie? No, I saw him with a doctor, a thirtysomething man from India," she remarks. "Maybe that was just a temporary thing." She shrugs it off and unslings the guitar to take it out of the case. "Don't be afraid of your voice, sir. Sounded decent, maybe just needs some rust removal. Are you a rocker?" Whether he's willing to sing or not, she wants to play. To exorcise some of her mood through it.

"Oh," Benjamin says in confusion. He doesn't know of any Indian doctors, just that Anders works a lot with Angie. "A rocker? Uh.. no.. I guess, wait no, I don't think I would have considered myself that in college. Erhm, without alcohol that is." He raises a hand to rub at the back of his neck, mildly uncomfortable. "Mom, she was a Broadway actress. Kinda pushed me too hard into school plays and stuff. I just get uncomfortable in front of people."

"Ah," she replies quietly, perhaps a bit disappointed. Her fingers run over the instrument a few times, then she reaches into the case to extract and plug into her small amp. "What do you want to hear? Maybe the mood will strike to exercise the pipes, or not. It was rather the opposite for me. The 'rents wanted me to do the academic/professional thing so I put music on the back burner and went through law school."

Benjamin blinks some at the offer. "I'm not sure. Surprise me?" He moves to lean against the wall, slipping his hands into his coat pockets. "Sorry, I.. guess I get crowd shy." Which is just a mental thing, as his singing voice, not bad. Silly introvert. "Ouch, law school. And I thought the CPA exams were bad."

"Ivy League, at that," she states. "Blueblood background." Jane looks the man over again for a moment, making a mental impression of his age to perhaps gauge the tastes of his school and college days. "Jane Forrest. Or, to do the whole pretentious attorney thing, Doctor M. Jane Forrest."

Benjamin lets out a low whistle. "Plain old college, a nobody background." He doesn't sound as if he's kicking himself about his background, just honest about himself. "Benjamin Winters, I'll leave off my pretentious title. It's embarrassing, I like to stay modest." He's starting to warm up to Jane, hence the little dig of humor there.

With the impression formed, Jane commences to play. The tune can soon be made out as John Mellencamp. Crumblin' Down. A few bars go by before the voice mixes in, a mezzo-soprano in pitch. There's an edge to her sound, a touch of melancholy and anger to pepper things, perhaps a reflection of her current emotional state. "Some people ain't no damn good…"

Benjamin clears his throat, and starts tapping his hand against his leg, inside the pocket.. so that maybe it's not noticed as he starts getting into the tune. Biting his lip, he resists the urge to join in. Maybe because he's concerned someone will come out and make fun of him.. like Rose.
It's only occasionally she glances at him, being focused on the instrument and its sound, using it to express and fractionally exorcise some recent demons. A hint of a smile shows when she notices his movements, and her head nods in what she hopes to be an encouraging fashion. A few minutes pass by, and with the end of her first choice a second is commenced. This one's from a New York native. You May Be Right. "Friday night I crashed your party, Saturday I said I'm sorry…"

"Sunday came and trashed me out again," Benjamin chimes in with the next line, softly, almost as if he's afraid to be heard. Yes, he's a Billy Joel fan. He likes a lot of musical artists, mainly he's a closet fan. A private individual that doesn't actually advertise his tastes.
Did she hear him? Jane doesn't let on, not wanting to wreck it by attention. She simply continues with the tune. "And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change. I was stranded in the combat zone, I walked through Bedford Stuy alone…"

Benjamin gets just a little louder, "Even rode my motorcyle in the rain, and you told me not to drive, but I made it home alive." Oh god, please don't let Rose come in while he's lowering his guard. His taste in music and hers are not compatible, generally speaking, and this is just something for her to give him a hard time over. Fortunately (or not) that thought isn't foremost on his mind as he's.. finding himself enjoying this.

As his voice rises in volume, hers lowers, Jane subtly lets him emerge vocally and continues with the instrumentation. Much as his confidence is building, so is hers, to be playing and inspiring a person out of his shell for the first time since her Lost Night. "…You may be right…" Her head moves up and down in time with the tune.

Benjamin is now a little too into the song to notice that Jane's lowering her volume. "I may be crazy, but it just might be a lunatic you're looking for. Turn out the light.." He then raises his hands, and points his index fingers at Jane almost like he was miming a pair of guns. Eyes closed, he continues, "Don't try to save me, you may be wrong for all I know but you may be right!" Wait.. whups.. buttercups. It dawns on him that he's been tricked! Standing in that ridiculous pose, face scrunched up in a 'whups' expression, he cracks an eye open to peer at Jane.

She's enjoying this, her haunted expression less so now, the eyes not as troubled. Jane's head continues to move up and down, there's no indication she's watching him, much less any sign of mocking about her. The guitarist/lawyer just keeps going.

Benjamin clears his throat some and fusses with straightening his tie. While Jane's not mocking him, he certainly looks a little embarrassed, but more surprised by his own actions just now. He doesn't /always/ need alcohol to lose his inhibitions, it's just, he hasn't really felt lighthearted enough to cut up in public in so long.

A short time later the end is reached, leading to another beginning. "Don't stop," she softly encourages. And it's the Beatles now. "Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner…" Her playing of the tune is skillful, fingers display the product of years spent playing and studying across her twenty-four years. "Sweet Loretta Martin thought she was a woman…"

Benjamin finds himself laughing at nothing in particular, well okay, he's laughing at himself. He feels silly, and at the moment he doesn't really care. He let himself forget about having fun, and letting loose a little. It's now in good humor that he joins in with Jane on 'Get Back'. "But she was another man, all the girls around her say she's got it coming, but she gets it while she can," and he's not so shy with the volume now.

She's gone partly silent now, leaving the lead vocal to Ben while she supplies the backing parts when they come up, her head moving in a steady rhythm to keep time as she plays. Fingers go up and down the frets, across the strings, as her mind moves ahead to pick out the next in line. Maybe a little Queen… The famous two songs which get played on radio as if they were one. It's upbeat, defiant, and seems so much of what they both need. Plus it has the scorching guitar parts in the middle.

It's.. a little liberating this is. To stand out in the hallway, singing with a neighbor who's a virtual stranger. It feels to Benjamin like a weight sort of lifts off his shoulders temporarily. He has been stressing, with a lot of good reason of course, as of late. This.. was probably needed. He seems to be keeping up fairly well with Jane's choices in tunes. Looks like she's hit on a lot of the music he listens to.. when no one's paying attention.

With the first of that pair starting sans guitar, her hands leave the guitar and supply the claps, she leaves the vocals to him primarily, intending to only join in on the choruses. Her head moves with the rhythm, a sneer settling onto her face as if she were intending this for someone in particular. It's so easy to connect with, a large part of what made it a commonly known rock anthem.

Benjamin breaks off halfway through the song and ducks his head some. ".. I.. thanks.. I think I really needed that. I haven't felt.. well I don't know how to say it.. but I haven't felt like this in a long time. Thank you." He doesn't mean to disrupt the moment, but his self-consciousness is catching up with him.

Her reply is a nod as he breaks off, and she resumes the vocals, belting them out with feeling. Jane keeps going, working through the scorching solo. It's only at the place where one song blends into another that she stops, a smile spreading and some fierceness in her eyes. "I get it, Ben," she states. "It's the first time in a few days I haven't felt like screaming." Although he very likely doesn't know the full effect of a Jane scream, she does, and to have held it back was taxing.

Benjamin doesn't know what Jane's capable of, or that she's even a person with abilities. Although it should click in his mind since Anders was tormenting her. "I think I know that feeling. It was a rough year, and things have been insane the past .. two months. Man.. it's been that long already. I'm not really a screaming sort, and I don't know how to release pent up frustrations all that well. So.. thanks again. I.. I think I'm gonna go back inside now. I hope whatever's bothering you goes away soon."

For her own part, Jane too isn't connecting the dots of Suresh's involvement with Anders and Angie's link to the big Viking. It might come to her later, that the geneticist son of an author she's been reading, and who will give her a safe place to loose those screams being tied to the other two means something. To Ben's words she gives a solemn answer. "Things going away are the problem."

Benjamin nods his head as he withdraws his keys. "I know that feeling, definitely." He goes ahead and shrugs out of his coat and drapes it over his arm. "Again, thanks," he says with a shy sort of smile before he turns to unlock the door of his apartment. The removal of his coat has mussed the placement of his collar enough so that the marks on the back of his neck show briefly as he moves. Or is that just a trick in the light? "Good night Miss Forrest," he says as he slips into his apartment and shuts the door.

"You're welcome, Ben," she offers, as he goes behind the door and leaves her alone again with the guitar in the hallway. With him gone, Jane's thoughts turn to someone else, a man she's wanted time with but not had much of lately. For a few minutes after his departure, the quiet chords and her door-muffled softly singing voice might be heard. A Pink Floyd tune. "… wish you were here." And then she moves on, either to apartment or the street.

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