Julie Layne and Cali Quinn Hang Out: Another Story from the Maya

“Before I dropped out of med school I watched a hysterectomy,” said Julie. “And they have to… so it’s lathroscopic so you put the tubes in but then you actually have to inflate the abdomen with helium because you have to see what you’re doing in there.”

“Ew,” said Cali.

“And then they pull everything out through the vagina.”

“UGGGHHH.”

“And cut it off.”

“Oh my God. You watched them do that?”

“Yea, it was kinda cool.”

They were seated in Julie’s Theatrium at the bar, both with Cosmos and cigarettes. Pre-gaming for a concert that night. They were both in Master, taking the night off.

“When was this?” Cali wanted to know.

“When I was in med school, in heavyspace,” said Julie. “Years ago.”

“So wait, they pull the Fallopian tubes out?”

“No, okay, so they’re in there and they like cut all the connecting tissue like around the uterus, then they go up through the vagina and kind of turn it inside out and cut it all out and sew it up.”

“Wait, what’s a hysterectomy? Is it the Fallopian tubes?”

“No, its the whole uterus.”

“Oh, they take the uterus out.”

“Yeah. I know, it’s just -”

“That’s for old people or that’s for young people that don’t wanna get pregnant?”

“This woman was like fifty and she was like constantly bleeding and they didn’t know why and so she was like, ‘Fuck it, I’m fifty, take it away.’ So that’s what they did, they just took it out.”

“It falls out if they don’t do that, right?”

“Only if you have a million children.”

“Oh.”

“I mean, prolapsed uterus isn’t that common. But I dunno, I was gonna try for PA but I had like a shit GPA of like 3.1 and you HAVE to have a 4.0 and I’m like, do you know how long it’s gonna take me to get a 4.0? SO LONG. So, I don’t know I thought about going to nursing school because then you can get your master’s and be a nurse practioner and give people stitches and prescriptions and blah da de blah blah blah… I dunno. I just -”

“They make what, like 90 a year? Or made?”

“Yeah, probably. I don’t know. Like, starting nurses made like 20… between… the low end was 23, the high end was 28 for the first year of nursing. Per hour.”

“I could never have been a nurse,” said Cali. “I hate people.”

“Heather December was a nurse practitioner before the Veil.”

“Heather December,,” snorted Cali. “Fuck her.”

She tapped her cigarette, drew on it and reconsidered.

“Well, I actually don’t mind Heather. I just think she’s an idiot.”

“She is an idiot,” nodded Julie. “It’s like, ‘Why are you always complaining?’”

“No, she’s asking me like, ‘What can I do to increase my discipleship?’ and I was like, ‘Do public shows.””

Julie snickered.

“She was like, ‘I hope you’re kidding.’”

“And then she’s like, ‘I just don’t understand… All you did was, you were just a fuckin’ waitress and surfer girl and now you’re doing all this stuff and you won’t help me’ and I was like — ’”

“Help ya?” said Julie, incredulous. They both loved ripping on daffy yet lovable Heather behind her back.

“And I was like, ‘I did public shows.’ Like, I just said, ‘Do public shows.’ And then like ten hours later she was like, ‘Why do Platinums always complain they never get tipped enough?’ And I was like, ‘Don’t be a bitch.’ And she was like, ‘Um, I’m not.’ And then she started like, praying at me and I was like, blocked.”

“She prayed at you?”

“Well, I was like, ‘Don’t be a bitch, I really don’t care, we don’t know each other that well, we know each other through other people, but I’m not your mentor, I don’t mentor adults.’ And then I was being kind of mean but then I was like PMSing really bad so fuck off.”

“She said she saw Madame Gonzo in the Entrance,” said Julie. “Cause she already told me, ‘And yeah I saw Madame Gonzo and I was like, ‘I’m really not doing very good I’m really unhappy,’ and Gonzo was like ‘Oh, I’m sorry!’ and then just like walked out.”

Cali laughed.

“When you saw her did she say anything about how I yelled at her?”

“No.”

“Okay good, so she probably doesn’t remember.”

They sipped their cosmos.

“It’s just not like — Heather’s a fun person and I don’t mind being around her but I’m also not her friend,” said Cali.

“Right.”

“But, like, I’ve never been her friend. Like I know her through Selection but like I’ve probably seen her in person ten times in my entire life.”

“Yeah, and usually it was with me,” said Julie.

“Yeah. Like, I don’t know her. Like, I’m not gonna sit there and — every time she comes to me for advice I say, ‘Do shows in public, you have to work and meet people and — ‘“

“She never listens,” said Julie. “She’ll he Silver for life. She’s been asking the same questions for three years. ‘What do I do, I don’t know what to do…’ Do a public show for once.”

“She’s like, how do I get above a hundred million disciples and I was like, ‘You’re kidding, right? Because I don’t even have that much and I have Councillors so don’t even talk to me.’ Like, the Diamonds generally don’t even have that much and you can do this, this, and this but at the very least you’re going to at least have to get solid base of regulars going.”

“Or, like, bust your ass kissing up the chain or something.”

“She should just quit, honestly. Do something else.”

Julie snickered again.

“Do what? ‘You gonna become a plumber, Heather?’”

“She’s got the ass for it,” Cali said. She looked at her Tag.

“Oh, shit, we gotta go.”

“Let’s drive,” said Julie. “We’ve got some time.”

They downed their drinks and dialed in a phase portal.

The drive took about half an hour. They took Cali’s Lambo. Country roads and trees and telephone lines and mailboxes.

The concert was held in a covered amphitheater set into a grove of trees. The sunset was behind the trees and the shadows were cool and comforting. A great grass hill surrounded the seated areas. The place was quite packed, a cheerful and diverse crowd. Everyone sat with everyone.

Julie and Cali spread a red blanket on the grass and lay on the incline together. They dialed off their corsets and set their boobs free and lay bare-assed on the blanket but no one harassed them.

There was already band equipment on the stage — a full set-up, with guitars and bass and drums and a horn section and keyboards and percussion and a whole mess of other things.

The place filled up and Julie and Cali lay together gossiping, enjoying the evening sun and the softness of the blanket.

Their conversation was broken by a great cheer, and they leaned up just in time to see Amy Winehouse come out with her band, jumping into Just Friends without a word of introduction.

The changes between sets were easy. At the end of one person’s set, the lights on the stage dimmed down to darkness, and then when they came up again, the stage was reset for the next band.

Nirvana appeared and opened with In Bloom. Kurt Cobain was wearing a cardigan sweater and torn jeans. He was way smaller than they had pictured him, and way louder. His voice was a ragged, beautiful instrument.

They were blistering, except when Kurt started teasing the audience by playing the first riff to Smells Like Teen Spirit, and then stopping and pretending like he needed to tune his guitar.

He did it a good eight times, mumbling into the mic, “This isn’t working so gooooood…” and there were a few boos before he finally appeased the audience, throwing himself into the song, scrawny shoulders and all. The place went apeshit.

They closed their set with a cover of “Song for the Dead” by Queens of the Stone Age and disappeared offstage.

The Doors were next, opening with The Changeling. They tore through their hits, jamming out, Jim Morrison doing his King Snake dance and writhing on the stage floor, growling baritone and all.

Big Brother and the Holding Company were next and Janis Joplin introduced them all one by one. They opened with a blues jam that lead into Try (A Little Bit Harder). When she hit the first big note on the third “Try a Little Harder” Cali couldn’t stop her jaw from dropping.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience headlined the show, opening with their own blues jam that lead into The Wind Cries Mary. He ripped through Hey Joe, All Along the Watchtower, Crosstown Traffic, and a bitching slow-jam blues cover of OutKast’s Hey Ya.

After each artist’s respective set, they all came out and did a bunch of songs together. The setlist for that was:

Nirvana w/ Jimi Hendrix- Valerie (Mark Ronson remix)

Nirvana- Purple Haze

Nirvana- Mercedes Benz

Nirvana- Riders on the Storm

The Doors- Come As You Are

The Doors w/ Jimi Hendrix- Rehab

Jimi Hendrix & Amy Winehouse- Piece of My Heart

Janis Joplin w/ Nirvana- Break On Through

The Doors w/ Janis Joplin- Tears Dry on Their Own

The Doors w/ Amy Winehouse- Fire

Kurt Cobain & Amy Winehouse- Love Is a Losing Game acoustic w/ Kurt on lead vocals

Kurt Cobain & Amy Winehouse- Pennyroyal Tea acoustic w/ Amy on lead vocals

Jimi Hendrix w/ Janis Joplin- Heart Shaped Box

Jimi Hendrix- All Apologies

At the end, the stage was cleared except for a single stool and a silver mic. The theater was quiet, and then Robert Johnson himself came out and did a bunch of songs solo, just him and his acoustic, opening with Terraplane Blues and ending with a cover of Voodoo Child.

The entire group closed out the show together by bringing their acoustics out and singing “Cross Road Blues” together. They lined up across the stage — Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. Amy sang the first verse, Kurt the second, Janis the third, Jim the fourth and Jimi the last. Robert repeated the last verse with everyone accompanying him in an incredible six part harmony.

The show ended and the stage went dark. Cali and Julie looked up into the night sky and saw the stars waking up one by one.

“This has been amazing,” said Cali as they walked back to the car. They’d decided to drive back to the Palace. It was such a lovely night.

“I know,” said Julie. “I never really thought any of them were that great in heavyspace, but then I saw them live and I was like, ‘Uaahhh…’”

“I know, right?”

Everything is a work in progress.