I arrived in Minnesota at the crack of dawn, as early as light could manage to rouse itself. The contract said to seek out a building named Rareform
. I didn’t know what the place was, or the elusive organization that worked there named After the Burial
. I’d had many jobs before in life, some of them great; it came with being a wayfarer. I had a bad feeling about this one, though. I remarked to myself that the organization sounded like something a child would come up with, or perhaps an angst ridden teen, depressed that momma wouldn’t let him go to the mall to hang with his best buds at Hot Topic. I never let the name of a group get me down or stop me from earning a week’s pay before, so I set my sights on the week ahead. I silently hoped that it would not be as dreadful as my work for noise outfits or obscure Korean black metal; I didn’t think I was going to survive those weeks. Setting my instincts aside, I called a cab and headed for the meeting.
Coincidentally enough, it was at a local venue. Kids stood outside, acting tough while wearing more make-up than a clown. By the look of their hair, I began to wonder if one of their parents was a peacock. A smile gripped me as I realized they looked like somber jesters whose outfits had had an unfortunate incident with a wheat thresher and a giant chain. The building had big, bolded letters on the front that read “Rareform
”, and under that was an even duller label that read “metalcore”. I knew that wasn’t a good sign; usually the building’s logo is indicative of the work to be found inside. This logo was as boring as boring could be, as though taken straight from a Mac store. Oversized and bland grey letters with no variation in shape and no hint of creativity beat my eyes down, the sun crushing the life out of a dehydrated creature. I shuddered and walked inside, careful to not get caught on the wayward chains of the locals. I presumed such an act of carelessness might rouse them to write about how depressed they are.
Inside, everything had a very industrial, overdone feel. Lights glared with unnecessary intensity, causing one to momentarily shield their eyes as they first ventured into the complex. I took a short walk around; there were several occupants. Two men named Guitars; one had the surname of Rhythm and the other had the surname of Lead. I thought that a tad strange, but I never inquired about it. There was another man, named Drums, who made his presence known as much as possible. A man named Bass who ran away if you looked at him or for him, and a very large, careless, forceful looking man named Vocals. He handed me a nametag that said “Boring”. I thought that was unorthodox, but I ignored it and I started to chat with Guitars; they suddenly squealed at me for nigh upon half a minute, without provocation or necessity. There seemed almost no pattern to their nonsensical drivel, when suddenly I was interrupted by Vocals. Vocals had a queer look to him. A look of profound confusion and alienation burdened his stance; what you would assume to see on the face of a monkey in the middle of a city.
I introduced myself, and he responded in a positively uninteresting and grating growled tone. I noticed he never quite kept a consistent sound to his barking. As he barked at me, the brothers started to make loud noises. I was surprised at first; they were banging pots at very strange rhythms, but in an annoying, senseless way. Bass was nowhere to be found, but Drums was holding what appeared to be a very oversized light-switch. He clicked it constantly, in strange patterns, almost interestingly at first. Sadly, he kept repeating his patterns, over and over, without variation. I must give him credit, for the man was quite loud; annoyingly so, in fact. They kept this up while Barky barked at me seemingly for no reason and seemingly about impertinent goals; I noticed a man sleeping in the corner. As I looked closer, ignoring the uninteresting man before me, I realized he was not sleeping; he was dead. Although I couldn’t understand Barky, I got the message that I wasn’t supposed to take note of the man in the corner. Barky insisted I come with him, to get started with my work. As we walked away, I stole a quick glance at the neglected corpse; he had a nametag on him that read “interesting”. Barky soon made it clear that my job was merely to review the place and how well it was kept. I knew I should have trusted my instincts.
I reflected upon my poor misfortune of having to work for these gentlemen for eight days. What seemed an eternity passed as I listened to them constantly banging in strange rhythms against their pots and pans, and this long time allowed me to realize how exactly these men resembled my previous jobs. Lead and Rhythm had an obnoxious tendency to make a loud dunning noise; it quite reminded me of the wheels on a train moving. As often as they did this, however, they also tried to make as many shrill, high pitched noises on their patchwork instruments as possible. While quite impressive, its effect was lost almost immediately when subjected to its presence a second time. In fact, as the week and a day went by, I noticed that the men almost exactly mimicked my good former employer Meshuggah
, although they seemed to be taking brazenly from many other metalcore employers. I noticed that each and every day was exactly the same for these guys; they never did anything different, with the noted exception that occasionally, Lead would pull out a strange whistle and play scales on it that reminded me of someone sweeping. He did this far too often, however, and it soon lost its touch. Other times, the men would slow down the rhythm, and on several occasions, they slowed it down ever further, in essence breaking down and separating the rhythm they had been playing. Sadly, all this seemed to achieve was the prospect of being twice or even four times as boring as what they had originally been doing. Strangely enough, they tended to do this every single day, often two times or more. Drums never changed anything, and as time went by, he seemed to get louder and louder, more and more annoying to the senses. I realized that perhaps Interesting was the last man who stood around for these men. I guess he just couldn’t take the pain. Incidentally, there was one time; I believe it was the sixth day; that a fascinating happenstance occurred! As the juvenile miscreants were pounding away aimlessly, the Guitars twins suddenly beat out a pattern on their simple contraptions that, against my conscious efforts, got my head bobbing along to it. I realized with a sudden jubilation that they had just played something worth remembering! Alas, if only they had been able to do it every day.
As the eight days finally came to a close, I reflected that although everything that had happened was as boring as anything I’d ever been subjected to, I noticed that the men seemed like they had the potential to change themselves, possibly even for the better. Whilst this prospect seemed far off and unlikely, I noted that they seemed the kind of men who had the conviction necessary to accomplish such a task. I took my money and left, admonishing myself that perhaps I should avoid buildings labeled metalcore from now on. As I dwelled on my experience, I tried my hardest to come up with a good simile to compare it to. Perhaps being forced to wash dishes for a week? Nay, I thought to myself; that is far too generous. Being forced to watch Ishtar? Gods, no man should be forced to endure that! Close, however… ah! Of course! It was as if I was forced to walk through a desert, but a cruel twist of fate had left me immortal. This had been, I realized with great sorrow, easily one of the most boring weeks of my life.