Long Cold Winter: Chapter Forty-Four

Sol vanished up to his room to get his resume ready, and Sandra had gone back out to the living room to continue her conversations with Matt’s past partners. Egypt appeared briefly to refill his coffee cup and then vanished back to the kitchen to fix a late breakfast for herself and Amanda. Only two more of Matt’s children was expected. Tawny and Lynne.

Matt was in the middle of the twentieth rejected demo when Tawny walked in. “I hope you brought some Tylenol or Excedrin, because I am getting a huge headache.”

Tawny’s voice rang above the racket. “What the hell is that?

Matt looked up. “It’s supposed to be music, but I can’t see how anyone could mistake it for such. It sucks. I was listening to the reject pile to figure out nicer ways of saying the same thing as my other two scouts, but I can’t find flowery enough words to tell them nicely that their idea of music is crap. guess I am going to have to use the same words on all the rejects that I was given and quit trying to be nice.”

Tawny smiled. “Yes, nice isn’t always honest.”

He nodded. “True.”

She changed the subject. “So what’s the news?”

He smiled. “There is quite a bit. I was hoping to wait until Lynne got here to say anything.”

Lynne walked into the office. “Who’s that in the living room?”

Matt stood. “Now that you are both in here, I will tell you all. Just be patient. First, I have quit drinking and smoking. Second, that young lady in the living room is your half-sister. third, I am in love.”

Both women squealed and began jumping up and down. Matt rubbed his temples. They weren’t helping his headache any. Lynne was first. “Who’s the lucky lady?”

Matt smiled, trying to hide the fact his head was now throbbing. “Her name is Amanda. She is a friend of Egypt’s.”

They both rushed at him and wrapped their arms around him. Jumping up and down, squealing with delight, they showed their approval and joy. Neither of them noticed him grow pale. Or close his eyes.

When they were done, he looked at Tawny. “I am serious. Do you have any Excedrin? My head is throbbing.”

Tawny hurriedly searched through her purse and found a bottle of Excedrin, then handed it to her father. “Sorry. I thought you were joking earlier.”

He shook his head. “No. I have been listening to that crap for about an hour. Every band in that pile sent nothing but crap. I will just have to be brutally honest with each and hope for the best.”

Matt shook two pills from the bottle, then walked to where his coffee sat. He tossed the pills into his mouth, then took a big gulp of coffee. He looked up and smiled. He walked back to the front of the desk.

Lynne looked at him. “When do we get to meet her?”

He looked at both girls. “At lunch. What time is it?”

Tawny smiled. “It is about ten. Don’t worry. It smelled like Egypt has been busy fixing something. Anyway, it is great to see you back working. And in love.”

He grinned. “It is great to be back. I haven’t felt this way for over ten years.” He looked away. “As for this pile, I think I will write a single form response and make that do. It’ll be easier to run off thirty copies of the same thing than to try to write the same thing thirty different ways.”

Lynne nodded. “I agree.”

Matt chuckled. “That just leaves the five ‘maybes’ to be listened to. And the ten positives. Those should be easier on the ears and mind.”

Egypt peeked in. “Lunch is ready whenever you are.”

Matt ushered his two youngest daughters to the dining room. They were about to partake in a culinary wonder and he was ready. He hadn’t noticed how hungry he had become. But now, at the mention of lunch, his stomach growled loudly.

After lunch, he left the women to talk and headed back to his office. He typed up the single rejection letter for the rejects, stuck them in the return envelopes, and then sealed each envelope. He stuck the ready letters in the ‘out’ box. The original files, he stuck in a bag to keep them separate from those he wanted to sign. On the bag he stuck the rejected demos in, he marked ‘rejected’, then tied it shut.

He listened to the five ‘maybes’. They were promising, but not really pro enough. He could work with them and get them to their best potential. He knew he could. He wrote letters inviting them to come in and work with him. These demos, he would keep. And he would mail these letter himself. He put them to one side.

He finished with the ten acceptable demos. For each, he wrote an acceptance letter and stuffed it into the envelope that had been sent. He wrote the band name in a list of bands to sign for Ty, then picked up the phone and dialed his friend. He waited for Ty to pick up. “Ty. It’s Matt. Got your files done. I had some help. Yes. I sorted them. The ones that weren’t quite ready I am offering to work with personally. The ones ready to sign, I have letters ready to send, all you need to do is get contracts ready to sign for each. Yes, the letters invite them to come and sign. Yes, I promised that we would comp their costs. No, I made no signatory promises other than we want them.

“Ty, when you come to pick the files up, I suggest that you shred and burn the reject pile. Get rid of it. Every single demo sucked. Big. All I did for them was to make a form letter. No. They were all basically the same level of crap. Take a look at the list of suggestions given by my helpers. You’ll see that they were pretty blunt. Yes, and honest. I don’t see how they got through all of them. I only made it through twenty and I had a migraine. Yes. I am ready for the next round. Thanks. OK. Bye.”

He hung up the phone. A few minute later, the doorbell rand and an intern appeared. Mat had already stuck the letters in a divided pouch to keep them separated. He had returned the approved demos in the attache case all the files had been brought in. He pointed to the attache case and the bag with the rejected demos in it. The intern left the new case on the desk and picked up the case and bag sitting on the floor.

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