"What are you doing in bed at this hour? Sad. Just sad." Drew sucked his teeth and tapped the receiver on the counter top in the booth. He put the phone back to his ear. "Reh-BECCA! Rebecca Rebecca Rebecca! Are you awake?"
There was no response.
"I can hear you breathing, Miss Lady. Do we have a technician yet? I could call him or her."
Rebecca struggled far enough out of her fog to answer. She still wasn't awake enough to be able to tell if she was shouting into the phone and wasn't sure yet if she cared.
"Drew? What are you doing at the station?"
"I work here."
Cobwebby. That was how Rebecca felt. Cobwebby. She was trying to parse what Drew was saying and respond in some constructive way that would not lead to a catastrophe or hurt feelings.
"Yes," she said, as words skittered through her head. All of them were lovely but none of them seemed to be what she needed right then. "Tomorrow. You start tomorrow night. It's..." She picked up the alarm clock on her nightstand and stared blearily at its face. "It's not quite midnight."
"Love, turn on the radio."
"Now. Turn it on. 103.3"
"Drew, I know our frequency."
Rebecca turned on a lamp and hobbled to the small teal retro boom box on her dresser. Static. She squinted at the tuner. 103.3. Turning the antenna did nothing. There was nothing but static. Oh, shit.
"Drew, which cart fouled out?"
There was a pause.
"All of them. I tried to pull one out. It started break. This is a mess, Love."
Rebecca was now fully awake and pulling on various articles of clothing and fumbling for her keys. She had no idea what the legalities would be if they went live a few hours early. Maybe they could get away with playing nothing but music, no jocking until Ricky and Robby showed up for AM drive time.
"Drew? Do me a favor, this will be a big favor and I know it."
"What?" Drew sounded suspicious.
"Plug in the turntable and put on..." her mind raced through the small stack of discs sitting in the booth. "Put on 'Hotel California' and don't say anything."
All Rebecca heard for the next half minute was sighing. That was when she lost her last scrap of composure.
"Drew! Put. Hotel. California. On. The turntable. NOW!"
"I hate the Eagles!"
If BellSouth really was the next best thing to being there, Rebecca would have reached out and killed Drew. She took a deep breath and thought good things about Drew, about the cartridges, about this whole foolish starting a rock radio station in a place known for sturm and twang and she crossed herself and picked the phone up from where she'd thrown it on the bed.
"Please. Drew? Please put the album on and make sure it's playing okay and going out over the air and please do not say anything. I will be there before..." she picked up her cassette of "Hotel California" and looked at the track list. "I will be there before "Life In The Fast Lane" is over. Scout's honor."
She was getting in her car when she realized she was in her sock feet. She would deal with that later.
She turned on her radio. Don Henley was singing about colitas, whatever they were, as Rebecca turned on the lights and took off down the driveway. Drew had given her a few minutes head start, but she was still cutting it close.
Rebecca didn't know if she loved the weirdness of the late drive and her tendency to be a little too immersed in her own thoughts or not. No time to consider it at the moment. Don Henley's burned out Angelenos messed around and got lost as she bound up the stairs two at a time and called out for Drew.
Drew was sitting in the conference room, smoking some of his cousin's best homegrown and eating a vending machine sandwich.
"Right here, Love," he said through bites of egg salad. "You didn't have to hurry. I'd stick around for you."