The Deen Castronovo Chronicles: Part 4, in which we learn “How Craig Talked Kristy Off of the Ledge”

“Neil Peart is a god!”

Oh my God. It wasn’t September anymore. It was March now. March. Are you fucking kidding me—was this torture never going to end?

I could feel it snap—something small but vital within me that had been stretched taut for months. It finally let go with an audible twang.

It might have been my self control.

“That’s it,” I said, leaning down to untie my right shoe and grab it off my foot. I had it fully cocked and loaded before Craig noticed I was about to let it fly in Deen’s direction. He immediately wagged his finger in my face. “No-no!” he barked.

“CastroNo-no,” I growled back, leaning to find a better sightline around the cymbals that intervened between my weapon and the side of Deen’s head.

“Put down the shoe, Kristy!” Craig ordered.

Deeno Castronovo 1980

Deen Castronovo – high school!

Deen was in motion over there behind the drums. Playing or not, Deen was always in motion. Getting a bead on him was going to take some patience and skill, but that was okay. I had time on my side. “Unless you want to be a collateral casualty, Craig, you’d better back up right now.”

Craig didn’t budge. “It’s already too late,” he said, shaking his head. “If you hit him now, he won’t have any idea why you’re doing it. At this point he won’t even remember what he did wrong.” It was the sort of advice taken straight from the pages of a puppy training manual—yet it still rang true.

I finally looked at Craig. “But, Craig—”

“Kristy,” he said, holding my shoulders and looking me dead in the eye, “Be the bigger man.”

I dropped the shoe on the floor and sat with my head in my hands. “Craig,” I said, “We are so fucked.”

“I know we are,” he said, patting my back with the patience of a kindergarten teacher. “But it’s gonna be okay.”

I glanced over to the left at Glenn. A grinchy little smile was just leaving his face. It was rapidly replaced by an expression of profound disappointment—in Craig—for having stopped a scene that, if it had played out fully, would have certainly been the highlight of his day.

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