It’s such a simple word and Terry’s making it so complicated for himself.
What does it take to get people to like you? What does it take to like someone?
Does he, after all, like his mother? Certainly he loves her, in the abstracted and resentful way a nineteen year old should, but does he like her?
He likes his bandmates, especially Marnie, their drummer, who he’d like to like in a more substantial way if she wasn’t totally into Bruce, which was so typical for girls to go for the singer and never the bass player even though in the reality of the band, it was him and Marnie who were the rhythm section, who were a team.
But even there, like spirals out, becomes like like, becomes is totally into, becomes is on a team with. Where are those options? Where are the buttons for all of those?
It’s the binary of it he’s having trouble with. The Vowels of Pain have never set out to be a likeable band and now he is trying to present them to the world as a like-able band. The relationship with an audience is so much more complicated than that. He knows that even from the handful of gigs they’ve played. The audience is supposed to experience this whole spectrum of emotions towards the band, from the band, in fucking proximity to the band.
And then somehow they’re supposed to go home and just like it?
But the booking guy at the Doug Fir, who sometimes hires locals to open for bigger out of town acts, said he never hires a band with less than two hundred likes. And Terry is the only one with any skill on computer stuff. Not that this is really computer stuff.
So he makes a guess at their genre and immediately regrets it when the other options turn from black to grey. He picks out pictures of the band: Bruce spitting into the crowd at a basement show. Marnie breaking her sticks on her floor tom. He makes them look as pretty as he can, as like-able as he can. And Terry waits.