"So, who's this Daniel I keep hearing about, Devon? Is he a nice boy?"

Dev snorts, and inside his gut twists a bit. "Yeah, Oz is really nice. He takes care of people good."

"Well, dear."

"What, mom?"

"You say well. 'Good' isn't grammatically right."

For a minute he's sorely tempted to yell at her, 'druggie rock stars don't fucking care about fucking grammar, so fuck off!' but then training sets in. Oz-training. "Yeah, like, sorry."

"So," his mom would say and not really care, "What's Oz like?"

"He's just a guy I know, okay? In the band." And Devon tastes that lie, on his tongue, coating his teeth.

"Does he live nearby?"

'Temples in tibet and monastaries of Buddha, fucking hell', he thinks to himself, 'and he never calls or writes'. Says, "His parents' house is on Oak street."

"That's nice. I suppose," and here's the bomb, "that you two are close, him being in the band."

She always thinks it's 'his band', even though he's just the screamer. A screamer. Bile rises. Oz could live inside him and still be less than close.