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This scene, from chapter 2, describes teenaged Clarice’s brief stint playing with a party band called Groulx. Through successive drafts this section grew smaller and smaller. In the published version of Bloody Waters, all that remains is a single paragraph summary. But here’s the original, a look at the implosion of a band in which all of the players are sleeping with each other.

Here it is, raw and unedited.


5.  Groulx

Clarice joined a band named Groulx.  Groulx didn’t get as many or as large gigs as Stalin’s Mo did, but they wrote their own material and they were not afraid to play it.  They had a couple of decent songs, in Clarice’s estimation, but their specialty was ‘party’ songs with choruses that rhymed nonsense syllables with hipster slang.  Clarice joined as rhythm guitarist, but Groulx encouraged improvisation and allowed her to do some leads, if she waited her turn.

Clarice wasn’t the only girl in Groulx, either:  the lead singer was a pretty, large-built girl named Marnie. Marnie didn’t like her terribly much.  Jake, the other guitarist, sang backing vocals.  Clarice quickly got into his bad books by suggesting that he try to solo in a key other than C Major.

The bassist was terrible:  Clarice and Jake had to tell him exactly what to play for every song, and he still couldn’t keep up.  Clarice could never remember his name.  The drummer was a scrawny, psychotic little ape named Ryan; all wild eyes and bushy brown beard and flailing drumsticks.  Every one of Groulx’s songs started at mid tempo and got faster and faster, because exertion of any kind opened the floodgates of Ryan’s adrenal glands.

Marnie and Jake had started the band, and they were a couple when Clarice joined.  After a while they broke off their romance and Marnie took up with the bass player whose name Clarice couldn’t remember.  Jake was upset about this, but he considered the band to be his own property and he wouldn’t leave.  Clarice did her best to ignore the soap opera, although the arguments were really starting to cut into rehearsal time.

Despite Clarice’s attempts to keep herself at arm’s length from the drama, Marnie somehow came to believe that she was sleeping with Jake, who did nothing to discourage that belief.  When it became clear that Marnie wasn’t going to scratch out Clarice’s eyes in a fit of jealousy and go back to him, Jake began to insinuate that Clarice was sleeping with the bass player as well.  Ryan, upon hearing this, became convinced that Clarice was sleeping with everyone but him.

Every rehearsal turned into a screaming match.  Groulx started to mess up more and more of their gigs.  Clarice walked out on them in the middle of one such performance in front of an audience of about fifty.

Jake rang her up four days later and asked her what was up.

“I’m starting my own band,” Clarice replied, “and none of you are invited.”



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