I look down and see Billy, soundly sleeping with his head resting on my chest and his arm wrapped around my waist.
I gently stroke his hair. I do so slowly and carefully.
I watch as his head moves slowly, up and down, rocking to the rhythm of my beating heart.
I try not to breathe too deeply so that he doesnít wake up. Peace, pure, simple, blissful peace is so rare nowadays that I donít want to be the one to shatter it. Iíve done that to him more than enough times already.
YEAH. TAKE ALL THE BLAME. AS IF THE FUCKER HAD NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH IT.
He looks so helpless, vulnerable while resting in my arms, kind of like a child, and, itís funny, but I feel itís my responsibility to protect him from the monsters that lurk outside in the darkness.
YEAH, BUT WHOíLL PROTECT HIM FROM YOU?
I promise I wonít let anything happen to you.
DONíT MAKE PROMISES YOU CANíT KEEP.
Itís been a long time Billy. What? Five years. Itís seems like itís been much longer.
YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY? ABSENCE MAKES THE COCK GROW HARDER. YOU CAN VERIFY THE TRUTH OF THAT STATEMENT, CANíT YOU BILLY?
Heíll have to wake up soon though.
SAYS WHO? YOU SAID IT YOURSELF. HE LOOKS SO HELPLESSÖVULNERABLE. IT WONíT TAKE MUCH, YOU KNOW.
And whatíll happen when he finally wakes up?
YOU FUCKINí KNOW EXACTLY WHATíLL HAPPEN.
Heíll get up, get dressedÖ
ÖMAKE SOME POINTLESS SMALL TALK AND WALK RIGHT OUT OF THE FUCKINí DOOR AND YOUR FUCKINí PATHETIC LIFE. YOU SEE, HEíS TOO GOOD FOR US NOW, TOO GOOD FOR THE ROAD, FOR TRAVELING IN THE BACK OF CRAMPED, CRUMMY, AND PISS-SCENTED VANS, FOR SLEEPING IN CHEAP HOTEL ROOMS WITH CHEAP WHORES. NOPE. BILLYíS RESPECTABLE NOW. NO MORE PUNK FOR BILLY. NOPE. JENIFUR WAITS. JENIFUR? WHAT KIND OF FUCKINí NAME IS THAT FOR A BAND?
Heíll come back. We have that concert to play tomorrow night. I mean, later on tonight. Jesus Christ, what fucking time is it anyway?
TIME FOR ANOTHER DRINK.
Where did I leave that bottle anyway? There must be some Jack left.
THATíS RIGHT. EMPTY THE BOTTLE AND RAM THAT NECK RIGHT UP OL' BILLYíS ASS. I GUARANTEE YOU HE WONĒT BE GOING ANYWHERE SOON AFTER THAT. OF COURSE, HE PROBABLY WONíT BE IN ANY CONDITION TO PLAY EITHER.
Itís our last concert. Maybe ever. Man, what a goddamn waste. The past four shows have been great. Just like the old days. Even better. The music is so good. Itís everything. Maybe heíll reconsider. Maybe Hard Core Logo wonít die.
YEAH. RIGHT. DREAM ON. YOUíLL NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.
Heíll show up tonight. Heís a professional.
YEAH. RIGHT. IF HE DOES SHOW UP, HEíLL TRY TO STEAL THE SPOTLIGHT FROM YOU.
He deserves the glory. The guy has talent on loan from God.
TALENT! THE GUYíS A FUCKINí GUITARIST. ANY MONKEY CAN WALK INTO A MUSIC STORE, GRAB A GUITAR, AND PLAY STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN.
He does more than play that guitar. He makes it sing. No, not sing. He makes it scream. A loud, angry, violent howl. Itís fucking beautiful, man. So fucking beautiful.
GIVE ME A FUCKINí BREAK! BILLY FUCKINí TALLENT. WHAT A FUCKINí EGO! YOU WANT TALENT, MR. BOISY? IíLL SHOW YOU TALENT. IĒLL SHOW YOU HOW TO DESTROY A LIFE. ITíS TRUE, ANYONE CAN DESTROY A LIFE, BUT THE BEAUTY IS IN THE DETAILS. THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS, THE MIND REELS. DO I CUT HIS THROAT WHILE HE SLEEPS? HOW ABOUT IF I SMOTHER HIM WITH THIS PILLOW AND MAKE HIM CHOKE ON HIS LAST
NO. TOO EASY. DO I BOOZE HIM UP?
COKE HIM UP?
FUCK HIM UP? BEEN THERE. DONE THAT. NO. FUCKINí HIS BODY WAS TOO EASY. WHAT IF WE FUCK WITH HIS MIND? HOW ABOUT THAT? HOW ABOUT IF WE MAKE BILLY BOY DESTROY HIMSELF?
YEP. WEíLL DO IT SLOWLYÖPAINFULLY. WEíLL MAKE HIM NEED US. WANT US. LOVE US UNTIL HE CANíT LIVE WITHOUT US. WE'LL FEED THAT LOVE AND NURTURE IT AND LET IT GROW UNTIL IT ACHES HIM TO BE ALONE.
YEP. BILLY, YOUíRE MY BITCH. YOU ARE MINE TO FUCK WITH AS I PLEASE. IíM GONNA TREAT YOU LIKE A CHEAP CAN OF BEER. IíM GONNA OPEN YER HEART AND DRAIN EVERY LAST DROP OF THAT SWEET STUFF WITHIN YOU, THEN CRUSH YOU AND THROW YOU AWAY.
WHAT DID YOU SAY?
I said fuck off. I promised I wouldnít hurt him.
WELL, PROMISES WERE MADE TO BE BROKEN.
Not this one. Not this time.
Just remember. It works both ways.
The power to destroy. It works both ways.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
Youíll find out soon enough.
I think you know better. I may not be able to tell Billy that I love him. Hell, I canít even show him that I love him in ways that donít involve booze, drugs, and my dick up his ass, but come later on tonight, after the concert, Iíll prove to him and to us, once and for all, that I love himÖmore than life itself. What do you say to that, Dick?
Cat got your tongue? Good, well then, fuck off and leave us alone.
Itís just you and me now, Billy. Just the way it always should have been, if it wasnít for the rest of the world. Who am I kidding? If it wasnít for ourselves. It just wasnít in the cards. Love is great. Love is grand. Love is also destructive. Love is all that matters.
In the end, itís love.
Who knows though, maybe after tomorrow night, we'll both be able to find the peace that has somehow always escaped us, except for those few brief moments when we got to hold on to each other.