The Beginning of the End of the Start
Meet my Nerves, a huge issue in my life. What happens if Frank finds out? How will this work out? Will it?
I pulled into a tidy gravel driveway. According to the directions, I was supposed to be on Wilmette Ave. Somehow Campbell Drive just doesn’t look the same. I sighed then looked at a map again to see I took a right in the wrong place. I cursed under my breath and backed out of the driveway.
Several minutes later I had arrived at an old fashioned looking house that by the looks, hadn’t been revonated for quite some time, with cars parked out of the way of a near non-exsistent driveway. It had an really cool verandah though, the type that wraps around the whole house. The letterbox read 66. I smiled to myself knowing that I had finally made it. I parked outside behind a banged up looking car (like mine). As I got out I noticed something in the back window.
Could it really be him, after all these years?
At the back, on top of the boot was a present I had given to my best friend before he left. A 12 inch plush Chewbacca toy, official merch from Star Wars.
I didn’t believe it but at the same time I did. The second half of that sentence was probably the reason I was running like a maniac toward the front doors of a barely known persons parents house.
It didn’t look like Pete’s parents were home (even though I had no idea what they looked like) so I felt a little more calm about pounding on the front door.
“Hey! Glad you could make it.” The drummer (I forgot Andy’s name!) said opening the door for me.
“Thanks.” I said quietly, keeping a whole heap of enthusiasm bottled up inside.
He smiled shyly as I passed, from his “outlandic” outburst.
“Sorry dude, but um, what was your name again? I’m terrible with names.” I asked
“Andy.” He said, looking like he was about to stick his hand out for me to shake but then he appeared to forget that thought.
Inside my awkwardicity metre rose slightly then decreased.
He led me into a separate place, most likely Pete’s bedroom I thought staring up at the posters decorating the walls of the room.
“Hey.” Pete said, inviting me to sit on his bed. Please don’t think anything because Andy was on this bed too!
I heard a toilet flush from somewhere down the hall.
“Hey Pete, I think you ran outta toilet paper,” said a tall person walking into the room.
“Joe?” I asked out loud (really embarrassingly ditzily)
“Do I know you?” he said mockingly recognising me, even though my face didn’t register. For a second I really did believe him. He smiled and I got up to hug him.
“Patrick’s running late,” noted Andy quietly, supposedly to himself
“Jesus, you’ve grown!” I said loudly, actually forgetting to be embarrassed for once
“You’ve fucking shrunk! How’ve you been?” Joe asked staring at my red highlights.
“Nice hair” he slipped in before I spoke
“Thanks.” I said thankfully
“Alright, except Frank moved in.”
“Holy shit, I feel so bad for you!”
The Legendary Joe Trohman:
My best friend for all eternity (preschool-present)
It all started way back when Barbies were actually popular with little girls and not just with creepy old men (no offense!), and when it was cold you were allowed to microwave your undies (who’s to say some of us still do!)
It was the second week of pre-school for me; and Jesus, it was fucking tough. Pity hadn’t been born in the minds of our small four year old brains so I was forced to watch the more privileged girls play with their dolls while they of course felt no pity whatsoever. They have now become the most annoying steriotypical cheerleaders alive. I felt someone watching me and although it’s supposed to only happen in romances and dramas I turned around to see a boy. He was about my age from my point of view, maybe a bit shorter and startillingly blue eyes. I noticed he had a banana milk in his hand. Looked like we were going to have to do an unfair exchange.
“Is it already goneded?” I asked knowing the routine through two weeks of experience
“No,” he replied earnestly, “I just thought you looked weally sad and I thought I should help you.”
I looked past his shoulder to see his friends watching and looking annoyed and generally jerkish. I guess they thought they were so cool with their incredibly oversized, rolled-up-at-the-sleeves Gridiron jerseys and whatnot, “inherited” from their older brothers. Meet today’s Jock’s.
They stalked off in a boyband type walk, which was almost completely insyncopated. Creepy at the slightest?
“They were poop heads anyway.” Joe announced, “Oh yeah, I’m Joe! Joe Twohman.”
As time went on we were inseparable. Joe developed his lisp. Mom and Dad fell out and one day Dad didn’t come home (to be exact two weeks before my sixth birthday). That led to months of self blaming added onto bullying Joe and I had already been receiving from kids at school taunting us with their ghoulish, “Joe and Crystal sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”
As the months went on Joe was the same height as me and Mom had lost all motherliness towards us. Trips to Dad were getting more constant who was living over somewhere by Miami, which caused strain on my older siblings, Trixi and Alex because they were the ones who parented me the most as Mom’s snappability got worse and the slightest move could cause her to spring. After a while Trixi had begun to say that Mom had, “permanent PMS” not that I knew what it was back then. I doubt she did either. Plane rides to Miami had even gotten so frequent (every holidays for a week and three times during the school term) that the flight attendants knew us each by name and we knew theirs. We were so close to just moving to Miami because of Mom’s constant fits of rage but then she had happily gone to court and gotten full custody of us all, accusing Dad of rape and being a paedophile. For the benefit money of course.
“What brought you back here to this neck of the woods?” I asked with interest. We were now downstairs in a basement and we were setting up.
“Uh, I’m starting school up here, my roots were pulling me back and I missed you.” He added cornily, grinning, “Since when did you start playing guitar anyway?”
A few years later, just after Joe’s Bar Mitzvah, junior year at middle school, my life was turned upside-down. Joe’s father had been offered the opportunity of a lifetime… in Florida, Trohman’s original homeplace. Apparently it couldn’t be turned down, Joe’s mom told me over the second to last time I was at their house. I still remember the boxes stacked high on top of each other. I can still remember them loading their cars and trailers. The worst part was the actual leaving. I almost threw the box at Joe as I felt my emotions running out of my eyes and ears. Joe cried a few unmanly tears as well, which made his Dad sigh to himself as he was supposed to be a man by now but we didn’t care
“I’ll be back someday, I promise.” He said, barely finishing his sentence.
One last hug (I kissed him on the cheek actually) and he was gone.
We attempted to keep in touch through mail but that didn’t work and I soon lost all connection to him, constantly wondering how he was and if he had finally vertically overtaken me.
Memories still stay with me of when I used to cry myself to sleep from having absolutely no friends whatsoever. Sure, I had a few acquaintances (a couple of lab partners, all the rest was done with the teacher as examples). I had taken a leaf out of my brother and sister’s books by turning to music. Black Sabbath had turned into my therapists. Led Zeppelin, my councillors and The Smiths my psychologists. It was as if they had known exactly how I felt. They were reading my thoughts and putting them on paper I had decided. I begun taking guitar when I was around about 13 and a half, expertly forging my mother’s signature to get the lessons. By the next year guitar was a habit. I was constantly trying to do covers from songs on our rented guitar. Like the intro to Paint It Black became something that was a neccessity to learn. My birthday the next year was the happiest I’d been for a long time. Mom was still at home, apparently going to visit somebody and we were at Dad’s house. I was expecting nothing spectacular as I crept out of the house again, already dressed to watch the baby seagulls learn to fly. By the time I came home they were all waiting in my room, knowing where I’d been.
“We got you something.” Trixi said excitedly. Obviously judging by the looks on their faces it really was something. She pulled something from behind her and judging by the shape I knew what it was. I pulled the parcel toward me like I imagined some spoiled brat would do. After the unwrapping I felt aomething drop into my stomach.
It’s funny how many things seem to happen down there.
“The Fender we saw the other day?!” I asked aloud as soon as the wrapping on my present was off.
“Aw, don’t cha like it?” Alex asked mockingly
“Of course I do!” I said, feeling my eyes brimming with tears. I rubbed the black body down, enjoying the smoothness of the polished wood.
“Oh and we got you an amp as well.” Trixi said, remembering that for us all. I sensed a group hug coming on from Trixi’s direction and before I knew it I was sandwiched and my eyes overflowed with happiness for once in a long time.
I looked down seeing my old friend again, covered in tacky stickers, suspended above the ground with a violently electric purple strap. I knew how the first song, Pretty In Punk went. I nearly had all the notes and chords remembered. For the rest of the song I was told to sit down and watch. By now of course Patrick was here and I was blown away at his vocals. I applauded after every song.
They managed to all get sweaty after the set but I stayed dry because I sat down for the rest of the time (as you already know).
“That was awesome.” Pete announced, taking off his bass and resting it on his amp carefully.
“Damnit, I’ve gotta get back to the dorm because it’s Ed’s birthday party.” Andy said after checking the time on an odd clock down there, shaped like a cow, with its tail swinging between its legs.
“Bye!” I called after him politely.
I noticed that Patrick was still yet to say anything unless he was singing.
“Uh, we or I-,” he begun to say all of a sudden, “Um, I’ve got the- the music, you might want to uh… take it home and uh practice?”
“Yeah, okay.” I said, getting the feeling Patrick wasn’t the most outgoing person in the world. He almost threw the papers at me, looked like he was having a minor epileptic seizure then ran off, without another saying a word.
“He’s just a little nervous. He’s not really the social type. It was worse when he first joined, trust me.” Pete said, watching him run upstairs and slam the door accidentally.
“Like a freaking mad professor.” Joe noted, smiling.
He’s still a little mad live. He’s a better recording guy.
The three of us were left in the basement talking for around about twenty minutes.
“Hey Joe, do you want to go grab a coffee?” I asked. Pete suddenly looked left out in my peripheral vision, “You can come too.” I said, feeling annoyed at myself for not asking
“Okay.” Pete answered, “Just as long as I’m not a tag-a-long.”
Within a few minutes we were in Joe’s car.
“Jeez, real posh Trohman.” I said smirking from the backseat in the direction of the rear view mirror. I saw him smirk back
“Yeah picked it up for a couple hundred. A little rough around the edges, y’know.”
“Dude, what the fuck happened to your stereo?!” Pete said, laughing aloud pointing at the hole where the stereo probably once was
“Like I said, just a few little rough edges. With a little care she’ll polish up.”
I noticed a red stain on the seat next to me so I edged closer to the window.
“So what’s this place that we’re going to?” Pete asked, trying to keep the conversation going
“Um, it’s a little place over in Hoffman Estates, not that for away from here. There’s a place there called something like The Raging Scotch.” The sign always made me laugh.
Contrary to past times, I did laugh as we stopped outside the bar. The sign with the drunken Scotsman seemed to be painted with nostalgic ink. The man stared out toward the roadway smiling drunkly. Someone almost fell out of the doorway as we stepped inside. Amazingly he was drunk and the sun hadn’t even set yet.
“But I know that girl, she-she was lookin’ at me for sure. You-you’re just jealous, aren’t you, fucking bastard. Jesus is a fucking chick, ye-you know it and he fucking loves me, you jealous bastard.”
Somehow the drunk man got up and ran behind some dumpsters, not even noticing us at the slightest.
“I’ll be back…” he said, sinking into the green dumpster menacingly, and yes it was menacing.
“I think maybe I’ll just stick with a good ol’ soda for today….” I said, still watching the can, expecting glowing eyes.
“Maybe, we should too?” Pete said as soon as we actually stepped inside the place. A jukebox was playing By The Way from another one of my inspirational bands, Red Hot Chili Peppers, with the lead guitarist, John Frusciante being one of my guitar heroes.
“Are you kids old enough to be here?” the bartender asked when we reached the counter.
“Eighteen.” Joe stated proudly, crossing his arms.
“Oh really? Well this bar’s buying age is 21 in this state so go back home to your parents, pretty boy.”
“Well, fuck you too.” I said quietly as we turned to the door.
“What did you just say, laddy?” he asked, his Scottish accent fluent
The music seemed to stop temporarily.
“RUN!” I whispered, my voice almost breaking
“Yeah, you best be running, you smart ass bastard!”
“Man, what did you do to get so popular Joe? Could you give me some pointers?” I said smiling at the now darker reflection of myself in the rear view mirror.
“It was all thanks to you on that one, Poppit.” He said donning my new nickname with pride.
“So where are we going now?” I asked, slightly anxious in a way. I was supposed to be home five minutes ago.
“Uh, I don’t know. Didn’t really plan for that…”
“I can’t believe I forgot the drinking age here!” I said annoyed, “Are you even 21 yet, Pete?”
“Nineteen.” He replied, “We can go back to my house and steal some of my parents whisky if you really want to get pissed.”
“No. I’m actually supposed to be home right now.” I said, feeling supposedly angry at Mom and Frank’s evil rules. Alex had moved out as soon as he could.
Alex, my dearest (and only) brother
Alex, the eldest out of all of us as siblings (Alex, Trixi and I) has always been a father figure for me. He is currently 26 and lives somewhere in the rich side of New York being a journalist for a music magazine called Ultimate Guitar. He left home at age eighteen in pursuit of his career in journalism with his best friend Felix. A year or two later during one of our frequent, twice weekly calls he announced that he and Felix were officially a couple. I think they’ve tied the knot but they had to fly over to somewhere in Europe where civil unions are allowed. Alex will never receive a care package from Mom but I don’t think he would have ever wanted one from her anyway. He has encouraged me through everything and we haven’t fought about anything since Dad left home.
On the drive home, I followed Joe for some time before he turned off, flashing his lights at me as he took his exit towards North Shore Drive.
Getting inside the door was… scary. Frank looked like he was going to bite my head off like Alice Cooper and chickens (for the youngins he bit off the head off a live chicken on stage) and Mom was inexplainable. Her glare seemed to roll back in her head, her eyebrows were furrowed so deeply that it seemed to be causing her sight difficulties and her lips were invisible.
“Where the hell were you?!” Frank yelled at me
“We were about to call the cops, stupid bitch!” Mom screamed, penetrating me harmfully. I was glad I left the guitar in the car, just in case of a situation similar to this one.
“And how would you care?” I retorted angrily, “Your only loss would be my benefit money.”
This left us in silence. I saw Trixi’s head pop up over the staircase’s banister.
“Fuckoff!” Frank shouted. I didn’t need to be told twice and I left the room expecting a call on my cellphone (I felt so awesome because I bought it with my own money).
My really annoying rhythmic beeping came from my back pocket. I picked up, pacing at the front of my car.
“The back door’s unlocked, make sure General Bastard doesn’t see you.”
“See you in a bit.” I whispered back into the speaker before disconnecting the call.
I unlocked my car to get the guitar and amp out. Mother dearest, would have grounded my butt off if I was daring enough to play, even on the lowest level. I crept past the side windows, stealing a quick glance at Mom sitting on Frank’s legs like a common slut. Their eyes were glued to the idiot box, screening a strange game show involving flying money, greasy pigs and typical game show dumbasses, looking like they’d all been cut from a template. Oh P.S: Don’t worry I did lock the car again. Trixi was waiting by the backdoor. She had the look of a teenager confined to her room/turret guarded by evil fire breathing dragons and dark wizards. We ran up the stairs, tiptoed, not that it mattered as the idiot box seemed more colorful and flashy than before, thus making it more interesting for the un-epileptic viewer.
“What did you guys do then?” Trixi asked, practically stealing a little kids excitement, twinkle in the eyes type thing.
The awesomest sister ever to me (even though yet again, I only have one of). She is learning to be a cartoonist (even though I think being a good artist is something that you’re naturally good at and trust me she is). At this time she had come back home for a few weeks, just to help me out for a while with “anything”. I have to say Trixi was the closer sibling to me, even more close then Alex, probably just because she’s of the same gender. Sometimes though, I don’t even think we’re related. It’s a little suspicious as to how she got blonde, really curly hair instead of Alex and I’s dark brown almost black hair. She’s definitely got Dad’s eyes though but then again her personality is a whole new level. Anywho we all had (or have!)freckles so that means we’re related.
She recently graduated from the New Jersey School of Arts
“It was awesome! You’ll never guess who was there!” I said, wanting to see the surprise in her eyes.
“Joe.” She said smirking
“How did you know?” I asked, genuinely perplexed
“Ah, you see Crystal, I have the power of a psychic mind..”
“He was down at Dairy Queen or something one day. Like a few days before now, just after you got in with the band. He told me to keep it a secret that he was in too so I did.”
“Oh.” I said, not knowing what to say next.
“He’s a little… taller than I last remembered, huh?” Trixi said
“Yeah, I can’t even remember the last time I saw him and he was the same size or smaller than me.”
I ran my fingers through my hair absent mindedly.
“Those are cool.” I said, pointing at some anime type cartoons on Trixi’s drawing pad (that I gave to her for Christmas!)
“Oh thanks. They’re pretty random though.”
“No they’re awesome.” I said, taking a more in depth look at the characters outfits. “They look like clothes I ‘d steal from a costume hire place.” I said, realising that that probably sounded a bit bad in a way.
“Thanks.” She said, understanding and knowing full well about my lack of wit.
“So how have you been hitting it off with this “fella” of yours?” I asked, cocking my head to the side
“Oh you mean Gerard?” she asked smiling.
“Fine. He and I are working on our own comic which you just caught a small preview of.”
“What’s it called?”
“The Umbrella Academy. Gerard is writing it but we’re drawing it together. We’re friends.” She said emphasising the last word especially.
Just in case you were thinking the Umbrella Academy sounds familiar, does the name, Gerard Way ring any bells. Yes it is true, Trixi used to be best friends (and maybe they stil are.) with the now lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance. They’re probably one of my favourite bands now and Trixi’s ultimate favourite, die hard because I LOVE YOU!, lie-down-in-a-muddy-puddle-so-you-can-cross-without-getting-wet-for-you band.
“Oh well, from the sounds of things, you guys are really hitting it off.”
“By the sounds of things you and Joe are hitting it off.”
I ignored the last question as I jumped from her bad to mine and lay on my back, staring at the ceiling. Trixi started to say something but I didn’t hear because the sugarplums were louder. The guitar slept next to my head.
Comments & Questions(104):
man, you guys have changed. and whatever, patrick’s obviously has a bald spot. don’t try and feed us that bull flak, crystal!
the whole band has freaking changed, andy speaks without hesitation, patrick has practically left the band and just produces music for other shitty fbr bands, joe is just a pot smoking hooligan, pete is just an asshole in general and you’re just an overly self-conscious whore, who only loves themself. i bet if someone asked if you wanted to do a solo contract you would. you’re the worst in the band. Usually I’d be looking up to you but then what’s all this shit about you growing up with a crap mom. Whatever, you obviously lived in the rich ‘burbs, having champagne breakfasts every morning with pete.
you all fucking suck, you’re music’s changed, do you realise your music is approved by 12 year old mothers? before it would have been, i don’t give a shit, fuck them all.
RE: Okay, so we have changed. Massively. We’re all the same people though, no sex changes or anything.
Shouldn’t you be happy though that we’ve gotten past suicide attempts etc.?
Coming to Sweden anytime soon?
P.S: Skansen loves you!
You guys are the shit!!!!
It’s peanut butter jelly time =] =] =] =] =]
Patrick is a stoner, right?
I personally love you all. I’m not here just for you Crystal (because I’m a dude, lol). You’re music is awesome and you’ve inspired so many people to start up bands (pete made me start wearing guyliner, after watching the video on YouTube!). Keep rocking and don’t forget your real fans!
I’ll still always be here even if you forget!
P.S .no1TAIHOLIC.: Patrick is definitely against drugs, he came to my school last year, with the people from D.A.R.E
Super xoxoxoxoxo (okay the extra ones are for you Crystal, haha!)
ANSWER: Were you the guy at Barrington with the shirt with the pink Fall Out Boy shirt on with my face attached to your back? Just in case you remembered what you were wearing…
I love you and the whole against drugs thing. It’s so cool!
When’s Pete getting his own cosmetics brand? I’ve already been to the salon.
Pete is supposed to be opening his cosmetics line this summer, including heaps of stuff it sounds that you’d like. P.S, I love you too!