Venture into the Unknown
July 8, 2006
Lindsey was fearless; or at least see had been. Where she sat now she was trapped, connected to everyone else in the row. The immoveable plastic armrest dug into her side as she attempted to hide her face between the shield of her hood and Andy’s shoulder. The last strands of sunlight were hardly comforting, as the sun completed its decent below the endless pavement that stretched beyond her window. The view, from what Andy saw, were the great metal birds that would carry them to the coast.
The night was approaching but Lindsey shifted her weight uncomfortably. Night had been where she was safe, where shadows couldn’t be seen and demons prevailed. These days night was full of monsters she dared not speak of, nightmares of her previous life. Day had become a time when it was easy to be someone new, when it was easy to blend in. These days, Lindsey was scared of the night, she was far less convincing in the dark.
Joe and Patrick looked sat in chairs that faced them, Lindsey and Andy, a pair new to life as a couple. Even engrossed in conversation it was hard not to stare at them. Andy stared out the window with an almost dreamy glaze in his eye. He gently caressed the skin that was visible from the rip in Lindsey’s jeans. She seemed oblivious to his touch on her knee. She hid from the world behind a hoodie that didn’t even belong to her. That, alone, spoke of whatever had changed when they didn’t return to the apartment for days. When Lindsey peaked out from behind the hood to whisper or smile at Andy her face seemed noticeably softer, surprisingly appealing - save the still healing scab. Yet near neither Joe nor Patrick could string together the correct series of words to identify what was different.
By the time their plane soared somewhere above a mountain state, Lindsey was concealing her trembling hands by keeping her fingers tightly interlocked with Andy’s. The truth is she had never been on a plane before and she was terrified. She had heard somewhere once that there were only two choices, your life was either a comedy or a tragedy. The lightning storm outside the window reminded her that tragedies often ended with unexpected death, like a plane crash. Andy, who was in the seat to her left, was no comfort while he was asleep. His small plastic cup of Mountain Dew collected a layer of water beads. Their languid decent into a puddle on the seatback table was a slow reminder she too was facing an imminent demise.
Lindsey was concealing her wandering mind by telling stories that had happy endings, none of which she had personally experienced. Joe, her reluctant audience, could only listen nodding his head in agreement although his mind focused on the game that illuminated his laptop. If he looked at her, he’d only see the thin red line that stretched between her temple and cheekbone. (It was the only current evidence that she had ever been insane).
And then as if no fear had ever wrecked havoc on her sanity, as if the plane ride had never happened at all, as if she and Andy were like every other hand holding couple in the airport, the group moved from the terminal, to baggage claim, the edge of a curb painted yellow.
With a nonchalant wave of his hand, Patrick effortlessly hailed a cab only to bicker with Joe over who would sit in the front seat. Joe argued that he had already had to sit near her. Defeated, Patrick slid into the backseat. Andy and Lindsey both seemed unaware of the childish fight that had just occurred.
And then they arrived. The house was too big; too fancy to belong to anyone they knew. While Lindsey was perfectly aware the notoriety that came with the “Fall Out Boy” territory, she had yet to see the appeal of their music, she had yet to see them as anything beyond the modest apartment she spent most of her time in. Yet “Wentz” was scrawled like graffiti on the surface of the mailbox and the porch light was on, as though someone was expecting their visit.
While Patrick paid the driver and Joe pulled each bag from the trunk Andy led Lindsey up the walk. He wanted her to see the studio Pete had built in the basement, he wanted her to see the brand new guitar that he had had rush delivered to Pete’s house. He wanted her to immediately begin recording the haunting songs she often sang. He wanted her to see how amazing she really was. He led her in without even bothering to knock.
As their footsteps knocked on the hardwood floors a clumsy puppy rounded the corner excitedly. Sliding the a stop at Lindsey’s feet, Hemingway looked up lovingly. Greeting her with warm kisses all over her hands and chin as she bent down to stroke behind his ears.
“He’s never has been a good judge of character.” Pete brooded in the doorway. His arms crossed across his chest.
“It’s nice to see you too Peter.” She smiled sweetly.
“I don’t expect you brought your stash. Cocaine? Heroine? Anything that will make this experience endurable.”
“Sorry, didn’t make it through airport security. I’ll hit up my dealer again right after I turn a trick or two.” She teased.
“You could have at least warned me she was coming,” Pete muttered turning his back and retreating further into the house, “I would have hidden the valuables...you know how the homeless can’t be trusted.”
“Come on Linds,” Andy insisted, “We’ll go stay in a hotel or something.”
“Hurley, I’m a jackass, this is no revelation. You’ve known me for years.” Pete called from the other room. It was his way of saying their room was up the stairs and to the left. The disappeared up the stairs leaving the remaining their band members in the foyer, Hemingway looking between them with question.
“You really could be nicer Pete,” Patrick insists, his serious tone turning into a chuckle as he adds, “She’s acquired a new identity since they returned.”
“She still kind of scares me.” Joe remarked, a shiver running down his spine for emphasis. The others laugh, and then retreat into the basement to spend most of the night sharing ideas that will never actually make it onto the album.