The boys return to Jersey.
"Just so y'know,"Maria grumbles from the front seat,"we've run out of gas."
"Just so y'know!"giggles Frank.
The van comes to a stuttering halt on the edge of the highway.Mikey,who's head had been resting lightly on my shoulder,snaps up awake,eyes glowing.
"Nothing,Mikey,go back to being half-dead."
He sighs,and starts to snuffle back down again,when Maria announces:
"Don't bother Mikey,we have to stop for groceries anyway.Gerard,Montgomery and Shannon,get outta the van.Here's the shopping list,"Maria throws a piece of paper at my head,not aiming at anything in particular."There's a Walmart across the road.Buy your shit and get out quickly.We've got places to be,so don't fuck around."
"No "if"'s Gerard,just go."
I comply and clamber out the back of the van.I glance at the list.
I do a double take at the last object,not only because it's written in bold,brash writing,but because I instantly know Shannon has been the writer.
"Yes,Gerard?"she asks,skipping happily up to me.
"Did you write-what's that?"
"That purple thing.On your arm."
She hitches her elbow up so her arm is parallel to her face.
I crane my neck so I can look at her arm.To my wonder,she has written the word "herpes" in purple marker on her forearm.
I look at her delicate features,from the warm eyes to the layered hair to the seemingly innocent smile.My God.She's serious.
"Yo,Shannon!"I hear Montgomery yell from behind me.I curse mentally."Is Way admiring that awesome tattoo I gave you earlier?"
"Yeah!"Shannon grins."I think he likes it!"
Montgomery has now caught up with us.
"He better fucking like it!"she laughs.That evil,irritating laugh."How are you doing,Way?Or should I say who are you doing?"Again with that fecking laugh.
"I'm just "Way" now,am I?"Thank God,we're near Walmart now.Only a few more yards.
"I see we're still suffering from a terminal case of motherfucker-itis,huh,Gerard?"
"Yeah,Montgomery.The doctor has only iven me six weeks before I kill you."
She laughs-again-sunnily,throwing her head back,showing her fangs."Sticks and stones,Way.Sticks and stones."
We finally arrive at the store,and set about diving tasks.I pick up some Head and Shoulders and pick up a few bottles of Lynx.Montgomery and I have left Shannon to get two very dangerous items:alcohol,ad jelly.
I meet Montgomery fifteen minutes later.
"Where's Shannon?"I ask,getting pissed off.If we're late,Maria will skin us alive."She only had to get two things in fifteen minutes.What's taking her so fucking long?"
"STOP CALLING ME THAT!"
-"don't get your knickers in a bunch.Look!"I follow her black painted nail pointing to the bacon aisle,where,sure enough,Shannon is standing.In one hand,she has a pack of Budweiser;in the other about a pound of strawberry jelly."There she is."
We walk over to Shannon.
"Shannon?C'mon.We have to go."I pull her arm.
She's unresponsive,in a trance.Just staring at the ham dreamily.
"Y'know,eight of your average pigs can go through a 200 pound body in sixteen minutes."
Where is this coming from?
"That's great Shannon,but-"
"That's where the term "as greedy as a pig" came from."
"Really?"asks Montgomery."I never knew-"
"GUYS." I say in a tone slightly louder than necessary.Most of the middle aged mothers and elderly couples in the store stare at me."We need to go or we'll all wish we were born women."
I see Montgomery ready to start some shrill feminist rant-"How dare you even suggest women are slightly unequal to men!"-but I grab them by the arm and drag them to the check-out.
When we return to the van,Maria is as red as the jelly.
"What took you so long?!I mean-"
"I gave Shannon a tattoo,Way got PMS-y ans Shannon became engrossed in bacon,"Montgomery shrugs,"it was a very interesting twenty minutes."
"No,I mean Way."
"Will you stop fucking calling me that?!"
"We dated for nearly four years!I think we should be on first name basis,don't you?"
"Exactly.Dated.As in,past tense."
"I demand satisfaction!"
X X X X
"Anyone else wanna go swimming?"
Everyone in our dressing room stares at Ray.We've just played the gig of a lifetime,and now Ray "I-Hate-Swimming" Toro is suggesting we go for a late-night dip.
Oh well.I guess there's a first for everything.
"Sure,"I shrug,"might as well."
Frank walks in,shirtless and in Mohawk mode."We should go to South Beach,"he suggests,"I used to go there when I was a kid."
"We won't stay too long,right?"Mikey asks in a high pitched warble."'Cause it's after ten and it's getting dark and..."
"Let's go!" shouts Bob.Mikey's protests have obviously gone unheard.
Within five minutes we're on the road again,not in the van but on foot.It's pitch black so we can't see anything and we're all really hyper,so the night'll have some interesting results.
"Whoo,look at me!"Frank yells,walking on top of the beach wall,his arms out-stretched.
"Here we are,"announces Ray,"and look what I brought!"
Ray reaches into a bag and brings out the bottles of Bud Shannon bought earlier.I have a cigarette lighter that I use to set fire to some trash on the beach,so we have a nice little campfire.We each grab a bottle of beer and sit around it.
"This is looking eerily like the start of Jaws....."worries Mikey.
"Ah,shut up,Mikes,"slurs Ray.In the crackling light of the fire I can see hime leaning back,eyes closed,with an arm slung around Lea.
"Uh-uh,"mumbles Frank,who is lying next to me,"shush up Miiiiikey."He burps and giggles.
I look down at him,his eyes closed and his lips pursed.The drunken singing and giggling of my bandmates goes past me as I stare at him.
"Why ya starin' at me?"His eyes remain closed,but he's smiling now.
"Because you're beautiful,"I gush in fan-girl fashion.
I look around me,and realize evreyone is now sucking face.Gia and Bob,Lea and Ray,and Shannon and Mikey.Ew.Straight people making out is kinda gross.
"C'mon,Frankie,Let's go swimmin'!"I yelp.Hmmm,I seem to be a little drunk myself.Oh well.
"Alright,alright,"he says,sitting up,"d'you have shorts?"
"No,I'm going in my jocks."
"What are we waiting for?!"he yells,and sprints towards the water.I wonder if he's aware he's till fully clothed,bullet-proof vest and all.
"CANNON-BALL!"I scream as I throw myself into the water.The others are joining us too,ripping their clothes off and yelling like little kids.
I'm aware of Frank treading water in front of me.I'm going to launch myself forward and just hope for the best.
"AARRGH!"He yelps.I silence him with a fiery,passionate kiss,running a hand up his shirt and grinding my hips against his.I run my tongue along his lower lip and hear him moan.
We play around in the sea a while longer.Maria turns up,fully sober-damn her and her sXe ways-all guns blazing.We are dragged back to the van.
I fucking love New Jersey.
hope that was ok guys!if you're wondering those pig facts came courtesy of Brick Top,a character
in the awesome film Snatch.tell me if you know it!xo.