What happens when what you thought you knew turns out to be just a pack of lies?
Sit back for a moment, and let me tell you a story. I can't promise it'll be short but I can promise that it'll certainly be honest. Firstly, I'll give you some background. I'm Ryan Ross, guitarist of 'The Young Veins', and formerly of 'Panic! at the Disco', and this is how my perspective on life changed completely.
I grew up dirt poor, an alcoholic father, and no mother. I had absolutely nothing, and I believed all rich people were cruel snobs who didn't care worth a damn. This was probably because the kids who picked on me were rich. But it skewered my beliefs, and those still stick with me today. By the time I was about 10, nothing much had changed, except now, I had a guitar.
It was a cheap one. I had paid $20 for it at a thrift store, mostly in change that I found around the house. It had a huge hole in the side, and the strings were badly out of tune, and I even think that the neck was a bit warped, but I didn't care, because it was mine. I couldn't practice at home, for fear of my drunken father flying into a rage, so I would go to the park near my house to play. I stuck with it, hoping it could one day take me away from all this.
Fast forward about 5 years. I'm pushing 17. I still have nothing much, my most notable aspects of life are still an alcoholic fther, a cheap, broken guitar, and a dirt poor status. And, yes, I still think that rich people are snobs. But I can play a lot better than I could 5 years ago, and freedom is so close that I can almost taste it.
Then, Brendon came crashing into my life. Litterally.
I was playing in the park again one day, as usual, when all of a sudden, a guy was sprawled face down inchese from my feet. I stood up, holding my guitar in one hand, offtering the other to the guy. He took it, hauling himself to his feet. I noticed that he looked a bit younger than myself. "Are you ok?" I ventured.
I had no idea that those simple 3 words would be the foundation for a most interesting friendship. After finding out I was there, in that same exact spot nearly every day, he began to show up near daily, it seemed. We began to talk, often for hours at a time, and became fast friends.
I found out that his name was Brendon, and that he was actually a bit older than me. He found out about my beliefs and my home life. However, he never spoke about his.
Some days, he would just sit there and listen to me play. Other days, he would sing. Eventually, one day, he asked me if I wanted to start a band. I said yes, before remembering that I didn't have a better guitar than the thing I'd been using over the past 6 or so years. When I said that, he just said, "oh." Then, there was an awkward silence.
I didn't think anything of it, until for my 17th birthday, I recieved a brand new guitar. When I lifted it out of the case, I saw that it was one of the best. There was a snowball's chance in hell that an average teenager would be able to afford something like that. I decided to confront Brendon about it.
When I asked him, he laughed and said, somewhat sheepishly, that he had used money he had gotten from relatives for Christmas and his birthday, and had bought it from a pawn shop. I let it go, not entirely believing him. I kept my guard up after that however. I don't think that I was wrong.
Now fast forward another 3 or 4 years. Me and Brendon are part of a band that we created, Panic! at the Disco. We were doing great, but I never forgot that I came from nothing. Even as happy as we were, something still didn't feel right with me about Brendon. Ever since the day that he had given me the guitar, I felt like he was hiding something from me.
Then one day, I found out his big secret.
Brendon had come from a mormon home, with rich parents. Because of the way that he was brought up, he decided to rebel. I was hurt, feeling as though I was just a pawn being used in his game of pissing off his parents.
Even though I had never asked for it, I had gotten a new perspective on things. While I had thought that all rich people were snobs, I had met a contradiction to this train of thought. Even so, I decided to leave Panic!. There was no way that I would stick with a rich person, even if they were the nicest person on this earth. Not after the way I was brought up, sorry.
Befoer Ileft, I wrote a final song, a goodbye of sorts, leaving it in Brendon's mailbox.
I wanna live a life that is comprehensive...