A pill to make you numb.
Blow Your Heart To Pieces
"A pill to make you numb, a pill to make you dumb." Brian's voice came rough from the lines of white powder we'd shared off the dirty toilet seat. "A pill to make you anybody else." He breathed as I washed the blue pebble down his throat with vodka. "What was that?" I asked, my own voice echoing around me as I spoke. "A poem from my head." He told me with wide eyes, dilated pupils. "Potential lyrics." I bounced my head enthusiastically. Even though my mind was spinning and pounding in time with my raced heartbeat I somehow understood what Brian was saying in a way deeper than I could have done whilst sober. "More to the question, what was that?" Brian lowered his vision from my face to the blue pill filled bag in my hand. I followed his eyes to the see-through pouch and shrugged. "I don't know. I don't really care either." I slipped a pill between my own lips and downed it with my drink, the taste of liquor burnt my mouth but it was some sort of a pleasure to me. "If it feels... nice, it can't matter, can it?" There was a quiet hush between us for a second, perhaps two, until Brian let out a harsh laugh and dropped his head back against the cubicle wall with a bang. He didn't care about the pain his crown should have been in as he proceeded to laugh. I cracked a grin from above him which soon grew into laughter as well. Before long we were both in hysterics, but I couldn't remember what had been so funny for the life of me.
The party had been held by MTV, another music station which sold magazines and had a TV channel alike to Kerrang. Marilyn Manson had been invited during their stay in London and each member was given a plus one, but Twiggy nor anyone else brought a guest and I figured that Brian didn't intend on bringing anyone either until he met me. We arrived at the arena venue in a cheap limo. By this time I had already drunk half a bottle of vodka so once the paparazzi began to click their flashbulbs the instant we stepped out of the limo I was in complete awe. Brian's arm held my shoulders tightly as we stood outside under the shelter marquee, the paparazzi continuing to snap our photos. The bright lights from their cameras bounced off the sequins on the beautiful dress which, to say it in the most modest way, did fit perfectly. Breathless from the sudden attention I smiled and turned to my date. For once I didn't have to crane my neck to look at him because of the heeled shoes I'd bought some years back. I had never really come across a reason to wear the black heels, but now I'd finally found a night to put them to use. The shoes made me at least four inches taller than my normal height but never tall enough to beat Brian.
At the party I met many of the people I'd interviewed before during Kerrang, but of course none of them remembered me so I wasn't idiotic enough to introduce myself as 'the girl who works for Kerrang'. I simply smiled and let Brian introduce me as 'his date, Erica', then he'd mention that I worked for Kerrang and his friends would nod, shake my hand and act as if they knew who I was. For most of that night Marilyn Manson and I lurked at the back of the arena drinking ourselves into oblivion. Brain would often call someone over who he recognized, they and the rest of the band would talk about something that I had no clue about but somehow I managed to take part in their conversation. It could have been the alcohol, or maybe it was because I had been trained to talk to people because I wasn't starstruck at all. I was surrounded by so many famous faces, so many stars but I felt unfazed by all of them. Even when Twiggy and the others disappeared into the murky depths of the party leaving me and Brian with my idol, Billy Corgan, all I could do was talk non-stop to him. Billy was the front-man of a band called The Smashing Pumpkins and I had been a huge fan since 1991, but I didn't feel apprehensive at all. Then again I knew I wasn't an anxious girl by heart so I just put my behavior down to my personality, or because I had grown so used to feeling tense around Brain over the passing days.
Eventually Billy vanished into the tangle of celebrities leaving me and Brian alone for the first time that night. Before I knew it we were snorting cocaine off a plastic toilet seat in the bathroom. In the small space of the cubicle there wasn't much room to move at all, but neither of us gave a hoot. Brian's fishnet covered legs were outstretched in front of him, the short, black lace dress he wore had ridden up to his hips, revealing the slender of his creamy thighs as we sat on the tiled floor. At first I didn't think anything of his outfit. The man was a shock star so the see-through woman's dress would likely be expected of him, but throughout the evening I found myself falling further and further into a state of intoxication. The more drunk I became the more aroused I felt by the way I could see most of Brian's body through the material he was wearing and all I could imagine was how I needed to fuck him senseless. Now, with my mind swimming from the liquor and my heart thundering against my chest from the crack, my needs for Brian began to heighten even more. In the confined space of the toilet stand we were more or less on top of each other anyway, his hot, alcohol laced breath filled the dense air and drove me more insane than I thought obtainable.
I pushed myself forward on my knees to straddle my lover's waist, a small grunt escaped his red painted lips when my pelvis collided with his crotch. "Open up." I whispered into his ear. With frail fingers I stroked the underside of Brian's chin to coax his mouth apart. He did what was told of him, an unusual act for a man of his kind. He must have been curious.
That was when I popped the pill onto his tongue and raised my vodka bottle to his lips. He swallowed and asked me what it was I'd given him. I told him that I didn't know, that some woman had slipped the small bag into my hand in the arena hall. I didn't care what they were, neither did he. I then took a blue capsule for myself with no concern as to what effect it would give. I hadn't been as careless as this since I was seventeen, I used to inhale cocaine in public toilets and take whatever pills I could get my hands on. And now, after two years I found myself doing exactly the same. I felt free again like nothing could hurt me, even the unnamed drug dissolving itself into my blood stream seemed un-harmful.
We began laughing about something which had been forgotten a few moments later, yet we didn't stop. I collapsed my head into the space between his shoulder and neck and ground my body closer to his as the sound of our laughs died into the empty atmosphere. From my position I heard his throat growl softly against my contact. I moved myself against him again with more force, this time gaining a hitched groan from the man beneath me.
"Can you feel it yet?" I whispered. "The pill, I mean. I can... feel it." The surface of my skin felt as if it were on fire and my brain was numb and dizzy. I pulled back slightly to look at Brian. Our faces were only inches apart and I could see every detail upon his features. Every crease and every fleck under the ghostly layer of makeup, every vessel in the whites of his eyes, every crack on his mouth paint. I saw every imperfection, but they all seemed so perfect to me. Suddenly my chest surged and my breath caught in my throat, sending a hot wave of pressure to my eyes. I wanted to cry. He looked so, so beautiful to me and in that moment I was unconditionally, disgustingly in love with him.
"It feels nice, doesn't it?" My voice was cracked and dazed as I spoke. It sounded foreign to me, like it wasn't coming from my own voice box but from someone else, a stranger perhaps. But we were still alone in the bathroom so it must have been me who spoke. I felt so confused, so distant from my conscience, but it was a pleasant feeling at least, a feeling of feather lightness, pins and needles. I was falling through space and time, fast and slow all at once. My head was becoming heavier by the minute and it was all due to the little blue tablet. Through my lulled eyes I saw Brian staring up at me, his expression fixed on my face, eyes almost black from dilation and I knew he could feel it too.
I knelt there on his lap for what seemed like hours. His hands had pushed up the hem of my dress to my hips, dragging his blunt fingernails down the black of my stockings. We slipped into a sudden state of silent calm again. The only sound to be heard was the droned music still playing from the party. In my clouded mind I could recognize the tune as it thudded through the voided cubicles.
"I hear your winter, I hear your rain, I've failed your summer ways and I feel no pain."
"I love this song." I sighed, my eyes widening and my head tilting as the melody continued to shake us from outside the bathroom. "Me too." Brian engaged and licked his lips. "Smashing Pumpkins."
"Of course." I felt a smile simper across my torpid lips as the lyrics belonging to the tune washed over my memory. "I hear you fade away and I hear you crawl. I gave my life away and I feel no pain, and I feel no pain, and I feel no pain." I sang along faintly with Billy Corgan's recorded voice. "And I feel your pain." Taking a swig from my bottle I then kissed him with passion filled lust, the sharp taste of the alcohol shared amid our tongues.
"And she was my lover, so sweet, and she was my angel." Brian sang just as vague as he continued the song being pitched forward. He pushed himself up slightly so our bodies were even closer, hushing idioms of the tune across my tender neck. "And what I've recovered of me I put into a box underneath my bed. When you lie in your bed and you lie to yourself, when you lie in your bed and you lie to yourself.
"Bang bang you're dead, hole in your head, bang bang you're dead, hole in your head."
Before I knew it I was laying on my back across the grimy tiling. Brian's strong yet light frame covered my own easily, the long, dark tangle of messy hair fell over his white face. When I lowered my gaze I saw that my stockings and my underwear had been removed without my notice, the dress hiked even further around my waist. I parted my mouth to speak but I was lost for words. Brian's ruby lips were crushed against my paler ones within seconds anyway, our teeth clashed together and our tongues danced in battle for dominance.
"I hear what you want and I feel that way. I hear what you want and I feel that way."
My notions were more laden and stupefied than ever before. All I could feel was the tight pound of my lover as he thrust into me, sending me into a fit of bliss. The dress was still ridden up by his side, his fishnet clad legs were only half dressed and exposed his naked thighs, giving him perfect access to my entrance. I scraped my nails across every space of his body that I could find, yearning for even more of the man than I could possibly get. Brian's fingertips brushed over my curves, the sharp edges of the heavy rings upon his knuckles grazed the bare of my skin and caused me to mewl in delight. My sounds seemed to relish Brian. A lewd moan escaped his swollen lips and he slammed into me harder in time with the heavy beat of the music, quickly sending us to the brink of release.
Somehow we made it back to the hotel alone and still alive. It was three AM when we slipped away from the furthermore thriving party. Twiggy, Ginger, Zim Zum and Pogo were still lost from us, probably with some sluts or in their own toilet stand popping pills and snorting cocaine, but we were too zoned out to notice their absence. We were also too poisoned to think to hitch a lift back from the venue which was blatant when we arrived at the hotel soaking wet. We must have walked all the way through London in the pouring rain. What a sight it must have been to see the two of us; a six foot tall man dressed in woman's clothes and platform boots, a makeup smeared face with a curtain of black hair walking hand in hand with a teenage girl in a mini dress alike to a green disco ball, her shoulder-length, two-toned curls in knots, dazed, drug filled eyes, ankles breaking in her heeled shoes. I was surprised we weren't attacked by thugs for the way we looked.
Heat flushed over me once stumbling into the hotel room, the warmed smell of puke and alcohol smacked me and made me gag. I swallowed back, wandered in a circle before falling onto the bed I presumed was now mine and Brian's until I had to leave. I curled up and waited for him to join me as the rain water drained from my body and onto the bed sheets. I waited patiently, my head soaring and my eyes tight shut in pain as I began to sober, but he never came to me as I expected. I opened my tired eyes to find him but he wasn't in sight. Addled as to where he could be I shifted myself and looked up. I found Brian beside the bed on his knees with his body bent over his legs, gripping the carpet with black painted nails. I slid onto the floor next to him. "What are you doing?" I asked, my voice still panning remotely through my skull. When he didn't answer I lifted his face with my cupped hands only to see streams of black running from his panda smudged eyes. "Are you crying?" He snatched himself away from me and returned his gaze downward. It wasn't until then I noticed he was trembling, but when I touched his skin he didn't feel cold, he was warm, piping hot in fact. "Is it the pill?" I shook his arm gently but I still received no answer, no sign to tell me what could possibly have been wrong. "Brian for fucks sake, is it the drug?" I shoved his arm a little harder. "Are you freaking out?"
"No." He said in effort to sound certain but his words had started to brake. "No." He repeated. "Yes... no. Erica I'm scared." I sighed and leant back against the bed frame. "Well don't be, you'll be fine in a minute, just get ready for a raging hangover-"
"No, no I'm not scared of the fucking drug Erica." Brian cut me off. His pupils were over sized and he genuinely looked terrified, I knew that he was still high. "Okay, it's okay." I said, beginning to feel concerned by his behavior which had grown so out of character. "Why are you scared?"
"I can't... I won't, I can't." Brian stuttered into his hands which were plastered to his tear stained face. "Erica... I can't." He then dissolved into mourning, resigned into the cradle of my open arms and wept to me.
As much as I knew already that Brain wasn't callous, that he was gracious, humane, I never knew he could be so vulnerable. It was his turn to tell me, to cry and explain himself. I held him and he told me of a girl he'd once loved. I listened and learnt that her name had been Phoebe. She killed herself.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, June, 1992.
~Brain groaned and slammed his forehead against the steering wheel of his car. He'd spent the night at a friends house after a row with his girlfriend had caused him to leave their apartment. Despite the fact that the situation had arisen because of his fault he couldn't help but feel anger for Phoebe Heart. Phoebe had found out of Brian's unfaithful activities toward her for the seventh time in their relationship. He'd cheated, yes, but he was in a band, what else could she expect? Especially with all the desperate girls hanging around his shows. It was just the way he was, he couldn't help it. Besides they didn't mean anything, they never did and she knew that. She didn't need to chuck him out of his own home, that was just unnecessary. He grumbled and stepped out of his car and into the warm evening ozone, making sure to lock the machine behind him. Phoebe hadn't called his friends land-line or left any voice messages, she must have been livid in order not to contact him. She somehow always found out where Brain had fled to and usually he would receive about five missed calls and five screeching voice mails to match, telling him to 'treat her right or else'. But this time was different, he'd heard nothing from her. Even though he was angry Brian couldn't help but feel a tinge of worry scratch at the back of his mind. He did love Phoebe in his own weird way after all.
Brian shoved his key into the hole and pushed open his apartment door. Silence. "Phoebs?" He called but the air held no reply. "Phoebe? Stop being a bitch." Brain shouted and kicked the door shut. When Phoebe didn't reply for the second time Brian decided to look for her, she couldn't sulk forever. He wandered through the living room and into the kitchen. There were left overs from the take away she and Brian had ordered the previous night before she kicked him out. There was also an empty carton of milk on the counter, but no sign of Phoebe. Brian left the kitchen and went to their bedroom but Phoebe wasn't there either. "Baby?" Brain called out again, anxiety beginning to drive his tone. The last place to check was the bathroom and if she wasn't in there then she must have left the apartment. The door was shut to, leaving a tiny crack for light from the bathroom window to spill into the dark landing space where Brian stood. He placed his hand onto the handle and paused. He was scared. Brian shook his head and frowned. Why was he scared? He had no reason to be. No, he wasn't scared, he was stupid. The small bathroom was too quiet for Phoebe, there was no way she could sit tight in there for so long, she must have left the building. He didn't know why he was even bothering. Brian sighed and opened the door anyway, preparing himself for nothing but nothing could prepare him for what he found.
Blood. So much blood. Too much blood for such a tiny, tiny girl. He froze and stared down at Phoebe. Her baby blue eyes stared back at him but they were cold and harsh. Her auburn waves tumbled over her pale face beautifully, but her face was too pale to be pretty, too deathly to be alive. "No..." He whimpered, the only words he could muster in a voice that sounded so pathetic, so weak for a man like himself, but he didn't care. "No. No, no no." He fell to the bathroom floor and crawled toward his girlfriend, her blood staining his clothes and seeping onto his skin but he didn't care about that either. He clutched her limp body in his arms and sobbed, inhaling the strawberry scent of her hair. "Phoebe, Phoebs no." He pleaded but it was too late, as if the razor in her hand and the deep slit across her skinny wrist couldn't tell him otherwise. She was long gone.
Dead and never coming back.~
"She was gone." He whispered, his sound coarse. I had to blink back my own tears caused by Brian's story. I was so startled by what he had told me I found myself uncertain on how to respond. "It wasn't your fault." I stroked my hands through his rain dampened hair as he lay in my nurture. "You couldn't have stopped her."
"I know it wasn't my fault, it's not like I slit her wrist for her." He said. "But I could have loved her more, I should have shown her what she meant to me. She meant everything Erica, she really did. I was so, so stupid."
Although Brain was still under obvious influence of drugs and he was acting almost parallel to how I could have ever imagined him, I took every word he gave me. Every word of regret, every word of love. He looked up at me with sad eyes, lip quivering. "Erica, I need to tell you something and you need to believe me." I nodded. "You're so beautiful and it's gonna' sound so fucking cliche but you're the first person to mean something to me as much as Phoebe meant." He raised a hand and traced the shape of my lips with pointed fingers. "But I'm scared I'm going to hurt you, ya' know? I'm so scared." He dropped his hand and held it over his face again to muffle his cries. "I can't, I can't lose you like I lost Phoebe. I can't."
The hot tears which had been threatening to show finally did, rolling down my face like rivers. I leant down and buried myself in his warm neck and I promised him that he would never lose me, not in the way he had lost his Phoebe. "Just stop crying." I choked, kissing him. "Please stop being so sad." I kissed him with such compassion, so much compassion that night, more than I thought I could ever give, more than I thought I ever had. We moved ourselves onto the bed where he kissed me back, slow and building. Clothes were removed and sweet nothings were exchanged.
Skin against skin and bone against bone.
Warm and wet.
Crying mouth to mouth.