Categories > Celebrities > Metallica > Ripe

Part 15

by Cerilla 0 reviews

Category: Metallica - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2013-04-21 - 2161 words - Complete

Kirk, Lars and I were sitting around a table with other three guys and five girls; one of them was preparing a few lines of cocaine. A little after I joined Metallica on tour, I discovered that the boys had started snorting coke; that worried me, I had never tried anything harder than pot in fear of the consequences, but Kirk told me that cocaine gave him a great kick and that he could handle it just fine. Still, I always refused to try it, and I didn’t like the way it altered Kirk and Lars’s personality, but I didn’t speak up against it in fear of being hypocritical. If I had no problems with their heavy alcohol consumption, then why complain about cocaine? Was one vice really worse than the other? The drug didn’t affect their performance on stage and after the effects vanished, they were back to their usual selves.
In truth, I had been worrying about Kirk’s drinking habits for years, but always downplayed my concerns because he wasn’t a violent, unpleasant, aggressive drunkard, and since he was in a band of binge drinkers, it sounded like a lost cause; I couldn’t just have gone to them and said, “Hey, do you know about this little thing called acute liver failure?” they would have stared at me like I had turned purple, laughed their heads off and told me to sod off. Nevertheless, I was resolute to tackle the issue one day, before his, or better, their bodies decided they had enough of the abuse and made them pay the price, but for the moment I tolerated it.
It certainly wasn’t necessary to add a drug addiction to the picture, though, and both Kirk and Lars seemed to be getting more and more engrossed in cocaine as weeks passed; it wasn’t like the occasional acid Kirk used to drop with Cliff. I always accompanied them to be sure they were ok and didn’t overdo it, but if you didn’t partake in the activity, you felt cut off; for this reason James and Jason seldom came with us.
Luckily, in a pair of days we will be back home to rest before starting the Pacific ocean leg. A few days without any of this shit, at last.

I was in my favorite book shop, busy browsing for a specific book I couldn’t manage to find, when I felt someone poking my shoulder; I turned around and saw Jason smiling at me.
“Jason, hi, what are you doing here?”
“Waiting for the bus, but it seems they don’t come by here often.”
I punched his arm playfully. “Don’t be a smartass, it’s just that you never struck me as a book lover.”
“Well, I like to read, I just don’t do it much, but I wanted to find something for the tour.”
“Me too, but I cannot find the book I want.”
“I’ll help you, tell me what you’re looking for.”
“‘The Devils of Loudun’. It’s a novel by Aldous Huxley.”
Jason shook his head. “You are a predictable woman, you know?”
“Hey, first, this is narrative history, second, I like what I like and it’s not a crime. It’s actually very convenient when it comes to presents; that’s how I’ve got my Vonnegut’s collection.”
He laughed, “Don’t get offended, I wasn’t criticizing you. C’mon, let me help.”
We browsed between the shelves for a bit when Jase found the book . “Here it is, it was just misplaced.”
“Thank you. So, what are you buying?” He showed me a copy of ‘Mirrorshades’. “A cyberpunk collection, excellent choice.” I grinned.
“Of course you would think that. I’m starting to believe that you are contagious.”

We spent more time chatting in the book shop and when we decided to leave, the sun was setting; it was late and I had to go back home. I asked Jason if he wanted to dine with me and Kirk but he declined, saying he had to meet a few friends.
There was nobody waiting for me at home. That’s strange, Kirk should have been back by now. I ate and watched some TV, but two hours later I decided to call around and see if anybody knew where he was. No one of his friends had heard from him, James was with his girlfriend Kristen and Lars wasn’t at home. He’s probably out with Lars, I shouldn’t be worried.

I saw Kirk only the morning after, fast asleep on the couch; I woke him up, he looked at me through red eyes and heavy eyelids.
“Babe, what… what time is it?” he asked me in a thick voice.
“It’s eight thirty in the morning. Do you want something for breakfast?”
“No, uh, I’m not very hungry. Listen, I’m sorry you… I didn’t call you yesterday. Eh, I was with Lars and… uhm…” Kirk babbled. I raised a hand to stop him, deciding I would let it slide.
“Never mind, I’m just glad you are ok, you got me worried, you know?”
“Sorry, it won’t happen again.”

That afternoon, we hanged out with some friends at the park; it was a beautiful day, sunny but not too hot, thanks to a gentle breeze. We decided to go skating, but after three years my skateboarding skills were still basic, mainly because I didn’t practice as much as I needed. Kirk too wasn’t in a good shape, he still felt weak and a bit nauseous from the morning; at a point he even decided to take a nap. In the evening, I asked him about what had happened the night before, afraid he had gone too far.
“Don’t worry, April, I’m ok, just a bit worn-out.”
“Kirk, of course I worry, you look terrible! Tell me what you did.”
“Jeez, I just mixed a bit of coke with whisky, bad thing, I’ve learned my lesson and won’t do that again. You don’t need to breathe down my neck this way.” He said irritably, and went to the bedroom.
I don’t like where this is going. I thought. He’s not losing his grip, isn’t he?

Jason and I were in his garage jamming together, he with his bass and I with my acoustic guitar; we played for nearly three hours, alternating songs we liked to random improvisations.
He also showed me a few of his ideas that had been rejected by Lars and James; I thought it was good stuff and we worked a bit on that, but it was all pointless. Nothing of that would get to be recorded. Maybe in the future, he hoped, but I had seen how pig-headed Lars and James could be, and how much they liked to be in control of the creative process; they worked in tandem and there was no place for anyone else.
Even Kirk’s involvement in songwriting was principally limited to adding solos after the song had been set down; in the past, Cliff used to be the ‘advisor’ whose opinions and ideas the others always listened to. He was held in great consideration, but Jason certainly couldn’t aspire to that role. The whole situation was very frustrating for Jason, he had exchanged a leading role in his own band for playing the second fiddle in the band of his dreams. I could see how much it hurt him.
At one point, we heard a loud metallic noise followed by a strangled meow that startled us.
“Woah, what the hell was that?” I exclaimed.
“Oh, I think it’s just the neighbors’ cat rummaging in the trash can. He always makes a mess.”
“Well, why don’t we call it a day? It’s almost dinner time.” I said, stretching my limbs.
“Sure, are you staying here or going back home?”
I sighed, thinking that there would be no one at home to be with. Kirk, who was supposed to come with me at Jason’s, had bailed out after a call from an unspecified friend who needed him, saying he would be back late. We hadn’t talked about our last argument, pretending that nothing had happened, but we were still a bit tense around each other.
“I’ll keep you company, if you don’t mind. Kirk is somewhere doing something with somebody.”
“Still angry at him?”
“I… I’m worried about him, but I don’t know how to approach the issue. He doesn’t like to talk about it and I don’t know anybody who has experienced heavy drugs.”
“Maybe you worry too much. He’s a rock star now, it’s supposed to be about sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.” Jason laughed.
“Yeah, ‘live fast, die young’, right?” I snorted.
“Hey, I didn’t mean to underestimate the consequences, I’m just saying that it’s probably just a brief phase of his life.”
“The fact is that these things can get out of hand quite easily.”
Jason placed a hand on my shoulder. “Listen, we’ll both keep an eye on him, ok? To see if it gets worse and help him before it’s too late.”
“I still… he’s not the only one with problems. Lars has it too. And James… who knows if there’s any blood left in all that alcohol running through his veins.”
“April, I don’t know what to say. I’m not exactly buddy-buddy with the guys, we don’t talk about very personal issues.”
I shook my head. “Well, never mind now, in two days we’ll be on our way to New Zealand. Aren’t you excited?”
“Oh yes, I’ve never been there, it must be beautiful.”
“I’m worried about Australia, though. From what I know, it’s full of dangerous and deadly animals.”
“I know, my friends have been telling me that the Australian government gives a survival kit to the tourists because of that.”
“A survival kit?”
“Two or three knives, a pair of guns, bullets, a flame thrower and a handful of grenades. And a copy of ‘Crocodile Dundee’.”
“It’s so considerate of them.”
“Apparently, everything in there is built to kill in the most painful possible way. And does it with the utmost pleasure.”
“And some of those animals look like they’ve been created by a sadistic psychopath on crack. But you don’t have to watch out only for the fugly ones, but the cute ones too.”
“Yeah, when they look too innocent, they sure have something to hide.”
“And the platypus, for Christ’s sake, have you seen that creature? If that animal could talk it would be an endless string of blasphemies. That thing doesn’t make any sense. I bet that God wanted to make fun of scientists when he assembled it: “ah ah, now explain this, motherfuckers!”.”

After dinner, we went for a movie and I decided to take Jason to a small cinema that screened all the kind of films that Kirk and I loved. At first, Jase looked a bit baffled at the old, seedy building and at the box office attendant, who looked like the poster boy of forced chastity. But when we entered to take the seats, his eyes widened and his hands flew to his nose; I snickered at his reaction and made him sign to sit down.
“Don’t worry, Jase, everybody’s first reaction is the same, you’ll get used to it.”
“But this theatre…” I looked at him in amusement, waiting for the expected comment. “It stinks beyond any possible imagination! Has this place ever been cleaned? Jesus, I’m sure it has been declared a biohazard zone.”
I laughed, “Yeah, and you don’t want to see the toilets. But I’ll let you know that the stink has a purpose, it puts you in a haze so that watching the movie becomes almost a cathartic experience. And trust me, this movie theatre is better than the one we used to go to in El Cerrito.”
“I cannot believe that, it’s a miracle this place doesn’t have rats. I’m expecting a colony of cockroaches to show up at any second.”
“Probably the health authorities have this cinema on their black list, but the other one was a thing made of mud and straw that melted every time it rained. And by the way, it has improved since the last time I came here.” Jason looked incredulous. “At least the police have scraped off that corpse embedded in the carpet, I almost stumbled over it once.”
Jason covered his face with his hands and laughed. “God, woman, I just hope that the film is worth it.”
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