Categories > Celebrities > Metallica > Ripe

Part 18

by Cerilla 0 reviews

Category: Metallica - Rating: PG-13 - Genres:  - Published: 2013-10-27 - 1543 words - Complete

“Because I say so, that’s why!” said James with a loud voice, poking Lars on the chest.
The smaller man was unimpressed and grinned at the guitarist’s stern face. “Do I have to remember you that you’re not the only one to decide?”
“Neither are you!”
“Then why don’t we simply discuss about it?”
“We did, and you haven’t convinced me, so my answer is no.”
“That’s just because you’re a stubborn ass who can’t see beyond the end of his nose.”
“What the fuck is this supposed to mean? That you’re right and I’m wrong but I’m too stupid to see it?”
“Your words, not mine.”
At that, James was plainly furious and grabbed Lars by his t-shirt. “I’m sicking tired of this jibber jabber bullshit you use every time you want to have it your way. We’ll do as I say, is that clear?”
The drummer pushed away the taller man and sneered at him. “Remember that you’re not the fucking ruler of this band, my word counts as much as yours.”

Here we go again. I thought. James and Lars weren’t new at this kind of fights, as I had come to discover during the tour; they actually would lock horns on quite a regular base without any of them really prevailing. James wasn’t exactly a master of rhetoric so, whenever he saw he wasn’t going to win a discussion, he resorted to shouting and physical intimidation, sometimes even to threatening violence. One of the very few people who didn’t recoil in front of him was Lars, black belt in persuasion, and that always granted an escalation of hostility in their arguments. Things could deteriorate one moment or the other; sometimes I hated them, I wanted to shake them and shout in their faces. The miserable way they could treat each other, the way the atmosphere suddenly passed from serene to tense, their moodiness, their constant, useless fights about things that didn’t matter, their inability to communicate without hurting each other, it all grinded my nerves. It was like reviving the last months of my old band all over again and it wasn’t pretty.
I spent a lot of time working and traveling with the other roadies, so I didn’t get to witness all the group reunions; when I did, I generally excused myself from them by leaving the room or moving to the back of the bus. But that day the guys were in my and Kirk’s room when the discussion started, as we were supposed to go out for lunch. I usually refrained myself from intervening, even though sometimes I would have liked to put some sense into their thick skulls, because I knew it wasn’t my job to help them fix their problems. A band has its own internal equilibrium and it’s not good for an external member to step in and meddle with it; all in all, I was just a friend and a girlfriend, I had no say in their business.
There were a couple of instances, though, when I just had to come in-between and stop the fighting, because James got violent and hit one of the guys. That was something I could not tolerate, and luckily I was able to make him stop with little effort. Jason said that it was my female presence that tempered the testosterone poisoning; if that was true, I didn’t want to know what happened when I wasn’t around.

Jason was sitting on the edge of the bed, looking powerless at the two quarreling leaders. Kirk, who was the designated mediator in the fights, just laid down on the bed watching them in mild disgust; suddenly, he sat up and put on his shoes. “I’m hungry, I’m going out to find somewhere to eat. See you later.” He said.
“Wait for me?” I asked, before he stormed out of the room. He stopped and nodded at me, so I quickly laced my sneakers, grabbed my shoulder bag and followed him out of the hotel, leaving the others behind.
“You got tired of those two, didn’t you?”
He snorted, “Yes, I really don’t want to deal with their shit today.”
We found a nice little restaurant and ate in silence. I sneaked a few peaks at Kirk; he wasn’t very talkative, he hadn’t been talkative for a little while. He didn’t initiate a conversation and shrugged off my attempts to do it; small talking was becoming the new normality for us, and that worried me. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t know what to say to him anymore.
“I had never noticed before,” I said, “but now that I spend so much time with the band, I can’t help but be a bit baffled by the constant clash of personality between Lars and James.”
“It wasn’t always like that; Cliff was very good at dampening down tension.” Replied Kirk.
“Yeah, I always imagined him as the band’s moral compass.” I said. Kirk didn’t comment on that. And you’re all still a little bit lost without him.

After lunch, we decided to take a walk around the city and found ourselves in a colorful neighborhood. As we looked around, Kirk spotted a quaint little shop with a capuchin monkey in the window; the animal had a red coat, a hat and even a little street organ. Next to the monkey there were a cobra snake in position for attack coming out of a basket and a white rabbit in a waistcoat checking a pocket watch.
“That’s a stuffed monkey.” Whispered Kirk in wonder. For a vegetarian man, he sure had a penchant for dead animals. “Let’s take a look.”
The shop was even more sordid on the inside –at least for me, since Kirk looked like a child in a candy shop. There were shelves full of skulls and skeletons of different kinds. Animals of small size, some taxidermy, some in formalin, alternated with hardcover books; medium sized embalmed animals were placed on the floor. The skins and heads of the bigger beasts hanged from the wall in front of us, where the counter was positioned; behind it, there was a very old lady with very long, white hair gathered in a braid.
It wasn’t like death repulsed me, I actually had quite a taste for the macabre and once I had even handled a real human skeleton for a photo shoot without problems; I had skinned and butchered a few animals too when I helped in the kitchen, which was something that Kirk couldn’t stomach. The skulls and skeletons weren’t that bad, but all those stuffed animals accumulated together, some of them in human poses, made me feel a little ill at ease. I didn’t like being surrounded by dead things mimicking life, they really were grotesque.
“Look at that!” Said Kirk, pointing at our right. “Do you think they are real?”
He was referring to a series of shrunken human heads lined up on the highest shelf. “I… I really don’t know.” They were small, shrivelled, with their eyes and mouth sewn shut and long hair cascading over the lower shelf.
Kirk approached the old lady and started chattering with her. I looked at the stuff displayed on the counter: a pair monkey paws, a black crow on a perch, old pictures of hunters with their prays, of taxidermists at work and of deformed animals, pieces of jewelry made with small bones, feathers and fur; there even was a necklace with the head of a small bird.
“Would the lady like this beautiful necklace to adorn her neck?” the woman asked me in a sweet, flute-like voice.
“Oh no, he’s the one who loves this kind of stuff.” I said, pointing at Kirk.
“I wanted to buy the monkey in the window, or maybe a pair of those shrunken heads. They are real and come from South America!”
Kirk had a big smile plastered on his face. Ok, it’s time to draw a line, and severed human heads are miles beyond it for sure.
“I would go for the monkey.” I said.
As expected, the reaction of the other Metallica guys from Kirk’s new friend was a mixture of horror, disgust, revulsion and all the other synonyms fit for the occasion.

That night, long after the concert, I crushed on the bed in my hotel room, my hair still damp from the shower. Sprawling all over the mattress, I hugged the pillow and hid my face in it. I was alone. Alone with a stuffed monkey. I chuckled bitterly, looking at the animal placed on the night stand. It wasn’t the first time I went to sleep without Kirk, it happened more often than not lately. What made me feel real bad was that sometimes I was alone even when I woke up.

Author’s note: Let’s just say that from now on this story is going to be updated every two weeks because I suck, ok?
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