20 March 2006

When did we stop being friends

July 1998. This time, I am actually going to paste my most oft-edited piece of writing, and we'll see how well it reads.

We were in Breckenridge, CO. Zoe and I had rented a 4th floor "Apartment" at the Hilton. For really, really cheap.

I was working at the club that night. My "office" was a closet, at the end of a long hall open on one side to the stage and dance floor below. A table had been shoved into the opening and draped with a tapestry, the band's merchandise set up on the fabric. Zoe, being a fairly good friend, stood near the front door, at the far end of the hall from me, leaning over the iron railing and watching the band.

Part way through the band's set, a guy comes up to me, ducks underneath the tapestry and into the closet. It was a huge closet, all manner of stage equipment stored in it. I assumed he worked there. Moments later, he had his hands on my shoulders, and was rubbing them. I had no idea who the hell this guy was, and he had not said boo to me. Next thing I know, his hands are down on my tits, and he's massaging them, his crotch pressing into my side, hardon obvious.

"Uh, have you seen this band before?" I stuttered. "They're pretty good." He just grinned at me. "You know, my girlfriend is right over there," I pointed to Zoe, "and she would not be pleased by this." He glanced up, then released me, and I felt a wave of relief wash over me. But he didn't leave. He had just left my view. I glance over a shoulder, and he's tucked into a corner, away from sight of anyone unless they lean over the table, and he has his dick out and he's beating off, that creepy fucking smile still on his face.

I tried 3 or 4 times to get Zoe's attention quietly. I. Was. Freaking. Out. Finally I mumbled something to him like, I'll be right back, ducked under the tapestry, and ran down the stairs to the 2 bouncers working that night. I told them the whole story and one of them jogs up to look, then jogs back down.

"Aren't you with the band?" He asks me.


"You take care of it then." And that was it. I was shoved aside so they could get the ID's of some people coming in.

I pushed past them, tears streaming down my face, and went in search of Andre. He was standing with some friends, and I blurted the whole story, sobbing the entire time. He went and got the club's owner, and had me tell him the story again. He brushed his fingers through my hair, then wiped my tears and said, "We'll sort it out, don't you worry. Stop crying, now, your glitter's washing off. Here, let me get some of that," and he brushed my cheek with his, very gently. "You wait here, we'll find him. Now what do you want to drink?"

"Tequila," I sniffled, wiping more of my tears.

He and Andre and a few other guys took off, with my detailed description of the guy, and I sat on a barstool, downing the free shots I'd been given.

Eventually he was found, discovered to be the bongo player for the opening band, and upon being bodily threatened by the boys, repeatedly said, I don't know what's gotten into me, man. I really don't know. I am so sorry, I had the devil in me. Please let me apologize to her. Andre leaned in close, his face inches away, and said, If you ever go near my girl again, I will end you.

You would think the night got better after that, but you'd be wrong.

Because of the apartment we had up the block, plus my desire to have an awesome party tha tnight and forget all the bullshit, we began organizing a get-together afterwards, inviting all the people we knew. Most accepted, and Glock and Andre pulled out a few cases of beer, and I believe a bottle or two of liquor from some of the bar's stock.

As he passed, I asked Jon if he wanted to join us. Without slowing his stride, and with barely a turn of his head, he snapped out, "Nope. Tired. Going to sleep." And walked right into the green room, leaving 4 of us staring at each other in disbelief.

After the van was loaded up and Nat drove off, we headed for the hotel i
n a group. But I stopped, and told Andre I would be right there, that I wanted to talk to Jon. He nodded, and I thought went with everyone.

I caught up to Jon in the gravel parking lot, his hand on the door of the van.

“Hey Jon?" He paused. "When did we stop being friends?” That had caught his attention. He glanced at me, his attention full now. My hair blew a tiny bit in the night air, enough so that a stray wisp brushed across my lips.

“We’re not friends. We never were friends, that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all along.” It hit me with the force of a full body tackle. I had heard him say it before, over and over, We’re not friends. I had never really understood what he meant. I had never gotten it.

The shaking started in my fingertips, it always did when I was furious. I felt like he had me her on these few years, like he had just used me for whatever practical purposes he needed at the time, then thrown me away like a used tissue.

“Fine then. But I want you to do me one favor,” I stood with a hip cocked, one fist planted at my waist, the other pointed towards him. “You better check yourself when you’re around me, and you’re drunk, because you say a lot of things that would lead me to believe otherwise, and I’m sick of it. I’m sick of this game and I’m sick of your bullshit.” He started to answer me, but I had already tuned him out. Behind us, out on the street, some of the guys had started to walk towards the apartment. They yelled for me to hurry up and I yelled back that I’d be along in a minute. I shook with rage.

“I won’t check myself when I’m drunk. This is me, this is how I am. If you can’t take it, or can’t handle it, don’t be around me…” he went on and on for a few moments, but I had stopped listening. I nodded, and said “Ok, Jon, sure, whatever,” over and over, wanted nothing else than to just get the hell out of there right then. How many other people knew? Did Andre know? I had told him I wanted to talk to Jon before they left. Did he know, when I said that, what Jon was now telling me? Had I just spent the last two years making an utter fool of myself? Her mind flashed back to earlier in the summer, when Frankie, someone I had just met and didn’t even know, had commented to Zoe “She’s got it bad, doesn’t she?” in reference to Jon. Christ, I was humiliated. I was also unsure which hurt more; the pain of knowing we were not friends, or the humiliation I imagined in minds of others.

Finally, I had had enough. “Whatever Jon. Whatever, whatever, whatever.” I turned on my heel and ran after Andre and everyone else. “Andre! Wait up!” He stopped in his tracks, turned around and waited for me.

“How’d it go with Jon?” He asked.

“Fuck Jon,” I growled.

I had begun having insomnia then, a result of my first exposure to any real altitude. It would continue horribly for the remainder of our time in Colorado, and I barely got a half hour of sleep per night. Usually I found people who were also staying up, and we talked the night out. This night was no different. At 6AM, as T and I watched the sun rise over the mountains and reflect off the many lakes, I quietly brought Jon up. I had a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other, and leaned over the railing of the balcony.

“He’s just confused, Tip. Trust me, he does like you, he does care about you, he’s just having some issues.”

“I don’t know T. That was pretty blunt, pretty final. We’re not friends. It’s not much more obvious than that.” Tand Zoe were the only people I would ever show that much vulnerability to. They were the only two people I trusted enough with that much of myself in their hands.

Until now.


Sheets said...

Wow... in a way that was cool cuz you found out who your real friends were but to have to go thru it... sucked.

gizmorox said...

I knew there was a reason I never liked Jon. There always was something shady with him even though most everyone worshipped the ground he walked on.

And whatever happened to Andre? He was good people. Fabulous people, really. He and Fairbrother still in Burlington?

Tippy said...

sheets, oh just you wait. it gets more weird.

giz, unless fairbrother ate him, i presume so. haven't heard his name in aaaaaaages.