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Old 04-28-2010, 01:39 AM   #1
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A Rhythm Unbroken: Chapter Four

On we go! I struggled a little with this one in spots, but here it is

~The places are real. Dutch translation questionable. The tale is fictional~

December 16

I probably wouldn't have gone on this trip if Anton hadn't sort of invited me. Bono telling me to come along had about 5% convincing factor, that 5% simply being the fact that I would miss him. The other three saying they wanted me to come was only slightly more convincing. They would say that whether or not, deep down, they really wanted me along. Close as we were, I didn't want to invade their work, and sometimes I worried that I was walking that line precariously. "I don't want to be the Yoko Ono of U2," I told them. Which they laughed at and said was "beyond absurd and heading into the land of insane". Edge's words. Adam had told me to stop treating it as if they were having some kind of business meeting. "We're going to be playing around and taking pictures, for crying out loud. How could you possibly 'get in the way'?" Still, I waffled over it until Anton called, I picked up the phone, and he said, "You are coming, is that right Lilly? I would hope so, we will have great fun!" He wasn't the kind of guy to sugarcoat things. If he wanted to work with the band distraction-free, he would have come right out and said so. So, I decided to go along.

We picked up a van in Lone Pine, a little town on California Highway 395 . My definition of "van" and their definition were clearly at odds, because they insisted that this large, boxy car that sat eight people was not a van.

"A van is what we rode around in on tour!"

"That was a bus"

"Same thing!"

"No, they are definitely two totally different things! A bus holds a LOT more people!"

"You guys fight like kinderen!" Anton put a stop to our argument. "Are we going to take pictures, or discuss what is a bus and what is a van?!"

Still laughing, we piled in. Anton's equipment took up a lot of room, so even though the van sat eight, we were still slightly cramped. This led of course to more playful bickering, mostly centering around Larry and Adam.

"Move yer bleedin' arse over, will you Adam?"

"I can't, we're four in a seat for three!"

Nevertheless, he tried to move over, squashing me. I pushed him.

"Why don't you just sit in Bon's lap?! I'm sure you would both like that."

Bono reached over me and shoved Adam. A small scuffle over my lap ensued.

"Will you guys shut it?!" Edge yelled from the front seat.

"You're an old grump." Bono crossed his arms.

"Turn the radio on!" I figured that would be an outlet for our pent up energy from the flight. Neither Adam nor Bono on either side of me would stop fidgeting.

"Open the window!"

"We have the air con on, Bon," Edge responded.

"But I want to feel the wind in me hair!"

I started laughing and pecked his cheek.

"No, really, open the window!" Adam insisted.

"Ugh, Adam..." Larry covered his face.

I shrieked and began pounding his arm unnecessarily, and the van was filled with a chorus of "ewww"s. Anton rolled the window down, and a warm, dry wind blew in. "Please, no more nasty things back there! We all have to breathe in here," he laughed. "When do we see 'Yoshua trees'?" We all cracked up.

"Anton, say jackass!" I urged. We amused ourselves for a little while, first with making Anton say funny things in his Dutch accent, and then with comparing my words to theirs. "People have been telling me I'm losing my accent!"

Larry smirked. "Oh yeah? Say chocolate."

"Oh come on," I laughed. "You picked the worst one!"

"Chaw-clate, chaw-clate!" They chanted at me.

"Pffft, you!" I poked Bono hard in the chest. "The first time I heard you say the word 'struggle', I thought you were saying streudel!!" It was true, and I'd had a good laugh at him.

He grinned. "But you thought it was cute."

"I did. And I do." I kissed him lighter than the breeze that was blowing through the window. The van quieted down abruptly, and for a little while, we just sat there, I resting against Bono's chest, listening to the sound of the road and the wind. After a while, Edge turned on the radio.

Now in the street there is violence
And a lots of work to be done
No place to hang all our washing
And I can't blame all on the sun


"Oh my God, remember this song?!?!" Adam laughed.

"Ok, ok," Bono waved his hands. "Everyone sing the chorus together!"

We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue
And then we'll take it higher
Oh we gonna rock down to Electric Avenue
And then we'll take it higher


It was hilarious fun. Even Anton joined our sloppy chorus, after insisting that he couldn't sing. It was about a 2 1/2 hour ride from Lone Pine out to Death Valley Junction, which the boys had staked out as their first stop. Bono had a bunch of old pictures of these places, and there was one he had been particularly fascinated by, of what appeared to be a water tower and a few ramshackle buildings in an otherwise desolate area. He had stared at it and said, "I want to take a picture here."

So here we were. Just like in the picture, there was the old water tower, and several scattered shacks that looked long abandoned. I wanted to explore the area...peek into all the windows, look behind all the buildings, search the ground for interesting objects perhaps from long ago. Once out of the van, we were like little baby spiders hatching from eggs- we scattered far and fast, eager to move about.

Anton began capturing them almost immediately. I sat down on the ground to watch, but it became apparent that he was going to end up stepping on me in an artistic frenzy, so I stood at a distance and moved about, watching with intrigue. I wandered behind one particular building, which looked like someone had maybe once lived there. It was colder than I would have thought the desert would be. Even though it was December, I imagined that this place was always hot. Squatting down, I examined things strewn over the rocky sand. Little bits of ceramic, rusted metal cans, and a few other things I couldn't place. When I stood up, Bono was standing right there, grinning at me.

"Exploring?" He circled his arms around my waist.

"Yeah, well, I didn't want to get in Anton's way too much. This place is fascinating- you were right."

He backed me up against the wall of the old house or whatever it was. Now that Bono had me pinned against it, it didn't really matter what it was or what it had been. It was something solid to hold me up where I would have otherwise collapsed. "Do ya think we can get away with it?"

I raised my eyebrow. "Get away with what?"

Still pressing me tightly against the wall, he laughed, his hot breath tickling my wind-chilled skin. "Well..." And he began kissing me insistantly. When he reached for his zipper, I grabbed his hand.

"Are you crazy? No way!!"

He pouted. "Why not? It'll be quick..."

I felt like my knees were going to buckle. "Hold me up while I explain. As tempting as it is, we'd definitely get caught."

That reasoning didn't seem to deter him at all. "What if I did it anyway?"

My eyes widened. "Are you actually, in fact, trying to kill me? But what I'm saying is I don't want them to catch us!"

Bono straightened himself up and kissed my cheek. "Ok. I was just playing, love...later??"

Just then, Edge poked his head around the side of the building. "What are you guys doing?" he asked suspiciously.

"Exploring," Bono repeated.

"Well, we're going now...we have to go if we're going to make it down there by sunset."

As he walked away, I pinched Bono. "See! I told you!"

The weather quickly changed as we drove further. One minute it was chilly, and it seemed the very next that a hot wind was coming in the window. The landscape began to change as well. Scrubby little bushes dotted the ground like tufts of hair. Anton did not have a chance to ask again about the Joshua trees before they appeared. Everyone got all excited. When we finally stopped again, we all scattered just as before. Anton set up his camera as well as a camcorder (a very high-tech, fancy camcorder) and went back and forth between the two. He two pictures of them standing still, posing almost, looking very serious. Seeing them stand there like that kind of made me want to laugh. I assumed that the full effect would only be seen in the final developed photographs. Anton shot video of them, then, running about and acting silly. Edge did a cartwheel, causing his hat to fall off. "Make sure you erase that bit right there!" he implored, securing his hat firmly back on his head.

Bono took off the long sleeved shirt he was wearing and threw it at me, laughing. It smelled so good that I just buried my face in it. As if being left in just the sleeveless top had a liberating effect, he took off running awkwardly amongst the scrubby little bushes. As I was watching, I heard a sudden sound behind me, a cross between a hiss and some kind of...I didn't know. I screamed bloody murder and ran a few steps from what I thought was a rattlesnake. Adam laughed like a hyena. I whirled around angrily and chased him, attempting to grab him so I could hit him yet again. Bono caught me eventually in his bare, freckled arms. He was too strong to get away from. He squeezed me against him and srunched up his nose and suddenly, flash.

"I had to get it. It was a good shot!" Anton was pointing his camera at us. "Go on, do something else!"

Bono kissed me, and instinctively, I put my hand in his hair. There was another flash. Anton seemed interested. He took several more pictures. "You two photograph well together," he said. How could two people photograph well together? It must be an artistic viewpoint of sorts, I thought, because I had never been very photogenic.

After a few more hours of driving, it was nearly sundown when we reached the campsite. Larry started to fuss. "I still can't believe we're going to sleep out here on the ground! There are scorpions and snakes and God-knows-what lurking in the ground. WHAT IF we lay right on top of a snake hole, and it bites us because we're blocking its home?!"

We were all laughing at him. "Larry, you're always the one fussing about something," I said. "Do you remember, way back, the first time I travelled with you guys, we shared that hotel room in LA? You bitched about not being able to sleep because we were talking."

He scowled. "Well, it was three in the morning and you still wouldn't shut up! All I heard was ppssst-psst-pssst-pssstt in the dark! You're not going to do that tonight, are you?"

Bono shrugged. "Maybe. Just to annoy you."

"I'll tell you what, Larry," Adam started. "If I find a scorpion, I'll make sure it finds its way to your sleeping bag." I had a feeling that if scorpions weren't potentially poisonous, he actually would do that.

Later, after dark, we sat around the fire, in a much less rowdy mood. "Do you think we'll still act like kids like that, even when we're old and grey and wrinkled?" Edge asked, poking at the fire with an extra firewood stick.

"Ew." Bono made a face. "I don't want to think about being old, or grey, or wrinkled."

Edge laughed. "I just mean when we're older, and all married or something, or Lilly has a bunch of kids hanging all over her..."

I did not like the thought of a bunch of kids hanging all over me. "So, if I have a few kids fifteen years from now, you're saying we'll be wrinkled and boring by age forty?!"

Edge said to forget he said it, but I didn't forget it. The image stuck in my mind like one from a bad dream you're glad to wake up from.

"Guys, we brought marshmallows!" I pulled them from my bag. Even Bono looked at them in utter confusion.

"For what?"

I looked around. "To roast, of course." They still looked confused. "You mean you guys are grown men and you've never roasted marshmallows before?" They shook their heads. "Huh, it must be an American thing. You've been deprived! We used to roast them over little barbeque pits on Jones Beach when I was little."

The marshmallow roasting proved to be an interesting experience. It was another one of those instances where I was reminded of the cultural differencecs that still existed between us. It made them seem a bit like the wide-eyed boys they had been when I met them, though they clearly weren't.

"Ihs sough sicky," Bono mumbled with a mouthful of marshmallows. It was all over his lips. As a young teenager, when I would do this with my family on the beach, I imagined kissing someone with a mouthful of sticky marshmallow. For some reason, it had seemed oddly romantic to me. Giggling, I leaned over and kissed him, attempting to take some of the marshmallow mess from his mouth. It was the messiest kiss ever, and it took a lot of licking to finally get rid of all the stickyness that covered our mouths. I had been right, though. There was something very sweet and romantic about it.

Edge took out his guitar and began strumming it, playing an unfamiliar tune. Bono tapped his foot to the melody, and began singing along to it, seemingly off the top of his head.

Stay tonight, until the morning sets you free
I know our love will last forever...


Those lines flowed out fluidly, but then he seemed to lose his train of thought, and continued to hum the melody instead.

"Well, that was lovely. Whatever it was...it was kind of beautiful. The guitar, the words...the way it sounded!"

Bono chuckled. "Ah, it was just born right there."

Edge continued to play softly, switching now to a very familiar tune that I had heard them play over and over in the studio. It was the ending notes of a song they called Running to Stand Still. Bono pulled out his harmonica and blew into it. A sweet, mournful sound rose from it and floated out into the dark. He continued to play, the notes growing softer and longer. I imagined the sound drifting far out into the quiet, open desert. I watched him, completely mesmerized, as a breeze picked up his hair, and he continued to blow into the harmonica, drawing the notes out until they trailed off into silence. Even after we were nestled in the sleeping bag, Bono's arm draped over me, the starry sky stretched above us, I could still hear the sweet pureness of the notes hanging in the air.
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Old 04-28-2010, 02:57 AM   #2
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Aaah I love it! Ands it's so cool that Anton appeared in the story.., I'm proud that he's Dutch like me, haha!
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:26 AM   #3
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I was cracking up SO hard at this chapter! OMG I love it!

"Will you guys shut it?!" Edge yelled from the front seat.

"You're an old grump." Bono crossed his arms.




"But I want to feel the wind in me hair!" HHAHAHAAHAHAH!



"No, really, open the window!" Adam insisted.

"Ugh, Adam..." Larry covered his face.
ROTFLMAO!


He scowled. "Well, it was three in the morning and you still wouldn't shut up! All I heard was ppssst-psst-pssst-pssstt in the dark! You're not going to do that tonight, are you?" HAAAAAAHAAAAAA!

Oh man, if I quote anymore you're whole first part of this chapter will be in my one comment! hahahahahah!
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:57 PM   #4
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Thanks guys...haha, glad it was funny *blushes*

Almost done with chapter five
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:26 PM   #5
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i i like it it's funny.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:41 AM   #6
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really good
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:15 PM   #7
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Ad-am? Did what?

I enjoyed this. And the marshmallow kiss was entertaining ^^
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