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Old 01-31-2013, 12:26 PM   #1
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Anything At All, Chapter 1

Bono was busy making friends and declamations that afternoon as Edge leaned back in the local car.


You said your name is Lewis? Well, Lewis, I have to tell you that I adore Boston as much as your ability to drive us places in it, and also that we are desperately hungry. Breakfast in Providence was shite so can you please take us someplace to eat, not too greasy and not too crowded, and can you take us by the Big Dig on the way there? If you know of a place with no windows that would be great.”


Edge rested his head against the seat. For a little minute everything was balanced; all the months of planning, the tense smoky conception of the tour, the obsessive diagramming of every detail were compressed into a moment of everything being just fine. The sheer size of this tour was almost incomprehensible, and yet it was working. Even while they sat in that car the gears were turning, a city raised overnight was tuning to fever pitch. He felt like a rope walker; resilient, elastic, as though he could go on holding up the whole gigantic enterprise indefinitely. It was a perfect, indefinitely sustainable tension. The adrenaline thrum which never left his chest said, “ This is no trouble. We can go on like this for a long while yet.”


Do you know what I love about Boston, the Edge? It's a lot like Dublin, only American, you know- with much better foreign restaurants. The fucked up streets, the nepotism, the faces of the cops, the working class neighborhoods and the way you can tell they thought it all up on the fly. Look at that.” He gawked out at the rearing concrete dead ends. “New York or LA could never have this. Only a city government full of men married to each others' sisters could have allowed this project to happen.”


I don't know about you but I could allow a little quiet to happen” Edge said to Adam on his other side.


Adam nodded sagely. “ You get the table, I'll get the beer. This whole city is going to be nuts later on tonight.”


By tonight I'll be ready for it. Right now, I'm perishing.”






Down in the dim cellar Edge slid into a tall table by the pool racks. Later on he would be ready for the biggest party that Boston threw all year, but right now he was feeling peculiarly peaceful. All he wanted was something to eat, a decent tap, and no crowds. For the past several years no crowds had come almost by definition to mean no women, and that was the case now. Aside from the Principle Management women that came with them there was only a waitress filling pints. Three o'clock solemence ran deep here under the street level. He turned his attention to the chalk written specials board.


A jukebox!” Bono was shouting from across the room. “Who's got money?” A Public Enemy song came on. Other cars of crew had arrived and it was beginning to get loud. Although a complete mindfuck, tour life was also very, very easy in its way. In contrast, calling home to talk to his girls and their mother made him nearly puke with anxiety. He had to mentally prepare an hour beforehand just to remember how to talk to people outside the tour. The tiny intimacies of family life, all the myriad duties and capitulations of home... he didn't miss any of it. He needed all his focus. A life of unrestrained, undistracted work was beautifully simple. He became aware of someone speaking at his elbow.


Pardon?”


The little waitress before him gave a skeptical look. “Can I get you anything to drink today?” she repeated. She was, he saw, entirely made of small firm circles - from her smooth flared calves up around the mirrored curves of hips and waist to breasts as small and round as apples. He looked back at the board.


A beer would be great. Any good local is fine.”


Anything to eat?”


I'd love that. What's best?”


The burgers are very good,” she said. He recognized the neutral tone of wait staff reccomending a dull but popular menu item.


Em, I'm afraid I've been a bit burgered out in America. Do you have anything less heavy?”


She smiled then, round cheeks blooming. “I'll bet you want the spinach and salmon salad with honey mustard vinagrette.”


I think you're right. That will be great.” He liked the compact, capable look of her hands. “Thanks very much--” he paused for her name. She said something that sounded like “Sho-
bade”. He asked her to repeat it, raising his voice over the jukebox.


Here,” she wrote in big letters on the back of her tab sheet, S-O-L-V-E-I-G and leaned close, partly shouting. “SOL- vay.”


He looked at her, resting on her elbows over his table. Her eyes had a distinct north European tilt, creased at the corners. “Is that... Norwegian?”


Danish. My parents came here as students and stayed, and then I was born here.” He sat looking at her until she shrugged. “Well, I'll get your beer, then.”


He watched her walk back to the bar. She wore a dark pair of men's trousers cut off just below the knee, against which her round backside pressed like peaches. Under the bar lights her breasts were delicately tipped through her shifting shirt. That couldn't be. He squinted. Even in Boston, was a girl allowed to come to work without a bra? When she came back with his beer he was studiously watching Bono and Adam throw darts.


So, you're not from America?” she asked, setting down a light amber glass.


He coughed. Her look was direct, holding neither irony nor avarice. It made him think of something that he couldn't name.


No, I'm not..." How long was it since anyone had needed to ask him that? "I grew up in Ireland.”



And you are with these guys?” She inclined an eyebrow towards Bono, resplendent in black leather, gesturing widely.


He covered his discomfort with the pint. “Em, I play guitar in a rock and roll band with them.”


Oh....Oh, I know who you guys are, I think. Rattle and Hum?” If she knew only one thing about him, he would have preferred that it wasn't that.



Well, sort of. I mean, that's what we were doing a few years ago, but it's all rather different now. The tour and the sound and the look have all changed from what you hear on the radio.” He floundered. He was speaking to a woman who didn't know or care what he did for a living and he had no idea what to say next. “It's less rootsy and more European dance, more high distortion and ironic performance art...” Jesus. He sounded like a complete ponce and was unable, moreover, to stop searching her shoulder for a sign of a bra strap. There was none, just the white eyelet band of a weightless camisole such as a little girl might wear.


Sounds like fun.” She had dimple on one side.


Would you like to see it? If you're not working later on?”


I don't think I can; I have a gig of my own.”


You have a gig. Do you sing?” he asked. She was probably a singer-songwriter, in those tatty clothes.


I play fiddle in a techno contra dance band,” she said, waiting for the question that she must have known would come next.


Edge knew a lot about music, he thought, but he was obliged to knuckle under. “I'm afraid I don't know what that is.”


Well, let's see. You're from Ireland. You must have seen a ceileigh dance?” she asked. He had in fact seen them prancing though dance hall windows as a kid but never gone in. “It's a bit like that but more American; more raucous and not very well mannered.”


I don't know very much about traditional music,” he said. Traditional American music and the Edge had had a depressingly conventional celebrity relationship; a highly publicized fling and a very sour breakup.


I do, and this isn't it.” She grinned at his quizzical look. “Really. My partner and I do a lot of looping and sound manipulation, and we have a dj scratch for us. It's a lot of fun.”


I'd like to hear that.” And to see her play it as well. He liked the way that she spoke to him, and he liked the shadowed shape of her body under her wide necked shirt very much.


You should.” The dimple again. “We run til about one. Could you make it over after your show? It'll be a little busy because of St Patrick's Day.”


He was smiling, ridiculously, rubbing at the back of his neck. “I could make it if I was quick.”


Adam came sliding into the table now, passing over the belated beer. Edge looked from it to the mostly full one in his hand, awkwardly pinned by the curious American drinking custom, one pint at a time. But Solveig didn't notice; she was listening to Adam introduce himself.


Its very nice to meet you, Solveig. I always love to come back to Boston. It's one of our favorites.” The smooth bastard pronounced her name without difficulty and regarded her a moment. “Now, you must be Danish but your accent isn't. How did that come to be?”


Oh, for fucks sake.


While she explained and asked for his order Adam glanced at Edge, who gave him the pained, stonefaced look of a man about to be cock blocked.



Blessedly, Adam could switch gears as easily as he chatted up. With only a slight questioning look he said, “Solvieg, I am starving. Would you please bring me another of whatever my friend ordered? I find that his taste is very, very reliable.”


She made a note of his order, then carefully scrawled an address on a clean sheet and placed it in front of Edge. “This is where I'll be tonight.” She paused a moment. “You forgot to tell me your name.” He hadn't forgotten.


Edge," he said finally.



She repeated it, smiling, and turned back to the kitchen. Adam watched her go with rising eyebrows, then turned back to look at him, lips pursed in a silent whistle. Edge suddenly remembered the name for the directness of her look, the way she seemed to ask about him without wanting anything from him.It was kindness.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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I always love to imagine Edge flirting with a girl

(...a girl can dream )
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Old 01-31-2013, 09:09 PM   #3
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The story is still in process, so let me know what you think. Things you need to know more about? Things you need to see more of?
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:27 PM   #4
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I like the detail that you've put into the story. I really can picture the whole scene, environment and conversations. I am guessing this is Boston, 92 and I'm curious about this line:
"...the Edge had had a depressingly conventional celebrity relationship; a highly publicized fling and a very sour breakup..." Is there more to that line or am I just missing something? Is there a fling/breakup involved that we don't know about yet? (or is it just me?)

And ya gotta love Adam!

Looking forward to reading chapter 2!
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:22 AM   #5
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"Traditional music and the Edge had had a depressingly conventional celebrity relationship": a reference to the super-hype of their R&H/Lovetown foray into American roots music, the vicious critical backlash and their subsequent rejection of it. They haven't touched traditional music in 25 years, and they still don't like to talk about it. Frankly I think their feelings were hurt, and that at the beginning of ZOO, it was the very last thing they wanted to talk about.

I do love Adam- he's a ton of fun to write. I'm working on a way to keep him out of the way for Edge's date, yet have him make a comic cameo. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:57 AM   #6
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I stumbled in here off the Current tab; your writing is pretty impressive!

One slight correction though isnt it actually a céilidh or ceilidh. afaik in Ireland it is céilí and in Scottish Gaelic it is cèilidh

There might be some American variation that I'm not aware of but in the Maritimes it's ceilidh typically..
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvox View Post
I stumbled in here off the Current tab; your writing is pretty impressive!

One slight correction though isnt it actually a céilidh or ceilidh. afaik in Ireland it is céilí and in Scottish Gaelic it is cèilidh

There might be some American variation that I'm not aware of but in the Maritimes it's ceilidh typically..
Thanks! Unfortunately the original posts are not editable, but I'll fix before putting it up over on Burning Down Love. Check back for chapter 3 next week if you like.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:33 PM   #8
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Hey all, I'm bumping this thread because I'm actually finishing this story, five years later. I lost my only copy of the last chapter (the complete version, with the dirty bits) and was so gutted, I just couldn't pick up the thread.



Meanwhile life happened--I got divorced, moved, became totally solo parent to about .5 million kids, but you know what? I still love this story. Maybe it will find new readers, because I still love reading it. I'll also be posting on Archive of Our Own in complete form in the next week or so.
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