Anything At All, Chapter 4 (alone at last) - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-19-2013, 09:12 PM   #1
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Anything At All, Chapter 4 (alone at last)

We're getting there, guys. I promise that once the good stuff gets rolling it's going to be effing good. For now, here's the song that I associate with Edge and Solvieg; longing and a little bittersweet

The night air was chill and damp on Edge's heated face. Spring had been well under way when they were in Miami a few weeks ago but they had been working their way north back into the teeth of winter, and Boston was still firmly in its grip. He recalled from other tours that it would likely stay that way until about mid March. A few slushy black snowbanks still lay in the shadowy corners, and the pavement glistened with an oily shine. He zipped his jacket and looked to be sure that Solveig was dressed warmly enough.


She was pulling on a rough hat like a woven grocery sack. The gauzy hem of her sun flowered dress just showed against her jeans under a blocky green military jacket ringed with fur around the hood. She looked a little like a twelve year old guerrilla fighter, and also like she needed a kiss just below her mouth, on the left hand side..


"Ready?" she asked. The street was full of young people exiting the club, swirling in knots to determine their next destination. He caught sight of Adam closely flanked by three girls, or no it was five, and surrounded by an amoebic cloud of hero-worshippinng others. Sovleig raised an eyebrow in his direction. "Your friend will be fine?"


"He was born fine," Edge said dryly.


"Good." She led him in a direction opposite to most of the crowd. The noise of voices dropped behind them. "So....I walked into a record shop after my shift and checked out your band. You're a big rock star, did you know?"


"I did hear something like that," he admitted. He listened to the sound of her boots on the asphalt, tried to analyze the quality of her silence. "You don't really give a shit, do you?"


She laughed. "No. I mean, I'm sure it's very fun and maybe also a pain sometimes, but I don't really care. I like you, though, and I'd like to hear you play some time."


"I'd like that," he agreed.


"Well, you know about me, now. What about you, are you single?"


He took a deep breath. "Divorced, more or less."


"What does divorced more or less mean?"


"Well, Ireland is a Roman Catholic country. You literally can't get a divorce- it's illegal. But we've been separated for a couple of years."


"How separated?" she asked.


"She lives with someone else. They have a baby together." A baby that looked hauntingly like his own children, but with certain features sickeningly blurred over into the likeness of another man. A baby that she cradled, that she shifted in her arms as she had done with the ones that were his.


"That's pretty separate." She was quiet a moment. "Did the two of you have any kids together?"


He flushed in the dimness. "Three little girls."


"Jesus." She didn't look over at him as she asked, "How old are they?"


"Ehm, three, six and seven, I think. There are some birthdays coming up soon." Her hair was luminous under the street lights, the wind damp and desolate. He was more than thirty years old. His hair was mostly gone. He was the father of three children and they weren't even cute little babies anymore; they were old enough to read, for Christ's sake. He had an ex whom he met in parking lots to exchange children as though handing off a very squirmy packet of drugs. It was a load of baggage that couldn't possibly be interesting to this girl.


She stopped walking and faced him. "I'm just trying to imagine it. You're a daddy. Like, bedtime stories and papers home from school and all that?"


"When I can." He could hardly hear his own voice. Pavement, swallow me now, he thought.


She took him by the shoulders and turned his face to the garish yellow light. He steeled himself to endure her look. Once again it was open, assessing; curious without making conclusions. Her thumb lightly brushed the corner of his eye, but she was looking at his mouth. Then she gave a smile of surpassing sweetness.


"Okay. I can see that." She threaded her arm around his leather coated sleeve, and they walked on. Boston was absolutely beautiful in March, he thought. Absolutely amazing, really.



"Where did you learn to play fiddle like that?"


"Well, what you heard tonight was just what Ivor and I come up with. It grows. You probably know how it is. But I learned how to play form an old man in the town where I grew up. My parents were university people, but Chicopee still has working class neighborhoods where immigrants came to work in the mills, a lot of them French speakers from Canada, and they stayed in these enclaves for generations. The old ones don't even speak English, although they've lived here their whole lives.


'One day I was out walking- you know, just being fourteen and having nothing to do, just walking all over, and I came into one of those neighborhoods. There were all these identical little houses that the mill bosses had built for the workers, and the most incredible little gardens. One of them had an arbor built from that galvanized pipe that's used to make park playgrounds, all covered with grapevines like a secret, and behind it there was music. I could hear fiddles and accordions and kind of clicketing thump- that was the clogging. You saw how Ivor keeps a beat going with his feet?" Edge nodded.


"I hung outside a while wandering closer and eventually ended up inside. Marcel gave me a bloody hamburger from the grill and let me watch them play for hours. The time after that he stuck a fiddle in my hand, and I just kept going back. They never made me feel stupid. His wife set out a tray with red wine and white and beer for me every time I ever walked through their door."


"Which one did you take?"


"White at first because it seemed less scary, but the sweet sparkly red she kept was better. My mom though that I was hanging out with a very questionable crowd, that Marcel was a dirty old man. And maybe he was in his way, but he was always very good to me."


"That's really beautiful," Edge said. "Is he still there?"


"Sort of. He went downhill pretty quickly after Estelle died. The last time I was home he only knew me off and on."


He pressed her arm to his side in silence.


"What about you?" she asked. "How did you learn how to play?"


"Oh, I screwed around on the guitar from the time I was little, my brother and I both. I had some piano lessons from a little old lady at church. It was just something that I did. Then when I was sixteen and joined a band it was a little embarrassing; I didn't want to be crap, so I actually had to learn how to play. From then on I pretty much lived in my bedroom, staying up all night with the headphones plugged into the amp so my dad could get up for to work in the morning." He smiled a little at the memory; his tiny room cluttered with books, his first amp with a stack of clothes over top, and the Explorer splayed across his bed.


"And when did you start playing with the guys you're with now?"


"That was it. They were my first band."


"No, really? So you've been with them for...."


"More than half my life. Almost twice as long as I was married."


She nudged him with the elbow tucked against his side. "I guess you should have married one of them instead."


"Oh, I don't think so. They were all missing certain... personal qualities... that I was looking for." He slid an ostentatiously sneaky arm around the sweet indentation of her waist, and she threw back her head and laughed up to the sky.


















































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Old 02-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #2
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Awesome. I love how Solvieg is so down to earth and that she's not very impressed with the 'Rock Star' Edge. She just takes it in stride. Also love the detail as she's talking about how she learned how to play. Very humble. I also like how you tied the marriage theme up from the beginning of the chapter to the end. It works really well.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:08 PM   #3
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I really like this story. Keep it up!
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:57 PM   #4
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Thanks, you guys!
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:58 AM   #5
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Really enjoying this story - sets the mood of the time excellently, and none of the blokes seem out of character. Good work.
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:25 PM   #6
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"He was born fine," Edge said dryly.

lol i love it

He smiled a little at the memory; his tiny room cluttered with books, his first amp with a stack of clothes over top, and the Explorer splayed across his bed.
such a cute image, bb edge working on his craft!

"She lives with someone else. They have a baby together."

just out of curiosity is that true? either way i like that paragraph! i'm just nosy
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Old 02-26-2013, 10:42 PM   #7
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I don't think it is, at that time. There was a wikipedia entry for her not long ago that said that she did have another long term relationship that included at least one additional child, but I think it didn't occur so soon. When I went back to look while writing, the entry had disappeared. Nobody's got anything on Aislinn that I could find.

Baby Edge's room- at first I had the Explorer hung on two pegs (eg, his meticulous nature) but then I thought, no, she lives in his bed.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:01 AM   #8
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I do remember a number of years ago that she was in the tabloids overseas about a terrible break-up or something like that. I think she had some issues back then, and I want to say it was during an inactive U2 period.

Hey, it's fan fiction. Not fan accurate account of the past.
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Old 02-27-2013, 08:48 AM   #9
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Is the sense about her that she was a very volatile person and they fought a lot? I just the read the account in U2 by U2 about how their disastrous honeymoon was predictive of the marriage. And I heard a rumor that she started as a groupie- does anyone know this story?

And yes, thank God for artistic licence, right?
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Old 02-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #10
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a groupie?!?! I didn't know that
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Old 02-27-2013, 02:03 PM   #11
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Like I said, it was a rumor- could be totally untrue. I'd love sources if anyone has 'em.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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I thought they met at school
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:38 PM   #13
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Wish I knew more about it!
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