Dancing With The Devil ch. 30 - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-19-2011, 07:14 PM   #1
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Dancing With The Devil ch. 30

Wow, thirty chapters? I always knew I was wordy fpr nothing! Hope this chapter has no mistakes. Yes, there are several song references in this chapter... and yes, it could have gone a very different way had I not taken over!

MacPhisto gets distracted as he performs onstage during the first night in Bologna. I giggle as he croons, “A balloon! How lovely!” and desperately tries to get the audience to bring the object to him. Desire is stretched out for a bit longer than usual, as it was in Rome when MacPhisto decided to dance with the blow-up doll. Once again I see the band suppressing their laughter and giving fond eye rolls behind MacPhisto’s back. MacPhisto’s wild attempts to get the balloon to the stage produce nothing, and at last he gives up and finishes the song.
“Look what you’ve done to me!” MacPhisto tells the adoring crowd. “You’ve made me very famous and I thank you. Do you know who I am?”
To my delight I hear several fans cry out “MacPhisto!” I settle back to listen to my words in his mouth.
“I’m a rock and roll star!” MacPhisto declares, looking tickled pink. “And I know you like your rock and roll stars to be exciting, so I bought… these.” Up goes the leg- gah- and out goes the shoe. Thud goes my heart.
“Some people think that rock and roll started in the United States of America,” MacPhisto continues, “but in fact this is not the case. Rock and roll started in the streets of Italy!”
This gets a huge response from the crowd as expected, and we have to wait for the noise to die down before MacPhisto can deliver his next line.
“Opera!” he exclaims. “Songs from the street, songs from the gutter, songs filled with passion- they sing their little hearts out.” He looks upward. “Pavarotti, there’s a rock and roll star! Shall I give Pavarotti a telephone call?”
The audience whoops and cheers. I smile at MacPhisto’s indulgent expression.
“You speak awfully good English. Shall I give Pavarotti a telephone call? Oh yes I shall,” he murmurs, a widespread grin breaking over his face. I cheer as MacPhisto goes to the phone, and the crowd takes it up.
Dialing fills the stadium, and MacPhisto tells the fans that “When you’re famous, people give you their telephone numbers. True- really! Off with the horns…”
“On with the show,” I finish, reaching out to catch MacPhisto’s horns in a well-aimed toss.
“Tum te tum te tum tum,” MacPhist scat sings, drumming his fingers against the telephone table. There appears to be no response from the other end. MacPhisto acknowledges this- how could he nor?- with, “Shall I try that again? All right.” He dials once more. This time, I know, will do the trick.
After dialing, MacPhisto makes a surprisingly human gesture- he shrugs his shoulders and smiles a little haphazardly at the crowd. “I’ve got all night, have you?”
The honeyed question is met with a “YEAH!” I wouldn’t have expected anything less.
And now, almost as if on cue, a man’s voice on the other end calls “Pronto!”
MacPhisto launches into the prepared words- “Could I speak to the maestro, Pavarotti, please?” What he isn’t expecting is the half-sung response:
“I ammmm Mr. Pavarotti!”
The audience is so loud that Pavarotti has trouble asking, “Who is speaking?” and getting himself heard. However, kind MacPhisto, listening intently, can make out the words. “I just called to say I love you… I just called to say how much I care…”
As the applause dies down, MacPhisto asks, “How are you, maestro, this evening?”
Pavarotti has warm words for the Devil. “I am very well, how are you? I am sure of your fantastic success! How is the night going?”
“Well…” MacPhisto pauses to peer out at the crowd. “The people of Bologna are splendid the evening, I must say!”
As the people of Bologna cheer again, I press my hand over my heart. Here’s MacPhisto using my words to converse with a famous opera star, a man whose Italian accent is moving my soul. It’s almost too much to take in.
“They’re a great audience,” Pavarotti says now, reflectively.
MacPhisto clearly agrees. “They are-“
“They are great audience, because you deserve it,” Pavarotti cuts MacPhisto off with this compliment. I’d be truly touched if I were him. Somehow, though, I have the feeling that MacPhisto is a hardened sort of man, being the Devil and all. It turns out he’s more interested in Pavarotti.
“They are most generous. And how is the maestro’s voice this evening, is it in fine…?” MacPhisto questions the man with the concern of a singer knowing his trade.
“I am very good, yes,” Pavarotti assures him.
MacPhisto still isn’t sure. “I believe you’re losing a lot of weight, you’re slimming down for the 90’s!” he laughs.
Pavarotti laughs too. “Not so much, but I will try,” he tells his newfound friend. MacPhisto is not too quick to spout his own praise. “Well, I’d just like to say I love you the way you are!”
“I love you and all the people there!” Pavarotti exclaims. My heart swells with the crowd’s cheer. Once it dies he says, “And a big kiss for everybody!”
“Have you a song to sing us over the telephone lines tonight?” MacPhisto asks, slouching against the table that once held the phone.
“No, I, un- unfortunately not!” Pavarotti says, taken by surprise. MacPhisto laughs- a pure and real sound that I’ve rarely heard. It tickles my ears most nicely. Pavarotti continues- “But I, I, I… I wish you many, many… beautiful day like that, and beautiful night like that, with so many beautiful people there.”
I can sense the crowd getting ready to cheer, and I can tell MacPhisto does too. He throws up his arm- the fingers are twisted into the telephone cord, I see- and announces, “Well maestro, maybe one night you’ll join us on this fine stage and sing with us in person! How about that?”
An opera star collaborating with a rock band? I wonder what sort of song that would produce. Pavarotti says, “It will be for me a great pleasure, and thank you…”
At this moment Ultraviolet starts. MacPhisto stills, remaining intent on the phone.
“…to have made the translation of the song Miserere- thank you, it’s beautiful!” Pavarotti finishes.
MacPhisto’s response is, “Sometimes I feel like I don’t know, sometimes I feel like checking out… I’ve got to get it wrong…” He asks the telephone-microphone between lines, “Are you there?” referring to Pavarotti.
“Can’t always be strong… and love, it won’t be long…”
And instead of screaming, he calls, “Good evening maestro!” down the phone line. And the guitar kicks in.
***
Meeting Bono backstage, I ask him if he liked how the script I wrote went. He hugs me and says, “It was your finest yet,” which prompts me to kiss his cheek. Bono does not deny me the contact, and a whim overtakes me to go further than that, but I remember how MacPhisto had restrained my hands the first time I danced with him onstage, and I don’t follow through on the actions.
The rest of the band enters the room, and I’m pushed aside like a hovering dog. U2 makes conversation and congratulates each other on the show well done. The room is quickly filling up with crewmen and invited visitors alike. Sensing that this place will become packed to the brim in a few minutes’ time, Larry asks “D’you know where we’re going tonight?”
The others take the hint that it’s time to clear out, and ask if anyone wants to join us. Morleigh is not coming tonight, which disappoints me. However, Jack is one of the faces that nods and says “Yes” and Eric makes a wavy motion with his hand as if he can’t decide whether to come or not. I hope he chooses the affirmative.
Now Bono asks me in particular- only me, he’s not looking at anyone else- if I’d like to come. I know he’s asking in a detached way, but I can’t help seeking more than I hear in his words. “Yes, I’m coming,” I simper, loading my voice with sugar. Bono turns back, and I have to reproach myself. God, what do I think I’m doing? Chatting him up? It’s not gonna work.
A huge clump of folks leaves the stadium. We ride in a limo down to the planned club, and there’s a lot of laughter going on. I overhear Bono saying that he thought this was one of the best shows of the tour. I smile to myself.
We head inside the club ready for some fun. And I promise myself I won’t get drunk, even if someone pressures me. That is just not the way to go. I dance instead.
Bono sits at the bar with Edge by one side, the other band members having run off to who knows where. Edge looks to his friend in the light. Is it time for the talk he’s wanted to have with him? No, it can’t be when he has to shout over the music. And yet, when better will Edge get to talk to Bono? Never mind the possible spoiling of the celebratory mood tonight.
The singer, in the meantime, is working his way through a large drink taller than his head. Edge suspects he made a mean deal with the bartender to get something that heavy-duty. He prods Bono- prodding, not poking- and Bono stares at him as if he’s awakening, seeing Edge for the first time this morning. Or rather night…
The Edge smiles. “How’re YOU doing?”
Bono laughs. “Fine, thank you,” he answers, and sips the last of his drink. Edge hides his concern. “Well. Well, well, well, what did you think of the concert, Edge?”
“I enjoyed it every bit as much as you did,” Edge tells Bono. “I think I’ve taken a liking to the people of Bologna, like you have.”
Bono’s response is too low to be heard normally, and Edge has to strain his ears- “Or as Marieke would say, like MacPhisto has.” His eyes wander over to the dance floor, where Marieke is spinning in Jack’s arms. Once again Bono wonders at her ties to men. First she hangs with Eric, now she’s hanging with Jack, and she specifically fancies MacPhisto- though the last one can hardly count, seeing as she’s not shown any preference towards the man behind the persona. Bono’s eyes twirl along with the couple. They’re laughing, a still life in the middle of the bustling club.
Edge catches Bono’s attention again with a few words. “So tell me. You didn’t really expect to get through to Pavarotti tonight, did you?”
Bono’s eyes do not pull away from the dance, but a smile opens his face. “Oh no, of course we expected it! I’d told Marieke to write a conversation for us because I knew Luciano was bound to pick up. What a lovely man.” His staring eyes glisten under the light.
Edge props his head between his thumb and forefinger. “”That was a brilliant call,” he agrees. “Funny thing is, I can’t imagine performing with that man.”
Bono’s eyes finally turn onto Edge’s. “Oh, that one’s a joke. But you never know… the idea could come back in a few years, we’ll see.”
They converse for a while longer, and Bono runs through another drink. Edge tries to delicately broach the subject he’s wanted to talk about since the day before. Unfortunately, he’s not quite sure what exactly the question was, and Bono is ordering yet another drink. Sooner or later he won’t be able to think straight, and Edge’s opportunity will be missed.
“Bono?” he says quietly, hoping Bono can hear him over the hubbub of the club.
He does and leans in. “What is it, Reg?”
Edge swallows. “Em… just wanted to talk to you about something.” He isn’t sure how to go further than that.
“Well, shoot.” Bono takes a large sip from his glass.
Edge’s original thoughts are momentarily suspended. “Would you stop drinking for a second? It’s serious.”
Confused and a bit worried, Bono puts down his glass. Edge sighs and takes in an equally deep breath to replenish his lungs.
“A few days ago, at the restaurant… you didn’t seem very, well, happy. I thought something was wrong, and I hope I’m the one who’s wrong…” Edge sucks in another breath. “Are you doing okay?”
Bono stares at him for an inestimably long time, and raises his glass again.
“You know me- I’m fine.” He drinks.
Edge narrows his eyes. He does know Bono- and he knows Bono is lying. There’s no way to shake the vibes that he picked up on that day. Something is wrong on Bono’s end of the line, and Edge would so willingly help him if possible.
“Are you sure? Because you can talk to me. I mean, I don’t want anything to be troubling you.”
“I told you, I’m fine.” Bono stands up, his head spinning pleasurably. He should have remembered how perceptive his friend can be at times. Screw this. Who cares if he’s having random bouts of depression caused from homesickness and his mystifying relationship with Marieke? It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. He wants to forget everything tonight. Bono leaves Edge sitting at the bar and takes the drink along.
After dancing with Jack for an indefinite amount of time, I arrive at the bar parched, my date at my side. “Go fetch me a drink,” I instruct, and he salutes- “Yes, ma’am!” In the blink of an eye Jack is gone, and I’m left sitting alone here, brooding and celebrating in a delightful manner.
A man is sitting down at the other end of the bar. I watch him with a wary eye, until I realize it’s Larry. “Hey, Larry!” I call, and he looks up and scoots down several seats. “Hey, Marieke.”
“Enjoying yourself?” I ask, and he nods. “I had a lot of fun tonight.” He appears to be waiting for more words from me, so I keep up the conversation myself. “That phone call- did you like it? I wrote it, you know.” The beaming is impossible to keep off my face.
“I know you wrote it,” he says, the twinges of a smile beginning around his mouth. “I liked it. You’re quite good at writing, honestly even better than Bono.”
“I didn’t truly think we’d get through to Pavarotti,” I confess. “But I had to write some words in case we did.”
“Was it-“ Larry begins, but is stopped by Jack returning with our drinks. “I got the mildest choice on the menu for you, Marieke,” he informs me. “Figured it’d be better.” I smirk. “And what did you get, Jack?” He peers into his glass. “Well, I’m not really sure what they called it… but it smells like heaven. Bottoms up.” He drinks.
Now I’m comfortably sandwiched between two men, Jack and Larry, and having the time of my life. Maybe we can hang out back at the hotel- a party in my room would rock. Or we could all gather in Bono’s suite, the only place that could properly host a get-together. Speaking of which, where is Bono?
While Larry and Jack talk to each other around me- they make a good pair, the two quietest men I’ve met on tour- I search with my eyes and at last locate Bono at the back of the club. He is moving to the beat, and I gawk. Bono must have been the man who invented the concept of dancing badly.
“I’m going over there,” I announce, and Jack gives me a wiggle-of-the-fingers wave. “Bye, Marieke.” The drinks have certainly made him more sociable. I should remind him not to drink too much if he doesn’t want to get wild. Larry, on the other hand, is absorbed with watching me, and I can swear I feel his eyes on the back of my neck even as I walk away.
I’ve arrived at Bono’s side just in time to see one of the staff at the club approach him and tell him off in Italian. Bono just laughs. He’s obviously very drunk, and I nearly shudder at the thought of approaching him further than I already have.
The worker shakes his head and says something else in a firm voice, and this makes Bono get angry. He uses Italian harshly, and one of the last phrases I hear is “Va fan cula,” the words I heard the audience shouting in Rome when MacPhisto called Bettino Craxi. I begin to realize their sentiments were not at all good, and the Italian man is furious. He shouts something to Bono, something about how he can’t stay here, and the next thing I know Bono is being thrown out of the club.
I scan the club, surprised at how little attention this incident is being given. Maybe everyone else who joined us is preoccupied. I exit the club and find Bono staring up at the lights.
“Bono? Are you okay?” He comes over to me, inebriated and out of his mind. “What’re you doing out here? Get back inside!”
“I can’t go back, you’re out here!” I say.
“Leave me alone!” His voice makes me involuntarily tremble.
The tone Bono uses remind me of a tone of voice I’ve heard plenty of times before- when Lina’s mad at something in the world and rarely wants to speak to anyone. When I do make the mistake of asking her a question, she reacts angrily and tells me to bug off, her tone suggesting that she’s been asked this question several times previously and is sick of having to answer. That is the tone of voice Bono has just used on me.
Just like with Lina, I take on a calm voice and say to Bono, “I’m not leaving you.” Where’s the limo? I assume the driver has parked down an alley and is inside, possibly as drunk as Bono is. I need to get inside and tell someone that Bono’s out here with me, but I can’t leave him alone here.
Finally the one idea occurs to me. It’s needlessly complicated, but it will have to do. I drag Bono around in my search for a phone booth, and step into one that’s about a block away from the original club. We jam ourselves into there, Bono complaining and trying to get out, but I close the door behind me. Instead of searching further, Bono turns his back on me and sulks. I’m so glad I haven’t encountered him drunk very much before. He’s impossible in this state.
There’s a phone book in here, thank God, and I look up the number of the club we were just at. My fingers insert the right coins and dial the number shakily, and a man picks up, greeting me in Italian. I ask if I can speak to Jack Stuart, and he covers the receiver with one hand and shouts the name. After a moment Jack’s voice pops in on the other end.
“Hello?” I tap the receiver. “Jack, this is Marieke. Bono got thrown out of the club. He’s very drunk. I’m taking him to the hotel.”
Upon hearing his name, Bono looks and me and frowns. “I’m not drunk. I’m fine,” he stresses. It would have made me laugh if I wasn’t concentrating so hard on Jack’s response.
“Oh. That’s a good idea. I was about to head out myself, but I’ll let someone know that’s where Bono’s got to.” His voice turns low, a mock whisper- “God, it’s boring talking to Larry! Neither of us know what to say without you.”
“Give the conversation another try. He’s really interesting,” I say. “Like a chocolate bar. The wrapping is pretty but the inside is even sweeter.”
Jack laughs hard at my simile. “Gotta go, you must be running out of change. There’s a lot of things that if I could I’d rearrange. Have fun with your drunk rock star!” He hangs up.
I sigh and place my arms akimbo, looking at said rock star. My mind runs through the various things I could do to an elegantly wasted Bono in a phone booth- but I wouldn’t dare. “Come on, Bono, let’s go home.”
I move aside, and strangely enough he leaps upon the telephone, clutching it in both hands. “Get me some money,” he says, at once oddly alert.
I shake my head. “I don’t have any. Let’s go.”
“No-“ Bono insists, and punches in a number. I close my hands over his and gently pull them away. “I don’t have any money, Bono,” I lie. “It’s not going to work. Just let me take you home.”
“Home?” he asks. I paraphrase. “Not quite home, I mean the hotel. I can’t take you to Ireland tonight.”
Bono pulls away from me and hits the door of the phone booth. “Get me OUT!” He’s enraged, and it’s scaring me. What could have happened in the club that made him drink so heavily- and behave so awfully?
“No, Bono. Not yet. I have to make a call.” I insert some more coins, feeling like a hypocrite, but I know I can’t be letting Bono call anyone. The number of a taxi service is easy to look up in the book. I order them to bring a taxi around to the street we’re on, and the receptionist answers that a car is coming as soon as possible.
Once again I go to face Bono. He stares hungrily, wrapping his arms around himself. “You lied to me,” he realizes.
“We’re getting out of here,” I answer. “It’s okay. I’m letting us out now.” My hands motion to the door.
To my surprise Bono protests. “Fuck! I don’t bloody want that…” He suddenly grabs me, all flame and hot anger, me all chilled to the core, an icicle in the monster’s hands. “Damn it. Damn you,” he hisses, and leans in to kiss me.
Our contact only lasts one second before I twist out of his grip, pushing myself away from him. “You. Out of the booth. NOW!” I shriek, my voice high pitched and loud. We wrestle our way out of the phone booth and I plant my feet firmly on the ground, latching onto his jacket with an iron grip. We wait for the taxi.
Despite my furious reaction in the phone booth, my lips are tingling with the touch of Bono’s own. I can’t believe it… he kissed me. Did he mistake me for Ali, or… does he love me? Does he really love me in the same way I do? I can’t imagine that. Why, oh why did I push him away? We could have kissed for a much longer time…
A lemon car parks in front of the curb. I shove Bono into it and climb in myself, paying the driver and telling him the directions to the hotel. He nods, knowing the place I mean. Bono has slumped over and is now leaning against the wall of the car. I buckle his seatbelt in and the driver takes us away. At least the rage seems to have passed, and Bono is sleepy.
A certain song is playing on the radio.
Well it’s too late tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other, carry each other
One
My hands reach out- there’s no harm in touching Bono, really now, is there? His eyelids flutter, his mouth falling open. I stroke his hair, twisting little curls of it around my fingers.
One love
One blood
One life, you got to do what you should
One life with each other
Sisters, brothers
I keep myself as silent as possible, and rub Bono’s shoulders. He’s crashed by now, and I lean in and press my lips to his forehead, his temples, all over his face but never on his lips. One continues to play on the radio, and I whisper to Bono in Dutch, a sappy love sentiment of “You are what my heart looks like.”
The guitar in One rings its notes, and Bono’s recorded voice sings in falsetto. I stroke Bono’s neck with my fingers and wait for the song to be over. The announcer on the radio speaks in Italian- “Quello era degli U2 One…” and I ask the driver if he can please turn the radio off. Nothing should be allowed to come on after U2 music.
We keep silent, awash in city lights, until the driver stops at the hotel. I thank him with all the heartfelt expression I can give, and unbuckle and awaken Bono. We leave the taxi, which speeds away into the night.
Bono’s all blurred by the rude awakening, and says nothing until I lead him inside. At that moment his eyes focus on me, and he says, “Where are we, Angel?” A terror comes over me- he recognizes me! He must not be completely lost, but… does he remember what happened in the phone booth?
Without asking him, I lead Bono over to the lobby desk. There’s something I want before we go upstairs. “Sir? Can I have a glass of water?” I ask the receptionist in Italian.
He responds with a yes, confused as to why I would need it but willing to give it up to me, and goes to find one. Bono sways on his feet, and I wrap my arm around his waist and murmur “Calm, calm,” in Dutch.
The receptionist returns and hands over the glass- not filled with water, I see, but that’s fine- and I thank him and tow Bono over to the elevator. He watches us cautiously, probably mistaking me for some girl Bono’s picked up in the club and wondering what sort of sex toy a glass of water is. Unbeknownst to him, U2 are not like those hardcore rockers.
As we ride in the elevator, I ask Bono, “Can I have your room keys?”
“What d’you want them for?” he asks.
“You’re going to bed and I have to take you there. Can I have your keys, please?”
He surrenders them to me, but not without loudly complaining, “I feel like shit,” and leaning against my shoulder. I massage his neck and back and let him drape himself over me.
Outside the elevator on Bono’s floor, I push the key into the lock on his room and lead him inside. The lights are off, and I’m not prepared to turn them on. We feel our way through blackness and Bono falls down onto his bed. I wonder if I should undress him for sleeping, and decide against it. There’s too many ways I could get distracted…
Bono’s breathing slows down in bed, and I pull the blanket over him. “Sleep, sleep tonight,” I murmur, my voice scratching on the higher notes of the song but at least muted. “And may your dreams… be realized…” I place the keys on his nightstand and go into the bathroom, filling up the water glass. He’s not going to feel very good tomorrow, and might as well have something non-alcoholic to drink in the morning.
Back in the main room, I can’t resist giving one last kiss, this time on Bono’s nose. With hope he’ll never remember what I did tonight. Bono is already dead to the world. My body feels like a lit candle, and I back away slowly from the bed. No, there’s no way I can do that with him tonight. There’s nothing I’d like more than to be in Bono’s bed, but I can’t take advantage of him in this state. Besides, it hurts me to admit it but I would never dare steal Bono away from Ali unless they were divorced. His body is hers alone, and as much as I loathe that fact I do not want the ownership to change hands. It would just feel wrong, sickening, to take over another woman’s property.
I slip out the door, tired, ready for some downtime. I can’t wait to go to sleep. The blinking red light of the answering machine greets me when I unlatch the door to my hotel room. Huh, that’s strange. Who would be calling me?
I play the message while dressing for bed. Marieke, this is Herman. My body stiffens. If you can please call me right after you receive this message it would be much appreciated. Thank you.
What does Herman want? I don’t believe I’ve ever rung him in my life, though I do know his number. Is this something about Lina? My heart begins to race.
“Hello?” My voice, in its native Dutch language, sounds too loud and too nervous. I clutch the phone tightly. “Herman? This is Marieke, please pick-“
“Marieke?”
“Up,” I finish, sighing. “Herman, what did you call me for?”
“Er… do you have any idea what time it is?” he demands.
“Yes, I do, by the way.” Holland and Italy are not separated in time zones, so it is still one o’ clock in the morning over there. “Look Herman, you told me to call you. How did you get my hotel number?”
“Lina had it. That’s not important.” He sighs back at me. “Marieke, how long does your job on Zoo TV last?”
I think. “Until the end of the tour.”
“No,” Herman says. “When do your holiday hours expire?”
My voice shakes. “You don’t need to know that.”
“Marieke.” His voice is firm. “Marieke, you need to come home soon.”
“Why? Is it about Lina?” I don’t need to be meddling any of his business if it’s not.
“Yes, it’s about Lina. Who else? Please, Marieke, listen to what I have to say.”
That’s what I’m trying to do, you idiot. “Is there something wrong with her?”
“Well…” He swallows. “There may or may not be. Ever since you left to join the tour she’s grown more and more irritable every day. Her progress at work has gone far down too. I’m afraid I may have to fire her.”
“Why?” I ask. “Do you know why?”
“No, I have no idea. She’s also wanted me over less and less. Tonight she told me outright that she didn’t want me to come over anymore. I don’t know what’s wrong with her. I’ve never seen Lina depressed like this.”
Herman speaks with the concern of a longtime boyfriend. I, however, pipe up with the anxiety of a best friend in my voice. “Depressed like what? Answer me, Herman!”
He shies away from my shouting. “I don’t know, all right? I don’t know. The way she’s been acting lately, it seems as if she may be depressed. I figured it was because you’re not with her.”
“Why would she be depressed about that?” She’s lived an entire few years without me when I moved into my sister’s house. Lina should know how to cope. And yet… I have been away on tour for a much longer time than I’ve realized.
Herman answers me. “I don’t know why. I’m just very scared for her. Marieke, if you can, please call her.”
“I’ll do it now,” I tell him, my hand already hovering over the numbers of our flat.
“Please, Marieke,” he says, and hangs up.
I dial our flat number and wait for someone to pick up. No one does. After the fifth ring an answering machine comes on, and it’s not our usual recorded message. “Marieke, if that’s you I give a damn about your life on tour! Just leave me be.” The beep startles me so that I drop the phone. I hastily hang up and lie down in bed, but I’m far too broken to sleep.
***
During the night, Bono only wakes up once due to a painful flipping in his stomach. He rushes into the bathroom. After expelling the alcohol from his system, he runs water over his face from the sink, drinking some of it. The lights are off, and his fingers come into contact with a smooth glass. He folds his hand over it and raises the glass to his lips, drinking half and gargling the rest to wash his mouth out. The glass slips from his hand and its impact with the bathroom floor sounds like a pistol shot to Bono’s ears. He groans and drags himself out of the bathroom, falling asleep on the floor right outside the bathroom door in case he feels sick again.
***
When morning comes I’ve only slept for about three hours. I went to bed at 1:06, but I only fell asleep roughly around 3:30. My eyes protest to being cracked open, and I console myself with the thought that as soon as I eat breakfast I can go back up here and catch up on sleep. U2 is performing in Bologna tonight as well.
And now I remember. U2… Bono! Oh no… Does he remember anything from what happened last night? Or is he still asleep? I know that this will NOT do. Bono can’t find out that he kissed me… and he can’t know that I was the one who took him home. I had my hands all over him during that taxi ride. He shouldn’t be allowed to know that. In a panic I jump out of bed and dress, ready to find Eric. There’s a task he’d better do for me.
I knock on Eric’s door, and he answers it in a few seconds. “Marieke! Hi, what do you want?”
I ignore my mind’s reaction of singing Zooropa and say, “I need to talk to you.”
“Okay…” He gestures to the inside of his room.
I walk in and sit down on his bed. “Eric, can you lie about something for me?”
“Lie?” His green eyes flash. “What are you talking about?”
“I mean, I took Bono back to the hotel last night. He was very drunk and I don’t want him to remember that I took him here. Please lie and say that you did it.”
“Why, Marieke?” Eric’s eyes have hardened. “What happened between you that you don’t want him to remember?”
He looks so innocent, and I badly want to spill my story to him. The problem is, I’m not sure if he can be trusted with the whole truth. “Nothing happened. We didn’t sleep with each other or anything.” Eric blushes. “Just lie about it, please. I can’t explain why, but just do it.”
“But… I wasn’t even at your club,” Eric protests.
“Do you think he’ll remember? He was drunk. Eric…”
“If you shove me into that position Bono’s bound to realize there was more going on than you’re telling him. Me taking him home is believable, but not when I wasn’t with him in the first place. He’s going to realize the details in the fabric.”
“Oh, Eric…” My voice fails me for a few moments. “You know, you’re right. I’m sorry. I’ll ask Jack if he can cover for me.”
“Okay.” I step off the bed. As I walk to the door, Eric calls me back. “You love him, don’t you? You really love him.”
I stay frozen, standing on the floor. My face burns crimson and I can’t look at Eric. Finally my words come out in the form of a squeak- “Jack or Bono?”
I can feel Eric’s nod. “So you love one of them. Who is it?”
My mouth dries up. The words are unheard over the roaring of blood in my ears. “Bono.”
Then I rush back to Eric and cling to him. “Oh God, I’m so sorry, Eric. Please forget I said that. I’m begging you to keep this secret.”
Eric’s eyes are slitted, but he finally gives confirmation. “I will. I’m sorry for you, Marieke.”
I shakily remove myself from Eric’s arms, worried that he might jump to conclusions about why I didn’t want Bono to know I took him home. But I told Eric we didn’t sleep together…
And Eric was so unemotional this morning. I hope I haven’t ruined his heart by confessing who I’m in love with.
I ride the elevator down to Jack’s room. To my luck he is just leaving. I wave him over, and he comes, wincing with every step. I raise an eyebrow. “Hangover?”
“Yes,” he admits, rubbing his temples. “What can I do for you?”
My words come out much more easily now. “If Bono asks who took him back here last night, from the club, can you please lie for me? I don’t want him to know I did it.”
“Of course, Marieke,” Jack agrees. “I’ll spread the word around to the people who know the truth. Nice seeing you this morning.” He departs, and my heart swells with happiness for having a friend like Jack.
Now my mind is free to concentrate on the second most important problem- Herman’s call to me last night. It’s so hard trying to remember, but seeing as it is what kept me awake all night, it deserves as much attention as I can give it.
Lina is depressed or something, and I need to go back to Rotterdam before anything comes of that depression. If she misses me so much, I don’t know why she told me to leave in her answering machine message. Oh dear. This is going to be one of those emotional episodes that I can’t figure out how to solve.
A trip back to Rotterdam sounds appetizing. I haven’t missed my home all that much recently, but thinking on Lina makes my heart pound with anxiety. Dear God, I hope she’s okay. I go to breakfast seeing no sign of Bono, and that’s all fine and dandy with me. I’m too busy planning a trip home.
***
Bono awakens on the floor of his suite outside the bathroom, staring at shards of broken glass on the floor of the bathroom. He has a massive hangover, but nothing that a massive breakfast can’t cure. The real problem is his emotion.
I’m sorry, I’m so so sorry… He lies on his back and apologizes over and over to a nameless figure, feeling ridden with guilt for an inexplicable reason. Bono must call home- there’s no way to put it off any longer. He misses his family altogether too much, and after trying to drink away the problem last night he realizes he can’t hide it.
Bono heaves himself onto the bed and grabs the telephone. He dials from memory, crossing his fingers for luck and closing his eyes to lessen the effects of the morning after. A woman’s voice answers on the third ring.
“Ali?” She sounds surprised and questions Bono- why has he called her this early in the morning? Her familiar voice loosens the tension in Bono’s muscles. He hasn’t realized how deeply he misses her until she’s actually speaking with him.
“I’m sorry,” Bono tells her, the apology finally coming out from the throes of his mind and staying where he’s put it- in Ali’s ears. “I miss you, love,” he continues, his voice breaking slightly. She puts him to rights instantly, but he can feel the overwrought beneath her skin. They hold each other with words, both missing the other but unable to do anything about it.
In a little while, surely you’ll be mine
In a little while I’ll be there
In a little while this hurt will hurt no more
I’ll be home, love
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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“A balloon! How lovely!”
He is SUCH A KID Distracting Bono with shiny/floating objects, maybe he'll pay attention... Must remember for Oakland!

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Up goes the leg- gah- and out goes the shoe. Thud goes my heart.
I liked that sentence...

Aww. Pavarotti was nice to him. That was cute.

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“Yes, I’m coming,” I simper, loading my voice with sugar. Bono turns back, and I have to reproach myself. God, what do I think I’m doing? Chatting him up? It’s not gonna work.
Huzzah for double entendres

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He uses Italian harshly, and one of the last phrases I hear is “Va fan cula,”
Ha...yeah, that's why I didn't hear it much. It can get you thrown out of bars...? XD

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He’s really interesting,” I say. “Like a chocolate bar. The wrapping is pretty but the inside is even sweeter.”
My sides hurt. Most hilarious analogy ever...

Ghuhhhh ok in the taxi...and the phonebooth...that was...wow.

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and wondering what sort of sex toy a glass of water is
Heh. I like that sentence too.

Oh, the song lyrics at the end....

Feeling bad for Bono, and for Eric now (although really...he had to find out sometime)

This was a very interesting development...
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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"You are what my heart looks like"

That is beautiful.

How much do you still have to write? Do you have an ending in mind? Poor Marieke and Bono. What will he do when she leaves?
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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Oh man. Good point, Grace.

I have the feeling that Bono might think Marieke's leaving because of him D: I hope not!

Oh, and
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“Quello era degli U2 One…”
should probably be 'quello era la canzone 'One' di U2' or somesuch different thing. I think. Forgot about that.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #5
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I found the taxi scene was oddly erotic.
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Old 05-20-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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Hm. I just realized that I've written too far ahead into the story and could answer all your questions about what's next, unless I change things in the revision. Best to keep my mouth shut. Except...
Do I have an ending in mind?! Why yes! I don't know how it's going to be accepted, though. And I have a lot more to write... is that surprising? I don't know. I didn't perceive this chapter in a way you guys did, apparently...
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I found the taxi scene was oddly erotic.

Teehee!
That's because it was...
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:59 PM   #7
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Good lord, WHAT THE HELL IS THE ENDING that we won't accept it O.o stop making me curious.

Agreed with Grace.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:59 PM   #8
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Hm. I just realized that I've written too far ahead into the story and could answer all your questions about what's next, unless I change things in the revision. Best to keep my mouth shut. Except...
Do I have an ending in mind?! Why yes! I don't know how it's going to be accepted, though. And I have a lot more to write... is that surprising? I don't know. I didn't perceive this chapter in a way you guys did, apparently...

Teehee!
That's because it was...
How did you perceive the chapter? I see that Bono is missing Ali and the girls....and MacPhisto was drawn to Marieke....but lines between MacPhisto's lust and Bono's attraction are blurred. Especially without Ali to ground him. Plus, if I recall in the U2 bible, she was fairly ambivalent about his coming home and disrupting the family balance. Perhaps he feels that 'I need her more than she needs me'. I'm wondering how he will be after getting grounded by Ali and finding out Marieke is gone. Or does he see her leave?
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:34 PM   #9
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What I perceive differently is the Marieke leaving thing. It feels like too big a deal is being made over it by you guys. That's all I think I can say. Because I didn't write it in a way that caused me to look at how it would affect the people she's leaving... I focused in my mind more on Marieke and the people she's going to see, ie, her life in Rotterdam. Now I feel the need for a heavy-duty revision of some sort on my next chapter... or maybe continue the way I'm going, who knows?
I feel free enough to say that the story ends... *drumroll* after the Sydney concert. So maybe the length is an issue. I said I was too wordy!
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:42 PM   #10
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I'm just used to anticipating angst...I'm fine if her leaving doesn't cause any problems. Bono was going through some issues at the same time, though, which made both connect for me into 'oh no she's leaving!'
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:49 PM   #11
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Whatever I write is fine with myself.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:51 PM   #12
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Good it'd better be.

There should be a smiley with Bono sunglasses...
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:51 PM   #13
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Yeah, I just think he's a little vulnerable. And given the night he had with her, he may have a reaction to it.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:57 PM   #14
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There should be a smiley with Bono sunglasses...
Heehee, true. Except that I don't really LIKE his sunglasses... (Fly glasses are another story!)

Anyway, if there's nothing more to say I'll start the next chapter... you guys are motivating me and I like it!
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:10 PM   #15
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I think I meant Fly sunglasses

Start the next chapter!
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:44 AM   #16
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I made a Wordle (you know, those word cloud things) for this story. Let me know if the link doesn't work.

Wordle - Dancing With The Devil Wordle
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