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Old 11-12-2011, 07:24 AM   #1
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Dancing With The Devil ch. 43

The place where the last few chapters- and Marieke's bass lessons- pay off. Didn't you see this coming?
Although there are Marieke Langs in the world- I looked the name up on Facebook- none of them are this one. She and her story are imaginary.

The tour destinations Down Under consist of dates. First and foremost are the literal dates, the types that couples go on, and Edge and Morleigh are usually the subject of these. I am overjoyed for Morleigh when she tells me about her official relationship with Edge, and it now makes me thrilled when I see her and her new boyfriend holding hands together.
There are also the anniversary type of dates that I like to keep track of. Before U2 ascends the stage in Brisbane for soundcheck, Bono suddenly speaks up, saying, “Two years ago today we released Achtung Baby.” This leads to a speculation of what they’ll be doing two years from today. I hope it’s something that involves me. That night MacPhisto’s eyes stare at me from onstage, and I long to be sitting in the audience like a true fan.
I definitely can’t forget the setting of dates, such as Larry’s big wedding day. He and Ann have decided that they want to get married once the tour ends, possibly during the Christmas holidays. I try to ignore the smallest seed of jealousy that grows in the pit of my stomach. It shouldn’t even be there in the first place. I love Bono only. But when Larry looks me in the eye, I feel his hands slide across my body, a phantom sense of that shared night we had together.
Lastly, there are the making of dates we will never forget. I know that after twenty years, I’m always going to remember the first show in Sydney. It starts when I wake up in the morning of the 26th of November, ready to go eat breakfast on my own. I crawl out of my hotel room- and there’s Edge, rapping loudly on a door with an annoyed look on his face. I walk over to him.
“Morning, de Rand.”
“Goedemorgen, Marieke,” Edge tells me absentmindedly, worry crossing his countenance. “Say, have you seen Adam at all this morning?”
“No, I just woke up,” I tell him. “Why? Isn’t that his room?”
“Well, yes, it is,” Edge says. “My room is right beside this one. Em, I heard him come in at this ungodly hour last night. He was the last one of us to turn in, and now he’s not answering the door.”
“Maybe he’s still sleeping if he was up for that long,” I say. “Or maybe he’s already gone to get breakfast. Edge, you shouldn’t worry.”
“I’m trying not to,” Edge says, “but-“
“Is Adam out yet?” I didn’t even notice Morleigh coming down the hall until now. She looks energized- maybe she’s just gone out for a walk and had breakfast on the way.
“No,” Edge tells her as she weaves her fingers through his and bids hello to me. “I’m getting worried.”
“Well, we heard him return to his room,” Morleigh says. “He’s probably sleeping!” Dang, my thoughts exactly. Morleigh continues, “It was a long night- I’m sure he’s just in there catching some Z’s.”
“I hope you’re right,” Edge says. “I didn’t see him much last night, but he didn’t seem to be enjoying himself.” This is where I sneak away, thoughtfully saying goodbye to the couple. There’s no use in waiting to see if Adam will escape from his room- and definitely no reason for worry.
Downstairs in the breakfast hall, there’s no sign of the elusive bassist, but no alarm bells go off in my head. Morleigh was probably right that Adam’s still asleep. I grab myself some breakfast- and, sitting down to eat it, I accidentally find myself eavesdropping on some crew members nearby.
“…and he was looking pretty bad. Like, totally stoned. Couldn’t remember my name, or even his, for that matter.”
“Damn. I hope he’s recovered for tonight.”
“So Adam plays the gig drunk tonight. What’s new?”
“It just looks to me like he’ll have a nasty hangover when he wakes up…”
“What?” I blurt, cutting into the conversation. “Is Adam okay?”
The crewmen turn to me. “No,” says one, holding up his hands. “He was out all night. I actually came downstairs for breakfast when he was coming up. He’s in a horrible shape.”
“Oh no…” I breathe. “What brought it on?”
The crewman shrugs. “Can’t be sure. Though I did hear that Naomi has started seeing someone else…”
“I thought that was just a rumor!” I gasp. They’re engaged, for the love of God. Naomi can’t have moved on!
Shrugging once more, the crewman says, “That’s just my assumption.”
“Has anyone notified the band yet?” I ask.
Even as these words slide from my mouth, I see a figure move out of the corner of my eye, rising from his table. He crosses the room, a black-leather creature, and comes to a halt at the foot of Edge and Morleigh, who have descended to this floor.
“Good morning,” Bono says, ruffling his hair.
“Bono, there’s something you need to know,” Edge says. “Adam hasn’t come out of his room yet.”
My feet direct me over to the conversation. “And someone over there said that Adam’s out cold. He went on a drinking binge last night because Naomi broke up with him.”
“What?” Bono blurts. “Marieke, are you sure?”
“I don’t know,” I say. “That’s what they told me.”
“Oh God…” Bono stares at Edge. “Did you know anything about this?”
“Not about Naomi,” Edge replies. “All I knew was that Adam came back here in the wee small hours of the morning. I heard him crash into bed in the room next to me.”
“Edge and I went to investigate this morning because we were worried,” Morleigh offers. “Marieke was there too. We knocked on Adam’s door. He didn’t respond, no matter how long we waited.”
Bono gazes from face to face, and I catch myself admiring his face- stupid! It isn’t the time for that now! “Does anyone know where Larry is?”
“I’m here,” the low voice calls, just in time, and my eyes drift a little to spot Larry making his way towards the impromptu band meeting. “What’s wrong?”
Edge repeats the story about Adam. Bono and Larry exchange dismayed looks. “I don’t know if those rumors about Naomi seeing someone else are true, but Adam sure believes it,” Bono states.
“Did any of you notice him when we went out last night?” Edge asks. Morleigh, Larry, Bono, and I all shake our heads. “I guess none of us thought to wonder where he was…”
“Well, I’m going up there,” Larry announces. “We need to see what kind of a state Adam is in before doing anything.” Bono and Edge agree to join him, and I end up tagging along. The same thought is prevalent on each of our minds- will the show tonight go on?
Riding in the elevator, I reflect on the big day this is- or was- to be. Though the Triplecast idea has been shot down- it ended up being too hard to get together in the space of time- tomorrow night’s performance in Sydney is slated to be broadcast to the world, making tonight our rehearsal. Everyone needs to figure out what to do for the broadcast- where to have the cameras, what to show from different angles- and it’s placing a lot of stress on not only the crew but the band as well. The tense silence in the elevator speaks for itself. With Adam possibly unable to perform, how can this rehearsal go on?
We exit the elevator and stroll along down the hall, making for Adam’s suite. Bono is the first to reach the door, and taps his knuckles against it. No answer.
“I’ve tried that already,” Edge sighs. “Adam’s probably passed out. I know I heard him enter last night.”
“We need a key,” L:arry offers, and Bono dashes off to grab a member of the cleaning staff and cajole her into giving a way of entry. Typical Bono. I shake my head. Soon the key is in the lock and has been turned, and three members of U2 and I stumble into a large suite, nearly as impressive as Bono’s, to find what we’ve all expected- Adam passed out, still in his clothes, on the bed. I’m surprised he made it that far.
The band members glance at each other. “Should we wake him up?” asks Bono.
“I’ll do it,” Larry says, stepping forward- way ahead of us.
It takes a while to rouse Adam from his alcohol-induced slumber, and when he is conscious he’s barely coherent- he doesn’t seem to recognize any of us. Pretty much the only thing he says that I can understand is “Leave me alone” in a slurred manner. Slowly, to our dismay, Adam’s eyes fall shut again.
“Oh no,” breaks out of me. “Adam… get up!” I try to jostle him back to wakefulness, but it’s to no avail. Three-fourths of U2 share the unhappiness.
Upon leaving the room, Larry blows air out of his cheeks. “That’s no performing condition.”
“So what do we do?” Bono asks, and I’m not sure if he’s being rhetorical or not. None of us are able to figure it out. If Adam can’t play bass tonight, who will?
One thing’s certain, though- “The show must go on,” Edge murmurs. “This is precious rehearsal time. We can’t afford to lose it.” Bidding goodbye to me, the thrown apart band wanders off to find someone to discuss this with.
For a few moments I stand alone in the hall, thinking. If the show must go on, but Adam can’t perform, then there are only two candidates for the role of who can. The first choice is obvious- Stuart, Adam’s bass tech and my personal tutor, who knows even more about the bass guitar than Adam himself does. And then… well, then there’s me.
Before I can pursue this thought further, though, a door opens a length down the hall and out comes a woman carrying a plastic garment bag, the type that would come back from a Laundromat. She stops in front of me. “Are you Marieke Lang?”
“Yes,” I answer, remembering suddenly that I’d thrown some of my clothes out in a bag to go to the cleaner’s. I can’t stand wearing dirty clothing.
“We have your clothes.” Strangely, the woman doesn’t seem very happy to be returning them. She hands me the plastic garment bag dead last. Hm. Being the biggest thing she’s carrying, I wonder why she didn’t just fork it over from the start? The woman’s eyes are apologetic as I take it.
“There was an accident with your clothes in the washer,” she finally admits.
My hands stop- “What?!”
“The purple dress got shredded,” the woman tells me. She’s probably afraid I’ll want to sue. Working for U2 and all, I must be loaded from what they pay me. Little does she know…
I open the garment bag and gingerly take out the dress, with a stone sinking in my stomach. The woman was right- its lower half is ripped up, miraculously leaving the top half intact. I stare at the woman, trying not to let my pain in losing my dress show. How am I going to seduce Bono now?
Well, the garment can still be saved. No one knows about my expert seamstress skills. I send the woman on her way and, once she’s gone, run off to find a needle and some thread that closely matches the color of my ex-dress. Retiring to my room, I take out a pair of scissors and begin to work away.
Soon enough, I am admiring my handiwork in the mirror. I’ve taken the skirt part off and fashioned in a built in bra, in case my bosom doesn’t support it, to create the first patent pending strapless tank top. It look good, but will it fit? My body should work, as the dress used to fit me, but after the retailoring I’ve done I might have accidentally tampered with the size.
So I try it on, and it fits like a dream, as my former dress did. My creamy shoulders stand out against the purple fabric. I try walking and lifting my arms and the shirt doesn’t fall. It feels good enough, so I stroll out into the hall, ready to face the day with a grin, strapping on the silver bangle bracelet at the last moment.
***
Soundcheck has to go on as surely as the show must, and U2- well, what’s left of them, anyway- struggles all throughout it. There is the clear problem of a missing bassist to help keep time and add the underlying beat of the song. Bono mumbles under his breath that he never knew how badly they needed Adam until he wasn’t here. Isn’t that just the way it usually is!
When Marieke strides into Sydney Football Stadium, despite everything Bono can’t take his eyes off her. There are aspects of that purple dress she wore a few times, at Edge’s birthday party and in Lisbon, in her top. It’s even strapless. Bono catches himself wondering what’s beneath that top that can support it so we- NO. No. Don’t even go there… But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Her hips hold a certain swagger, swaying from side to side as her body rocks, and that silver bracelet clanks with every swing of her arms. When she’s close enough, Bono spies the rhinestones decorating her jeans- a present from Edge. Oh God.
“Hey, Bono!” Marieke calls. Well, she sounds unusually perky. Bono is stressed enough already, and doesn’t need this damned woman to add to that. He tries not to growl under his breath when he asks her, “What do you want, Angel?”
“The speech!” Her hand shoots out. Oh fuck, he’s forgotten about that. “What about it?”
“I wrote it already,” Marieke tells him. “To take some of the pressure off you.” What a kind gesture- too bad it barely helps at all. Bono takes the offered paper and reads through it, grudgingly satisfied with what he finds. She’s reused a candidate for the phone call, but it doesn’t matter- that’s one thing done with.
I travel underground and greet the crew, secretly hoping that Bono will get time to read and practice my speech thoroughly. After a while the performing begins again over our heads, with the band making it through one verse of Dirty Day before collapsing. Adam’s bass is sorely needed in that song, and it shows.
Larry suddenly comes storming down into the underworld. “Forget it!” he rants. “We need Adam here!” I want him to come to me and calm down… and maybe ask if I want to stand in for bassist at tonight’s show… but he breezes past me without a glance. Neither Edge nor Bono slips down here, probably chatting as friends or bemoaning the loss of Adam onstage.
“What are they going to do?” Stuart murmurs, sidling up beside me.
I turn around to gaze at him, surprised. “Aren’t you going to do something about this? You play the bass. You can certainly play the show.”
Stuart winces. “No, I can’t. I… I’m not used to being in the spotlight. Forgive me, Marieke, but I know I’d do badly if I even tried to play in front of a stadium full of people.”
I’m aghast. “It’s not as bad as all that, Stu. I’ve been up there before. It’s quite entertaining. You know you’re the only one who can stand in for Adam tonight. Please, for the love of-“
“That's not true,” Stuart says quietly, cutting me off. “Marieke. I’m too nervous. I can’t do this for the band. But you can. I’ve seen you play bass backstage. Hell, I taught you; I know your skills. Marieke, you have to go out there and play the live show tonight, for me and for the band, including Adam.”
I’m speechless. This is not a choice Stuart should be making… and yet, the temptation of being onstage yet again… of being up there with Bono… is altogether too great to resist. Longing sweeps over me. I have to do this!
But the words that my lips form are, “No, Stuart, it has to be you. I’m not good enough.”
“Not good enough?” Stuart repeats, incredulous. He spreads his arms. “You are damn well good enough, Marieke, and you know that. You have what I don’t have- a natural affinity for onstage performing. This is all up to what the band decides, but it has to be you.”
Okay, now we’re just shoving the duties onto each other. I give a slight nod but don’t respond. On the one hand, it would be my dream to perform onstage for real with U2. On the other, I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the bass to play an entire show, especially not the new inclusions from Zooropa, which I am still not proficient at, despite my creation of the Lemon/With or Without You bassline. And yet… the stage compels me. Bono compels me. I need to do this.
I leave the stadium to clear my mind and grab something to eat. On the way out I pass Jack. He looks in my direction, but doesn’t offer to join me. I pretend I haven’t even seen him. He’s just another man after my body. It means nothing. And neither does the sight of Larry returning to the stage, blue eyes piercing me, trying to stop me in my tracks. The only sight that would matter to me now is Bono, coming to tell me that I am needed to play bass tonight, or to tell me something sweeter.
***
Back at the stadium tonight, I sit down to eat dinner with Larry and Bill, who hold a discussion about marriage. “Larry, I thought you didn’t believe in this lovey dovey stuff, and now you’re engaged… what’s up with that?”
Not taking his eyes from Bill’s face, but casting brief glances at me out of the corner of his eye, Larry responds. “Ann is a beautiful woman. We’ve been together for a few years now- I guess we were lovers in high school- and never once did I give a fuck about all this marriage. But then it hit me, just after we got back to Dublin- what if I come back from a tour one day and find dissatisfaction in her eyes, just like Aislinn and Edge? What if our relationship ends before it even begins? Something shook me up. I realized the value of marriage. I proposed to her that night, actually- no ring, hell, no clothes either.” He chuckles while I picture Larry without clothes from my memory. Not half-bad. His eyes speak to me, telling me that every word he’s said is true- though he’s failed to mention the role I played in his big decision.
Bill brings up the fact that Larry has spoken recently about buying an apartment in New York in America after the tour, and Larry says he’s now thinking of moving in there with Ann after the wedding. I try not to look too jealous. Honestly, I don’t love Larry… but to see that he’s making major future plans with a woman who isn’t me, the woman who gave her virginity to him, it’s a little hard to feel happy for them. I hope he doesn’t invite me to the wedding.
Just as I’m dumping my leftover food in the trash, Edge skitters in, grumbling about work and how he hasn’t gotten a chance to eat yet and a lot of other issues, interspersed with cursing. I nod noncommittally, spying Morleigh behind his back, and duck away while she sneaks up to relieve his mind. But I don’t get away fast enough to miss the phrase, “And there’s a band meeting in a few minutes, Lar.” No doubt they’re going to make the final decision on who should play bass for U2 tonight. I foolishly pray it’s going to be me.
True to what I’ve expected, Morleigh does relieve Edge’s mind, and he’s happy and laughing by the time he and Larry leave to meet with Bono and Paul. Larry sweeps past me without much of a glance, but his proximity to me makes me swallow hard. That man…
My heart beats, waiting for the outcome of the band meeting. To take my mind off it, I go over to Morleigh and we make small talk. She tells me about how her relationship with Edge is going, while I burn secretly with longing to date a member of U2. Finally I can’t stand it and go out to find out where the band is- and that’s when Bono appears, almost out of nowhere, making a beeline for… Stuart. The bass technician looks surprised, and his eyebrows droop when Bono wraps an arm around him and declares, “You’ve been chosen for the opportunity of a lifetime, Stu! You’re going to play onstage with us!”
I am engulfed in grief that it isn’t me. Stuart doesn’t look happy in the least bit at this prospect. He glances at me, opens his mouth- and I just know he’s going to recommend me.
“Okay, I’ll do it.”
WHAT?!
“Yes! Thank you, Stuart, no one else could have done it,” Bono says, removing his arm from around Stuart’s shoulders. Growing inside me is a howl of frustration. Stuart slides up to me as soon as the band is gone, embarrassed.
“Marieke, I’m sorry, I lost my head. Believe me, I don’t really want to do this. I’d gladly give up my chance for you to be under the spotlight.” Damn, this guy really is shy.
“It’s okay,” I sigh. “A woman onstage with U2 would have looked too odd to ignore anyway.”
Stuart sticks his hands in his pockets awkwardly. “Well… I guess I’ll go practice,” he says, faltering back a bit and finally leaving. I sigh once more and go up from the underground to watch the opening acts.
U2 starts off well, but it’s clear that the fans are a bit confused as to why Stuart is present. He himself looks terribly nervous, keeping his eyes on Edge. The Fly hams it up when explaining about the gig- “This is the first show we’ve ever played without Adam! Adam is very sick! So let me introduce you to Stuart Morgan- Adam’s mentor!” He cracks a grin, pointing at Stuart, who peers worriedly at the crowd, as if afraid one of them will start booing. I’m disappointed, because I know I could do better.
However, despite the original rough start, Stuart ends up rocking the hell out of his bass. This is evident in the Zooropa track Dirty Day, which, despite receiving little rehearsal attention by Stuart and me, showcases his utter talent in playing. It begins as soon as Satellite of Love ends, and Bono and Edge stroll back down to the main stage. Edge’s guitar begins the song, driving out those haunting notes that I love so. Stuart’s bass follows hauntingly.
“I don’t know you… and you don’t know the half of it,” Bono tells the audience and me. Under the dimmed stage lights, he looks positively menacing. “I had the starring role… I was the bad guy who walked out.” Well, there you go.
Bono’s eyes shut halfway. “They say be careful where you aim, cause where you aim, you just might hit… You can hold on to something so tight, you’ve already lost it.” I know the feeling. His voice turns heavenly- okay, when is it not, but it’s specifically beautiful now- on the next line, sung in a half-falsetto. “Dragging me down, that’s not the way it used to be! You can’t even remember what I’m trying to forget.”
The band kicks in, with loud drums and a violent guitar, and I rock out in place while Bono pretends to strum his guitar. The lights start flashing, only to switch off as Bono sings, “It was a dirty day…” At once the other instruments fade into the background. “Yeah, a dirty day…
“Been looking for explanations, things I don’t even understand.” This song always used to confuse me with its lyrics, but somehow I get the meaning clearly tonight. I can almost relate. Bono seems to be singing the song to someone specifically, almost like an old lover who keeps turning up, haunting him from the past no matter how badly he wishes she would die.
“If you need someone to blame, hey, throw a rock in the air, you’re bound to hit someone guilty!” Now he’s warding off the lover, telling her it wasn’t just his fault that their relationship ended- it could have been anyone. An organ synthesizer sounds its notes.
“From father to son…” Bono sings. “In one life, it has begun…” I take from those lines that men will be men. Affairs happen. Edge looks to cue Stuart in to the next chord change. “A work that’s never done…” Bono’s fingers stroke the next of his black guitar. His mouth is unbearably close to the microphone as he murmurs, “Father to son.”
All is silent until Edge’s high falsetto pierces the air, responding to Bono’s words. “Love, it won’t last kissing time… love… won’t last kissing time…”
“Get it right,” Bono moans. “There’s no blood thicker than ink.” I strain my ears to listen to his next line, delivered at the exact right time- “Hear what I say- nothing’s as simple as you think.” The ghost of a smile plays against his face. I can tell Edge and Stuart are gearing up for something big and bad as Bono whispers, “Wake up…” He plucks the strings of his guitar, creating a dismal, murky sound, and his voice rises in pitch at once. “Some things you can’t get around! I’m in you-“ I wish you were- “more so when they put me in the ground…” Edge’s guitar gnashes several times before kicking into the instrumental break, driven by Larry’s drums.
The lights go haywire and start strobing, flashing on and off with their white glow. The full band rocks out again, each one of them looking dark and badass, even Stuart. They don’t let the song go on for long before Edge and Bono come in, singing together, “Those days, days, days run away like horses over the hill! Those days, days, days run away like horses over the hill! Those days, days, days, run away like horses over the hill! Those days, days, days…”
Finally the song crashes to a halt, ending as it began- quietly. Bono runs his finger across the guitar strings, and those pained notes slide out with a metallic sound. He grips the microphone with both hands and all instruments drop as he sings, “Loooove… won’t last kissing time… Love… it won’t last kissing time… love-“
Bullet The Blue Sky crashes into town. I know what Lina would say, but I think I like this song more than Bad as a lead-in to Bullet.
At the end of the show, Stuart looks relaxed. He thunks out Pride as greatly as Adam would, bobbing his head up and down. Once the song ends, Bono motions him over and wraps his arm around Stiart’s shoulder, throwing his hand up in the air. “Stuart Morgan, ladies and gentlemen!” Bono calls, and Stuart breaks into a grin.
I’ve accepted my place as not being able to play bass with U2 tonight. However, as soon as I see that gesture onstage, my heart twists in envy. I want to be onstage and interact with Bono. I want to play bass for U2. Most of all, I realize as I walk backstage to dress the Devil, I want to be beside MacPhisto as he goes through the nightly emotional journey. I want a better view of the emotions scrawling across his face through each song.
“Stuart,” I murmur when both he and I have a free space of time. “I want to play bass during the encores.”
He doesn’t even look at me to respond. “You can’t now, Marieke. The audience saw me onstage- me, as replacement bassist for Adam. They won’t accept you! Do you want to confuse U2’s fans?”
Yes, I do want to U2’s fans. I want to fuck up the mainstream like the band they so worship does. I want to be a part of this Zoo TV insanity, this idea of purposefully conflicting the audienceand making them decide what they believe in. And I want MacPhisto. I voice these thoughts on my face, staring at Stuart until he finally submits.
“Marieke, you can’t always get what you want, you know.”
I can practically see his resolve weakening. “I don't want it, I need it.”
“No, you don't.”
“No!” Frustrated, I lash out at him. “I need this!” I swipe the bass from Stuart’s hands before he can protest, and dash off to join the band. I can hear Stuart pelting after me, and suddenly there’s a crash. Stuart lets out a cry- he must have fallen down in pursuit. Well, now he can’t go back onstage anyway. I catch up to the half of the band available, who have changed into their blue suits.
Edge is the first to spot me. “Marieke, what are you doing here?’
“Performing,” I say. “Stuart fell down. He can’t play anymore.” Okay, so that’s most definitely a lie- the fall couldn’t have been that bad- but anything to get me onstage.
Larry stares at me. “Are you going to perform in that?” I look at my outfit he’s referring to- my bedazzled Edge jeans and purple strapless tank top. In response, I shrug. “It looks Zoo.”
The drummer and the guitarist exchange glances. They know this is risky. But neither of them question me or my motives. At once Edge whispers, “We’re on!” and the crewmen herd us onstage. I have to struggle my way through them, as they don’t believe I’m supposed to be here, but I convince them to let me by and follow Edge and Larry, feeling something surge within me that I’ve never felt before. I caught a glimpse of it onstage in Turin, but that performance was fraught with nervousness. This time, adrenaline races through the veins beneath my thin skin, filling each limb with energy. As soon as I’m standing on the darkened stage, hearing the screams of U2 fans, I realize this is where I belong, now and forever.
The Zoo baby onscreen has just finished singing opera. I look over to Edge to see when we begin the song. He in turn is looking at Larry, who counts us in, and strikes his drums. Edge nods his head towards me for a split second, and turns to his instrument, the guitar, producing weird noises from it. I place my hands on the bass- and freeze. For a second I’ve gotten stage fright.
However, the fans urge me on. I can hear them accepting me with their cheers, and from their support I recall the bassline for Daddy’s Gonna Pay For Your Crashed Car and begin to pluck it out as the lights swing on. Every face is illuminated in the front row. I don’t care to see any further than that- well, maybe out to the B stage… A few people are staring at me- confused, I can tell, of my presence here- but the majority of the crowd is screaming as MacPhisto appears onscreen behind me. Damn that I can’t turn around and see him!
I hear singing, amplified from backstage- “You’re a precious stone, you’re out on your own…” Excitement builds in my throat as I jam. Edge keeps his eyes on me so as to alert me to any changes in the song, but I don’t need any help. Sooner or later my man is going to have to show up.
And he does. My first glimpse of him is backstage, flinging his arms towards the audience and bowing. I know it’s better for me if I don’t look, so as to preserve my focus, but my eyes won’t let me turn away. MacPhisto saunters up onstage and the crowd goes wild, as do I- secretly, of course, insidehead. He screams into the microphone, “Daddy’s gonna paaaayyyyyyyyeeeah!”
OH! How beautiful this is, to be onstage with the only man I can love in this world! My hips break into a dance as the low notes of the bass thrum through me, firing up my pleasure. I don’t look away from MacPhisto for anything in my life, just happy to watch that gold blur move. A warning voice chimes in my head- Don’t let your emotions get out of hand… don’t move towards him… don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t DO IT… I can’t obey the voice. I have to touch him. Do it? Does my mind mean to do… that? Dollars rain down on my head, and, abruptly, the song is over. I blink, coming to, surfacing. What just happened?
MacPhisto applauds himself. At that moment I feel a huge surge of wanting come through me. It’s never been this bad before- not onstage in Turin, not when Bono kissed me, nothing like the lust that normally overcomes me when he’s nearby. No, now I’m drowning in it, unable to focus on anything sane. All I know is, I WANT MACPHISTO.
“Thank you, thank you,” the Devil sighs. “Now we’ve had a mishap backstage. Stuart is broken! There must be a curse in the air!”
He swaggers over to me and takes a hold of my shoulder. Fireworks go off beneath my skin.
“Our backup-backup bassist is Marieke Lang,” MacPhisto announces in that British accent… “She’s a student of Stuart!” I try to smile at the crowd- they applaud in response- but inside I’m going crazy. MacPhisto’s face leans closer and closer to me, and I force my tongue inside my cheeks, nails digging into my palms. My mouth is dry. I can feel that without MacPhisto at my side, I’m going to fall over.
He pulls away from me and smiles at the crowd, walking back to the mic- and for a second, I catch something in his eyes, something I haven’t seen before the third song in the encore set- twisted, tortured pain, a longing to drag himself back over to me. Quickly it’s gone, but I can’t shake what I’ve just seen- MacPhisto wants me. He wants me as badly as I want him. The revelation isn’t shocking or unpositioning.
After the ritual “I know you like your pop stars to be exciting” preliminaries, MacPhisto steps back and announces “Quite a spectacle, Zoo TV, isn’t it? Costs a fucking fortune.” I would have to remind myself not to laugh, but instead I try to remember to breathe. I feel so exposed underneath these bright stage lights. Everyone is staring at me, even the cameras, which avoided Stuart like the plague. How can they not focus on me- a woman playing bass for U2, and a very beautiful woman at that?
MacPhisto speaks again, and my thoughts are pulled from myself to him, and back to myself as I try to keep control. “I’d just like to say, I’m very disappointed by the way you’re treating to Monarchy… I believe that it’s a shame, and I would like to say, as an Englishman, that… I used to babysit the Queen and I’m personal friends with the Queen Mother whom you tried to kill off the other day!”
The call is attempted to go Lady Diana, but somewhere along the line things get mixed up…
“Hello possum! How are you darling?” a woman chirps. MacPhisto is visibly startled- could it be an old lover?
“I was looking for… Lady Diana or the Queen Mother. Wh-Who’s this?” He truly does sound frightened.
“This is Dame Edna here, you naughty little devil!” Jealousy overwhelms me. How dare she flirt with my man?
And even worse than that, she’s very sharp. “How did you get my number? Only Lenny Kravitz has got my number!” MacPhisto is taken aback by the joke, and manages to come up with, “I borrowed his suit and it was left in the pocket actually.”
And, she’s a U2 fan! “I was at the zoo today, darling! I thought of your beautiful album, Zooropa!” With each more word of praise I want even more to rip the phone from MacPhisto’s hand. Come to me…
At last the Devil hangs up- “Au revoir!” Edge looks over to me, and I reluctantly tear my gaze off the man who’s causing my demise as we kick into Lemon, sirens blaring. MacPhisto spins around in a circle, and even though the lovely bassline of Lemon should be distracting me, it’s taken second place in my mind to MacPhisto’s antics. God. My teeth are steel on my lip, trying to bring concentration on the music… trying not to run over there and do God knows what…
“Midnight…. Midniiiight…. Midnight is where the day begins!”
MacPhisto dances down to the B-stage, facing the camera, and I breathe a long sigh of relief. Now that he’s so far away, I can focus on the bass in peace. It doesn’t last long, however. Still facing the audience, MacPhisto sings in a soft voice, “Midnight is where the day begins…” I take my cue from Edge and, as soon as MacPhisto finishes with “Midniiight,” transform Lemon into With or Without You, just letting loose on my emotions. The audience seems to draw in a collective breath- or is it my imagination?
“See the stone set in your eyes…” MacPhisto whimpers. “See the thorn twist in your side… I wait for you…”
Every single word is echoed in my head. This song is claimed by not only MacPhisto, but me as well, how I feel about him and Bono. Even MacPhisto’s plight with the fans has taken a backseat to his wanting me, of not being able to live with or without me. He sings heartbreakingly, staring into the camera, and at the “OOOOH” climax, faces me with bent hands, fingers clutching the microphone instead of my flesh. I can feel his anguish, and share it unpleasantly. We want each other, but can’t do anything about it.
I am out of my mind for Love Is Blindness, drowning on desperation. MacPhisto pulls a girl from the audience and tries to take his longing out on her, provoking her with his hands until she, a well-behaved type, has to respond and presses her face in his neck, but as he twirls around I can see it’s not enough. He needs the woman standing stage left, and I need him too. His voice rises and falls, telling me that love is blindness.
MacPhisto returns the girl to her seat, and Edge begins to play guitar for one last piece. Larry has already disappeared, slipping into the underworld to chill, but I decide I need to stay onstage. I slip behind a corner and peek out, watching MacPhisto. He looks as if he can’t wait to be done with this ruse of a song. I swallow hard to keep my heart from climbing up my throat and calling to him. Once the song’s done, MacPhisto tears across the stage, dashing towards me. We have just enough time before the coast is clear and MacPhisto’s lips are upon me, kissing me strongly.
I wrap my arms around MacPhisto immediately and grind against him, dying to have him inside me. The world fades into a blur, and his hands explore beneath my shirt, unhooking my bra- At once MacPhisto’s lips are off of me. Why? He moans under his breath, grabs my hand, and tugs me fleetly through the night. We end up inside his dressing room, where no soul has yet entered.
MacPhisto grabs the key off the dressing table and locks both doors with it. I’m standing in the middle of the room, trembling, inflicted with the heady scent of lust. We meet in the middle and collide on the floor, his hands lifting my tank top up, tearing the ready-made stitches- well, it was good while it lasted- while mine slip beneath his waistband, ready for MacPhisto to quench his thirst of me.
(Go ahead, let your minds fill in the scene. However, if you want to read some short, implicit sex, ask and ye shall receive through PM)
Separated again, I cry out for being alone. This seems to rouse something in him. “Are you in pain?” I shake my head, getting to my knees to search for my clothing. The hastily-sewed purple tank top is in rags. I replace my bra, underwear, and jeans. Without looking at me, he hands me a gray shirt- it’s Bono-sized, but it will do. I turn to kiss him goodbye, but he’s already across the room, dressed and ready to go out the door. Oh well. So we’ll talk tomorrow. My body is alight, ecstatic. I run out the back way, walking on air.
“What took you so long?” Larry questions. “We’ve been waiting since the show ended.”
Bono runs his hand through his hair. “Oh, nothing.” He feels fragile, as if one touch will break him.
“I’m not feeling well,” he mumbles, pushing his way through Edge and Larry.
“There really must be a curse on Sydney,” Edge says. Bono can’t speak. He only shrugs a little, thinking Just get outside. Just get home.
“Hey, wait,” Edge calls, sounding confused. “Aren’t you going to help us edit the footage from tonight? We need to see how the broadcast will work for tomorrow.”
Bono shakes his head without turning around. “No, I… I really don’t feel up to it. You know what I like, Edge. You and Larry will review the footage fine without me.”
“Feel better,” Edge says, concerned.
Before Bono’s out of earshot, Larry is heard to remark to Edge, “I wonder what that scream was?” He recognizes the scream- it comes from Marieke, no less. What went on in the dressing room?
Bono turns pale. He thinks if he doesn’t get away, he’ll honestly be sick, very soon.
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Old 11-12-2011, 07:29 AM   #2
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Kiss me kiss me kiss me
Your tongue is like poison
So swollen it fills up my mouth

Love me love me love me
You nail me to the floor
And push my guts all inside out

Get it out get it out get it out
Get your fucking voice
Out of my head

I never wanted this
I never wanted any of this
I wish you were dead
I wish you were dead

I never wanted any of this
I wish you were dead
Dead
Dead
Dead
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Old 11-12-2011, 08:35 AM   #3
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Well of course I expect a PM. I feel we have corrupted you.
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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No, that probably wasn't your doing...
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Old 11-12-2011, 11:29 AM   #5
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A pm?
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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PM, please?
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:50 PM   #7
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Okayeee... I need to get some things done first, like having lunch.
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Old 11-12-2011, 02:47 PM   #8
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Sent before I could get all shy and "DON'T READ THIS!" Phew.
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Old 11-12-2011, 03:14 PM   #9
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Can I grab this PM too?

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-2011, 04:30 PM   #10
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Blue, is this your first 'adult' scene?

I did find myself wanting more. Hmm, does Bono regret this?Or did he feel it so much that he had to run away?
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Old 11-12-2011, 05:21 PM   #11
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Finally something happened between marieke and Bono
PM, please?
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Old 11-12-2011, 10:24 PM   #12
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WANT.

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Old 11-13-2011, 04:32 PM   #13
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And of course y'all do not comment on the rest of the chapter. That's okay! I will send the PMs immediately.

Well, Grace, it was the first I would show anyone in the world... you do not want to read my few prior attempts.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:44 PM   #14
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I did comment. Not sure what's going on with Marieke and her thoughts about Larry out of the blue.

And Blue, welcome to writing the dirty chapter....that's all you get is requests. Poor Larry, no one wanted my dirty Larry chapter in MW.
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:56 PM   #15
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Oh, sorry :P Y'know, we're neglecting Larry all over the place... There was supposed to be more of those "out-of-the-blue" thoughts in other chapters, but it just didn't interest me as much to keep hinting at a possible romance than to write, for example, this. And you could PM it to me in four years if that makes you feel better. I used to get the impression that there was a lot of Larry fic here... no idea where that went!
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:01 PM   #16
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MW went back to Larry, but I lost all the Larry girls. 4 years??
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:05 PM   #17
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What a shame... I'm sure we'll still be posting around here then.
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:25 PM   #18
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Blue, I'm really bad about posting comments on fic. Just ask Grace. Or Katie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
I did comment. Not sure what's going on with Marieke and her thoughts about Larry out of the blue.

And Blue, welcome to writing the dirty chapter....that's all you get is requests. Poor Larry, no one wanted my dirty Larry chapter in MW.
Ahem.

*raises hand* I wanted it. I got it too.

....

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Old 11-13-2011, 05:29 PM   #19
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Heehee...

That's alright Tara, I'm just... really needy for comments sometimes
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Old 11-13-2011, 05:38 PM   #20
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I know how ya feel.

That's why I don't post fanart where people might see it.
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