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Old 09-16-2011, 03:51 AM   #1
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No Love Lost, Chapter 2

It's about 5 am right now. I wrote this chapter between 3 and 5...a definite first for me. Things get trippy strange late at night so writing makes a little more sense to me.

Next few chapters are an unusual amount of normal and non-angst compared to everything that's ahead.

Grace, I promise I'll get to your Larry thing as soon as I get some sleep into me and some time in to read stuff.

***


Chapter Two. Zoo Station.

always america/ a man will rise, a man will fall/the breaking point

Ciarán squeezed his fist tight around the thick white paper, swallowing hard, the tightness behind his throat traveling to become tightness behind his eyes obscuring the black and white face so like his own, looking at the newborn thumbprint-wrinkled face along with someone part obscured by the blurry camera.

He looked without really seeing at the hollow metal hull of the drum, still feeling the cold shock above his foot from when he’d kicked. A wound-ugly dent and the wrongness of the way the drum now sat squashed, holding the door open for a nauseating breeze, did nothing to make him feel better. He tangled fingers together hard, white-knuckled, feeling terrible.

The cool green of the nearly-summer shade, the sting of the wood floor he sat on, the stammer murmur of birds and other schoolchildren refused to soothe or distract him. A small hope, a demand rattled in his ribs, needed to be let free.

It had been two months. His da should be home right now. The tension in the household as Ciarán waited for something impossible and Ali tried furiously to push back the day she’d have to handle the children and her husband rose to a breaking point. A very silent one. Present in the awkward pause as Ali explained to one of his teachers that no, Ciarán wasn’t related to her, actually. Not by blood at least. He wasn’t her son.

And now he’d come here, and done the stupidest thing before thinking. Knuckled fists rubbed his eyes in tension. His stomach crawled in remorse. Ciarán held open the door of the tiny building, picked up the drum dented and raw and cradled the cold metal sides in his arms as if it were a dead comrade.

On the last day of school, he rang hollow himself. His hands shoved in his pockets, a tired look on his face, he heavily avoided the teacher who’d been explained to, instead waiting in a little corner outside placed as if by accident between the trash bins and the sidewalk, ducking his head down when people passed. He pulled out slippery record covers and looked at the reflections the sun made on them. When he paused at the front of the school when it was over, he gave only a hurried, strained smile to his friends. He felt it already, a fist squeezing his heart into pain and excitement. It was summer now. All year long it seemed he’d waited for Bono to come home. When the man was “home” in Dublin, he never even stopped by. A different need filled Ciarán now.

He should be content in Dublin. He would be, but everytime he walked through here, he thought of Bono, thought of Ali, thought of people who’d been here and wouldn’t be here again. The streets thronged with ghosts weighing heavy on his mind, tightly as his eyes closed again as if to summon strength before opening his mouth to speak, at dinner.

The stranger was back. Ciarán forgetting himself had rushed up and headfirst ran into him, feeling odd he was by now nearing his father’s height; when he’d been seven he’d headbutted his da’s stomach on accident; now the top of Ciarán’s head slammed into Bono’s chin. They’d look wildly confused at each other and Ciarán had awkwardly held himself in aloof apology then smiled. He did miss him.

Still the demand in his mind that refused to let go. Still the drums called. That was part of it. He’d killed her, she, the single one he’d had. Ciarán knew Dublin in and out, had taken to wandering the outskirts to the places where signs had been grown over. To his overt frustration, nowhere, nowhere, had anything with the sound he wanted. The sound he still couldn’t find.

He started to ask, and Bono and Ali turned towards him…Ciarán wanted to hug him properly but he knew, he knew he was too old to be that needy…what he’d been asking turned into a long harsh cough a moment and Jordan across the table made a surprised, disgusted face. He bit his lip, as Ali leaned back towards Bono, her face alight, and continued what she’d been saying, but Ciarán interrupted.

“I want to go to America,” he blurted straight out. Jordan giggled, Memphis Eve clapped two hands together haphazardly, and Ali looked shock. Intrigued, Bono asked, “Why?”

A small frustrated frown came to Ciarán’s face. He looked from person to person in front of him. There was a connection there, an obvious one they didn’t see, between them all. It was very present in the heavy pause before he spoke again.

“I have to. I don’t know why. It’s…it’s been a long time.” He swallowed again. “I miss it there.”

There was something he needed, not just the music, not just the chance to break out of this dizzying mad life trying to clamp him down into something he didn’t belong to. He didn’t really realize it could have been much simpler, if he’d forgotten the idea of leaving. If he’d never asked, if he’d never gone, Ciarán reflected in 1999, seven years later, none of this would have happened. He may have been happier. Safer, definitely. But he wouldn’t have known.

Bono ran a hand through his black-dyed hair. Ciarán could almost see the thoughts there, or maybe he just thought of his own. Bono might have been thinking of his son eight years old back in California and how it had taken so long before he could talk, and look at people, and want things for himself again properly. Or he may have just seen restless adolescence. He may have labeled that as the reason for the obvious discontent he saw in the boy. At least Ciarán wasn’t getting into fights anymore…he’d stopped when he realized they accomplished nothing. In some way that was a mistake. For instance, it led to moments like…now.

It was Ali who interrupted the silence. Eyes took the tired sheen again as she answered, looking over at the twelve-year-old, “I don’t think we’re able to travel at this point. I don’t know if the girls are ready yet.” She shared a significant glance with Bono, something about how they’d stayed away from the tour a-purpose, this would be too soon…
Bono hesitated. And hesitated another moment. New songs weaving through his sore head reminded him life on the road was too busy, and he too would be too busy to travel anywhere else. These few days were an unlikely event, that he’d dragged himself away from the studio. He hoped Edge wasn’t falling apart or doing anything rash, all on his own with his marriage broken up. It had been a while ago but it still affected him. He ran a hand through his hair again, stress showing on his face. Ciarán waited.

“I don’t know if that’s—“ Bono began, then cut himself off. “You could come to the studio if—no, that’s not it, I think it’d just confuse Edge still to have kids around—studio’s no place—“ He paused quickly, seeing the hopeful light dying in Ciarán’s eyes, remembering all too well when that had happened before, then turned to Ali and whispered, “it wouldn’t be any harm even if we couldn’t go. He’s twelve, just about thirteen now. We were doing far more than that at thirteen.” Bono’s mouth twisted in amusement. Ali looked unconvinced. He sighed. “I can get him to the airport safely, you’ve already got two other kids to deal with. He can stay with Ruth and Oisín in Santa Barbara for a couple days. He’ll be fine. Kid needs to get out into some proper heat. He’s dying here.”

Right ontime, Ciarán coughed, as unobtrusively as he could. He failed to see the humor in the situation. Right now he strained to hear the conversation. But in a way he knew already; some of that elusive sound beckoned at him, and he could feel it. He could feel there was something there in America, shimmering in different colors at the back of his mind. More real than the sad red-apple-rusted dent in the lone dead drum. Something wholly capable of pulling him out of this hellish situation.

He saw the two nods across the table, one exuberant, one still slightly unconvinced. Ciarán felt the awful sinking feeling just then of guilt. Straight up painful guilt, as he grinned relieved thanks at his da. In the back of Ciarán’s mind were two albums, one glossy new and unplayed, one beaten up, crumpled, much-loved but now intolerable. He no longer owned either. He’d left both handfuls of music spanning his lifetime beside the bin on the last day of school. They were probably stepped on, stolen, but not searched for by him. He’d cut the ties leading back to his father on that day. For a moment now he regretted it, the guilt raw metallic, a cylindric battered object left out in the rain. He went upstairs as the adults’ conversation lengthened and unraveled, and pulled out the crumpled photograph for a moment, looking at his father and not recognizing him, looking at the blurred figure beside him and with a pang not recognizing that woman either, then finally looking down at his thumbprint face and not recognizing himself. He closed his eyes infant-tight, crawling under the covers with the strange hollow loss of the two records he’d played to keep himself awake, and the heady dizzy knowledge thumping through his body that he’d be one among millions where he’d be going. Someone small, but someone, obscured and almost loved in anonymity.

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Old 09-16-2011, 09:25 PM   #2
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Oooo, what's gonna happen next?
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #3
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You'll see....

There's a definite meet up with Ruth and Oisín (and little Aidan) in order.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:39 PM   #4
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:48 PM   #5
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I'm excited too. It's going to be a couple days (I think? I don't know if I can judge how long after that all-nighter...) until I get everything in to the next one.
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Old 09-16-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
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You need sleep.

Sleep is good. Sleep brings dreams of Larry. Or Bono. Or Edge. Or all 3.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:00 PM   #7
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I do need sleep. Oh, that's definitely incentive
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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I do need sleep. Oh, that's definitely incentive
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:43 PM   #9
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Ooh... going to America!

Quote:
Sleep brings dreams of Larry. Or Bono. Or Edge. Or all 3.
All THREE? What about Adam? (Don't worry, I'm not an Adamgirl who would actually be offended by your excluding him.)
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Old 09-17-2011, 08:39 PM   #10
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Ooh... going to America!


All THREE? What about Adam? (Don't worry, I'm not an Adamgirl who would actually be offended by your excluding him.)
In my sleepiness, I did forget Adam. (Sorry, Adam!)

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Old 09-17-2011, 08:46 PM   #11
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I ended up dreaming about Jack White, damn you, Tara.

That's not what I wanted.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:29 PM   #12
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How the hell is that my fault?
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:59 PM   #13
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You suggested men. But I got the wrong one somehow. (my brain's fault really)

I would have even taken Adam instead. Gahhh
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:08 AM   #14
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You suggested men. But I got the wrong one somehow. (my brain's fault really)

I would have even taken Adam instead. Gahhh
Adam is a man-whore....
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Old 09-18-2011, 12:10 AM   #15
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He certainly was in that instant.

Well.

There weren't other women around
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Old 09-18-2011, 03:34 PM   #16
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1992, ali, bono, ciaran, ciarán, no love lost, the fly, zoo era, zootv

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