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Old 02-05-2011, 11:58 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 3

Waiting half a day to see if writing them separately would work wasn't working; if these were separate stories they'd be different already...

The guy's important. Unfortunately.

Sorry the '86 part's so short. I realized I left a little out of Chapter 1 and that's been preoccupying me...maybe I'll add it in to part of Chapter 4 or 5 or something. Plus, Eve and Larry have to make another appearance.

***


1978

Ruth slid into the shadows of the bar easily, then boldly moved towards the bright lights. Some band was playing, she didn’t care who. They had a strange, elusive sound about them at times; it seemed the guitarist was trying to break free of usual music—they weren’t quite punk enough for her tastes. She sensed someone was watching her, but she was fixed in an opposite direction.

The ‘midnight man’ as her sister called him stepped away from the bar table and looked at her like a drowning man looks at land. Her heart skipped a beat: something about his face kept pulling her in. It wasn’t quite symmetrical; he had a faint healing bruise on one side of his face, but he was handsome, blond hair coming nearly to his eyes, and his face was always swallowed up by some intense emotion. She wrapped her arms around him, noticing he hadn’t really changed clothes since the day before, and that he was shivering cold. He kissed her insistently, and she stopped trying to analyze what had happened to him.

“What were you talking about with the other guys?” she asked him idly, when they had broken apart. He had a look on his face, a desperate, mad look she couldn’t quite understand.

He smiled to gentle the harshness. “I wasn’t. Just with the bartender. I’m pretty sure I’m getting kicked out of my place, and he was giving me ideas of places to stay.”

He must have seen the worry on her face, and said in a hard voice, “It’s not a problem. You don’t have to have it on your mind.”

She nodded, swallowed, and they left the bar.

Back in the Black Cat, the drummer of the band kept looking at the exit and frowning. Larry thought he had seen someone he knew. But…he was probably wrong.

*

“But that’s the point of it,” Larry insisted. “You have to try and keep both beats at the same time.” She just looked at him confusedly.

It was exasperating trying to drum into someone things he already knew and took for granted. At the same time, Ruth wasn’t nearly as annoying as she had been when he met her, since he’d finally agreed to teach her as much as he could without flipping out. Actually, he hadn’t specified how much, but he assumed that was what he’d meant.

He rolled his eyes, grabbed her wrist, and she let the drumstick clatter down. He winced and grabbed it with his other hand and placed it back in hers. Her hands were cold, though it was warm outside, which Larry found odd. He shook his head and concentrated.

“Here,” he said with a little less desperation. His voice was quite musical, actually. She had stilled completely; he was behind her and—oh, no, she thought—it was very, very difficult to think, with his light muscled body pressed against her back, his hands guiding her hands. Somehow she kept thinking of her man, how it was different with him—inwardly, she turned a switch off in her mind.

Stop. Stop thinking about Larry that way.

But—why are you here, then?


Because her life was spiraling into something she couldn’t control. She had come home last night, clicked the door closed and been a little too loud coming up the stairs; Eve had been awake and gave a look to her. Ruth’s face had been hot and her heart was still pounding; she couldn’t look at her sister. The night sky slammed in her vision as she slammed the door to the bathroom as quietly as she could and leaned against the door, shaking.

What was she doing?

It was getting harder to resist.

And she had watched the sun rise from there, stealing across her vision and warming her body, and for some reason could not bring her mind back to the hours before, only to…

She was snapped back to the present; Larry was trying hard not to yell at her. He was being quite patient, actually. With her left hand he demonstrated one pace of drumming, with the other, one that was almost asynchronous.

“You have to learn to keep them separate and do more than one at once. It’s hard, it takes a while, and you should probably just keep to one hand until you don’t have to think about how many beats you’re drumming. Then it’ll all come easier.”

She could feel him smiling, somehow, through his back and his hands.

Damn. This was not good.


1986

The nurse kept looking at him. Bono sighed and acted like he was anyone, ignoring the stares as best he could and trying not to fidget from impatience. He was a normal person; he wasn’t trying to attract attention. It was annoying, at this point. He wanted to yell, “my son has an ear infection, just fix the damn thing, it’s not about me!”

He was trying very hard not to resent the fact that she was focusing on the wrong person. It probably wasn’t her fault.

Ciarán had stopped whimpering and Bono had had to extricate him from exploring the room—“don’t touch those! It says they aren’t sterilized!” Really, why was everything suddenly so interesting to the eight-year-old? He’d had to carry him forcefully away from the wastebin, after the needles, and get a firm hold on Ciarán—the boy had quieted and was now practically asleep. He probably hadn’t slept much last night, Bono realized with a pang of regret.

I shouldn’t be so focused on my own problems; I keep forgetting other things.

“What’s the problem, then?” the nurse asked finally. Ciarán offered helpfully, “my ear hurts,” and Bono laughed.

“I think he has an ear infection,” he explained. He also had to ignore the obvious question of whether Ciarán was his son, and the disappointed look after his answer…it was starting to really irritate him. He was happy when the nurse hoisted Ciarán up onto the counter and completely busied herself figuring out whether the diagnosis of ear infection was correct or not. Ciarán yawned and closed his eyes, turning his head once when asked but otherwise seeming drained.

Finally, Bono was told he would need to give his son antibiotics, and it might take a few days for the infection to clear up.

“Does he need painkillers?” he asked.

The nurse shook her head. “Probably not a good idea. The doses are odd for children, and this infection’s pretty minor.”

Great. It would be impossible to concentrate on anything, knowing Ciarán was in pain.

Bono had a pleasant thought though: at least he probably wouldn’t sleep, and thus if the dreams were something continuous, wouldn’t dream.

“Is it going to keep hurting?” Ciarán asked in a small voice that vibrated through Bono’s chest; he had picked him up and they were walking back to the car.

“It might, a little.”

His son made an unhappy face. “Can you sing?” Bono had fallen into the habit of working on songs in the house, and more often than not, Ciarán would come wandering in and curl up on the couch beside him before falling back asleep, and Bono would have to carry him back to his room eventually, trying not to wake up Ali.

“If you want,” he promised. It would probably keep the dreams at bay, anyhow, and somewhere in the back of his mind there were words beginning that he was trying to fix to music.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:16 PM   #2
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Ciaran's just adorable.
Ooooh, Larry love... that was yummy. I wish I coudl learn drums, I'd probably be okay at it.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:28 PM   #3
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Isn't he? I get the urge to hug him, and then I remember he does not exist. It's sad he had ear pain

Very I would be very happy to take Ruth's place. And doing different drum parts with each hand would be impossible for me...it'd probably be different if I'd done it when I was little...
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:31 PM   #4
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Awwww, poor kid
Oh, I forgot about that... I tried to play different parts on the piano at the same time. Failed. Horribly. So I gave up... drumming it might be easier though.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:35 PM   #5
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Well, he's going to get better XD He's actually got it pretty good—he has a parent in the house and Ali's close enough to a mom, and he can irritate the other members of the band whenever he wants. Heh

Yeah. The two things at once is the major impossibility of drumming, besides keeping on the beat even with distraction (ooo, this is giving me ideas) Drumming probably is easier, being just rhythm and skill.
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1978, 1986, bono, joshua tree era, larry, out of control

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