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Old 02-06-2011, 09:41 PM   #1
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Out Of Control 4

This one's just '78. Hope that's fine.

I loved writing Larry. The rest was kind of...less fun.

The Rolling Stones were a big help for me writing this much today...it was dubious whether I'd write at all; I was having a low period for the past few days and it seemed worst this morning, but it cleared up around the afternoon and I feel better now.

Aodan? Who?

***


1978


Ruth was sort of getting the hang of both her hands working independently from each other. She and Larry ended up taking too much time practicing in the school and were pretty much shoved out one afternoon. Which Larry was not happy about.

He swept his hair out of his face, a concerned look growing. “That’s bloody great,” Larry grumbled. “Where are we going to go now?”

She looked at him, not getting it. “Don’t you have a studio or something you normally use?”

“No!” he half-yelled. God, he was high-strung today, his face bright and his eyes a little scared. If only he was sitting down, she could come up behind him and slip her hands under the back of his shirt and—

No, Ruth.

She knew she was only reacting that way because of her boyfriend. While she was intoxicated by him and they had both fallen for each other—it seemed to fast. There was an intensity to their relationship that was both numbing, beautiful—and, she admitted to herself, a little scary.

And Larry, in comparison…he was so good. He didn’t think anything of her request to learn drumming, he didn’t try to take advantage of her in any way, he even kept her out of Bono’s way—it seemed, not because he was jealous, but because he thought the other boy might play it fast and loose with her. Even when angry, he didn’t ignore her or hit her or anything. And…there had been the one time, when she was returning home, that there was suddenly this look in Aodan’s eye she didn’t like.

It was painfully easy, and so, so wrong to not keep herself away from Larry.

“Well,” she proposed when he had let off a little steam, “we can try to practice at my house.” He looked at her like she was crazy, but sighed eventually with that little give of breath that meant he probably agreed.

“The sound will probably be crap…” He pushed his hair away from his face again angrily, then looked up again. “It doesn’t matter if the sound is crap,” he snorted, smiling at last, the sun through clouds. He gave a little laugh. “We’re not performing, are we? God.” He shook his head at his thinking.

The world around Larry had eased a little, become tolerable. He felt so much more good-natured than he had a few weeks ago. Things had gotten back to normal. A looseness had gathered through his body, a sweetness in the air, a sort of wandering current that drifted around the edges of the few trees that appeared when they reached the outskirts of Dublin.

He didn’t admit it, but perhaps it was Ruth. Just having something so basic and time-consuming to do as help her through the beginning steps of drumming occupied him enough to sweep any negative thoughts away. And he kept feeling a small disappointment when he was away from her, an indent in his mind where he anticipated her responses to what he said, her seriousness, her occasional tilt of the head and the occasional sudden smile that lit her face. They spoke in shorthand, in a beginner’s drum language and sparse, concentrated words. The air became, consequentially, dreamlike between them, thick with thoughts.

Ruth’s house had a faded blue door, and was about as small as Larry’s was. The front door practically swung open to the staircase and there was a narrow hall leading to somewhere. All around the outside of the blue-white house were once-gardened plants that crept and trickled densely into cool shadows and whispered leaves.

He was carrying one of the drums—Ruth had another—and it was beginning to feel heavy and awkward in his arms, making raw indents against his skin. “Where should I set this down?” he asked Ruth, grimacing.

“Mmm…” she thought, brows pulling together. “Where do you think it would sound the best?”

“Do you have any bigger rooms than this?” She shook her head, and he sighed; he’d thought not.

“I suppose we should go in the bat’room then. Acoustics are better.”

It was a tiny, tiny bathroom. Larry had the handle of the door poking accusingly into his elbow. He shifted his arm to his side, to no avail. Ruth sat on the edge of the bathtub, and Larry on the seat-covered toilet.

“Well, this is lovely,” Larry said, and Ruth laughed. She had had to bite her lip to keep from laughing harder when Larry tried to fit himself and the huge drum between the toilet and the wall.

“Ehm…” He tried to say something, but the doorknob indent was still painful.

Extraneous thoughts flooded through his mind when he got over his original discomfort. The sunlight dripping gold and green through the window and the coolness of the air against his skin. Ruth’s sunset-shadow hair, the way she had unconsciously looked directly at him when she laughed, the laughter rippling her body from her shoulders to her legs.

He realized she was waiting for him to speak, and just blushed and managed to signal the time signature they would be working on. The rattle of the drumsticks she wielded against the single drum blocked the thoughts effectively from his mind. She messed up a little in the middle, slipped into both hands doing the same, but there was a good clarity to the sound when she hit the drum, and…

He raised his eyebrows. “You have a good sense of time, Ruth,” he noticed, surprised. He was so used to how natural it should sound he hadn’t realized that was how she played, except for a few mistakes. “God. If only Adam could play bass like you play drums. Well, drum.” She hadn’t done multiple much yet.

“D’you think so? I thought it was terrible.” She looked genuinely pleased and completely shocked.

“Yeah. Now, about your left hand, you’re holding the drumstick a little loose. You should tilt your wrist a little more—like that, that’s what your right hand does instinctively—“ He had brought his hand over hers to demonstrate. His fingers were warm and callused and paused for a second as he looked at her, stopping speaking. Her heart beat with a sickening thud.

Ruth, you terrible girl, what are you doing—

He looked so young, a little string of sunlight catching the side of his face and illuminating the darkness in his eyes into a blue clarity. Young and unsure and sure at once.

They broke apart as there was a click of the bathroom door opening. Eve froze, blinked, stared at them.

“Oh, no,” Ruth said under her breath. There was such a look in her sister’s eyes.

“Ehm, hi,” Larry said awkwardly. “Didn’t mean to hold up the bat’room, just the sound’s better in here.”

“This is my sister Eve,” Ruth explained to Larry. “Oh.” He smiled at Eve warmly. She took a long, shocked look at him then walked out of the house.

He couldn’t be sure he had really even seen her. There was something strange and elusive about the girl. She looked quieter than Ruth, her features a little thinner and finer than her sister’s, and her hair was a ghostly ash-blond-pale. She had been barefoot—everything else went past Larry’s notice, because Eve’s eyes were entrancing, huge and dark and causing a tight fist of empathy and confusion to wash through him.

He shook his head, and the moment was broken. He looked at Ruth like Ruth was a foreign object. For the rest of the day, the sound of the drums wound in and out of his thoughts and consciousness, and he and Ruth worked on fixing her occasional mistakes until sunset. A sudden huge distance had been placed between them. For that day, at least, the understanding and connection in between them had suddenly flowed out of him and talking with her was like speaking in another language, a dead one he tried to recover.

Eve was on the doorstep when he left, and smiled at him goodbye.

“Be good to her,” was what she said to him, in a voice a little like Ruth’s, but tempered and more fluid, less resonant. “Whether she deserves it or not,” she said to herself when he was gone.

Larry dreamed of Eve. He dreamed Eve was dancing, in that green-shadowed backyard, and that he walked up the long sidewalk and she ran to try and tell him something. But he could not hear what she said, and she could not near him, and in the rain-reflection on the ground, her face turned to Ruth’s and Ruth was crying.


Ruth woke blearily in the morning, her hair all mussed and the covers in strange heaps around her. She shivered though the air was fever-hot around her, got a glass of the water after walking downstairs, and drank it outside, swinging her feet over the tall grass from the side of the porch-steps. The cool shadows pressed behind her eyes. A calm restlessness had settled throughout her, with the dreams she couldn’t remember. She felt like she’d been drumming through her sleep; the patterns from yesterday echoed faintly in her head still, and her hands wanted to move.

There was the sound of footsteps. Ruth turned her head, calmly, then froze up a little. Aodan was approaching. His hair was wet, he had discarded his jacket, and his eyes were clear today, though his face was flushed. It came to Ruth that she had no idea what he did when he wasn’t with her, and that was strange. Strange also how her heart stuttered and froze and thawed and her limbs briefly became paralyzed with the strangeness of him seeing her in this undress; her sleeveless nightshirt felt like nothing, and it was thin.

He sat beside her, and took her hand in his, wrapping his other arm around her and his fingers around hers. His wet hair tickled. He smelled a little like drink, but not recent. She didn’t kiss him, she just leaned her head against his shoulder and he kissed her cheek. He had a look of worry on his face.

“Where were you last night?” His hand had stopped moving around hers. It was heavier than Larry’s, his fingertips a little rougher and rounder. She could hear the edge of—what? Worry? Anticipation? Anger? It was so confusing with him—in his voice; she had had to become skilled at judging his mood.

She shook her head and pulled away, looking at him. He must have guessed something, because he stepped away and frowned, and that frown stung like he had slapped her. He kissed her once, deeply, but something about it seemed unsure. Aodan was beginning to suspect.
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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Very nice. I like where this is headed.

I understand about writing roadblocks. I'm not in love with the start of my new story. Unfortunately, my head is in the middle of the story and not in the set-up. So, when I do post, I apologize. I'm not loving it yet. MW seemed so much easier since it was in the middle of the story. Hmm. I might be skipping ahead so it doesn't get too boring for me!
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Old 02-06-2011, 10:53 PM   #3
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Thanks, Grace. Now to plot what comes next...

New stories are hard...yeah. Skipping ahead should be fine, just remember to go back and fill in what's in between XD I may skip ahead a little in the '78 part since that's coming easiest for me, and then write some of '86 and post them alternating or something.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:29 PM   #4
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I feel sometimes like writing parts of stories all at once and then filling in the middle parts, but I've never tried. When I write stories I usually have a lot in my head and I want to just hurry it up to the good parts. But as far as I know I've never skipped anything.
Acoustics are best in bathrooms, yes...
Aodan. Dislike.
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Old 02-07-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Blue - that's how I feel right now. So, when I do post, I might post an apology with it.
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:40 PM   #6
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I may be doing that...it's tempting. Or, well, writing too much beginning and then the end. I have too much plot for '78 and not enough for '86 except what happens after we know everything...

Bathroom drumming was an unexpected obvious thought. I mean, really, where else in the house do acoustics work? The only problem is when people have to use the bathroom, uh-oh.

I like him even less

Edit: I'm sorry, guys, I'm probably going to have a day or two off of writing. I was just informed about half an hour ago that my mom went to the vet and my cat got shot full of pain meds cause she's got a tooth infection, so sometime around tonight my cat's dying. It was pretty out of the blue and unless I'm writing angst, no writing for me. Sorry, Blue—I'll get to that new chapter in a couple days.
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Old 02-07-2011, 09:35 PM   #7
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Oh, that's okay, I'll wait. Sorry about your cat!
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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Read it, just can't form proper responses at the moment. It was good, though.

Wrote a teensy bit I might or might not include in the next bit that's '86. It's a bit vulnerable-seeming to me and almost out of place, but maybe.
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1978, 1986, boy era, joshua tree era, larry, out of control

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