I've been thinking of how unfair our relationship has been. I mean, you didn't even know me, and so I have a slight advantage. You might call it a disadvantage. Yet, to love, knowing you will never be loved in return is a
wonderful thing. Ok, it's sick and twisted, but it works for me.
He was getting perplexed by her emails lately. They seemed to have turned that corner from fandom to stalker and yet he still wasn't overly concerned. There were times when he would check his email and be a bit worried if he didn't see her name in his inbox. He wondered where she was if she wasn't asking him what he had for breakfast, or analyzing his astrology chart. He had never responded to a single email, and yet strangely she seemed able to read his thoughts in a timely manner. This morning she mentioned a dream that she had where he was signing autographs inside her local grocery store. She was upset with him because she had waited in line for eight hours and when she finally made it to the front of the line, he left to grab a sandwich from the deli and never returned. He had never signed autographs in a grocery store but later that day he was due to make an appearance at a Starbucks and he ended up leaving right before lunch. It was a good thing too, because, not long after, his ex-girlfriend wandered in asking for him. The days were lengthening and insomnia kept him from his work. He feels a shadow in his soul, but he has earned this life. He has worked hard to get to this place.
Jamie is stuck in traffic, listening to Eddie's third album through her shitty speakers. The fuel gauge is showing nearly empty and the next gas station is a few miles away. She rolls down the window to throw out the remains of this morning's coffee. She finally pulls into the parking lot of Mr. M's convenience store. Her head is sweaty and she digs in her purse for some aspirin but swallows a couple of Klonipin instead. She thinks about cigarettes. She wants to smoke, but she isn't a smoker. She convinced her third husband to buy her the 69 Chevy Nova if she gave him enough blowjobs. He is technically still waiting. Jamie took off with the Nova, a taffeta white, the day she got it and hadn't been around the house much. After the Klonipin starts to kick in, Jamie forgets what she needed in the store and heads home.
I had an epiphany today. I have a lot of those. It depends on which of your albums I am listening to.
Some epiphanies are small. Some are large and I wonder if I might need a U-Haul to get them where they are supposed to go. Today the epiphany was about loneliness. I think some people would still be lonely if there were a million adoring fans shouting their name . Do you get lonely? I have been forgetting things very quickly these days. Do you think I have early onsite Alzheimer's?
Love and kisses,
After his shower, he called his girlfriend.
"Can I call you back? I was eating some Haagen-Dazs."
This chick online was bugging him. She was hoping his life was one groupie encounter after another. One long crazy cocaine binge .The crazier the better. He couldn't even remember some of that scene. It didn't matter. None of it did. His reality would never change. His days began the same and ended the same, just like hers did. He felt tired and turned on the television. He watched as The world spun around on its axis but he felt too tired to watch and soon he was asleep.
Do you have hepatitis? I really didn't think so, but this chick said you had it at one time but that you cured yourself. I bet you did acupuncture. I think he if you really had hepatitis I would have heard about it by now. She also said you like to abuse women sexually. I told her it's all bullshit.
I need to stop going on these fan sites. It's boring and pointless and totally unfair to you. It makes me feel guilty, for talking to these people, for spreading these lies, but I can't help it. I'm drawn to every last secret, to everything, to the lies, the half-truths, the self-delusion, anything that has to do with you.
He never abused women sexually. He was sure he didn't have hepatitis, either. But he did get Chlamydia just the once. That was all it took. He slowed down a bit after that. He was feeling bad that there weren't enough secrets to be had, not enough dirt being spilled He knew there was no such thing as bad publicity.
I'm sorry for the earlier e-mail. None of those things are my business. If you cured the hepatitis on your own, you are my hero. There's just one thing I need to know. Did you really bang a chick in the CBGB basement with some sort of pyrotechnic device? Of course this is none of my business either and you probably never even read fan email, right? I got my nails done in this Vietnamese salon today and I saw your picture inside Rolling Stone. The top 100 most influential musicians. I think some of those women that do my nails are lesbians. They kept staring at me and smiling. I have never been with a woman, I am completely straight, although there was this girl in college named Wendy who always tried on swimsuits in front of me. I kind of enjoyed that. I can't believe I just told you that. Anyway. people end up in the hospital when they play with fireworks/ pyrotechnics, so please be careful.
He had to get out of this god-forsaken city. He couldn't tell where his pseudo-fame ended and his soul began anymore. He started walking. No sunglasses, no entourage. Ok, there was no entourage. He had to admit that. Just a coffee mug filled with Vodka. A torn pair of jeans. Just some sandals, and forty bucks or so in his wallet. Of course he was recognized. Quickly. But he was walking so fast. He was thinking of his first girlfriend. When he had stuck his tongue in her mouth and she let him do it. She let him explore her mouth like that. It was very erotic at that age to put your tongue in someone's mouth. She tasted a bit like suntan lotion. She smelled a bit like sweet rolls. They had recognized him. He wasn't walking fast enough. He couldn't think while walking. He never mastered that art. They soon overtook him. A woman in a black jacket with a space between her teeth. It was sexy on Madonna, but not this woman, not with the Doritos.
"Are you Eddie Cooper?" She said while stuffing her face with Doritos.
"Yes. I am."
Oh my god, I knew it was you. I always get you mixed up with Eddie Vedder, but you are so much better looking. Eddie always looked sloppy in all that flannel. You always had so much better style."
"Can I have an autograph. Or anything. A vial of your mucous?'
He took the book she was carrying. A Dan Brown book purchased from a resale shop. He borrowed her mechanical pencil and scrawled his name and practically stabbed her with it when he gave her the autograph. He didn't think she noticed. He tried to walk faster.
Edward my Love,
Please forgive me for saying you had syphilis,er,I mean Hepatitis. That was unfair. I know that true love is the most important thing in the world to you. That is how I know we were meant to be together. If you have a venereal disease, you can take precautions. You should use protections. You know, condoms, rubbers. I forget.. I saw the interview you did with VH1, you looked tired.I told you to eat more foods with anti-oxidants. My grandma is calling. She has leukemia. I have to go!
He ducked into chumley's. His sunglasses were too dark. He sat down and checked his email messages. There was one from an old bandmate who was in poor health. Poor guy. He never had a chance after that summer. The summer he would rather forget. He felt guilty. He didn't like feeling guilty. He wouldn't think about it.
He was thirsty.
He started drinking. He drank faster. A group of women recognize him and start talking in loud voices. They use his name in lewd sentences. They gesticulate in odd ways. It seems odd to him. Why don't they just come up and talk to him like a normal person would. Why always the stupid games?
A tall woman was standing over him in stilettos.
"Can me and my friends join you?"
"Sure. Why the hell not?"
And so they came and sat across from him. One of them tried to snatch away his sunglasses but he caught her arm and she gave him a surprised look. He made it up to her by complimenting her deep salon tan. He wondered how long before she had skin cancer. The thought of it repulsed him. The woman in the stilettos tried to squeeze in closer. He knew he would fuck her, but not her friends. He couldn't give them that impression though. He would give them the impression he would fuck them all. He would charm them and ask them about their lives. He would lean back in his seat and let them think they had entered his world.
They hailed a cab. He held the taller woman back and after the other two entered the cab he shut the door and he walked with the woman into a restaurant across the street. They ordered something. He can't remember what.
Now he was fucking her. She kept trying to get some kind of eye contact. He kept trying to get her legs out of the way. So leggy, this one.
Today was a weird day. I saw a kid laying on the sidewalk bleeding. He had fallen off his skateboard.
He gave me his phone number so I called his mom. Later I heard he needed stitches but no broken bones. That was the only thing real that happened to me. Everything else was make believe. I met a friend for lunch and we had a make-believe conversation. I watched a reality show that was also make-believe. On the radio I heard a band doing a cover of one of your songs. I tried to put on some false eyelashes. I couldn't stop thinking about the kid, because his blood was real. Is that strange?
In the bathroom, he examined the scar that ran diagonal across his left bicep. He felt it's contours and listened as the woman dialed her friends. They would be hurt. He assumed. She whispered in low tones. And so he made a little noise. He flushed the toilet. He ran the water, brushed his teeth. She knocked on the door timidly.
"I was thinking I should go. It's nearly noon. I have to pick up my son from preschool."
"Uh,yeah, sure thing.It was really nice. You're . . . "
The door to his condo slammed shut.
He was going to say great. Maybe he should have said she was useful? No, that would have been . . . brutal.
I just read you grind your teeth at night! I do that too! We have so much in common!
I had to quit my job at Target. I worked in the snack bar and the smell of popcorn makes me nauseous.
Don't worry I'm not pregnant. I just don't like that smell. The pretzels were ok, though. I'm going to miss those. Is it true you were a Freemason? That seems odd. I don't know anything about it but I'm sure they helped you through those rough years you spent in and out of rehab. I'm going to an adult erotic entertainment convention with my roommate. She's a little unconventional. I'm going to stay up late to watch a rerun of your last appearance on Rock Gods.
Eddie was bored. He was waiting on a royalty check from a skateboard endorsement he made seven years ago. His mortgage was overdue and two of his motorcycles needed repair. He smoked a joint that the woman with the stilettos had left at his place. He logged on to his email and started to write a letter to the mysterious Jamie.
It's Eddie. I snorted so much cocaine that I have a fake nose. Plastic surgery is really amazing these days. Please don't tell anyone. The skin graft doesn't blend in with my natural skin tone. I don't play music much anymore because I'm in excruciating pain. I have Fibromyalgia. Someone told me too much diet soda causes it. My days are bleak and lonesome.
I miss the love of a good woman. I watch re-runs of The Wild Wild West and chew aspirin while shivering naked in my gold-plated bathtub. Anyway, I hope my honesty doesn't freak you out.
He waited for three days but there was no reply from the mysterious Jamie.
His days passed in a blur of whiskey sours and microwave pizza.
A month later he heard back from her.
To whomever it may concern,
I don't know who hacked Eddie's email, but I don't find this funny at all. I feel sorry for Eddie with this outrageous invasion of privacy. After all, rock stars are people too. I am blocking this email-address. Eddie, you know where to find me.