The Sickness


It was his birthday. You should know that he has a thing for birthdays. Who knows why? Birthdays have a certain resonance for him.

It was his birthday, pharmacy and this time she was going to break tradition and give him something to remember.

He was in bed, health sleeping the sleep of a great bear, dreaming dreams of pirates and obscene cartoons and overrated aging movie stars. She woke him from his slumber with urgency and a mission.

And two concert tickets.

They were rushing to the venue, her mother at the wheel, he pulling on his pants, actually wearing boxers to the car so rushed they were to make it on time.

She did his hair, made it sexy, and then she did his make-up, like Brandon Lee in the Crow – you know, for shits and giggles.

And what of the show itself? Why, they were blown away from the show. Evanescence, the little goth-pop band that could, had done it. They had sold out an arena and brought the rock to the adoring fans, Crow make-up and all.

He was grateful to her, for her surprise, he was ridiculously happy.

And then she sprung it on him. She had shelled out the cash, gone all the way, and bought them two backstage passes to meet the band.

Ecstasy.

Backstage was all he dreamed of, but he wanted one more thing. He found someone close to the singer and waved her over. He wanted to do something nice for Amy (the singer) to thank her for the glorious performance.

He asked the woman for a rose. She told him she would do him one better if he would just wait.

She brought four-dozen roses.

For just a moment he wondered if it was too much.

When he presented them to her, not only was she appreciative. He noted a tear dancing on the edge of her eyelid.

Before he knew it, she was leaning in, pecking his cheek.

Her boyfriend. The singer for the opening band, seeing this exchange, stepped in.

“If you’re going to kiss him, give him something to remember this night by. Give him some tongue.”

She did just that.

He was on cloud nine. But then Amy, the singer, brought forth her famous jello shots. Homemade.

The party then got out of hand.

He began to rouse. He was hazy once again. He was unsure of where he was.

He cracked his eyes. He was in bed, in a bus.

A tour bus…

But, not only was he in bed, he was sandwiched between both Amy and his friend. He racked his addled memory for an answer.

Had they?

They had.

He had fucked the singer of evanescence, high on jello shots, made up like the Crow, joined by his ex-girlfriend. It was pure American unadulterated bliss. He had cashed a check written to the heavens and his account was in good standing. This was what it was all about.

Just then, in walked the singer from the opening band, the guy who was officially dating Ms. Lee from Evanescence.

He surveyed the scene, looked at our man, smiled, and gave the thumbs-up.

Get up, come on, get down with the sickness.

He relayed this story to me, straight faced, without setup, without provocation. He laid this tale down with the ease of a man who can only be telling the truth.

At first I couldn’t allow myself to believe him. It was too preposterous, the whole thing, all of it, every last detail, too absurd to ever contain a grain of truth.

But maybe that’s just it. Maybe in its brazen simplicity, its brash horrific splendor, maybe, just maybe it was all true, every last detail. Perhaps I do believe him.

The question is, dear friends…

Do you?

8 thoughts on “The Sickness”

  1. No. You can’t buy backstage passes. I don’t know how many times I had to tell people that when I worked at Ticketmaster.

  2. Until you said, “joined by his ex-girlfriend” I was sure his the one who took him to the show was his mom. And up to that point, I was sure she was going to come back into his room to wake him up so he wouldnt be late for school. That I would believe.

  3. My pal was attending a party hosted by the ex-guitarist/co-founder of Evanescence who’s name is something like Ben Fatguy or some shit. He originally banged the chubby vampire chick from the band, they broke up, then she bought him out of Evanescence Inc., for over a million bucks. Anyhoo, my buddy stumbles into his study and the only thing displayed on the built-in-shelves is a reel-to-reel cannister with a piece of masking tape on it that said “NEW IDEAS”.

    My pal still says, “I should’ve stolen those ‘NEW IDEAS'”.

  4. great story – about like what i would have come up with. but at the end of it all, you left me feeling dirty for poking fun at a pissed off chubby goth kid.

    of course, mine would have climaxed with a weeping pegicorn carrying them off to sweden whilst jackhammering loud, distorted power chords.

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