Author Topic: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player  (Read 2946 times)

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Offline gh

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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #30 on: April 19, 2016, 01:45:17 AM »
New chapter. This is where the book gets a little . . . dark. Fasten your seatbelts, because there's no turning back now, kiddies.



Chapter 9: I Don't Need No Arms Around Me . . .

Shows like this continued for a few months. Bagel-Brain managed to amass a small fan base in the local scene, despite going through a few different drummers. Still, the core lineup of Dimitri, TJ, and Logan drew people in with their unique styles.

Bagel-Brain sat backstage preparing for a show, running over the setlist one last time to make sure their current drummer, Josh, was up to speed. This was the first time the band were going to headline a show, and even though the venue was rather small, it was still a big deal for the band.

“Alright,” Josh said, twirling a drumstick in his right hand. “I think I got this down.”

“Awesome.” Dimitri turned to Logan, who was lost in his own little world, tuning his guitar. “Got this?”

“Huh? Yeah, I got this. I'd damn well better, we've been rehearsing so much.”

Josh and the two guitarists bantered for a while, trying to shake off their pre-show nerves. TJ, meanwhile, sat in a a corner with his bass hung around his neck, perfectly still aside from an occasional muscle twitch. It wasn't until Logan said something that the rest of the band noticed.

“TJ? You feeling alright?”

No response.

“Come on, man, snap out of it. We're on in ten.” Still nothing. Logan walked over toward the unresponsive bassist, and only then did he notice that TJ's pupils were only as large as the point of a needle. “D?” Logan said, his voice shaky. “Come over here. I think there's something wrong with TJ.”

In a heartbeat, Dimitri was kneeling down beside TJ. “Wake up, man,” he said. Nothing. Panicking, he gave TJ a light slap across his cheek. “TJ, you there, bro?”

Finally, TJ seemed to break out of his comatose state. “Can you turn the teev deevadee?” he slurred, his eyes beginning to close.

“'Can I turn the teev deevadee!?'” Logan said, a mix of confusion and fear in his voice. “What the hell does that even mean!?”

Dimitri, meanwhile, was shaking the bassist's shoulder. “TJ. Stay with me, man. Just tell me: what did you take?”

This seemed to get through to him. “Speedball,” TJ mumbled, before his eyes shut.

“Speedball? What the hell is speedball!?” Logan yelled. Contrasting Logan's utter frustration, Dimitri's face was completely white.

“Logan. Call an ambulance. Now.”

* * *

Logan and Dimitri sat in the hospital waiting room, unsure of how their friend was faring. Dimitri in particular seemed to be jarred, as he rested his forehead on his interlaced fingers, and his breathing was unsteady. Logan decided to leave him alone, as he was dealing with own stress and fears, albeit in a more subdued way. After what seemed like an eternity, a doctor stepped into the waiting room. “Dimitri? Logan?”

Dimitri jerked his head up to look at the doctor. “Is TJ alright?” he nearly yelled.

“Calm down,” Logan muttered, just loud enough for the two of them to hear. If the doctor did notice, he obviously chose not to show it.

“He's stable. And to tell you the truth, he's very lucky he's even still alive. There was a fatal amount of morphine in his system, along with a substantial dose of cocaine. We gave him a shot of Naloxone, which counteracted the effects of the morphine. If you didn't call when you did, your friend most likely would not have survived.”

Dimitri rubbed his face, and it was then that Logan noticed just how much his fellow guitarist was sweating. “Oh my god. . . .”

Logan, the substantially more composed of the two, took the reigns of the conversation. “Frankly, I'm just relieved he's alright. I'm guessing he's not gonna be released tonight?”

The doctor shook his head. “Unfortunately, no. He still hasn't woken up yet, and when he does, we might need to send him to a rehabilitation program.”

“Alright,” Logan said, standing up to shake the doctor's hand. “I guess there's no point in us staying here all night, then. Thanks for filling us in.” Logan nodded at Dimitri. “Let's go, man.”

The two drove home in near silence. Logan wasn't sure quite why Dimitri was as shaken as he was. Granted, they had witnessed their friend overdose, but they knew he was going to be okay. Maybe . . . maybe Logan was just desensitized?

He pushed these thoughts to the side when Dimitri pulled into his driveway. As the two exited the car, Logan looked down their street. It was no different from how it normally looked at two in the morning, but this time, the atmosphere seemed just a bit thicker than normal. It must have just been Logan's mind playing tricks on him, he concluded.

“I'll talk to you tomorrow, D,” Logan said, giving Dimitri a small pat on the back. “Try to get some sleep tonight.”
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2016, 07:37:43 AM »
Based on real life events?


Book 146: "Blood Feud"
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2016, 11:21:05 AM »
Nope, just my messed up imagination
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2016, 04:16:36 PM »
Ah, I guess your writing is a bit more real than mine. As in more realistic, while mine tends to be more esoteric, I guess.

Not a criticism, just an acknowledgement.


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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2016, 04:29:10 PM »
That's sort of what I was going for, so thanks :D

Although, I'll admit that I extensively used Wikipedia for that chapter.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2016, 04:36:36 PM »
Eh, I've extensively used Wikipedia, various specialized wikis, Wiktionary, etc. It's no biggie.


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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #36 on: April 19, 2016, 10:20:48 PM »
New, short-ish chapter. I'll try to get another one written up later, but no promises.



Chapter 10: Call Me Any, Anytime

It wasn't until a couple of days later that Logan had heard from TJ. Logan didn't think all that much about the incident before the Bagel-Brain show. Granted, Logan had never been close friends with TJ – at least, not as much as Dimitri was. Nonetheless, the scene of TJ's overdose was still fresh in Logan's mind when he received a phone call.

“Hello?”

“Hey man, it's me,” the bassist's voice said through the speaker.

“Hey. How you holding up?”

“Alright, I guess.” TJ's voice seemed much more lucid than normal. “Look, I'm sorry about ruining the show. I just-”

“I don't care about the show. What I want to know about is why the **** you thought it would be a good idea to take morphine and cocaine.”

“It's . . .” TJ sighed into the phone. “It's been a problem.”

“No ****!” Logan gave himself a few seconds to calm down. “Dude, I thought you were just into weed.”

“Well, sort of. Yeah, I am, but it's just sort of a cover-up. Like, if I'm high, I could just say I had some really strong grass or something, and people buy it.”

“Why didn't you try to get help?”

TJ let out a small groan. “It's not that easy. People judge you if you take narcs. You really think it's that easy to just come out with that ****? It's like if you came out as gay in the Bible belt or whatever, y'know?”

“I would have stuck with you, man. I'm not that much of an ****.”

“Whatever. Either way, I'm going to rehab as it is. I just wanted to let you know that I won't really be able to do anything with the band until I'm done. And even then, I might just be done for good. I dunno, but my number one priority right now is getting clean.”

“Alright. You gonna keep in contact?”

“I dunno. Depends on whether I'm allowed to call friends or anything. I don't know how this rehab stuff works.” TJ moved to hang up the phone, before pulling it back to his ear. “Oh, Logan?”

“What's up?”

“Make sure D takes care of himself. I know you-”

“TJ?”

“Yeah?”

Logan let a smile creep across his face. “Shut the hell up.”
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #37 on: April 20, 2016, 02:51:19 AM »
New chappie



Chapter 11: Sickman

After the phone call, Logan went over to tell Dimitri the news. Overall, what TJ told him wasn't very surprising; Logan had suspected that he would be sent to rehab, and it would only make sense that he would leave the band because of it. Finding a new bassist was going to be a challenge, for sure. The only thing that kept nagging at Logan after the phone call was the initial incident. The more time had passed, the more it bothered him. It was baffling as to how a friend could foster an opium addiction and keep it hidden for so long. Logan wasn't quite sure how long TJ was doing hard drugs, but it must have been quite a while, considering most first-time users wouldn't combine drugs so recklessly.

Logan pushed these thoughts aside when he walked into Dimitri's house. Logan's friend seemed glad enough to see him, but something was . . . off. Dimitri appeared much more disheveled than usual, almost as if he hadn't left the house for days. “Sup,” he said meekly, muting his television.

“Not much,” Logan said as he took a seat in the recliner on the opposite side of the room from Dimitri. “Just got a call from TJ.”

Immediately, Dimitri perked up. “Really? How's he doing?”

“I guess as good as he can be. He said he's going to rehab, so I'm not sure how much we're going to see of him.”

This made Dimitri seem to settle back into his prior funk. “Oh.”

“Yeah, it kinda sucks. But I guess that's good for him, when you think about it.”

“I guess.”

“You alright?” Logan asked, sitting forward in his armchair. “You've been acting kind of weird ever since . . . well, you know.”

Dimitri laid his head in his hand, as if it were a massive burden on his shoulders. “Look. I really haven't been straight up with you this whole time. And I know, you'll be pissed at me when I tell you this.”

“Dude, I'm not gonna get mad. Just tell me what's up.”

Dimitri shut his eyes tight and took a deep breath. When he spoke, his voice shook, along with his entire body. “It's my fault, man. If I didn't get TJ into that ****, he wouldn't have OD'd.”

True to his word, Logan refrained from an outburst. To the contrary, he crossed the room and sat next to his friend. “That's why you were so shook up, I'm guessing?” Still trying to hold back tears, Dimitri nodded in silence. “Since when?”

“A couple months ago. Right after we graduated, I think.” Logan nodded, seeming to recognize these words from somewhere. “I haven't done that **** since TJ went to the hospital, man. Honest.”

“I believe you, D.”

“You don't know how ****ing hard it is.” Dimitri looked right at Logan, his eyes a gateway into a complete void. “Don't ever get into that ****, man.”

“Trust me, I wasn't planning on it.” Logan gave a reassuring nod. “What all have you been doing?”

“Oxy. Morphine. Sometimes methadone. Whatever I can get my hands on.”

“In that case, this is gonna be a rough couple of weeks for you.” This prompted an inquisitive look from Dimitri. “I'm gonna stay with you for a while. I want to make sure you stay off that ****, and help you get through the withdrawal. Give me five minutes to let my dad know, and I'll be right back.”

“You sure you want to do this?”

Logan stood up off the couch, his normally small frame now towering over Dimitri. “D, now that TJ's gone for a while, I'm the only friend you've got. You can't keep getting high, or you'll end up overdosing, just like he did. You don't want that, and I certainly don't want that. I'm gonna help you get clean, even if it kills me.”

Dimitri nodded, still practically glued to the couch. “Thanks. I owe you big.”

“Yeah, you do owe me. Four hundred bucks, to be exact.”

“God damn it.”
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 03:03:32 AM by gh (JolKit) »
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #38 on: April 20, 2016, 02:24:49 PM »
This thread is getting lonely. New chapter.



Chapter 12: Gerow's

The next couple weeks proved to be a challenge, both for Logan and Dimitri. Granted, Logan was incredibly lucky to catch the addiction in its early stages, but detoxification is never an easy process. Especially during the latter week, Dimitri was going through a noticeable amount of difficulty, going through many common withdrawal symptoms, which he'd likely rather not go into the details of.

Still, it seemed that everybody was willing to accommodate for Logan's time. His employer understood the situation and was willing to give him as much time off as necessary. His father reacted much the same way, although Logan remembered what TJ had told him about stigma and didn't divulge exactly why he was going to be away from home.

After a couple of weeks, though, Dimitri's withdrawal symptoms began to subside, and Logan reluctantly allowed him to leave the house to search for a new job. Dimitri wasn't having any luck much the job hunt, but he managed to stay out of trouble, which at the time, was all that mattered to Logan. That is, until he got a phone call while Dimitri was out. . . .

“Hey, D. What's up?”

“Logan? I'm in some deep ****, man.”

A small pause followed, during which Logan considered all the possibilities. “What did you do?”

“I screwed up. Pissed the wrong people off.”

“Dimitri. What happened?” Logan was finding it increasingly difficult to keep his cool, which was only made worse by Dimitri's reluctance to explain what happened.

“Just meet up with me.”

“Where even are you?”

“You know where Gerow's is?” Dimitri was referring to a small, local convenience store.

“Which Gerow's? There's a bunch of Gerows'!”

“The abandoned one on the edge of town. You know which Gerow's!”

“Well, now I do!”

“Quit being a little **** and get over here!” Dimitri yelled through the handset. “One more thing. Bring your guitar.”

“Why the hell do I have to bring my guitar?”

“Dude, you don't realize just how loud these things can get. Like, blow-the-roof-off-Gerow's loud.”

“Alright, fine! I'll be there in a bit.”

* * *

The abandoned convenience store was approximately a forty-five minute walk away from the guitarists' neighborhood. On the walk there, Logan had almost no choice but to consider all the things Dimitri could have done. No matter how hard he tried to ignore these possibilities, it was very difficult to push them out of his mind. Compounding his apprehension was the cold weather, which didn't make the walk any more bearable. And the significant heft of his guitar . . .

These complaints were put on hold when Logan approached the abandoned Gerow's. To his surprise, the doorway had absolutely nothing shielding the interior from the barely-above-freezing weather. Whether or not the door was missing to begin with, Logan couldn't tell. Cautiously, Logan entered the building.

“D?” Logan yelled, a little unsure of himself. “You here, man?”

“Sup.”

Logan screamed and turned around, almost smacking Dimitri in the face with his guitar's headstock. Clearly, the borderline condemned state of the building put him on edge.

“Dude, chill!”

“Sorry.” Logan took a quick look around to make sure nobody else was in the Gerow's. “So, you wanna tell me why you're hanging out in the abandoned Gerow's?”

Dimitri's eyes shifted away from Logan, instead staring at the floor. “There's really no easy way for me to tell you this, but . . . I kinda had a relapse.” Logan shook his head and sat down on the floor, noticing Dimitri's own guitar not too far away. “Are you pissed?”

“D, I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed.”

“Gee, thanks, dad.”

Logan shot Dimitri an exasperated look. “That still doesn't tell me why we're in Gerow's.”

“It was just sort of a deal gone wrong. I ran, and this is the first place I found to hide.”

“And why'd you bring your guitar?”

“Well . . . I was gonna pawn it. For money.”

This prompted another dirty look from Logan. “Seriously? You'd get rid of that thing for drugs?”

“Well, I obviously didn't!” Dimitri said defensively, as if he thought that would make it any better.

“Whatever. Are you on anything right now.”

“No.”

“Good. I guess we'll just wait it out in here. Then we're going back home.”



Yeah, the whole Gerow's thing was based on a call that a friend of mine got once.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #39 on: April 20, 2016, 02:35:01 PM »
It just reminds me of the X-Man Remy LeBeau, alias "Gambit", for some reason.


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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #40 on: April 21, 2016, 01:31:36 AM »
Well. . . . ;)



Chapter 13: In a Jam

“So, that's a Greek scale?”

“Yeah, those foreign scales are pretty cool. Check out this Japanese one. . . .”

After coming to terms with how the past two weeks had almost been all for naught, Logan started trading riffs and techniques with Dimitri. Although he played lead in Bagel-Brain, it was surprising how little Dimitri could do on the instrument compared to Logan. Then again, Logan's aggressive, angry playing style lent itself better to rhythm lines.

“Kinda like old times, huh?” Logan mused after running through a scale pattern. “Back in high school, y'know?”

“How exactly is that 'old times?' That was only, what, half a year ago?”

“Yeah, but a lot has changed since then. And I'm not just talking about the whole drugs thing. My dad got remarried, I got a job, other stuff. . . .”

Dimitri raised an open hand, effectively cutting Logan off. “I get it, man. We did have a lot of fun back then.”

“Yeah.”

The two stopped talking for a while and resumed their impromptu jam session. It was times like this that reminded them exactly why they formed a band together. As most musicians would attest, nonverbal communication is a massive part of playing music with others, and Logan and Dimitri seemed to have this down to a science.

“By the way,” Dimitri said, still softly playing a simple chord progression, “have you even picked up your old guitar at all since getting that thing?”

“What, the Tele? Now that I think about it, I really haven't. I dunno, I'm kinda attached to Big Daddy Dan Dude.”

“Big Daddy Dan Dude?”

“Yeah, that's what I named it. You know I'm, like, physically incapable of making a serious name. What about you? You been playing your old guitar?”

Dimitri shook his head. “Nah, I sold it.”

“Shame. It was a nice one.”

With that, Logan sat back and let Dimitri take over. He still lightly picked a rhythm line, while Dimitri played a slow, mournful lead section. Suddenly, the events of the past few weeks hit Logan. All the fear, all the regret, and all the self-loathing that Dimitri felt were now being felt by his friend, almost as if he was inducing these emotions through his playing. But that was impossible, wasn't it?

This soon transitioned into a softer, more dreamy melody. Logan nearly forgot what he was thinking just seconds before as he became lost in Dimitri's solo. Despite his willful ignorance of most facets of musical theory, Dimitri was a stellar lead guitarist, if only for his emotional playing style, and it was just now that Logan began to realize this. Of course, this was mixed with hundreds of other thoughts, as Logan was beginning to drift into a dreamlike, almost intoxicated state. Logan's eyes grew heavy and his playing softened even more, gradually, until it was completely inaudible.

Dimitri stood up, still playing his guitar, and stepped toward Logan. Slowly, so as not to disturb Logan's slumber, Dimitri reached his right hand out, still manipulating the strings with his left. Closer, closer, until his fingers were inches away from Logan's guitar. Suddenly, his eyes snapped open. “Don't you dare touch it. . . .”
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #41 on: April 21, 2016, 02:15:15 PM »
... What the hell just happened.

THE SORCERY!

Also, the chapters on the OD episode, damn. Seen too much of that **** around here, so it hit pretty close to home.

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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #42 on: April 21, 2016, 02:35:29 PM »
Yeah, I wanted to write it as realistically as possible to give the subject its due respect. My best friend's mom ****ed her life up with crack (and yes, I know that'd different from opiates), so even though I haven't personally seen it myself, I think it's important to at least have an inkling of how it is to go through that ****.
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2016, 05:18:29 AM »
New chapter. I know it's been a few days and this one is a little on the short side, but I've been really busy with work lately. Hopefully, things are gonna slow down a bit so I can put out chapters more than once every few days.



Chapter 14: Buildup

Dimitri stepped back, dumbfounded, as Logan stared icily at him. “D, I'm only going to ask you this once. What do you think you are doing?”

Dimitri stammered, completely unable to conjure a response.

“I think I can take a guess,” Logan said, filling in for Dimitri's stunned speechlessness. “I'm guessing the whole 'deal gone wrong' thing was a lie, wasn't it?” Again, no response from Dimitri. “And you were going to try to steal my guitar to pawn off for smack or something, right?” Dimitri still said nothing, but slowly backed away from Logan, who began to stand up, strapping on his guitar. Hanging his hand over the neck of his instrument, almost as if he was protecting it, Logan gave Dimitri a frozen, angered stare. “What the hell were you thinking, man?”

“You . . . you just don't get it,” Dimitri said, finally breaking his silence. “You don't know what it's like to be addicted to something that's gonna kill you one day. I dare you, I DARE YOU to try living in my shoes for a week. Jesus, if you just smoked for a month, you wouldn't be able to turn back!”

“And that makes it right to steal my guitar!?” Logan's voice gradually ramped up as he resumed his tirade. “First off, you make me pay for the thing when you weren't charged a cent for it. I could have hounded you for that a lot more than I did, you know, but I knew you were going through some ****. Then I put my entire life on hold for weeks just to help you get clean. And then you still decide that you should screw me over!? What were you planning to do with me after taking my guitar, I'm curious?”

“I don't know!”

“Damn right, you don't know!” Logan screamed. “Obviously, you haven't thought any of this though!” He took a deep breath to calm himself down, but it only worked to a small degree. In all reality, Logan was more mad at himself than Dimitri. Angry that he didn't notice that his so-called friend was a lost cause. “I can't believe I agreed to help you. Jesus, I ****ing dated you!”

“You're seriously stuck on that?” Dimitri yelled, matching Logan's level of anger. “That was almost a year ago! It was an experiment. One that I didn't like.” Dimitri lowered his voice to a dangerous level. “At least I own that I'm messed up. Do you even know what you are? Some self-righteous, wannabe superstar, sanctimonious ****.”

“What the **** did you just call me!?” Logan made a move toward Dimitri, the latter back-stepping to avoid his advance. “You think you have any high ground to say that when you were dating me – a guy, if you never noticed – not even a year ago?”

“I grew out of it! You're still living in high school, for god's sake.” Dimitri stepped back toward Logan. Clearly, he wasn't interested in just taking Logan's guitar anymore, and Logan seemed to have no intention of diffusing the situation calmly. “Still as big of a pussy as you were back then?” Dimitri pulled back his fist, and before either of them knew what happened, it connected with Logan's jaw, sending him sprawling to the wall, guitar still hanging from his neck. “You even gonna do anything?”

Driven by instinct, Logan did the one thing he knew how to do best. He curled his hand around the neck of his guitar, and in a fluid motion, strummed an open chord. The walls of the empty store shook, chunks of loose plaster falling from the ceiling. “Yeah, I'm gonna do something, you bastard. . . .”
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Re: Origin of a Mad Guitar Player
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2016, 11:45:16 AM »
Lot of emotion in this chapter. I suspect this chapter kind of wrote itself, didn't it? If you know what I mean.


Book 146: "Blood Feud"
Chapter 13: "Fight Back!!"
(March 23, 2017)

RAFians Referenced Specifically: Shanker, and myself.