Rock Star

Reads: 26  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Paul Maplin lived the rock star life. Drugs, money, women, and debauchery by the ton. But Paul's past has caught up with him, but he's not quite sure which skeleton has come out his his filthy closet...

Paul Maplin had always detested promotional interviews. He despised consistently answering the same regurgitated and inane questions, over and over, hour after hour, day upon day. There was a serious lack of creativity amongst the community of journalists and presenters he encountered during his illustrious 40 year life in rock n roll. Since his very first interview not much had changed, not much had advanced, and nothing had impressed. But for Paul to claim he despised the interviews would actually be a lie. It was all attention. It was sitting in front of a gurning idiot heaping praise on his work, whilst piling on the admiration of his unconventional life and outrageous exploits. These people were pretty much the same as regular folk, their faces were just a little more familiar. People like Paul are not regular folk. He is a rock star, the closest thing to a Demigod we know. 

Today Paul is in a local radio station promoting his new auto-biography, “Blurred: Three Decades of Rock n Roll Excess”. Interviewing him is Tim Hadley, a fellow boomer, and once a prime time radio personality before his fourth divorce. Tim’s gazes at Paul in a way that is not too dissimilar to how a puppy might gaze into its owners eyes. All doughy eyed and lacking the self-awareness of their vulnerability. Paul engages with a caller, if we could see the caller, they too would have a severe case of puppy eye.

“I was at the NEC that night Paul,” the caller says most ecstatically.

“I’m glad you can remember it. I don’t!” Paul replies, much to the guffawing of the caller and Tim Hadley.

“Wild times Paul,” gushes Tim Hadley.

“Very,” Paul smiles.

“Paul, when you came out on that stage it was just … I’m no good with words, but it was just … inter-gallactic. The first three chords of The Sun Has No Father sent the place absolutely bonkers. And you … you just owned that stage. It was incredible. You were working that crowd like a prophet or something. We couldn’t even hear you singing cos fifteen thousand people were all, and I mean this, all singing every word with you. Apart from the birth of my kids and my wedding day, that was the best day of my life.” Paul takes this sentiment in his stride, he’s heard this tale a thousand times. It isn’t like Paul is numb to it, but when a man is so used to regular dopamine overdoses, it feels the same as when you or I might have a weak cup of tea or a low calorie biscuit. 

“Best day of this man’s life and you don’t remember it Paul,” jokes Tim Hadley.

“From what I was told it was a good performance,” says Paul

“I have to say this book is just incredible. Have you read the book yet?” Tim Hadley asks the caller.

“I’m shamed to say no not yet.”

“Oh you must, it’s absolutely fascinating. I just can’t work out how you’re still alive Paul?”

“I’m bloody stubborn,” Paul quips.

“Did you quit everything?” Tim Hadley enquires, because he is a professional.

“I drink a little wine now and then,” Paul lies, “but I gave everything up in 1983.”

“You really did live the wild life, I’m lying if I say I wasn’t jealous,” Tim says, sounding almost genuine.

“It was a crazy time, but I wouldn’t change a thing,” Paul lies again.

“Not even A Room With No View?” Jabs Tim Hadley.

“I liked that one Paul.” Says the caller.

“It was the wrong time for it. Fans, and I love the fans …”

“There’s a lot of fan love mentioned in the book!” Jokes Tim Hadley.

“Hey, less of that!” Laughs Paul. “Again, I love the fans, but fans don’t like change, especially when you’re successful. They love what they know, and when you try to treat them with respect and show them growth it … It er, I don’t know, it just doesn’t stir up that nostalgia I suppose.” This may be the most genuine statement Paul has ever made in an interview.

The Bluest Colour is a tough record to beat.” States Tim Hadley.

“It’s not about beating it, it’s about your truth as an artist.”

“It is one of the greatest records of all time Paul,” gushes the caller, “it’s just electricity isn’t it?”

“You had a hard time with Bill Sanderson the producer didn’t you?” Says Tim Hadley, a professional who listens to his interns book reviews.

“His vision was very different from mine…”

“Your vision was very different from the rest of the band too wasn’t it?” Says wily old Tim Hadley, making a statement disguised as a question. Paul’s face declares that this is too much.

“It was our biggest record, it’s what the fans loved, it’s all in the book.” Paul glares at Tim Hadley, who leaves his next question. They say goodbye to the current caller and thank them with the expected lack of sincerity.

“Right let’s take another call. We have Lee on the line, hello Lee.” Tim is waiting for a reply, but the line is quiet, aside from the sound of distant traffic and nearby nature.

“Hello…” Tim Hadley tries to get something out of the caller, but they do not comply. Paul steps in with a few hellos. The callers breath is the only thing that indicates a living being has called in. The caller hangs up. 

“Think they’re a little shy Paul,”

“Yeah…” mumbles Paul.

After attending the final interview of the day with a Sunday Newspaper supplement that shall not be named, Paul returned home. It was then that he found another hand delivered letter, the third one of its kind. The letters had all been a slew of ramblings by someone who clearly had messy emotions. Paul had found the first letter to be nothing out the ordinary, aside from the fact it had been hand delivered to a securely gated house, in a securely gated community. But the second letter had left him a little concerned. And this third letter had confirmed his concern. The tone of the letter was all over the place. One line would be utter praise and adulation, something Paul was very used to, then the next line would be utter contempt, full of anger and blame. The line after that would be stuffed full of desperation and depression, followed by guilt, then rounded off with more praise and adulation. Paul had called his manager and only true confident, Len, to ask his advice. Len told Paul that he considered the letter to be a little full on, but he shouldn’t give it too much thought. Paul asked Len if he thought it might be from a woman named Sherry, whom Len immediately instructed Paul not to visit.

So fast forward to now and Paul is knocking on Sherry’s door for the first time in a very, very long time. Sherry answers, her face turning from surprise to a slump.

“What the fuck Paul?” she says with a hushed tone.

“Sorry, is he here?” 

“No, he’s actually found his own place finally.”

“Well, that’s good.” Sherry’s face is unmoved by Paul’s reply. Paul asks if he can come in, Sherry hesitantly gives him permission.

Inside Sherry’s quaint but clearly well furnished flat, she allows Paul to engage with her in the lounge, but he is not granted the privilege of taking a seat. 

“You need to call before you can do this kind of thing.” Sherry explains.

“I don’t think I have your number anymore.”

“I know.”

“Right … I know you haven’t left so …”

“Selling up are we?” she snaps.

“No, why would I be?”

“I don’t know, music business ain’t what it was from what I heard.” Sherry correctly points out.

“I invested wisely.”

“How much of that was in silence Paul?”

“It is you isn’t it?” Paul says this with a serious lack of chill, very unlike a seasoned king of cool.

“I beg your pardon?”

“Have I not given you everything you ever needed?”

“Are you here for a fucking thank you?” Paul is pacing now. Sherry is backing away. “What’s going on?” She asks with some concern in her tone, concern for who is unclear.

“Sorry … I get it.”

“I don’t, and I really don’t.” Sherry is half smiling at this point.

“I know what I did, and I’m sorry.” Paul’s revelation brings Sherry to tears, unfortunately these tears accompany laughter. “Wow, now we get an apology.”

“That’s what you want isn’t it?

 “I don’t want anything, and if I did it wouldn’t be a fucking apology. I just care about my son.”

“What are you saying? I’ve just done what you asked me to do?” Paul is shaking now.

“I’m not giving you any thank you’s for doing right by him.”

“You know what …” Paul manages to stop himself with half his foot in his mouth.

“You best not be about to say anything really stupid?” Sherry is now in Paul’s personal space. Paul apologises and paces some more.

“You care to elaborate on why the fuck you’re here?” Sherry asks.

“Have you been writing letters to me?” Paul finally blurts it out. In the back of his mind he must surely know that just asking won’t get the truth out of her.

“Why would I even want to?” Sherry shakes her head.

“Revenge?”

“For what? I have all I need, you have what you want, what am I getting revenge for?”

“It’s just the letter mentioned some … some things.” Paul says, recalling Sherry’s much younger face at a lower angle.

“Like what?” Paul stalls to answer as he tries to navigate through the ruins of his memory.

“Being in care,” he remembers.

“I wasn’t in care!” Sherry is raising her voice little by little now.

“Yes, you were … Were you not?”

“You’re bloody losing it in your old age.”

“Oh shit.” Paul decides to take a seat and see how it plays out.

“I went to an all girls boarding school.”

“I remember now.” Paul has confused empathy for her situation with a misguided comparison.

“Paul I have no delusions that I was somehow special!”

“What?” Paul says, completely thrown.

“I can’t be the only one can I?”

 

Once Paul had convinced himself that Sherry was not writing the letters, he returned to his home, and decided against calling Len again as one telling off was enough for one day. Instead Paul did what he always did when he was feeling down. Watch old concert videos of himself. That evening he watched his performance on the Isle of Wight. Paul smiled when he saw his overly serious face, gurning and sweating as he pointed a microphone at the sea of the brainwashed. The sea would shout his lyrics back at him in unison, and Paul would strut about the stage, all sweaty and self important. This scene could never turn his smile upside down, never. 

Just as Paul watches himself sing the opening line to his favourite song from A Room With No View, the security lights bombard his eyes through the windows. The alarm system makes no sound, and excuse the obvious pun, this alarmed Paul. Paul looks to his showpiece fireplace, how he now wishes it was the real deal and a handy fire poker was within his reach. Paul looks out the windows and scans his Japanese-style front garden and driveway. Paul is looking for something other than an intruder. The presence of a fox, a deer or a badger would put his mind at ease, and allow him to continue admiring himself on his stupidly large television. Paul misses the eclipsed figure right in the middle of the gravel, as it seems too blatant and horror movie-like to be real. But the figure is there, and the figure is not running.

Now Paul rushes to the kitchen and chooses a meat mallet over a carving knife. This may be because knives require more skill than clobbering a stranger over the head with a meat mallet. Paul is many things, possibly even a killer if he can ever get to the bottom of one hazy memory, but he is no trained combatant. From the kitchen Paul makes a silent stepped approach to the front door. Paul should really call the Police, but this individual may have more dirt on Paul than he’d like to air out to the authorities, and this is too much of a coincidence to be unrelated to Pauls misguided fan mail.

Paul takes a stealthy approach to opening the door, hoping the surprise will startle his creepy visitor into bolting back into the outside world where he ought to remain. This does not happen. The dark figure stands their ground with an impressive cool. Paul and the figure stare each-other down, at least Paul thinks they are staring at each-other, the unwanted guest might have their eyes closed for all he knows. 

“Are you going to hurt me?” The figure says in a male sounding voice, which surprises Paul.

“Are you?” Paul replies, and how right he is too. Surely it’s the creepy intruder man who should be answering questions about intent in such a sitiuation.

“No, Paul,” the figure answers.

“Who is that?” Paul enquires.

“You’re Paul!”

“I mean who are you?” Paul says, missing out the key addition of ‘and what the fuck are you doing on my property you creepy weirdo’.

“Its Lee, Lee Ratcliffe,” says the figure now known as Lee

“Is that supposed to ring some bells?”

“Yes,” says Lee with a serious lack of menace.

“Have you been here before … delivering letters?” Asks Paul.

“Yes.”

“What do you want from me?”

“I just want to talk with you.”

“You ever thought about making an appointment?”

“I shouldn’t have to make an appointment, aye Paul?” This comment puzzles Paul because he has absolutely no clue who this person is, but they are certainly under the impression that they know him.

“Do you not remember me Paul?” Lee asks with less volume.

“I don’t know.”

“Oh … Can I come inside?”

“What do you think?” Snaps Paul.

“I think you probably want to know why I wrote the letters.” This is when the ‘damn it’ moment arrives in Pauls brain. The mysterious Lee Ratcliffe was bang on the money.

After some extra back and forth, and Lee having to prove he was not concealing any weapons in a manor that could have been a lot more efficient, Paul agreed to let him into his home. Now they stand at Paul’s large rustic wooden kitchen table on opposing sides. Paul has already helped himself to a brandy, but did not even think of offering Lee one. This is perhaps the best etiquette for creepy intruders who’ve blagged their way into your home.

“This kitchen seems very you Paul.” Lee remarks.

“My ex wife did everything … Except pay for it.” This brings a smirk to Lee’s face that puzzles Paul. Paul drinks more than he should, as Lee’s eyes become even more dilated. He too suffers from puppy eyes.

“I’d feel like … real safe in this house.” Lee says.

“When the alarm works you’d feel even safer.”

“I didn’t come to scare you.”

“Ok,” Paul says to his glass, now empty again.

“You’ve aged well, its like er, cheese.”

“Come again?” 

“Er … Sorry, sorry, I mean wine, that’s what I mean. Wine gets better the older it is doesn’t it? Well, when it’s in a bottle with the cork in I think.”

“Not all wine is the same.” Says Paul, now thinking about all his lovely wine.

“I know that.” Lee snaps a little, “What did you think of my letters?”

“I don’t know. I don’t really remember you,” Paul pauses as Lee deflates, “And to be honest…”

“Yes?” Lee doesn’t seem to like a sentence that features ‘to be honest’. Paul drinks some more, Lee rocks on his heels.

“It’s all very jumbled and confusing.” Paul says to Lee.

“I’m sorry.” Lee says to the heated floor.

“I’m even more confused now I know it was you.”

“Took me a long time to write those.” Mumbles Lee. Paul should laugh at this but he can’t be bothered.

“It’s not a critique, I’m just confused by what the point of them was.”

“I never finished school.” Lee says to the cosy heated floor once again.

“How do we…” Paul is quickly cut off by Lee, who seems to have jumped straight into a beautifully rehearsed monologue; “I was in care for most of my childhood, and I didn’t really have any good friends, and I did lots of drugs and drank lots of cider, not always cider actually, but that was my main favourite. So I didn’t go to school much. And after that I didn’t go to work much, I just carried on doing the same thing really. Then I did jail a few times, but like quite a few times, in fact I just did jail recently, that’s kind of why I haven’t been to see you before you see. But then the book came out when I came out and I just thought like … no, sounds stupid.”

“At this point you may as well continue.” Paul says with his jaw extended further than a bower constrictor at dinner time. 

“Felt like it was a sign I reckon.” Paul waits for more, realising Lee’s spoken words are equally as confusing as his written ones.

“Why were you in jail?”

“Attempted robbery, or was that the time before? Something robbery related.”

“Sounds like you’ve had a, you know, not an easy life.”

“I’ve had a blessed life I think. Not everyone got to have what I had with you.” Lee says to Paul this time. Paul  can only stare into Lee’s puppy eyes, forgetting to use any facial muscles to feign the slightest bit of empathy.

“After Knebworth, we went to that hotel, oh what was it called?”

“The Glen,” Paul impresses himself with this quick recollection.

“Yes, wow what a place aye Paul?” beams Lee.

“Do you want money?” Paul cuts to the logical chase.

“What do you mean?” Lee says, his sails now abandoned by the wind.

“You know what I mean. I don’t remember much but I remember enough.”

“I remember it all.” Paul cannot read Lee’s face, so he looks over to the knife rack behind him. Paul curses himself inside for not planning ahead.

“You must understand, it was a different time, we were all very free spirited back then. I’d never even thought about being with a man.”

“I was not a man Paul.” Paul is caught in the headlights. “You were the first person I’d been with in that way, know what I mean?”

“Right, but like I said, when you’re given so much attention all the time, it carries you away.”

The Wind That Carries Me Back,” Lee blurts.

“Come again?” Asks Paul, as Lee launches into tone deaf song, “All the love I get from different cities to the coast, the love you give me matters the most. No matter how much they give I am still alone, it’s the love give me that’s bringing me home. I always knew you were talking to me.”

“Through that song?” Asks Paul.

“Yes,” says Lee with a smile that is almost cutting his head in half, as Paul quits glancing over toward the knives.

“That song was written for my ex wife. It was an apology for all the infidelity.”

“I know, it says that in the book.” Paul is waiting for more words but they do not come.

“So,” Paul digs.

“I know you can’t put all the secret details of your life out there, even though it would be fine, you’re not like most people. You’re special Paul,” Says Lee, as Paul tilts his head. “I mean, you’ve given so much to everyone, we owe it to you to give it back.” Lee’s smile has somehow gotten even bigger. Paul has a flash back from watching the movie Misery for the first time on acid with three Ecuadorian hookers.

“Why did you come here tonight?” Paul asks.

“Because now it felt right, the universe spoke and I responded.”

“How did it speak?”

“Through the book, Paul.” At this point, Lee is practically a free standing pile of goo. Paul remembers that the lead character in Misery was a novelist named Paul.

“You have no idea how much I think about that night, and I know you’ve had many, but how many like that though Paul? Seriously!”

“I’m not gay.” Paul’s attempt to shut down the direction of the conversation needed more thought.

“Neither am I, I think there’s a name for it. Oh shit what is it.” Lee is pacing now, and Paul is feeling for his phone. It’s not in his pocket. Oh shit.

“Its like you don’t have a sexual preference when it comes to finding true love.”

“I don’t know what that is.”

“Even when I was at my worst, and you should relate cos you did lots of drugs too, I always knew I would find you again.”

“I don’t know what you think I said to you?”

“That you’d never done this before,” Lee says as he leans into an awkward swaying routine, “and that I was special.”

“I said that?” Paul asks with mild surprise.

“Yes.”

“Well you know what lots of drugs and alcohol does to you.”

“I didn’t until that night.” Lee’s reply is too happy for Paul.

“I did a lot of things, I was young, I had lots of money, fame, drugs and … just too much stuff. I was wrong for doing it ok, totally wrong.”

“Don’t be silly.” Lee says with syrupy sweetness. Paul shuts this down. “No, you must understand that it was all in the moment. It was stupid, I was young and stupid, you were younger and naive.”

“I’m not young and naive now Paul.” 

Lee’s smile has gone.

“Sure. But, you know, memories can be deceptive, and I think you’ve…”

“What do you think of me?” Paul is looking into Lee’s eyes to read some kind of cue, Paul then remembers he has no skill at this.

“I don’t know you.” Says Paul.

“But you did?” Says a re-deflated Lee.

“For one night, one night I can’t properly remember. That barely qualifies you as an acquaintance, and I’m sorry, what I did was disgusting.”

“That’s the drink talking,” half mumbles Lee.

“Oh come on!” This is all Paul can think of, and he needed to think of something better because now Lee is crying.

“I think you should…” Paul can’t finish this line because Lee is rushing to the knife rack. Paul reacts faster than he thought possible. They both clasp at the largest carving knife. Paul uses his withered frame to push Lee off, this would usually never work, and it doesn’t. Lee barges Paul away without a sweat. Paul makes a sensible decision for once, and bolts it out the kitchen, fleeing into his lounge and locking the door behind him. 

Lee does not pursue. 

Paul can hear him from the kitchen unleashing a scream that could make a man cry before he feels fear. 

Paul is now throwing up onto his carpet. He is surprised by the patterns, and wonders when on earth he last paid it any attention. Once Paul realises he can’t avoid reality like that, he listens at the door. All he can hear is lite sobbing, and it still sounds like it is coming from the kitchen.

“Lee, Lee … I’m calling the Police.”

“You don’t need to do that Paul.”

“Maybe if you leave right now I won’t.”

“Help me.” Lee does not sound as murderous as Paul expected. “Please Paul, there’s so much blood.” Paul had never really been the sharpest pencil in art class, but he works out what’s going on fairly quick. Paul grabs the heaviest thing he can find, a marble bust of Jerry Lee Lewis of all things, and creaks the door open. Through the initial gap he spies Lee in a seated position on the kitchen floor. Paul proceeds back to the kitchen with caution. Lee’s left arm is opened up like a split barbecued sausage. Paul can’t quite take in how much blood there is, and the sombre reality that he will have to clean this up later darkens the mood even more. The knife is far from Lee on the other side of the kitchen, Paul positions himself between it and Lee.

“What have you done?” Paul asks, and yes, it is a silly question.

“This happens sometimes.” Lee says this like a naughty ten year old. 

“You need to go to hospital.” Paul has already envisioned the newspaper headline if Lee dies in his kitchen. No-one will think of Barrymore after this.

“Do you have any bandages?”

“Right er…” Paul looks around the kitchen, but with the knife always on his radar. “Upstairs, can you stand?”

“Is that Frank Sinatra Junior?” Paul realises he still has the bust in his hand.

“No, it’s Jerry Lee Lewis.”

“Didn’t he murder his cousin?”

“No, he… it’s not important.”

“Why do you have that?” Says Lee, with super blood shot puppy peepers.

“I was a big fan.”

“I mean now, in your hand?” Lee says with genuine surprise. Paul thinks he has finally worked Lee out. 

“Were you going to hurt me?” Asks Lee.

“Hurt you?”

“Sorry, I shouldn’t think such things about you.” Lee looks down at his gaping wound. “I could really do with a hug right now.” Paul desperately wants to roll his eyes, but all things considered, that would be a big no-no.

“You need help, and not just for the obvious.”

“Love is all we need. Sorry, I know that’s not your lyrics, I’m a little dizzy right now.”

“Yeah,” Paul is out of ideas on what he should say, but his desire for this thing to just end itself without his contribution is a real shot in the dark.

“Will you take care of me?”

“We should get up to the bathroom.”

“That’s not what I mean.”

“Um…” Paul replies without any care for how it might come across.

“I’m very lucky you know, many people probably have it better than me, but they don’t really. They haven’t been blessed with my experience. They’d be jealous.” Paul’s impatience has left the building.

“Jealous!” Paul stands up, “No. No no no.”

“I mean the music gives us so much joy, the hardest times are never so bad with The Bluest Colour on repeat.” Lee preaches.

“The fucking bluest colour?” Growls Paul.

“Paul, it’s your masterpiece.”

“It’s just sonics, and vibrations, and melodies that trick your brain into releasing happy chemicals. Its like drugs for fuck sake.”

“But its better than drugs, it’s not harmful.”

“Not harmful! Look at yourself?” Paul gestures to exhibit A, the gaping wound.

“I did that!”

“Why are you here?” Paul says, with an eye on the distant hallway clock.

“Because I love you?”

“You love me?”

“Yes,” Lee says, as talking becomes more of an effort.

“No, you think you love me,”

“That’s not true.”

“What’s my best album?”

The Bluest Colour is the best, but not my real favourite.” Lee says on the defence.

“And?”

“You know.”

“No I do not.” Paul snaps.

“You do Paul,” Lee says as he reverts to his little boy tired routine. 

“Tell me!” Paul is shouting now, and really shouting. 

“Please don’t shout, I’m feeling very tired.” 

Paul paces right up to Lee. At closer inspection, he is rather pale.

“Come on Lee, just tell me?” Paul asks with a new lease of calm. Without fear Lee answers with “The Best of.” Paul sandwich slaps his head, laughing like he was being tickled and told the worlds second worse joke at the same time.

“What kind of fan are you?” Paul berates.

“I’m not just a fan Paul.” Lee withers to a regardless Paul, who has ceased noticing the steady deterioration every time Lee speaks a new sentence. “This is how much you love me? The fucking best of?” Paul has not been this pissed off since a Russian bouncer didn’t know who he was at The Ivy on Boxing day. 

Lee explains with no sense of urgency, and a very disrespectful breath gathering habit, how The Best of is the greatest because it has all the best songs. On paper that sounds reasonable, but when tested in reality it is about as convincing as the most unconvincing example you can think of. Paul is now sinking a bottle of Domaine Leroy ’67, hoping that at the bottom of it is some sort exit from this most shitty of situations. Paul releases the bottle from his lips because now is the time.

“What do you think of A Room With No View?” Paul asks, towering over an almost translucent Lee.

“I need some help Paul.”

“Tell me?”

“I just… [breath] don’t [breath] think that [breath] Chinese drums work [breath] with prog rock.” Paul launches the Domaine Leroy ’67 at the wall, its demise is brutal. 

“It’s fucking Japanese Koto drumming you fucking arsehole.” Paul is practically frothing now. “My fans, my real fans know, that’s how I know you’re full of plop.”

“Paul [breath] I [breath] love…” Lee’s next breath takes too much effort to complete. 

“BOLLOCKS!” Paul stomps out the kitchen as if he has regressed to his toddler years, or the period of 1982 to 1985 when he was a real petulant piece of work.

“Paul [long breath] come ba… [long breath].” 

Paul does not. 

Instead Paul found himself in one of the many unused bedrooms upstairs. This room was reserved for fan mail, not just any fan mail though. This fan mail had been carefully sorted by Paul’s assistants over the years, then the very best ones were hand picked by Paul and put special boxes. There were boxes upon boxes of gushing scripture written by loyal servants of rock. Paul is now rummaging through one box with a big heart painted on it. Paul yanks out letter after letter and shouts out the endless over the top praise heaped upon him about his personal masterpiece, A Room With No View. 

As Paul bellows his confirmation biases from upstairs, Lee is dragging his weak body across the kitchen towards a silly marble telephone way on the other side.

“…This album speaks to me in ways you cannot begin to understand. It really shows your inner being, it’s very much like you Paul, it’s stunning and brave.” Paul yells. Lee is halfway to his destination and replying with painful groans, but his momentum is stalling.

Paul rummages for more confirmations of his brilliant decisions.

 “Listen to this one Lee, this guy, this fucking guy… Paul no matter what the detractors say, you and I know how wrong they are. A Room With No View is a masterpiece, and I don’t care what most of the fans say about it because we know they aren’t proper fans anyway. Hear that Lee, you fucking hear that?” There is no reply, not even a groan or tearful plea.

“Lee? Lee?” Paul is not a man who takes being ignored lightly. He stomps down the stairs with wide eyes and venom oozing all over his once stunning and brave aura. Paul is confronted by a trail of blood leading to a wheezing pale skinned shape that is now Lee. 

“Did you hear me Lee?” Lee seems to reply with a gasp and gargle combination. 

“Proper fans understand the artist, proper fans support the artist, for it is the artists vision that shows the artists integrity, and integrity through art is what is important. He signs off, love and more love, your loyal fan Johnny. That’s a real fan Lee, that’s real love Lee.” 

Lee is no longer displaying any signs of life.

“Lee?” Paul shouts before prodding Lee with his right foot. “Answer me. Lee? Lee!” Paul kneels down to check Lee’s pulse. It has left the building. Paul looks around at the mess of blood, glass, and Domaine Leroy ’67, and all he can do is shout “fuck”.

 

The dread that had loomed over Paul earlier was unnecessary, he didn’t end up having to clean up the horrid mess Lee had left. Len, as always, came to the rescue. But Len did not clean up the blood and dump the body in Epping forest, Len’s business brain was far too good for that. 

“Everything is an opportunity, you gotta be fluid like water Paul, I keep telling you this.” Len said to a drunken Paul as he continuously boo-hoo’d about his problems. Len did not touch the body or clean the floor, but he did clean up the remains of the Domaine Leroy ’67. After that he hit Paul over the back of the head with Jerry Lee Lewis’s bust and called the Police. The story Len concocted was a masterpiece in bullshit. A deranged fan, which had a degree of legitimacy, had gotten into Paul’s grounds and broken into the house via a back door that Len had actually told Paul time and again to get replaced. The fan waited for Paul in the kitchen and demanded he perform a personal one hour acoustic set. Paul was fearful and obliged, because he loves ALL his fans. Once the set was finished the fan battered Paul over the head. Why? Because he wanted Paul to witness his suicide as his life’s ambition was now complete. But Paul protested this, because Paul loves ALL his fans, so Lee had to knock him unconscious in order to fulfil his ambition. 

The press lapped it up, and the fans, ALL the fans, carpet bombed Paul with well wishes. The book bolted to the number one spot. But that wasn’t best of all, A Room With No View, the ‘mis-understood’ ‘stunning’ and ‘brave’ ‘masterpiece’ recorded and released in 1984, stampeded back into the charts. Of all the albums to make a sudden resurgence, this one was quite the surprise, but not for Paul and certainly not for Len. Because that private personal acoustic set was a full rendition of the album in its entirety, minus tin whistles and koto drums.

Paul had finally gotten the recognition he ‘deserved,' and Lee, well what about Lee? Lee’s contribution to the world was unimpressive and therefore quite forgettable, he is only remembered as the lunatic fan who invaded Paul Maplin’s home. Lucky for Lee to have invaded the home of someone so beloved.


Submitted: May 29, 2021

© Copyright 2021 AlexPost. All rights reserved.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:


Facebook Comments

More Humor Short Stories

Other Content by AlexPost

Short Story / Humor