9th May 2014
Pierre called me. A first in a million years. I know. Exaggeration, but seriously. It’s not like we really had much to talk about in the last…lifetime. Not really. Not after all the lies. The betrayal. The hurt. Which, to be fair, wasn’t my fault. Nor his. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, really. Well, not anyone that actually mattered.
David once said to me that it was the industry that was the problem. Profound for someone who had difficulty pinning things down at the best of times. Though at the same time not surprising, since he is a creative at heart. Pierre is too. Chuck on the other hand is a more logical person and that’s why he and Pierre clashed at the moments that counted. Seb and Jeff? Well, they were, are, a mix. And, oddly they were the least effected. Or, apparently so.
Anyway… Pierre called me. Wanting to talk. About an idea he had. Oh, and the fact that it was his birthday and he wanted to catch up.
I’m thirty-five, Pat…and none of us are getting any younger… His words. And, so true. Though sometimes I feel a hundred years old after everything that’s happened.
I guess I’m not making much sense, am I? What am I even talking about? Well, perhaps I should start by saying that this is a story about a band. No. That’s wrong. It’s a story about five young men who thought they were a band. I mean, they were a band. But…it’s complicated.
Oh, and it’s my story too. Though, I’m more a bystander than anything. Pierre would vehemently disagree with that. And so would the fans. They call me the sixth member of Simple Plan. Kind of them…and not something I take lightly.
I see myself more as the person who’s here to tell their story. Makes sense, right? I was their web guy, and merch guy, and videographer, before they went all pro…well, before management pushed me out. I’m not bitter. Many would say I’d be entitled to the emotion. I gather they just didn’t want me looking too closely. Not that they needed to worry about me.
Pierre Bouvier was the crack in the perfect vessel that the Label had created…
* * *
I was telling you Pierre called me, and I never did get to the point, did I? Well, we talked about banal things, as you do. And then Pierre dropped the bombshell.
Chuck and I are getting together to write songs.
I’m still trying to get my head around that.
The traffic right now is going slow as I sit here on the highway. However, it’s still going faster than my brain. I’m on my way to Pierre’s to find out what the Hell is going on. I don’t even want to hazard a guess… it’s too shocking if I’m going to be completely honest about it.
My phone buzzed at me. Shifting gears and checking my Bluetooth connection, I answered with a grunt.
“Where are you?” Pierre.
“Stuck in traffic, dude.” I grimaced at the long line of cars ahead of me, no end in sight. “I’ll be there when I can…”
“Get some beer; David just rocked up in a complete mess.” Pierre sounded distracted, which wouldn’t be surprising if what he said was true.
“David’s in L.A.?” I said and shook my head, squeezing the steering wheel.
“Yeah. He lives here, remember?”
I scratched my cheek as I finally passed the tollbooth. “I didn’t forget. He was away.”
Pierre scoffed and said, “Right. Well, see you soon.” He hung up after that and I heaved a sigh as I continued to wait for the traffic to move.
* * * * *
A million years later… well, again, not really… and I could see the apartments where Pierre lived with his special girl. No, he hasn’t a girlfriend. I’m referring to Delilah his Chihuahua. I sat for a moment in the guest parking chewing over what I was likely to witness. And as I sat there a beat up rental pulled up next to me, and a familiar bald scalp came into view. I blinked then rolled down my window.
Jeff halted next to my window and smiled as he said, sounding equally as surprised, “Pat? Did Pierre call you too?”
I nodded as I got out of my car. “He tell you what he’s up to?”
“Yeah, and I don’t get it. But, guess we’ll find out what’s doing, eh?”
Slapping my palms together, I felt like my head was going to fall off my shoulders as I made my way for the entrance.
Pierre was standing there. He must’ve seen us pull into the parking bays.
“Dude, where’s the beer?”
I groaned, shaking my head and slapping him on the shoulder as I walked past him. “Hi to you too, Pierre.”
He half smiled as he tapped his fist to Jeff’s. “Took your time.”
I rolled my eyes as I took the stairs to his floor two at a time; his statement wasn’t even worth a response. And, I really just wanted to get this over with. Whatever this even was.
“And you couldn’t even get the beer.”
Stopping at the top of the stairs, I turned to face him, feeling this sudden wave of anger rush through me. Irrational, I know, but I had just driven for God knew how long to find out what the Hell he was up to and I was in no mood to be treated as if this was some normal visit.
His pupils dilated as he must’ve seen some of what I was feeling flash across my face.
“Fuck you, Bouv. I didn’t come over here to be nagged.” Pierre recoiled at my words, opening his mouth to protest; but I didn’t let him get a word in. “If you want me to stay, you could at least be civil.” I turned and stomped into his apartment, not realising a shocked David was standing just by the door.
I only realised when he was suddenly wrapped around my shoulders and his too loud voice was in my ear.
“Hey, dude! Dude! You’re finally here!”
I smiled as I managed to extricate myself from his arms and turned to face him. David hadn’t changed, much. His hair was longer, though. And he looked older. But, didn’t we all?
“David.” I couldn’t really think of anything to say, so just nodded at him. He didn’t seem fazed, though, grinning at me before spinning on his heels and heading further into the apartment.
I followed him into a spacious living room, dominated by the grand piano that Pierre had purchased in a fit of passion a couple of years earlier. I remembered asking him why he bothered. He just shrugged and said he thought it looked cool…
David plopped himself down on the bench, kicking his feet out.
“Been a long time, man.”
I nodded as I remained standing in the middle of the room. “Yeah, I never did call you.” And I felt bad about it.
“You were hurt as much as the rest of us,” Pierre said as he and Jeff joined us. If that wasn’t the truth, I really don’t know what was. But, I believed I’d moved on from all that.
I shook my head, slowly. “It’s no excuse, though.”
Pierre clapped a hand to my shoulder and said, “Maybe not. But you always come back to us.” My brow furrowed at his words. He gave me a meaningful look as Chuck walked through the door that lead to the kitchen, carrying a case of beer.
“Hey, Pat…a little help here?”
I allowed myself a small chuckle as I went over to relieve him of his load. He heaved a sigh and smiled at me muttering his thanks. I nodded, setting the case down on top of the piano. David raised his eyebrows at me. I ignored him as I snagged a bottle and turned to face Chuck, and Pierre.
The latter was leaning against the large windows, facing away from me, his brows down over his eyes, expression dark.
“You going to talk, Bouv?” I said. His shoulders lifted as his eyes slewed toward me.
“Must think I’m crazy, Pat. After what I said.”
I smirked. “You and Chuck, writing.”
Pierre tilted his chin down. “Oui. You know how things were between us.” He rubbed at the back of his neck. A nervous gesture, I knew. He closed his eyes then said, “We’ve come a long way from the kids we were back then…”
I had to agree with that.
We were too young to know what we really wanted back then.