Category Archives: Session XIX

Epilogue (synopsis)

Sadie and Seamus speak via a Facebook chat [author’s note: unlike most of the main characters, Sadie and Seamus prefer FB over Myspace]. The dialogue between the two begins as a casual catching up with things lately (Sadie talks about the group getting together again at last and the awkwardness), but it turns into something of closure for the two. Sadie and Seamus come to the conclusion that they aren’t to blame for what almost happened and that even Chev isn’t entirely at fault since he was not really in his right mind (that doesn’t entirely excuse him, though his sobering up shows that he gives a shit about himself and others). Seamus and Sadie come to terms, as well, with their unrequited love (Seamus for Sadie; Sadie for Dizzie) that will never actually come into fruition because the other person does not/cannot feel the same way. Their friendships remain most important (d’awww!). They realize they’ve been talking for a very long time and about more than they intended. Though it is daytime for Seamus, Sadie states that she is unusually tired and states she will sleep well (having had a burden finally taken from her). The end.


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Concert (incomplete)

Kira’s band was friggin’ phenomenal. And it made Dizzie more than a little jealous. Even so, she was cheering so loud the people around her were giving her funny looks. But you know what? Fuck them.

“That’s my fuckin’ girl up there! That’s my baby girl up on stage!” She elbows the guy next to her. “The brown one on the stage. Isn’t she precious?” Dizzie bounces up and down, screaming at the top of her lungs.

Kira must have heard her yelling like an idiot because she grimaced slightly. She was going to regret inviting Dizzie to the front row.

Unlike their old band, where everyone’s instruments crashed violently together, the [band name] had more of a jazzy appeal and focused on solos. Kira had become a master of the power chord. And again, Dizzie was jealous. What had she done lately? Did she ever even hold a candle to Kira?

“That’s my sweet baby darling! Go get ’em! Fuck ’em up!” The guy next to her had stepped away. There was a small empty bubble around Dizzie on the concert floor.

“Oh well,” she mumbled to herself. “Fuck ’em.”

Kira finished her solo and kneeled down toward Dizzie. “Thank you,” she mouthed. Dizzie winked at her.

Kira winked at

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Argument (unfinished)

“Tell her I died. She’d be happier that way.”

Chev was sitting at the edge of his bed, sulking, but Dakota was having none of it.

“That’s not true. The whole gang needs to be back together. You included.”


“Chev. You told me not a month past that you’d be willing to do anything for me after I took you in and sobered your ass up…”

“Not this.”

“Yes. This. This or nothing. It’s the only thing I’d ask of you. Isn’t this part of your twelve steps? To apologize to people you’ve wronged.”

“Don’t have to do it in person.”

“Yes. You do.”

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I really hadn’t seen Sadie much once I’d handed her the piano. I figured since I had triggered a suicidal episode, it was best that I keep my distance. Even so, it was really lonely for a while. Kira was mad at me for a while (and I guess with good reason), Dakota is Canadian (as usual) but also I heard Chev was up there to. I’m still a little torn about that whole idea ever since he told me. Seamus and I didn’t talk too much after what happened but now he’s set sail for Ireland, of all places. I’ve always had the same friends; I don’t even know how to make new ones:

“You okay?” Sadie asks.

“Yeah, I was just thinking,” I tell her.

“That’s so un-Dizzie-like.”

“Yeah, I know. But look at you, all smiles. Remember when you used to spend all lunch staring at your food? I always thought your lunch must have had some interesting things to say.”

“Is that why you wanted to talk to me back then? To find out what my lunch was saying?”

“Oh, I was such an attention whore. You know that!”

She looked good. Healthy. Her hair had grown out but she kept it trimmed back so it didn’t cover her face. The wind from the moonroof whipped her hair violently but her eyes were closed, her face serene. I was jealous.

The Foo Fighters “All my Life” was playing quietly on the radio. “I like this song,” I said, wanting to change the subject from high school and the past. The energy from the song, quickening my heartbeats. Kira once told me that music rises out of the Earth and it needs somewhere to go. Try to contain it and you’ll just go crazy. Music needs to rise. So, I usually keep the moonroof open when the radio’s on. Kira also said that her ears lost their virginity when she heard Dave Grohl for the first time. I guess I really can’t escape from the past.

“Do you think every song has a collective memory?”

Sadie opens her eyes, taking this question more seriously than I’d anticipated. “Maybe. I think it’s more that music invokes something from our own personal memories. But you never know. There could be something locked inside there that comes from something more spiritual.”

Sadie talks like that now. I mean, she always said weird shit, but she’s been focused on spirituality a lot, even if she’s not completely sold on the same interpretation of God that her mother believes in.

We pull to the curb. I haven’t seen Sadie’s place in forever. It all looks the same from the outside. But smaller, I guess. Isn’t that how shit always works?

“You won’t recognize it,” Sadie says. “We redecorated.”

I really didn’t. The second we walked in, I could see sunny wallpaper all over the place. Then I looked down and there was a huge piano taking up a third of the living room.

“What the F is that monstrosity?” I gasp.

“It used to belong to my aunt.” I stayed respectfully silent. Sadie had a time where she lost someone close to her every year. I took her as proof that God doesn’t exist. “Mom had it in storage and took it out when she saw me practicing in the hospital.” She is almost jumping up and down now and I wonder if she just downed a shot of Monster while I wasn’t looking. “Take a seat! I want you to listen.”

Before I know it, I’m being ushered to an old twine-seated chair, planting my butt on a must cushion. Sadie takes a seat on the piano stool and begins playing a somewhat familiar tune. Then she starts singing:

“I’ve got a little black book with my poems in…”

Her voice is like holding a fragile baby bird in my hands. I don’t think I’d ever heard Sadie sing before. I’m entranced and the music flows through me or out of me. Maybe both. She has some false starts and is in the wrong key at parts, but she is completely into it. Sadie’s been practicing her ass off for the past year to get to this point.

When Sadie ends on “roots,” the last key dies out and I feel like something was left unfinished. My dad used to play that song when he was sad and drinking. I always wanted the singer to finish what he was going to say. It was always something of a relief when he started singing about Vera Lynn.

Sadie is just sitting there on the stool. My twine chair creaks as I move toward her. She wipes her face and I touch her shoulder. “Sadie?”

Her voice is fragile and broken. “I’m okay.” Delicate as a tiny bird.

I hug her from behind and kiss her on the top of the head. “You’re amazing.”

I’m not sure what is going through her head, but she seems to relax. Something she is holding inside just seems to rise right out of her lungs in one wrenching sigh.

“Thank you.”

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Hockey (unfinished)

Chev felt like a truck ran over his chest and then shat on it, so he had little fight in him when Dakota and his buddies decided to take him out to play hockey.

“I’m American. We don’t even play hockey.”

“It’s okay,” said Dakota. “You’ll be on my team. I’ll show you the ropes.”

One of Dakota’s friends was a hawk-faced bastard named Dean. “You going to drag that Yank around, Dakota? I feel sorry for ya.”

Chev ground his teeth together. “How does it feel to be America’s hat? Thanks for keeping us warm.”

“Oh?” Dean had a shit-eating grin plastered to his face. He looked to his guys and they started smiling too. “I was under the impression that America was Canada’s bitch, eh? We’re bigger and on top.”

Their muffled mitten hands slapped together in celebration. Chev always thought that America was a bigger country than Canada, but he hated this guy either way.

Dakota nudged him in the ribs. “Just a little pre-game banter. No worries.”

Chev coughed from deep in his chest. He was exhausted.

“I haven’t skated since I was fourteen years old.”

Dakota smiled and shrugged. “Should be exciting, then!”

After some deliberation, Chev decided not to strangle Dakota. He was too tired, anyway.

* * *

The hockey game went splickety-splack. Stuff happened.

* * *

Chev passed out when they got home but woke up to the sound of drumbeats. Bump. Bump. Bump. It was monotone but consistent, like a heartbeat. He felt drawn to the rhythm just on the other side of his walls. He opened the door and a flood of light washed over his eyes. It felt like some tiny man was punching the back of his eyeballs. The drumming had stopped. Chev rubbed his eyes, blinked out the light, and saw Dakota and his buddies in a drum circle, getting high as kites to the point where they couldn’t even play right.

“You fucking hippies,” Chev grumbled. He pushed Dean out of the way. “Hand me the drums.” They stared at him. “All of them. Now, please!”

He patted one drum, tightened it up, patted another and loosened it. This went on for a good fifteen minutes. The Canadians simply watched this strange, strung-out American tooling around.

Then Chev paused, took a deep breath, and began hammering at the drums. He could feel his muscles protesting. They weren’t used to exertion, especially after getting owned out in the bitter cold in a game of hockey. Chev was in no condition to do anything much, but the music quickened with his heartbeat and he felt a rush of energy like he hadn’t felt since he was first getting high. The drums made a semi-circle around him and he beat on them all in a rapid progression. He started to breath heavily and leapt out of his sitting position. His hands came down like thunderclaps. His deep inhalations caught in his chest and he suddenly began coughing so hard he was heaving on the floor. Everyone came to help him, though the crowding only made him more nauseous.

Dakota tucked him back into bed. He had no dreams that night, but if he did, they would have been about music.

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I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, so I decided to go by ship. Maryland has treated me well over the years, but I need a change of scenery. So, to Ireland I go. My dad was disappointed I didn’t want to go to Italy; my mom was scared for me because she’d grown up in the thick of the fighting between the IRA and the Protestant government. Thanks to my mom, I never had a rivers of Guinness and Lucky Charms view of the Emerald Isle. The Irish have their bastards and assholes just like everyone else.

But still, this is what I want to do. The environment I’d lived in was poisoning me to some extent. Granted, I’d let that happen, but I had to go somewhere else to break past ties and past habits. Especially after everything that happened with Chev and Dizzie, it was hard to show my face around the house. I think I knew then that as soon as I was out of high school, I was going to go somewhere else.

The ocean is beautiful but it’s not really as blue as everyone says. There are greens mixed in and if you stare hard enough, the darkest blacks. I felt like that’s how much of my life has been, though growing up I never really used to look down at the darkness underneath. The younger Seamus would have looked down and saw only blue; now I can’t stop staring at the water, now mixed with reds and oranges from the sunset.

Having always lived on the East Coast, this is my first time seeing a sunset on the ocean. I can only say that I would recommend it to anyone. There are a lot of couples on the ship, holding hands and watching. The captain told us that the conditions are right for a green flash. He quoted Jules Verne, who called it the “true green of Hope.”  I’m not sure what to look for, but I’ve never been so intent on the sun. I don’t care if it ruins my eyes. I don’t care. I want to see hope for myself, to know that what I’m doing right now is the right thing for future Seamus.

I can see heads turning as the sun turns a deep blood red. Ahead of me lies the greenest hills and the darkest beers. Ahead of me lies old family ties and a new beginning.

The horizon eats away at the sun and I wonder if the green will ever come out. Maybe some eyes don’t see it at all. And then, just as predicted, a tiny dot of the brightest emerald green glows at the apex of our setting Sol. And just like that, it’s gone.

I sit there long afterwards amidst the newlyweds sucking face and wondered if all there was to hope was just a flicker. For some reason, maybe because I’m a hopeless romantic, but I feel like I have experienced a change this day. My childhood has officially ended.

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Dakota had been telling Chev for years to come out and find him if he needed help or a place to stay. Of course, the only catch was he couldn’t use anymore. So, it came as a shock when he heard a raspy, shivering voice over the phone.

“I need a place to stay.”

Dakota paused. “Chev?”

“Yeah. Who’d you think it was?”

“I’m sorry. You just sound… are you all right?”

At the end of a trail of coughs, Chev says that he’s not.

“I just tried to hang myself with a shoelace. It snapped”

Dakota wanted to laugh and cry all at once. He sounded so embarrassed. Chev was always impulsive but at least he wasn’t dead yet and for that, Dakota was thankful. The girls, and Seamus too, had all given up on Chev after what he’d done to Dizzie. Dakota kind of hoped he could salvage the old Chev.

“I’ll have a plane ticket ready for you if you want it.”

The line was quiet and Dakota thought the call had been dropped. “Hello? Chev?” He heard a sniff, like the person on the other line had been crying.

“Can I leave tonight?”

“Sure. I mean, but don’t you need to pack or something?”

“I don’t have anything. My dad kicked me out months ago.”

“Where have you been living?” Dakota asked, though he kind of guessed at the answer but it still surprised him when Chev spoke.

“Nowhere. A shelter.”

Dakota weighed his next words. “Do you have a way of getting to the airport?”

“I’m in walking distance.”

“How long?”

“Two hours, maybe three?”

Dakota sighed. “I’ll see what I can do. Can you call me when you get there?”

“Yeah. Don’t have a charger for this phone, though. It’s, uh, not mine.”

“Turn it off while you’re walking, then,” Dakota said, but he remembered something. “Chev! Promise me  you’ll go through with this. You’re going to go straight to the airport, right?”


* * *

After their talk, Dakota had called everyone he knew. It would take a lot more than just one friend to take care of and keep an eye on Chev.

Dakota shifted from one foot to the other. Chev finally came out of the airport and he looked like Hell. He was dangerously thin and painful to look at. He’d always had some weight on him but now it wasn’t even the same Chev. Dakota was worried that the Chev he knew had been peeled away.

“How was your flight?”

“Landing was a bitch. Security practically buttfucked me.”

“But at least you’re here.”

“Yeah. Fuckin’ cold, though.”

Dakota handed Chev a coat.

“What’s this?” Chev asked, eyeing the garment suspiciously.

“Just a jumper.”

“A what?”

“A sweater. You know, to keep warm.”

Chev took it without saying anything. He put it over his shoulders. It was too big but he kept it there.

“I’m tired,” he said.

Dakota wanted to laugh. Or cry.

“Let’s get you home.”

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