The last light of the day faded out of the Los Angeles skyline. I stepped out of my apartment building and stayed in the doorway, leaning on the stone wall surrounding it. It had barely rained today yet the sidewalk was still wet. I walked out into the dark night, looking around the city. I smiled and looked at out at the sidewalk. I pulled my fur coat around my body and fixed my stockings. The air was cold but bearable. It was much colder than what Los Angeles had been in the past few months. I didn’t think much of it as Los Angeles did seem to get a bit colder during the winter months. My feet took me to the corner I normally stood at. The clacking of my heels was the only sound to fill the silence that was LA at night. I leaned against the wall and lit up a cigarette. I looked out across the street and at the people walking around, enjoying their lives. I smiled lightly and tried to live vicariously though them.
I moved lightly from my spot and began walking downtown. I wanted to do something fun. Window shop and people watch for the most part. Maybe I’d even go to a club when it got late enough. My feet guided me to where I wanted to go. Downtown was about a thirty minute walk from where I was at the moment. I smiled at the setting sun and looked at the people coming towards me. Most of them were druggies. I smiled and looked around the city, looking at the streets that once held music. I smiled lightly and looked at the broken down theaters with empty windows. Music flowed out of bars and pumped up the people waiting in line to pay the cover fee. On one side of the street there were goths with their high hair and boots. The other side of the street held women in sparkly dresses and men in nice tuxes. I smiled to myself and kept walking, moving into the middle of the street to take in the sounds of the night.
The chatter of women and men talking to each other. The gruff voice of the bouncer. A guitar singing over the lead singer’s voice. Drummers keeping the beat to hundreds, if not thousands of hearts. Singers wailing like a banshee in the night, feeding off the energy of the screaming fans. Bassists growling like wolves on the hunt, barely heard over all the noise. The screaming fans covering up the lead singer, letting out chokes and screams as if they were being murdered by the words being sung. There was a concert going on in the theater up the street. I could see the nights spent doing cocaine binges to hanging over the toilet in a drunken haze. Sex in the bathroom stall of some sleazy venue and waking up in a hotel room not knowing who is next to you. The time of your life to waiting in the nearest Planned Parenthood waiting on the results of an STD test, a pregnancy test or both. Or standing at the funeral of a dead friend. They had died from a cocaine overdose the night before.
I could almost see Elvis Presley dying on his toilet, heaving out his last breathes or Kurt Cobain blowing his head off in Seattle. I could hear the fans screaming and wailing at the top of their lungs, waiting for an idol that will never come home. Their hearts no longer have a steady beat. Wolves are no longer chasing them down, they had nothing to fear anymore. They will no longer hum along to the wordless voice. I almost forget that the people I idolize have problems of their own as well. Lead singers with ADD, depression and anxiety and bassists with an addiction to heroin and cocaine. Drummers having an affair with the porn star down the street and the lead guitarist with anorexia and bulimia. The rhythm guitarist would hug them all, trying their hardest to glue their broken family back together.
The thought that music saves the fans as much as it saves the people in the band terrifies me. It has always been an outlet to get all of my rage out but I never stopped to consider theirs. The pain that had once manifested in bloodied bruises and self harm scars and my spine poking out of pale grey skin and a spot of puke hanging off of my chin like the last bit of spaghetti I had forgotten to slurp up as a kid happened to them too. All of that pain was now being manifested in the song lyrics that I had sung along too many times over and that the lead singer sung instead of an addiction to not feeling any of pain at all.
I could hear their songs from the slaves of Africa singing their songs about becoming free one day to Elvis Presley stealing some, maybe even all, of his style from those same slaves. From the hymns at church I used to sing to Woodstock in ’69, a summer that I never saw. Warped Tour for the skaters and punks with their spikes and leather jackets. Coachella for the basic white girl with their mocha latte from Starbucks and their flower crowns, holding onto a summer that wasn’t theirs in the first place. The same way I hung onto Woodstock. There were the underground raves for the goths and MTV for those too poor to get their hands on Jay-Z and Beyonce tickets. Music has given hope to generation after generation and I know that sounds cliche as hell. The people are idols for our kids to look up to in a time of need, when our words fail them. Someone, or something, that is there for them when the rest of the world has turned its back on them. Music is something that beats in the hearts of every person. There are those who still have their wild side and those who would rather be bootylicious. In simplicity they are two sides of the same coin that is the human race. Music, no matter what form, has somehow saved lives, even mine.
A car horn blared behind me. I jumped and held a hand to my chest. I shook my head, erasing my thoughts like the sand in an Etch-A-Sketch. I walked out of the path of the car and pulled my faux fur coat around my body. A few of the women who had been in the line for the more ‘normal’ club had jumped as well. I giggled and looked at the women who had jumped as well. They smiled at me, a note of recognition in their eyes. I smiled lightly and walked up to them. They squealed happily as they looked at each other. I smiled lightly and stopped in front of them, extending a hand. One was was a blonde with a bob that made her look older than what I assumed she was. The other was a brunette with a thousand watt smile.
“I’m assuming you two already know who I am by your reactions but I do not know who you are.” I smiled and looked at the women, who giggled lightly as they hugged each other.
“I’m Kelly and this is my friend Michelle. We’re really big fans of yours. We came all the way from Ohio to see you preform. That was until you cancelled the rest of your tour so suddenly.” The blonde took my hand and shook it as the brunette pouted.
“I had to take some time for myself, mental health issues along with some family issues. I’m really sorry you came all the way out here to see me. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you? I hate seeing my fans all upset like this.” I pouted and shook the Michelle’s hand in mine.
“Just get better, that’s all your fans want. Plus, we’re enjoying our time here anyhow.” She smiled lightly and let my hand go.
“That I will, thank you.” Michelle smiled and looked at her friend as the line had moved up considerably during our small conversation. They moved up and waved me off. I smiled lightly as I waved to them as well.
I kept up my walking in the middle of the street. It was odd to see that there weren’t that many cars in the streets. This was Los Angeles for crying out loud and there weren’t that many people driving to places that they needed to go. I didn’t mind either as I loved walking out in the middled of the streets. I took off my high heels and let my feet touch the ground. I smiled and felt the hot asphalt through the stockings. The stars began to peak out to the pollution and clouds. I turned my head up to the sky and began counting all of the constellations I saw, even the ones my sister had made up. I smiled at the thought of her little body waddling up to the window and pointing at the stars. I reached into my pocket and pulled out, a ratty old cardboard box. I pulled out a cigarette and lit it up with the lighter that was in my other pocket, My feet guided me to the small police station outside of the city. The receptionist smiled at me and looked me over.
“And what would a pretty lady like you be doing in here this late at night?” The red-headed woman smiled and looked at me.
“I would like to turn myself in.” I dropped my bag on the table and looked at her. She stared up at me, her jaw hanging open.
“Okay then, I’ll get you in contact with one of the men in the back. Just stay here, okay?” The woman stood up and walked back behind the frosted glass door that was behind her desk. There was a bit of mumbling and then she walked out of the room, now joined by a burly man with more than one tattoo on his arms.
“Come back with ma’am.” The man waved me back and opened the door. I straightened my back and walked back with him. He took me to his desk and sat down after pulling out a chair for me as well. I sat down and looked at him as he pulled out a notepad and looked at me.
“What is it? Rape? Attack?” He looked at me and sighed, pulling a pen out of his pocket. I sighed and looked down lightly. I rolled my eyes.
“Murder. It was murder.” The officer straightened up and smiled lightly. I just made his night so much better. I shifted in my seat and looked at him, one arm resting on the arm rest and the other draped across my stomach.
“Did you see the crime happen?” He asked, leaning forward. He had a bit of a five o’clock shadow and bags under his eyes, probably from not getting enough sleep. I took a drag of my cigarette and looked at him, crossing my legs and leaning back in my chair.
“Did I see it? No. Did I do it? Yes.” A look of shock filled the man’s face as I stood up from my seat. I walked out and back into the lobby. Lighting cracked as I looked up at the skylight. Rain hit the window as I grabbed my bag off the receptionist’s desk. I walked out into the pouring rain, pulling a dark umbrella out of my bag and opening it up.