Chapter 1: Are You That Desperate
Patrick’s favourite music genre was Jazz and yet he played in a pop punk / alternative band and that explained his personality better than a single descriptor could begin to attempt. That or maybe the half lazy and half frenzied fashion he attempted to get himself both physically and mentally prepared for the afternoon ahead of the band.
With his phone laying on the bottom bunk emitting the nostalgic tones of David Bowie to serenad his frantic search through the plastic bag of clean items secured tightly between hordes of dirty clothes and colourful boxes and bottles. Perhaps if he had made use of the new touring bus’s inbuilt drawers – admittedly placed in dumb locations – he wouldn’t have to be so stressed about finding something that was halfway decent or at least matching hidden amidst the compact space of a stiff maroon suitcase. The only joy of his rudimentary storage was that over the scent of sweat drenched clothes he wouldn’t have to smell whatever testosterone pumped odour Pete had made their whole bus reek of.
Shirts with prints were best. Mainly because, for the purpose of interviews, it served the purpose of easy conversation gateways. He’d always been less than brilliant (terrible) at making conversation on camera and radio alike. So accordingly, he tugged out a Pokémon shirt at the bottom of the bag. Something he never bothered to wear since he bought because he was always barraged with the same question, ‘What does the Japanese say’ or worse when they thought it as Chinese and he’d have to correct them and then translate it but it; was at an awkward angle to read off yourself even if it had room to stretch forward and; although languages had always been easy for him he wasn’t superb in translating off the fly especially because; it was a pale colour that in lighting like that off the sleeping quarters of the bus with a singular square window was impossible to read. Most importantly though, he felt either way it wouldn't do a lost cause like him much help.
He didn’t have the motivation nor patience to look for anything else though. He hastily snatched the first pants he could find before locking that door and getting himself dressed. Only allowing further irritation to set in with the realisation his pants – that he swore he bought recently because his other pair was too big for him after he broke his only belt - were probably too loose to do a show and interview in. Alternatively phrased for easier visualisation he wouldn’t have to undo his zip to piss if he didn’t want too.
Naturally as somebody who conformed to social decencies he stood around doing nothing about it for about five minutes, simply thinking how much it sucked before groaning to himself as he switched back into his faded denim jeans to go pester his bandmates in the other bus (a full five parking spaces away) about borrowing a pair. Thank God, that ‘Fall Out Boy’ consisted of members that could rebrand as ‘Five Feet Tall Boy’.
“Joe, my friend,” Patrick interrupted the idle conversations from before he arrived as he swung himself around the doorframe of the living area of the other bus where the remainder of the band conversed over their phones and laptops. Clearly not ready as seen by the ratty clothes. “Can I borrow some of your jeans?”
“Not unless you want to swim in cloth.” Joe tossed back nonchalantly.
“I’m sure they’ll fit me fine.”
“You’re more Pete’s size.”
“Pete.” When the shorter man turned to the bassist previously engrossed in his social media streamed he wanted to tell him to blast the grin off his face. He’d borrow far too many of the other members’ clothes recently and it so unfortunately happened that Pete’s did fit him best and had changeable fits around the waist he could tighten to fit into a comfortable position. Pete just lounged on the sofa though with his feet over Joe and a relic of a Metallic t-shirt ridden too high with a predicting smirk on his face. But he just huffed out the rest of his sentence. “Can I borrow a pair of jeans?”
“Are you that desperate to get in my pants, I mean if you want I have no objections.”
“Should I take that as yes, a more than a yes?”
“Yeah, I think I have a clean pair or you can wear the dirty ones.”
Andy laughed from his seat in the chair on a right angle to them although unlike Patrick who was more stifling his laugh at Pete running his hand down from his phone over his crotch, Andy found the grimace the was plastered over Joe’s face hilarious. Joe was likely not to agree as he shook his head lightly and pushed off the lanky limbs over him almost pushing Pete off the couch in the process.
“You guys are gross.”
“Like you haven’t thought about getting in my jeans.” Pete clucked pulling himself up to lean close the Joe’s ear before seductively whispering; “To feel yourself in the same thing my ass has been in.”
Patrick felt it best to leave before Joe threw Pete’s seductive attention to Patrick and make him go bright red with embarrassment besides they needed to get going for the interview. The sooner the day was over the sooner he could relax. Damn, they weren’t ready and they needed to leave soon. “You need to get ready too guys, we’re going to need to be on set soon and its live broadcast.”
“Don’t call me Pat!” His smile dropped with the weight of anxiety that unexpectedly splashed forcefully onto his chest.
God, He was dreading this interview.
“Your latest album has been an astounding hit with critics and charts alike. Were you guys as a band expecting that, how does it feel for you guys?”
“I mean I don’t think any of us expected it to do as well as it did. With music like any creative media, I think, it’s hard to predict so we always just hang out like hoping that it’ll do well if you know what I mean. We’re all really happy about it though and it’s all been so positive – right guys?”
Patrick let Joe speak. He didn’t comment and didn’t agree.
“I swear you choose to play drums just to emphasise the punchline!” Patrick said swinging back half a bottle of cold water he wasn’t even sure was left out for him but had taken nonetheless to ward away the lingering light headedness of stage fright.
The messy room felt bizarrely alive with the lingering buzz of a larger than ever show and met and greet. They had all piled into the backstage room assigned to them with instruments left on the carpet and for reasons of which no one had nor would question, Andy’s shirt draped over the top of an old-style Microsoft computer. Fluorescent white lighting make the room feel larger than it was and the members giddy enough for Joe to throw his guitar pick at the fan though it thankfully missed. It felt like many of their other tour large wind downs with the songs of setlist still ringing through everyone’s ears and Pete humming out Novocaine. Perhaps it was the jetlag that all of them were suffering or maybe it was just good times but it felt more alive than anything that wasn’t a party should have at quarter to one. The atmosphere was enough to make Patrick cautious about how temporarily happy he felt that he bit down on his lip and flashed his eyes over the room nervously over he-didn’t-know-what but trying not to show it. It was brought back quickly enough to the sounds of Joe loudly starting to read out from a card he found on table directly underneath the lamp.
“Dear Fall Out Boy, thanks for the second amazing show this week! We’re so happy to host you guys and thank you for gracing our humble stage with your presence. We cannot wait for your next and last performances here next week. Hope these muffins can tie you over after your energetic performance. (p.s. the ones with flags we’ve made specially vegan.)”
“Oh. My. God. Andy, they got you something vegan.”
As per quoted; on the table was a plate with eight chocolate and vanilla muffins laid out for them and two with little white toothpick flags poking out of them. Immediately Pete and Andy sped over beside Joe to snatch the free food option. Patrick dissected it with his eyes from afar, they seemed rather large to be given two of and he guessed they’d taste not so great if they were free. He didn't even want to eat just sleep. Why would someone want to give him of all people free food – maybe to poison him or sabotage him. It sounds unlikely but there still remained a possibility if of the smallest respects.
“Fuck, give me a muffin.” Pete said stretching hand over grabbing a chocolate muffin.
“I’m alright for tonight. You guys can have mine.”
“Are you sure cause’ it’ll be like two seconds before you can’t take that back.” Joe said grinning wildly at the opportunity of spinning his night to a close on a greatly desired sugar high. He mostly asked the question to avoid being a prick and instead being a courteous friend aware of his friend feelings than to know the answer.
Pete however wasn’t as fussed as he snatched it off the table having finished his in no time, “Now it’s none!”
“Pete that was mine!”
“There’s another muffin guys.”
“Wait we can have both?”
“Patrick doesn’t eat after shows Pete.” Joe reminded him.
“Or like any other time near shows.” Andy chuckled through stuffing muffin in his face.
“I don’t get that nervous anymore. I haven’t gotten sick from stage fright since like Jimmy Fallon last month doing, what was it, Immortals?” He argued.
“But is Patrick sure?”
“Yeah – sure.” He answered with only a second of hesitance that he replaced by taking a sip of the icy water pausing to ensure he could feel the liquid sliding down his oesophagus into an empty stomach – for unfathomable reasons cold water always felt better on the famished than it did the satisfied.