“When I got the news today, I didn’t know what to say…” Phineas trailed off, resting the guitar on his knee as he watched the setting sun, idly tapping his fingers on the warm wood. “So I just hung up the phone…can’t believe you’re really gone…”
He set the guitar to the side, reaching for the pencil behind his ear before scribbling something in a notebook. He sighed. “It’s a start at least. I didn’t think writing a song would be this hard…”
“I need you to write a song for Django’s Memorial Service.”
The red head blinked, pulling the phone away from his ear and staring at it a moment before replacing it. “What?”
“You heard me.”
“But Bro, all I’ve ever done—all we’ve ever done—is song covers. I can’t actually write one.”
“Yes, you can. I have the utmost faith in you.”
His brother hung up the phone without another word.
That had been hours ago. Now here he was; on the pier, trying to write a song and hoping to find some inspiration.
“Okay, let’s see…” he tapped the pencil on his leg in thought. “Can’t believe you’re really gone…don’t feel like coming home.” He paused, studying the lyric. “Coming home? No. That doesn’t sound right.” The eraser scrubbed out the lyric, leaving a smudge.
“Going home?” He strummed the guitar. “Don’t feel like going home…so…” the strumming stopped. “So what?”
Phineas ran a hand through his hair, glancing at the full beer bottle next to him. “Couldn’t hurt.” He popped the top and took a sip, holding it up to the sky. “Sorry buddy; I know Ferb and I were going to save this in memory of you, but…I’m kind of hoping it’ll loosen up the creative muscles.”
“Last time I checked, you didn’t need alcohol to be creative.”
“Yeah well—“ he placed the bottle to his lips, taking a sip. He turned and did a double take, eyes widening in surprise. “D-Django?”
“Yeah?” His friend sat on the opposite end of the pier, reclining against the rough wood, one leg propped on top of the other.
“Whoa.” Phineas held the bottle close to his face, squinting at the label. “How long was this in the fridge? I only took one sip; it shouldn’t work that fast. At least, I don’t think it should. I’m not drunk.” He squeezed his eyes shut before opening them. “You’re still here.”
“But how? You’re dead.” He paused. “I’d say you were a ghost, but you don’t look corporeal.” He studied the man in front of him. “Are you an angel?”
“I’m whatever you want me to be.”
“That’s…not exactly helpful.”
“Hey man, I don’t know.” Django smirked. “You were thinking about me, so here I am.” The red head went to take another sip, only to pause. He pointed to the bottle. “Oh go ahead. Whatever I am, I can’t take liquids. Goes right through me. It’d be a shame to let it go to waste.”
“I’ll tell you what though; my heart feels great. It’s like I never had a problem.” Phineas stared at him. “What are you doing out here anyway?”
“Trying to find inspiration.” Django shot him a confused look. “Ferb tasked me with writing a song for your Memorial Service.”
“Tell me about it. This song writing thing is hard.”
“What have you got so far?”
“Well…” he picked up the guitar again, strumming a vague melody. “When I got the news today, I didn’t know what to say, so I just hung up the phone. Can’t believe you’re really gone. Don’t feel like going home.”
“It needs work.”
“Yeah. I know.” He studied his friend. “Why are you here again?”
“Don’t know.” The man leaned forward, studying him. “But your imagination is on fire right now.”
“Yep. I can see the wheels turning.” He grinned. “It’s really cool.”
“Do you see anything that would help me finish the song?” He took another sip.
“You’re blocked aren’t you?”
“Yeah.” Phineas stared at the horizon in thought. “You know Buddy, you were the only one who could understand my creativity at times.”
“I always was good at that.” Django studied his friend. “What happened to you man? You used to be so creative. A go-getter”
“Things change. I met Izzy, grew up, got married, started a family.”
“Don’t you miss touring?”
“I miss it everyday.”
“So why don’t you tour? Get back into it?”
“Maybe you didn’t hear me the first time.” The red head went to take another sip of beer, only to start as Django ripped it out of his hand. “Hey! I…wait. How did you do that?” A familiar glint came into his eye as he studied his friend. “What I wouldn’t give to study your molecular structure.”
“See?! That’s exactly what I’m talking about! The curiosity! The imagination! Phineas, you’ve lost that part of yourself! You-you’ve traded it in for the Domestic Life!”
The red head jumped to his feet. “Hey, I made a choice alright? I wanted to marry Isabella; I wanted to help her raise our daughter. I wanted to be a part of their lives! Abigail and Isabella are the best things that ever happened to me! Before them, I-I-“ he paused. “My life wasn’t empty, but looking back on it now…I guess something was missing…” he sat down and sighed. “I dunno. Maybe I have lost myself. But Izzy and Abby—“
“Look, you have a beautiful, loving wife who has not only been supportive of you, but who loved you enough to travel around in a van of all things while you guys were touring.” Django got down on one knee, looking his friend in the eye. “If solo touring is really what you want to do, then do it. Don’t let it pass you by; do it while you still have a chance. Life is short.” He rested a hand on the red head’s shoulder. “Isabella will understand.”
Phineas groaned. “How did we go from writing a song to—“ he stopped, looking around. “Django? Buddy?” He frowned, searching the ocean a moment before lying on his back on the pier. “Great. Several minutes of talking to myself and I’m nowhere closer to when I started.” He groaned again. “I need another beer. On the pier.”
His fingers drummed out a tune on the wood. “Sit right here…on the pier…sunset…drink a beer…wait.” He sat up, grabbing his pencil and notebook before perching the guitar on his knee. He strummed a chord and started singing.
So I’m gonna sit right here
on the edge of this pier
watch the sunset disappear…
“And drink a beer.” The red head smiled, standing up and looking at the sky. He pounded a fist against his chest before pointing two fingers up to the stars. “Thanks for the inspiration Buddy; I know what to do now.”