Fire in the Belly - Act 9: Anger Is An Energy
There are some trespasses which cannot be allowed to stand unpunished. The exquisite order of nature instructs us in more ways than can be named that nothing may interfere in the relation of a mother and child. The primacy of this bond is the glue that has kept humans on the planet. The feelings I had struggled to comprehend began to take a tangible form. I took to playing only loud, fast Rock ‘N’ Roll. Husker Du, Flesh Eaters, Naked Raygun, The Germs. I polished my anger like an ice ball and waited for my opportunity to present itself. I never worked as hard on anything as I did on this plan, but then again, I never cared about anything nearly so much. At first Melanie found my old school rediscovery amusing; she was a head banger herself from way back. But over time she grew weary of the 2/4, and she’d try to slide a disc or two into the mix.
“But Bucky, you love the Velvet Underground.”
I didn’t share my plans with her. Even at the beginning I recognized plausible deniability as a crucial element of any plan. We were still living together at the time, and I still had my job at MSW. Over time she began to suspect that my attention was focused on something other than her, and she’d ask small, indirect questions trying to suss me out. I shrugged off her queries and steeled myself against the solitude of mission. Nothing mattered more than this, nothing.
Needless to say Mel picked up the clue that there had been something of a sea change in my psyche, and she left me. She moved out. She split. She moved in with Roger, taking over his roommate’s lease. She had her own bedroom, and Roger was never there. He was practically living in the studio.
Melanie left, but I invited her to go, in a way.
“Look, if you have such a problem with my esthetic, why don’t you just go live somewhere else?”
“It’s not your taste that bothers me,” she said, “it’s the narrowness of your focus.”
“Man cannot live on bread alone, Buck.” she said, trying to keep things lighthearted.
“Look, Melanie, I don’t tell you what to listen to.”
“You don’t have to,” she said quickly, “I can’t get within 5 feet of the stereo.”
“I don’t get it,” I said, “some of these discs are yours!”
But it was no use. She took me at my word that I couldn’t be swayed, and she bolted. I told myself I didn’t care, but it really bothered me to see her living with Roger. Even if they weren’t romantically entangled, it just seemed wrong somehow. She knew how I felt about him; how could she do this to me?
Meanwhile, Roger had turned his end of the studio into something of a voodoo groove shrine. There were literally dozens of candles. He hung beads. He burned incense. He grew his beard and started wearing loose fitting clothes, printed in the style of an Indian camel dealer. He smoked bad pot and stinky little cigars.
As my creative energies were increasingly focused on the deft application of justice, the boost of energy in the real business of the studio began to fade. I found it harder and harder to focus on sculpture. My muse had been seduced by a far more potent agent of expression, and I must admit to a bit of pride in the magnitude and variety of my plans.
There were so many little ways to get to him. His sense of personal hygene may have ditched him, but he was obsessive when it came to his brushes. While attempting to epoxy his paint brushes together once he almost busted me. I heard the jingle of his keys as I was opening the tube, and barely managed to cover the action.
Winter had given way to spring, and my promises to stay off the roof proved disingenuous. The tower called to me, and I found myself up there, alone, quite a lot. I had been tossing around various notions of retribution through the tail end of winter, but it wasn’t until I started making the climb up the tower that a truely poetic solution began to present itself.
Next week: Next Week - Act 10: Back To Square One