Title: Everything You Know Is Wrong
Rating: PG-13 for now, but only for now
Disclaimer: None of these fine Irishmen are mine, and this is complete and utter fiction.
These were dark days.
Berlin felt like an apocalyptic wasteland – cold and calculating, dark and dreary… so full of doom which enveloped the recording of the new album that I wasn’t sure if I’d make it out in one piece. Or with anything left to give, for that matter.
Whose idea was it to come here again?
I often found myself retreating, alone, to a small dive bar on a quiet and lonely back street a few blocks away from the studio. It was just small enough and just out of the way enough that no one knew my name, real or otherwise.
I found myself there again today. A nod to the barman and in front of me I quickly find the usual - cheap Irish whiskey, neat, of course. This was no place for rock star pretence. Not here. Which is why I come.
It didn’t matter that I couldn’t find a way for the music I had in the pit of my stomach to come out of me. Here, no one cared that everything I ever knew was falling apart. Nor did it matter that she didn’t love me anymore.
It was over. I should have been at home to try to pick up the pieces or try to make it work, but here I was in a numb, grey, divided city, trying to make sense of my life.
It’s perfect. It’s what I deserve.
I ran my finger up and down the side of my glass, wondering if I just might find the answers in the bottom of one some day. If not this one, maybe in the three after that…
I was startled when he pulled out a bar stool next to me.
“Ciara told me I’d find you here,” Bono announced. “I’ll have the same,” he nodded at the barman and then threw back his whiskey as quickly as it was presented.
“Edge, we’re really worried about you,” he admitted as he lit one of those horrid little cigarillos he had taken to smoking now, shaking out the match over my shoulder.
“I’m OK, I’ll be OK,” I muttered, downing the rest of my whiskey in one shot as I signalled the bartender to bring us each another.
“Don’t lie to me,” Bono demanded as he removed the sunglasses that seemed to be a permanent part of his face these days.
“I don’t know what you expect me to say, Bono,” I shrugged. “It’s very hard. But you wouldn’t really know about that now, would you.”
I was involved in enough late night conversations with Ciara about his refusal to commit to her that I knew he couldn’t possibly relate to the upheaval I was dealing with right now.
“This is not about me,” he hissed.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that, Bono.”
I looked down into my glass, feeling ashamed at how I was letting my depression consume me. I was becoming a very bitter man, and I hated myself for it.
“Edge, we really do care about you. I can’t stand to see you like this – it affects all of us. There’s nothing you can do, it’s over for good, isn’t it?”
“I suppose it is, yes. However, I can’t help but wonder if there was still something I could do if only I was back at home right now …”
“Is that what this is about? You honestly believe that if you were back in Ireland you would have a chance of working things out with her? Edge, I’m sorry, but you know… you KNOW that isn’t true. Don’t make this about Berlin, or the album or my silly idea that we need to be here. I’m already feeling guilty enough about that myself.”
I knew he was right, but I wouldn’t let him know that or I’d never hear the end of it. I simply nodded and slowly sipped my drink, staring across the empty room at a small TV playing highlights from the Bayern Munich game at the weekend.
“Edge, please. You can’t undo what’s already been done, you have to stop being so hard on yourself.”
“I suppose it just comes too naturally for me,” I admitted as I downed the rest of my whiskey and placed some money under the empty glass, enough to cover both rounds plus a generous tip, as usual.
“Bono, I do need to go, I need to get back to the studio.”
That evening, I would write most of the guitar line for ‘One’. Several months later, Aislinn and I would separate for good.
U2 Non-Slash Fanfic
- Everything You Know Is Wrong - Chapter 1