It was fucking freezing outside, somewhere in Denver in the back parking lot of a club, 1:00 am. I stood at the door of the tour bus, waiting for Chris to come and unlock it so I could use the bathroom in there. The other guys were still back stage partying but I was so over it and just wanted to go to sleep. After banging on the door for the 10th time I finally just pissed on the fucking bus tire then threw a good, solid stick at the window near his bunk. Five minutes later a girl comes out and smiles at me, pulling her big green coat around her, then slinks off embarrassed after I roll my eyes then stomp past her into the bus, the door banging behind me.
Chris is in there buckling up his belt with his shirt off, hair sticking up everywhere and shoots me a friendly, “Whassup?”
We’ve been on the never-ending tour now for 3 months. We spent Christmas in Australia, which ruled but now we are back home to cover the west coast states we missed, and a couple days before New Years we all get to fly home to our families. I took my wooly hat off and threw it down on the fold-out table. “Dude you are totally fucking out of control.”
“What do you mean, man?” Chris looked pleasantly surprised and went over to the fridge near the back of the bus and got us both beers.
“I’ve had enough to drink for tonight, and for the next three fucking years,” I said and he shrugged and walked back to put it away. He was so chill he was coming off of as smug and it was really starting to piss me off. “Did you tell Odette you are finally coming home?” I said.
That got a reaction out of him. He scowled at me then sat down on his bunk and took a swig of his beer. “Nope” he said.
“Have you answered any of her emails or calls or texts?”
“I talk to Zoe almost every day” he said.
“I’m not asking about Zoe, dude” I said, starting to raise my voice a little. “I’m asking about your wife. Don’t you think you’ve punished her enough?”
He took a small silver ring out of his pocket and put it on the table. “I bought this for her when we were in South Dakota” he said. “I got it from a woman selling them out of her van. She said it was good luck. So I have been carrying it around in my pocket, wondering if I am ever going to give it to Odette or keep it in my pocket for the rest of my life.”
I took it from the table and looked closely. On the inside of the ring it had inscribed, “forever”.
“Forever what?” I said. “Forever hating each other, forever ignoring her phone calls? I don’t get it.”
“Forever love, I guess.”
“If she doesn’t know that, there isn’t going to be any forever. And you’re not acting married dude, in any sense of the word. I mean, where is your ring?”
He reached under his pillow and took it out, then he looked at it and slipped it onto his finger. Don’t you think you should wash that other girl off before you put that back on your finger?” I said.
He cut his eyes at me and said, “I don’t get what your problem is. You just told me a few days ago this has been the most fun tour ever.”
“Well, it will probably also be the last one if you don’t start writing some new songs.”
He stood up and pulled my acoustic guitar from my bunk then sat back down on his and started to strum and sing, “Dave is such an asshole, he thinks that I’m out of control, he won’t mind his own fucking business and thinks everything I do is wrong. And now he won’t even write his own fucking song.”
I shook my head at him and handed him his little silver, forever ring, “Call Odette,” I said, and went to find some clothes to sleep in that didn’t stink like smoke and beer.