the Whole No. 1: I Wanna Be the Knife
I Wanna Be the Knife
"I wanna be the knife
It was that point of the tour where the edges started to get ragged and rough, which was funny, JC thought, because it was also the point where the performance was perfect and smooth, rehearsed enough to flow like a calm river and not yet so rehearsed that it was automatic. The sun sparkled on the rows and rows of half-set up aluminum seats in the field. The breeze carried the shouts of the crew and the clang of their wrenches was like music. JC stepped out onto the catwalk. It was high tide, JC thought. The crest.
"Where's J?" Chris asked. He stood next to him, watching the yellow backs of the local crew as they bent, unfolding chairs. He had on a jersey and the long shorts he liked, even though they made him look shorter than he actually was. Clothes like that reminded JC of how Chris used to look, with his braids and his chunky jewelry, like some skater punk. He looked different now, with his short hair. Older. JC reached out and ran his hand over Chris' spiky hair, feeling the gel crunch beneath his fingers.
"JC," Chris said, ducking away.
Oh, right. "Waiting for Joey."
Chris didn't like Justin waiting for Joey. Neither did JC, really, although there was nothing anyone could do about it, so he didn't see the point in being mad. Justin had made his bed and now he had to lie in it, was all. It upset Chris more, though, because Justin was hurting and that made Chris mad. JC patted his hair. Chris shrugged away from his hand.
"This is gonna be a good show," JC said.
"He's gonna be fine."
Chris looked at him, eyes dark. "Yup," he said again. Chris liked to know everything, to hear everything, to be in control of everything. That was how he was. He hated stuff that was unresolved or unsettled. It made him nervous. He and Justin were alike in that way, which meant that the whole situation was driving them both crazy. JC folded his arm around Chris' shoulder, nothing unusual, just two old friends hanging out.
"It's not," JC started, but Chris slipped away, heading down the ramp. JC watched him go. Chris didn't understand that, JC thought, that sometimes you had to let things go because. Well, because they weren't worth hanging onto, or because they weren't controllable. Things like Joey. JC sighed.
He spread his arms out and breathed in the fresh air.
"Everything is going to be great," he said to the sky. The sky beamed down at him.