sleepin’ around / SONIC YOUTH
~ ~ ~
I have had all this planned for the longest time
and since I never have much time,
I need to flush it all out now
There are a lot of flashbacks
but they’re more detailed unlike my last story
This is a lil collab with @mclovinn and @iwearoxfords
and also briefly mentioned is @little-miss-rae (the #1 writer for TWC hehe) and @emgeemtee nicole of course i just don't know what's next for her so it's not much
It ends with a cliffhanger and also reveals Kat's past in NYC during the break
with Sam & Tom (wish I wrote more about them before cos now it's all past tense)
But I think it highlights what a romantic Kat is, no?
Being all nostalgic...Georgie's struggle in the last 2 years is also revealed
I tried to not make this too long
Hope y'all understand
Feel free to ask questions aha
~ ~ ~
Falling back into routine was easier than I expected it to be.
Whether that gave me relief or not, I do not know.
Working two part-time jobs on the weekdays was more gruesome than I remember.
At the library, the adults still checked out self-help books
and the children and the teens laughed at me,
mocking and being more cruel than ever.
At the Rigby Antique shop, the old folks still wandered in
and they were kind but the job was ever so lonely.
Ma never came by anymore.
She stayed on New Temp seven days a week
and she refused to talk to me.
I found myself becoming dull and sad
the longer I worked, and when I was done working,
I often stopped at Effie and Alice's place to refuel (drugs).
I was starting to dress like a boy and my laugh was becoming smaller and smaller.
No, relief never came with the working-middle-class Dublin lifestyle,
and the more I thought about my time away from it all,
the more I thought about leaving again—
Then reality would settle and I'd need to pop another pill.
Down it went into my body, settling and dissolving,
disappearing and stored away like my secrets.
(Flashback / New York City)
I remember the day clearly because it was my birthday.
I was turning 19 and Sam went out to get a cake.
Tom came home from his garage early and passed out smelling like gasoline,
smudged with grease like always and being more quiet than usual.
He'd been like that the past 3 days and Sammy just said,
"Maybe the fu*ck is growing up,"
but I had that feeling.
I remember waiting for Tommy's eyes to close—
he'd be stretched out on the beat up suede sofa
and he'd look innocent and childish for a bit.
When he finally began to snore,
I snuck into his stash and got out my new kick,
my little secret, my reds and yellows. My bluebirds.
I knew I was addicted,
but I knew how to control the dosage.
I learned from the best but I think they'd be ashamed.
Of themselves or myself, I couldn't decide.
I danced around in my room until I couldn't feel anything
and I sank into my mattress smiling at the ceiling.
I'd never felt such a high before,
such a complete feeling of absence.
Even Ringo would feel it in the room,
filling up the cracks, as he stretched out beside me
and purred throughout the evening in delightful content.
I was happy there in that dingy apartment,
in that special city of America. Home of the free.
I never wanted to leave and I never thought I'd have to.
But one thing I remember distinctly from that day was the noise.
He barged in the apartment crying out for his brother
with a frantic voice I'd never heard before.
It wasn't until the commotion continued
and the muffled voices grew louder and louder
that I became curious and floated from my bedroom.
Sam's face was caked in black ash and he smelled of burnt cinder and smoke.
He had shaken Tom up and the two were shouting, both red in the face.
"They burnt the place to the ground!
They'll fuc*king come here next!"
"You said you had it covered!
How the hell could you let this happen, Tom?"
"Grab the money!"
Their voices blended together and it only sounded familiar
and warm to me, and in my state I was still smiling,
though I knew something was wrong.
Sam's crisp smell burnt my nose and made my eyes water
but I could only stare at him. I fell in love with him that summer.
And when our eyes locked, his fear settled into my own body.
"What's going on, then?" I asked.
At the sound of my little Irish voice, Tom started to cry.
That's when I started to shake and felt awfully dizzy,
and sick, and I wanted to lay down and I did,
right on Sam's duffel bag and his lips shook.
And so did his head, his arms as he steadied me back up,
"No, no, Kitty, we've got to go now. Something happened."
I leaned against the couch and watched them walk about frantically.
The severity of the situation didn't quite settle with me
until after I was gone from the city, the country, and my boys.
I didn't seem to react to the tons of green money
Tom stuffed into the black duffel bags,
and the pounds of colorful pills,
my pills, my great new kick.
There was more green paper,
and other green things,
"Stop doing that!" Sam screamed,
and Tom was a mess, as I'd never imagined before,
but still in that state of panic I was in euphoria because I loved them,
both of them, Sam and his kindness and even Tom and his roughness.
"Don't cry on my birthday," I sang to Tom,
and he suddenly looked at me and touched my cheek
and as I went warm and smiled, his eyes stayed filled to the brim
and the door was suddenly pounded on and everyone went still, tense.
Angry, muffled shouts were on the other side
and Sam sprang to action, reaching for his duffel bags
and my arm and looking to Tom. Tom was pale. He was strange.
"Go," I heard him murmur.
Sam was shaking more than ever
and Tom's face was wet.
In a flash, and in my delirious state, I was reached for
Sam dancing me around, pulling me about,
and tugging me and I laughed.
His hand covered my mouth and it tasted like fire
and I nearly choked on the strength of his stench.
"You were in a fire," I murmured, but he told me to keep quiet with wide eyes
as we stammered out a unclasped window and onto the fire escape.
I remember looking back once and meeting Tom's glance.
And when he winked at me, I knew there was some kind of hope,
and as Sam tugged me down step by raggedy metal step, I was smiling.
I didn't react to the shouts coming from above us,
I didn't hear the, "Where is he? Where's my money? Where's the girl?"
And as we ran down the street hand-in-hand,
I didn't even notice the loud bang, the deafening pop,
or Sam's staggering step and sharp intake of breath—
Only the sudden tight squeeze of my hand snuggly in his,
and I smiled, and I laughed. We were running away, free.
My hair flew around me and nothing was wrong.
"Hide and seek, then?" Someone said this into the dark,
the fire blazing behind them, the night brutally cold.
If it wasn't for the alcohol in my belly,
I'd be an ice block, we'd all be the Arctic.
But instead we stayed necessarily warm
with the beer and the laughter
and after the suggestion,
they all spread out.
Someone was counting.
I stayed close to the fire because I was growing increasingly cold
and as I stretched my hands to the flames, the scent of burning wood
stung my eyes and pierced my nose and with a memory and I stepped away, quickly.
I ran right into "It" and he shouted, "You're it!"
and I let out a pierced, frightened scream throughout the forest.
The surrounding trees and shadows giggled,
the forest creatures—the New Temp inhabitants.
"Were you even hiding, Kitty?" Reed laughed
and the crinkles around his eyes reminded me of someone.
I winced. "No," and I tugged my sleeves down, shivering.
He quickly shook out of his coat and wrapped it around my shoulders,
and with a tight, quick squeeze to my hand, he happily and drunkenly slurred,
"Don't worry then, princess," and with a wink went off to find someone else to tag.
I stayed by the fire with the thought of his hand squeezing mine
and his bold wink in the frighteningly freezing night.
It wasn't Reed at all, it could've been anyone then,
but I was hopelessly in love with that lingering touch,
desperate to have it back — the assurance, the sure trust.
“Where’ve ya been?”
George appeared in front of me with his soft hands on my skin
and I slowly backed away from them as if they were repelling magnets.
“'Round,” I sipped my sugar-filled drink and I could feel it hyping me up by the second.
“I could ask the same about you…”
I ran my hand across the electric guitar slung back around him.
I wanted to touch him and never let go.
He had kissed me a week ago and it was the best thing to happen to me since I left America. But Georgie was incomparable to anyone else.
It was always different with him, and special, and my love for him
had rushed back to me with that one kiss in the cold
and suddenly I couldn’t stop looking at him.
Any past memory sat in the back of my head as my heart took control.
And Georgie’s gaze remained steady on my face.
He wasn’t drunk yet.
“I just came in this morning,” he placed a lock of hair behind my ear
and my cheeks flushed red. He smiled, a familiar loving smile.
“I had a thing with this record company…”
“How’d it go?” I took another sip from my drink.
It was making me do little hops up and down to the music.
When I noticed Georgie’s frown I looked down into my glass.
“Not so good,” he leaned back on the bar. “Like usual…”
“Well, at least you got your fans here in New Temp.”
I gave him my most supportive smile and he touched my nose.
“Least I got you.”
I handed him my glass and he took a sip and made a face.
“Sugary,” he grinned and I was ready to wrap myself into him
but he was called to the stage where he was best—they’ll see it one day.
And from that stage, he winked my way, singing,
“Waiting for you, it’s been a long time coming…”
And I felt like the only girl in the world.
That never lasts, though,
because Georgie gets drunk
and other pretty girls are about.
Skinny and difficult to stop looking at—
first there was Alice, and then Nicole as always,
and when Effie took the stage my voice caught in my throat.
George was laughing along with the boys
with their drunken sexist slurs and their hungry eyes.
I popped another pill; still wishing it was harder,
quicker, making my body more numb, more dumb,
I started to leave the bar knowing I shouldn’t have come.
I was too high and too tired to notice the footsteps behind me
and at my bungalow Georgie said, “Can I come in?”
I jumped and he was smirking.
“I didn’t see ya there…”
“Yer dressin’ like a boy now?”
I blushed. “It’s comfy.”
“Yer /adorable/,” he smiled,
charming as always. I sighed.
“Do you want to sleep with me then?”
I was surprised to see his cheeks go pink in the dark.
In a way, I was angry, because I knew I couldn’t be mad at George.
“It’s been two years,” he whispered, as if frightened.
“I know,” I murmured back.
What if things were different?
The air was cool and my body was as warm as it was two years ago,
and even as it was in elementary school, when George first took my breath away.
And he did it again, crashing his lips against mine,
pressing me against the wall of my bungalow.
“Are you sure you want me and not—“
Georgie pressed his finger to my lips and smiled.
“Shhh,” and I was shoved inside my little home
and high on my favorite drug, my favorite kick.
Georgie’s body rested across mine
and his arms were heavy around me.
His breathing was light and his face ever so sweet.
My heart always felt as if it floated in my chest
whenever I woke up next to him.
That would never change
though other things could.
That was the worst part of it all.
I rolled out of bed and I was completely nude
and it didn’t feel odd or wrong
but completely normal
and fine and right.
I peeked over at Georgie and he was still fast asleep,
resting off last night’s performance.
Here in New Temp, he was the old Georgie I know and love.
He played songs from the top of his head
and they poured easily out of his mind,
out of his soul, and into the crowd.
But when we were away from our home,
and out into the real world—
the cold, frightening one—
he was struggling,
He pitched demos to companies and they slammed him down.
He performed at bars and no one understood his words.
And only when he was a mold of their creation
could he ever be successful and “lucky”.
They stripped off his guitar
and replaced it with machines,
changed his clothes, changed his name.
He didn’t want it but he wanted his name in lights.
He could be a very vain person
and a very narcissistic artist.
He knows what he wants
and won’t stop until he has it.
And in the end, I always want him.
It was hard to understand and I never did.
I just knew it scared me to pieces and I was the first to leave, at least now—
it wasn’t like that before, but it felt like the last two years had done something to me
that made me do things I never imagined doing, most importantly, to the people I love.
On that thought, I fled my bungalow and ran to the dock for the boat ride home.
Last night was indescribable—magical, even—but I felt undeserving of it now.
On that thought, I passed a frail old woman leaning over a flower,
carefully touching its petals with care and tenderness.
She slowly turned and then faced her back to me.
“Are ya still upset with me?”
Tears suddenly filled my eyes,
a record for this time of day—
I just felt horribly sad.
I needed to go back to my bungalow
and lay back in bed with Georgie but I didn’t.
“If you don’t better yourself,” she replied slowly,
“all the flowers will keep dying.”
With that she plucked the flower from the earth
and left it at my feet, its roots stretching over my toes
and tearing up my heart until I burst into tears and kept on.
“So…you two aren’t together?” David asked,
popping open my second beer.
I shook my head. “Nah.”
“What’s with this whole ‘being in love with your best friend’
thing that’s so difficult?” he shook his head, looking towards Alice.
I laughed, bitterly.
“Maybe Kat and Alice lacked more than nutrition when they weren’t eating,”
I muttered. “Didn’t get some vitamins necessary to not be so fooked up.”
Dave was as drunk as I was so we laughed, loudly,
but it ended when the next song came on
and it was a sad song and we sighed.
We both took a swig from our bottles and shook our heads.
“That was horrible,” Dave said.
I nodded. “Yeah, I know. Just miss ‘er, that’s all.
I miss how everything use to be.”
He nodded in agreement and we continued watching the bar around us
grow and breathe and dance around us. Hell, it all looked the same.
It was the same music, the same booze,
the same girls coming ‘round “to just say hi”
in their short dresses, long legs and flowing hair.
And it was the same—taking that one girl home—
she was nothing special, and it meant nothing.
But it always did the job for the time being
and I didn’t have to fall asleep alone.
I woke up with my head resting against a log,
covered in blue paint, head throbbing.
It was Sunday morning.
It’s Sunday morning!
I stumbled past the bodies lying in the grass
like little fallen angels (though they were nothing of the sort)
and dashed for my bungalow, dizzy from a rush of blood to the head.
I quickly grabbed my knit purse with my change of clothes for the library
and scrubbed off the paint from my body and was out the door like the wind.
Then I rushed back and got Ringo and was out the door like a storm.
On the earliest boat, I sat alone,
wiping my tears as I looked at the gray ocean.
I didn’t see him sit down,
but he was there next to me,
legs propped up on the chair.
“You’re probably wondering if it’s even worth comin’ out here,”
Reed said softly. I laughed. “Yeah.”
He nodded. “Me too.”
I turned to face him, his handsome small face,
and smiled. “Well, back to the real world, eh?”
He stretched out in his seat, the ocean air wafting up our noses.
“Don’t know which is better.”
“You’re heading off to work, right? The record store by me shop?”
He nodded and suddenly a grin spread across his lips.
“Back to stealin’ yer customers and listening to the Ramones all day.”
“Sounds better than what I do…”
“You should stop by,” he suddenly said, quickly.
I met his gaze and it looked as desperate as mine.
We both looked to our laps and swallowed hard
and I cleared my throat. “Effie wouldn’t mind?”
Reed’s cheeks went pink and I bit my lip.
“As long as George doesn’t.”
We sat there with our pink cheeks
and the salty air and our awkward smiles.
“I’ll see you later, then.”
It was a breath of relief like the familiar bobbing of the boat.
“Are you sure you want ‘ta go in?”
I peered into the bar and back at Reed’s face,
looking down at our conjoined hands. I nodded.
“Don’t we every Friday?”
Reed’s face contorted strangely
but then I lit up the joint again
and we each took a good hit
and we were giggling again
and he kissed me strongly.
“Yer right, of course, yea—“
And we glided through the doors.
If they were looking at us, I couldn’t tell.
A band was playing and a crowd was moving together
so that’s where I was, and Reed tagged along, and we did shots
and there was nothing, only thoughts shoved into the back of my mind.
Reed had the brightest face when he was happy
and that’s what I liked best about him.
He was a great kisser and a good friend
and within days we stuck to each other,
for comfort, for happiness, for company.
The first time we slept together involved good weed
and good music and good talk and so it was—
I forget everything else.
It was that familiar state I had grown fond of,
the empty euphoria—floating in numbness.
And I floated in that trance until the lyrics
and the guitar’s cry found and wrapped around me,
warmly, tightly, and I went still in the suffocating crowd—
“There was a world that I thought I knew,
but I’ve never met someone quite like you…
Days go by…if it’s a dream, I don’t wanna wake up…”
And it was the same song, the same band, the same boy, again and again.
We locked eyes and I went straight for the bar, looking for my sugar,
but the packets had torn in my pockets and spilled about like dust.
Spilled like the tears that were threatening
as George’s voice continued to float around the bar.
“Yer lookin’ for this, aren’t ya?”
Effie slid me a sugar packet across the counter and I went pink
and reached for it and nodded. “Oh…wow, thank you.”
I didn’t know how she’d react after hearing about Reed and I
and seeing us walk in and trip about each other in the crowd,
lips and bodies attached,
but she was just smiling, tipsy and amused by everything.
“Band sounds good tonight, doesn’t it?”
My throat went dry. “Yeah.”
Effie cracked into a grin.
“Aw, Kitty,” she ripped open the packet for me
and dumped it in the nearest drink, swirled it around
and took a good sip, made a funny face, handed it to me.
“It’s okay. It’ll all be okay. Right?” She laughed. “Okay!”
She rushed away and I worried for her briefly
but I couldn’t feel anything for long
as the drink went down my throat
and settled in my light stomach.
I knew Effie would act as if she couldn’t feel anything, too.
We were all such great actors,
such great liars, such slackers.
“Let’s get out of here,”
Reed muttered into my ear,
soon appearing out of nowhere.
His eyes were full of sadness—
Effie was leaving the bar.
That night, we would smash our bodies against each other,
skin to skin, bone to bone, moaning and violently
taking everything out on each other.
to a mutual satisfaction
and we’d be still in bed
and we’d pretend tears
were not lingering too.
We would pretend and snuggle and feel equally sorry for each other
and with that the sleep came quickly and our eyes would shut.
“It’s funny how something so perfect
came from sucha imperfect situation,”
Reed remarked, staring at Eden.
I wiped her mouth and continued feeding Eden
and smiled. “That’s my favorite thing about her.”
Reed leaned over to switch the record on the player
and as he did, the windows in my bungalow rattled.
Eden looked frightened and Reed looked to me.
“It’s just the tree branches outside,”
I murmured and he nodded.
We were both hiding out from whatever event went on tonight
and we did it without a word as to why.
Reed closed his eyes and looked peaceful.
With all my focus on Eden,
everything seemed to be.
The knock on the door was rapid and frantic and familiar.
Reed’s eyes were wide again and I carefully handed Eden
the stuffed animal I got her as I watched Reed get up.
“Should I put away the joint in case it’s Aimee?”
he asked, but I knew immediately that it wasn’t.
The feeling in my gut churned.
“Just answer it.”
He did, and the mop of hair in the doorway made my entire body hum.
He was dripping wet.
I hadn’t even noticed that it was raining.
Eden let out a cry of delight, which was funny—
the last she saw of George was 2 years ago when we’d babysit her together.
My voice was weak,
“What is it, George?”
And he looked briefly to Reed
before clearing his throat.
“I just got in from Dublin. Some lads are looking for you, Kat.”
He stepped into the light and I noticed his shaking hands.
“And?” I cleared my throat. “Could just be co-workers—“
“They’re not friendly.” He set his bags down and shook his head.
I realized his eyes were rimmed red like mine and he let out a heavy sigh.
“I’m sorry to barge in—”
“I’m just tired of yer shite.”
My face went pink.
His had already been,
pent up with frustration.
Reed raised his eyebrows
and watched the record spin,
feeling ridiculously uncomfortable.
“Excuse me?” My voice was still small—
I just wished I could be defiant against him.
George buried his face in his hands.
“What did they do to you?” He shouted.
The room was still.
Reed was the first to move, and he went for Eden,
and he got her raincoat and then his own.
George watched and looked sick.
Maybe at the sight of his things
comfortably in my home—
at least I secretly hoped.
I felt sick.
“I’ll be out, then,” Reed murmured,
and he was, and the room was quiet again.
I counted the seconds before George spoke—
exactly 32 seconds—and he did softly,
scared, and somberly.
“What’d they do to you?”
I didn’t have an answer for him.
(Flashback / New York City)
“You’ve /got/ to leave, Kitty,” Sam cooed.
It was dark and we were hiding outside the apartment.
Sam wasn’t sure if the men would be waiting for his return
so he was trying to rid of me. I refused.
“I’m staying right here.”
He gave me a look of frustration before nodding.
“Fine. Duck behind that canister.”
I waited for what seemed like the longest time
and I realized how frightened I was.
I had come down hours ago,
and now it hit—Sam might not return.
I didn’t know where I was and I didn’t know what I was doing at all,
and that was enough to make me absolutely restless.
When he did return, he had another duffel bag—
it had my passport, some clothes, money, the laptop he had given me that morning for my birthday and most importantly, Ringo.
I started to cry.
Sam didn’t cry.
His hands were caked in dry blood
and he had some on his face.
I knew exactly whose blood it was
but I still whimpered,
“They killed him, didn’t they?”
I buried myself into Sam—
kind, warm and a savior, my Sam—
and we sat there in the alley until I stopped crying.
Sam still didn’t cry.
He was in a complete state of shock.
When he said, “You’ve /got/ to leave, Kitty,”
again, I knew how serious he was. I wiped my face.
“But I love you.”
Sam’s hands shook as he placed on the sides of my face.
“I adore you,” he whispered. “But they’re after you, baby.”
And that’s when he started to cry. He shook his head.
“I’ll find a way to pay off the debt,
but it won’t be with you, goddammit,
over my dead body.” He hid his face—
I held him in my thin, pale arms
and in the moonlight I stared into his eyes.
“Come find me when you have it all figured out,” I whispered.
“I’ll be in the same place, always.”
He carefully stood and helped me up,
fingers intertwined tightly.
“I love you, just remember alright?”
He wiped my face, grains of dirt and all,
and I studied his, all blood and sweat and exhaustion.
“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” he whispered.
“Did you ever think something like this would happen?”
I didn’t have an answer for him.
- sincerely, e. kat rigby.
p.s. none of this was edited/proofed
so excuse any lame spelling mistakes etc
it's 1 am i didn't do my homework i have to catch my bus in 5 hours WGNEAKSDFGHJKL