Gray by Pete Wentz, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. Pete Wentz Gray Pdf - Pete Wentz Net Worth. Her smoke rings are wide and gray, almost big enough to climb into. Like life savers off the bow of a sinking ship. We All Sleep in the Same Room by Paul Rome Gray by Pete Wentz Wave by Sonali Deraniyagala In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods.
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There are few books I continue thinking about long after I've finished. Her knees unlock. I will probably vomit. I want to notice every little detail. Overall this is an emotional novel that makes you think and that gives an unsettling fictional first-person account of a life with bipolar disorder. The love seemed to go in circles because the characters were going in circles. And if you're all about rules, then don't read a book you know you're not going to enjoy.
My only hang-up with the book was the ending. I had read the major spoiler beforehand I don't like emotional blows; surprises are not my thing , but the actual ending was so unsettled.
I think that was also symbolic, and many will appreciate that. I, personally, like more finality. But that's not life, and this book was definitely about the honesty of life. I did find my new motto in this plethora of brilliant lines, because it completely describes me.
It's different from most books I review, but it's definitely earned its spot as a favorite. Just don't expect some happy ending, nicely boxed up with a bow - you won't find that here. Unfortunately, something tells me I won't be able to just email this author to purchase a signed copy like I normally do. Oh well. And, yes, my review is lacking its normal inappropriate humor.
I blame the sad book. No laughs for sad books. Aug 22, Jon rated it did not like it Recommends it for: No One. Find this review at Scott Reads It! Pete Wentz is the renowned former bassist and lyricist of Fall Out Boy. Gray is inspired by the rise of Fall Out Boy and Pete's relationship with his girlfriend.
I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn't. Gray is a depressing book that really has no moral value. It is the story of Pete's drug addiction and battle with love. I really hated how depressing this book was and this Find this review at Scott Reads It!
I really hated how depressing this book was and this is not a book to read when you're in a good mind. Gray is a story that is written with such fantastic language and prose. This book was filled with metaphors and was written so lyrically and poetically. The great prose couldn't save this book from it's lack of developed characters and simplistic plot.
Basically the main characters fights with drug abuse, he breaks up with girlfriend, and then he gets back together with her. You know how on shampoo bottles it says Lather, Rinse and Repeat. This book was written with the instructions: I really expected a book that would have some emotional and sentimental value. Wentz tries to written a heart-breaking tale but the reader doesn't know enough about his GF and him to have empathy. Instead of feeling sympathy or empathy I felt like this book was written in a sob-story fashion.
I thought this book would end with the character rising up above his drug abuse and cleaning his life up but nothing like this happened.
Wentz really annoyed me with how much teen angst he wrote this with! I guess if you like Fall Out Boy you might like this cliche book but even then I don't think readers will enjoy it.
My thoughts on this book have not changed since my first reread or original review, which I was expecting. Can you give a book more than 5 stars? This one deserves it. This is one of those books that has the same impact on you and hooks you in and keeps you intrigued in the same way the first read did.
Definitely recommend, especially after rereading! I'm pleasantly surprised with this. While this doesn't have a structured plot -- it's more like little pieces of his life, almost autobiography-ish put together, everyone and every event having some effect on the next -- it was still enjoyable and it was easy to follow.
It took me a second to really get into it, but it didn't too long, and once I was, it was not hard whatsoever for me to finish. Gray is about Wentz's battle with mental illness depression and anxiety, mainly and drug addiction.
A lot of this revolves around a lover he refers to as "Her" throughout. I've seen this used a couple of times, but screw it, let's use it again! Let me just talk a bit about the writing of this book real quick, since I found it a. I really enjoyed it: Wentz being the lyricist for Fall Out Boy, and the lyrics to their songs always being strong, and just listening to him in interviews and such, I was expecting this book to have really strong writing, and boy, was I not , by any means, let down by it.
It did a great job at taking us into Wentz's mind, and did a really good job and being descriptive Very little of this was actually about Fall Out Boy, it was mainly about Wentz's personal life and his experiences, which probably disappointed a lot of people, but I found it interesting nonetheless.
There are a lot of I don't want to say run-on, but very long sentences throughout -- that's another thing a lot of people would most likely not enjoy, but I did, and the more you read it, the more you get used to it and seems normal at that point.
We never did know the names of really anyone, as they were referred to as Her, The Animal, The Disaster, etc. While there wasn't a whole lot of character development, there was a lot of relationship development between them and Wentz, and with each other even, that I appreciated. There really wasn't really a "point" to this story, but yet there was still so much emotion that was evoked from it. Not to mention, the honesty in this book, Oh. It gave us so much insight without losing the emotion, which I loved.
A lot of people complain about it being "repetitive and boring" and "too depressing", but while I found it repetitive in just the slightest bit possible, it wasn't boring at all for me, in fact, it was pretty intriguing, and the further I got into it, the more hooked I got. I didn't find it too depressing myself, but that might just be the fact that a lot of the stuff people found "depressing" were nonetheless relatable to some level for me. Another note that I want to make is that you don't have to be a fan of Wentz, or even Fall Out Boy for that matter, to read this, which I like.
I always like it when YouTubers or in this case, the bassist and lyricist for a very popular and well-known band make books that anyone can read, regardless of if they've been fans since the first day or have never heard of them in their life. I really did enjoy this book and I am glad that I gave it a read. A really honestly amazing book that I highly recommend you read. View all 9 comments. Feb 20, Erica rated it it was amazing.
This book was incredible. I have been a fan of Fall Out Boy for many years, and a large part of this was a result of the lyrical content of their songs. And this is where my love of Pete Wentz's words begun. The chapters are filled with metaphors, incomplete sentences, and a musical flow of one paragraph into the next. This book is not for those that want a straightforward story. Much of this book means exactly what you want it to mean and This book was incredible.
Much of this book means exactly what you want it to mean and nothing more. The characters don't have real names and are referred to by nicknames, pronouns, and their actions. I found it amusing that other reviews critiqued this book for not being a polished work of writing. I think they're missing the point. This is how the mind works of a depressed individual. The cloudy train of thought. Their minds are the furthest thing from polished. This book was meant to be rambling and irrational.
It was meant to be misunderstood. It is a commentary on not only the author's life, but also the stigma of mental illness in America. If we ignore it and medicate it into oblivion, then we can forget about it.
Pretend it never happened.
Hopefully this book helps to bring the devastating consequences of mental illness to light, so we as a society can realize the importance of helping those who suffer instead of turning our backs and forcing them to suffer alone.
Feb 20, Lauren Thompson rated it liked it. As a big Fall Out Boy fan, I thought that I would love this book and fawn over the words of one of my favourite band dudes, but Gray didn't really live up to my expectations. As a follower of Wentz's blogs and music for a long time, Gray feels like a rehashed and extended version of a Livejournal entry.
Lines from Fall Out Boy songs pop up frequently and it's all too easy to draw the parallels between Wentz's own personal life and the protagonist's, which makes the novel come off pretty self indu As a big Fall Out Boy fan, I thought that I would love this book and fawn over the words of one of my favourite band dudes, but Gray didn't really live up to my expectations. Lines from Fall Out Boy songs pop up frequently and it's all too easy to draw the parallels between Wentz's own personal life and the protagonist's, which makes the novel come off pretty self indulgent.
Wentz is incredibly good at turning a phrase, but the actual story arcs in the book feel too rushed and underdeveloped. It feels like this book should invoke a more emotional reaction, but the plot and characters aside from the 'protagonist' i. Wentz just doesn't hold up. His lines work well in a song but don't hold up in a full length novel. Dec 01, Sarah Swann rated it really liked it. I really enjoyed this! I wasn't expecting his writing to be so poetic and lyrical.
It was a nice surprise. The relationship in here was SO unhealthy and just seeing it go so back and forth was heart breaking, but also understandable.
When you form that bond with someone, healthy or not, it's hard to break. I really enjoyed this book! Jun 13, Lillian rated it it was ok. This story isn't aut Pete Wentz's second novel is a mess. View 2 comments. Mar 24, Hristina rated it it was amazing Shelves: Surprise, surprise, Pete Wentz's writing makes me feel things. Let's talk about this book for a second, okay? I don't know why it took me so long to decide to finally read it. This book captures the train of thought of a person with mental illness as beautifully as a book can.
The constant change of mind, the continuous fears, the frequent panic attacks, the slow and sure slope into addiction of any kind , the inability to do Surprise, surprise, Pete Wentz's writing makes me feel things.
The constant change of mind, the continuous fears, the frequent panic attacks, the slow and sure slope into addiction of any kind , the inability to do something about your state. It is heavy to consume, it took me more than one sitting, but it is all described perfectly and I wish there was more.
Update April 6th I fall in love with this book every time I read it, and I've read it four times so far. It can be surprisingly funny at moments and extremely sad just a few sentences later, but at the end of the day, it's incredibly deep and beautifully written.
I cannot stress the beautifully enough. As someone who struggles with mental illness, I understand these things on a higher level that I don't think the average reader will be able to. I feel the sentences. And I praise whoever Pete for writing them the way he did.
And I know that people should be warned that the book is quite dark, and it might be triggering, there were moments, as I read on, where I thought it would be triggering to me too. But as I finally closed it, after reading the last words, for the fourth time, I felt heaviness on my chest because I had just read some of my darkest thoughts written down by one of my favorite people on the planet. I felt understood. Instead of triggering me, this book pulls me up every time I feel as if I'm starting to fall.
And I'm not ready to give up the relationship I have with it. There can be a million other books on similar subjects, but I'll always come back to this one. Apr 07, Mary rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Fans of Pete Wentz and Fallout Boy, people with an appreciation for beautifully written books. Love this book. Can sort of understand why, but really don't get how so many people don't like it.
I found it to be many wonderful things and it manages to set off hundreds of emotions in the reader in the space of just a couple of pages. It is dark pitch-black, in fact , but it is often hopeful and always beautifully written. The descriptions are gorgeous, and to get a chance to see the world through someone as brilliantly gifted with words as Pete Wentz is fantastic.
Definitely a must for any Love this book. Definitely a must for any die-hard Fallout Boy fans, like myself! One of the delightful little perks of it is that occasionally, a line from a song will pop up and you get a little smile to yourself.
Being a huge fan and having a vast knowledge of everything FOB-related, including Pete Wentz's struggle, it would be difficult to imagine anyone else as the protagonist, and it certainly gives a very very good account into the mind of someone struggling constantly with anxiety and with themselves.
The only problem I have with it is that I wouldn't recommend it to anyone in a bad frame of mind, as it is often quite depressing and it's hard to get parts of it out of your head after reading it.
The descriptions of suicidal thoughts are quite painful to read and it is quite an egde-of-your-seat read because of it. It feels like I have so much more to say about this book, but really I can't put into words how much I adored it and how perfectly it matched my expectations and yet it still broke my heart. It gives you such a new perspective, how you can have it all and it's still not enough, how it might never be. May 17, Virginiatingley rated it really liked it Shelves: I had to fight my initial feelings of annoyance at what I thought was overwritten, abstract prose.
I was prepared to roll my eyes at this book, to say "oh, Pete" every few paragraphs. I thought that the words would come off as trying too hard. But then, I realized why the style of prose seemed familiar to me, and where I had seen it before, and the book bloomed into something different for me. The beat generation. This is the type of book that Pete has written, the only difference is tha I had to fight my initial feelings of annoyance at what I thought was overwritten, abstract prose. This is the type of book that Pete has written, the only difference is that it's a hell of a lot less romanaticized.
Maybe people don't want to look at this book, to look at Pete Wentz and his style, his music, his genre, and compare it to classics from the era of beat poetry. I know that I certainly didn't want to. But I couldn't help it, the comparisons just came. The story was interesting, I genuinely wanted to know what happened next, and I read it quite quickly.
The only thing I disliked was the ending, a lack of a lesson, of an epiphany, etc. I feel like it left me hanging. Which I suppose is what life does. Side question: I'm interested to know exactly how much of a part James Montgomery had in this novel. I'd like to be assured that it's mostly entirely Pete Wentz's doing. My wife often jokes that Pete Wentz and I are soulmates and I am, at the very least, a fan and weirdly staunch defender of his whole deal and I've wanted to read this for a while, so when it popped up on sale I finally committed and blew through it.
My thirties are different than I expected. This was like By a famous person? Which was really weird. I hated the "Her" capitali My wife often jokes that Pete Wentz and I are soulmates and I am, at the very least, a fan and weirdly staunch defender of his whole deal and I've wanted to read this for a while, so when it popped up on sale I finally committed and blew through it. I hated the "Her" capitalization, nameless thing, but was surprised by the amount of solid writing.
I think of Pete Wentz as a good writer because I like his lyrics, but that very rarely translates into good novels, but there's some good stuff here and I would hope that's not ALL up to there being a co-writer. There's a lot of gross stuff about women and not quite enough self-awareness about the gross stuff thought it tries and in the end I feel really bummed out for both author and narrator, but one of the benefits of reading something that's ostensibly "about" a public figure who is pretty open with his life is knowing that they are likely in a better place in than they were when this was published.
Being a fan is weird. Celebrity is weird. Life is weird. As a Los Angeles native, I'd just like to say that people's obsession with LA being plastic and soulless is soooooo boooooooooooring. Los Angeles isn't fake; rich people are.
If you think LA is full of phonies, it's because you've surrounded yourself with them. Do better. Feb 12, Lis rated it it was ok Shelves: Sometimes I just look at this book and think about Jeanae and wonder what it feels like to have an entire book written about a trainwreck of a relationship with someone bitter enough to write a book about it 8 years after it ended.
Oh man. That's a lot of bitterness. But it's manifested itself in okay writing, so there's that. I think of this as something reminiscen Sometimes I just look at this book and think about Jeanae and wonder what it feels like to have an entire book written about a trainwreck of a relationship with someone bitter enough to write a book about it 8 years after it ended.
I think of this as something reminiscent of Palahniuk, with less concentration on the physically jarring aspects of his stories and more about the mental side. More antidepressants. More pill-popping. More visits to a sorely needed psychiatrist. Ah, well. It was fiction, so I don't know how much of it actually happened in real life Jenae didn't really view spoiler [die in real life hide spoiler ] Does it count as fanfiction if it's written by the guy himself? Aug 02, Jenna marked it as to-read.
Pete Wentz is pretty much the reason I'm not masochistic anymore. His story inspired me a lot, and now he's my celebrity role model. Thanks Pete!!! Ugh just found out this book isn't going to be published yet.
Oh well I'll leave it on my list. View all 87 comments. Aug 14, Tiferet rated it did not like it. This was a mess, and an even worse study in misogyny than the lyrics on FOB's first album and I'm saying it as a huge fan of the band.
View all 3 comments.
Sep 06, Laura rated it it was ok Shelves: I fly back to Chicago for a week. Have a minor panic attack on the ride to LAX. Take three Ativans to settle myself down. This is becoming a daily occurrence. When I land at O'Hare, no one is there to greet me. I take a cab to my apartment, realize I don't have my keys, make the driver take me to my parents' house. My mom asks me if everything is okay. I tell her I don't know and go to sleep in my old bed.
I wake up a day later, my cell phone on the floor, the message light blinking violently. I go to Her apartment. Her bed isn't made. Nothing is sadder than an unmade bed. We go see Her mother in the hospital.
We hug awkwardly, and I can feel her shoulders twitching as I hold her. Spend the next few days wandering the hallways, poking my head into mysterious, darkened rooms, eating french fries in the cafeteria.
I smoke cigarettes with Her outside the emergency room. We don't talk about much. At night, I hold Her while she sleeps. We don't have sex. Her mother doesn't die. All in all, it was bad trip. P Anyway, Gray is technically fiction, but reads like a autobiography or really more of a diary. The mind we see into is troubled to say the least. The rise to stardom is paved with good intentions, conflicting dreams, and broken hearts.
There's also a good bit of drugs, and a little bit of rock and roll. Wentz with help from James Montgomery certainly has a way with words. So why 2. I tried to meet the protagonist where he is to understand him Many gave this offering high ratings though, so by all means, support your local library and give it a try.
Just be warned that it is fairly bleak. Given a rating of "above average". Feb 19, Lydia rated it liked it Shelves: Cover art: He is an excellent lyricist so I was interested to see if he could translate those skills to prose. Despite it being labelled a fictitious novel, the subject matter makes it kind of obvious that it is closer to an autobiography.
The main characters in the book are distinct — being the unnamed protagonist, hi Cover art: The Disaster is probably the only fully fleshed out character in the whole book, because the protagonist spends a lot of time admiring him for his more positive attitude to life despite his back story.
More often than not though the gritty revelations of the life of the rich and famous come off more passive than bitter, because he takes part in it all despite himself. For me the saving grace of the book and the only thing that made it worth reading was the insight into the mind of a depressed and anxious person.
Despite the self-indulgent misery and sometimes florid writing it felt like the protagonist fancied himself as a modern day Holden Caulfield, except he was a phony too , some of the witty and unflinchingly blunt observations about life were relatable and eye-opening. Other comments: Readers should be made aware that there are some worrying things in this book, such as the attitude towards women and the drug use.
Nov 23, Layne Homer rated it it was amazing. Pete Wentz is the bassist and songwriter for Fall Out Boy, one of my favourite bands, and their l "Sometimes, late at night in the hotel room, after the lights have gone out and the mistakes have already been made, when it is heavy and silent and still, I lie awake and listen to my pulse on the pillow.
Pete Wentz is the bassist and songwriter for Fall Out Boy, one of my favourite bands, and their lyrics are some of the most emotional you will ever hear.
This book is a handheld song, a page platinum record, and is easily my favourite book of all time. The reason I find "Gray" so incredible is the window into the Wentz's life it gives the reader. The autobiography is present in his feeling toward his band, his constant mention of Chicago his home , and the experiences that the Car Crash Hearts have read about in Wentz's own words. The aliases are metaphors for those in his life, and the metaphors are the feelings you can't just say.
This is the kind of writing that envelopes you, leaves you breathless, and when I read the final word of the final page, it felt like something was missing in my life. See, I relate to Wentz very strongly, and I became so attached to the book because of how lost the narrator seemed, how similar we were. Despite the sex not sex scenes, just words to say what happened , mischief, drugs, and drinking, I was hooked from cover to cover.
Mar 12, Alex rated it it was ok. I love his lyrics and his music, but his prose? Not so good. This is masturbatory and a thinly-veiled almost-autobiography that should would have been better if he'd published the damn thing as one. There's no plot, really, except that the main character, aka Pete Wentz, is a depressed rock star who has mental problems and attachments I wouldn't really call it "being in love" with a girl he o I'm a huge Fall Out Boy fan, so when I saw that Wentz wrote a novel, I had to read it ASAP, naturally.
There's no plot, really, except that the main character, aka Pete Wentz, is a depressed rock star who has mental problems and attachments I wouldn't really call it "being in love" with a girl he only refers to as "Her.
I'm going to assume that's intentional, and he didn't just name her Her to be some sort of clever and avoid calling her the name of his ex-girlfriend. I won't spoil the end of the book, for any masochists like myself that are determined to make it through this garbage, but I'm guessing that the last 30 or so pages are the only part that make any major deviation from Wentz's life, where more than just minor details are changed.
Oh - and he also quotes his own lyrics throughout the book. I'm not sure if that's because he thinks they're that great or because that's all he's got. Either way, it's a bummer. Apr 11, Molly rated it really liked it Shelves: I love Pete's mind and was hooked to this! You've really got to understand the style that he writes in. He is truly different from the rest and if you're a fan of his lyrics then you can't go wrong. I found this as a good insight into one of my favourite minds and the darkness of it all was incredibly interesting.
It looks at the darker side of the mind and fame. It's not a simple case of guy and girl trying to make it work when a band hit it big, it's about them struggling with the industry, and I love Pete's mind and was hooked to this! It's not a simple case of guy and girl trying to make it work when a band hit it big, it's about them struggling with the industry, and, most importantly, with the main protagonists demons.
He takes you through his every strange thought and how he doesn't understand the motivation behind the things he does to himself and others. This book will obviously appeal to Fall Out Boy fans such as myself but if you keep an open mind and don't just judge it because it's written by that guy that 'used to wear eyeliner and was married to that girl's sister' then you could really find it interesting to get inside the mind of such an interesting character who's mental problems further him to become a superstar and do some strange things to the people he loves.
Jan 31, Felicia rated it it was amazing. Amazing book. So well-written. I have been a fan since i was 14 years old and I admire him so much more after reading his book. Feb 22, Kendall Hampton rated it it was amazing. Dec 28, Tara rated it really liked it Shelves: This book is intense, and even more harrowing when you think about how much of the material is autobiographical. It's one of those I wouldn't recommend you read unless your mental health is good.
And yes, it does read like a novel-length Fall Out Boy song. Here are the allusions to pre-hiatus Fall Out Boy lyrics that I noticed: Mapless and hopeless. Alone together. My pupils dilated. Nov 10, Vicki rated it it was amazing. I don't think you've truly lived until you've thought about killing yourself.
It's oddly liberating. May 07, Maria rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Written in first person perspective in a stream of consciousness style that stays very close to the protagonist. Overall this is an emotional novel that makes you think and that gives an unsettling fictional first-person account of a life with bipolar disorder. I would suggest that you go into this book knowing about bipolar disorder, as the book itself does not educate about it in the conventional sense.
However, the disorder is never named in the novel and we never learn if the protagonist is actually diagnosed with it. Reckless and impulsive behavior, sleeplessness, self-neglect, bursts of creativity and productiveness, substance abuse, feelings of intense love and connection to others melding physically and mentally , life being open and limitless, grandiose ideas and plans, irritability, paranoia, obsessive behavior. All of it.
Everything is happening. Those kinds of details seem trivial when your life is opening up [ I lift myself off it quickly so none of their memories seep into me. We are all adrift, we are all lost, with nothing to put us back on course. It is worth noting that there was no great stability in Chicago, in his relationship with her and the life he may have with her and so the idea of going back to it and everything being okay if he did is an illusion.
The commercial success of his band introduces great change and instability into the life circumstances of the protagonist. The protagonist attributed his anxiety to the fear of dying in a plane- or car crash, but what if most of the anxiety was actually caused by the realistic fear that his condition would get worse?
In this case his travel anxiety would be very reasonable. Some of the treatment seems ill-advised he is primarily treated for anxiety and depression with medication.
The protagonist is ambiguous towards all forms of treatment. This is understandable given the lack of success of any treatment so far, and given that the manic episodes seem to feel very good to him for a while and he may want to hang on to this feeling.
But this ambiguity may make all treatment less effective because of his lack of compliance and unwillingness to trust and be open. It is worth noting that he also receives treatment that seems not well-intentioned. Aside from his love interest, there are only a few people that are more than just there, just in the background.
The same can be said for his family. The protagonist often judges people before really getting to know them. There is little room for a benevolent approach to people as valuable individuals. In addition, women are often described as doe-eyed, ethereal beauties, which seems far removed from the reality that no matter the gender we are all flesh-and blood people with beautiful and ugly sides. The protagonist describes him as a con-man and it remains unclear to the protagonist if he is conned by him or a friend.
He is portrayed as kind, reliable and a person of integrity. There are several factors that make their connection stand out: Right when Martin is introduced as a character, there are signs for mutual trust and respect between him and the protagonist.
They work together and seem to share their problems with each other. Note that it is also almost uneventful, no extreme up or down: The endorphins released during infatuation are similar to heroin.
OxyContin, the cuddling hormone, most often found in new mothers and newlyweds, is like ecstasy; every touch tingles. I think I read that somewhere. Love exists in powder. Love exists in pills. We are all addicts. My head is swirling when I pass her my hotel-room key, surreptitiously as if it were a promise. I whisper for her to go wait for me there, and she does.
It will be more than an hour before I even leave the bar, mostly because I like the idea of her sitting there, back in my room, bee-stung knees on the bed, waiting. My moral compass is spinning next to the magnet that is all of my desire. Knees locked, elbows sharp, the piercing in her chest jumping slightly. I push her back on the bed, kiss her neck, make my way down to that piercing. Her knees unlock. You can pretty much imagine what happens from there.
But now, she wants to talk, sitting up against the head-board, knees drawn tight, smoking that cigarette. This is her confessional. She explains how she ran away to LA or was addicted to OxyContin or something. I ask her about her family because it seems to be the kind of question I am expected to ask. She tells me her mother is a French whore. No, seriously, my mom is a fucking French whore, she says, looking at me with wide eyes, searching for some kind of response.
She has rehearsed this, delivered that line in front of a mirror while she put on lipstick. I hate her. She sits there for what feels like an hour, knees up against her chest piercing, then she turns out the light. I imagine her chest piercing rising and falling, like ancient Roman empires.
Hours later, riding to somewhere else, I look up the translation. It means just like me. All the skylines look the same now. I am not prepared for any of this. Dark glasses. I sit up in my bunk, in my underwear and sunglasses, listen to the motor hum and the miles whistle away beneath my feet. I imagine the bottom of the bus falling away, me hitting the ground running, burning north up 35, cutting east on 44 at Oklahoma City, rocketing across great distances, jumping onto 55 in St.
Louis, just a blur now, a bottle rocket headed north, past Springfield, Peoria, Lexington, Chenoa, Pontiac; then Chicago looming large on the horizon, me headed right for the heart of it, now supersonic, Kedzie Ave, Ashland Ave, Chinatown flashing by, digging my heels into the asphalt, making sparks fly, skidding to a stop on Lake Shore Drive, standing there in my underwear and sunglasses, my heels cooling in the morning light.
Maybe a scarf wrapped around my neck for warmth. Oh, what would they say about me then? Anywhere, Texas. Everywhere, USA. I feel the same regardless. I am homesick all the time. It used to be simpler—you know far—far, but never too far from home, from Her. Now, everything is bigger. We sleep through the days. I partied the whole way here. Everyone else is passed out. He is a man of few words. He has no feelings of remorse, no regrets. He is everything I am not.
In the rare instances when the Disaster sleeps, he does it less than three feet away from me on the tour bus. Those are the kinds of things he thinks about. The bus pulls in behind some arena named after an airline. I watch them through the tinted window of the bus, feeling guilty.
I never meant to be like this. He spies a couple of prospects Tremendous upside potential is how he puts it , spits, and heads to the bathroom. Of course they are. He looks at me for approval, and I crack a smile.
I pull on jeans and a hoodie—my uniform—and we make our way to the front of the bus. Out into the spotlight. This is a voyage fraught with peril, after all. The convoy is assembled in the front lounge of the bus—someone has poured a beer on the Xbox, I note—and we head out, swinging the bus door open with a shudder. They call my name over and over the world is on a first-name basis with me. We pile into a black SUV, the Disaster rolling down the window to wave good-bye to his pair of prospects.
The SUV pulls away from the arena, making its way through the maze of empty streets, exploring the canyon of skyscrapers. Downtowns are always amazing on weekend mornings, nothing but shadows and lonely newspaper bins, coffee shops with the chairs turned upside down on the tables. You can imagine grass growing between the cracks of the sidewalks, vines swallowing skyscrapers.
Or, at least I can. No one even raises an eyebrow at us. We sit at a table near the window, and the Disaster leans back in his chair, folds his hands behind his head, and props those rattlesnake boots up on the table, knocking his knife and fork to the floor with a clatter.
Trust-fund babies and graphic designers and aspiring novelists. Man back into monkey. I look out the window, wishing I were anyplace but here. I bet she hates her father and reads Camus. I take off my sunglasses when I order. The Disaster is talking loudly to the road manager about something—the Stunt Rock DVD, I think, which has become a favorite of his on this tour—and I do my best not to listen, my eyes drifting from table to table.