I had got out of bed, and after checking Jimmy's head in case he's knocked it on anything on the way down, I put a blanket over him, got dressed, and left. He looked rough, but he'd had worse. I was sure of it.
I took a little walk around outside. It was still pretty early, and when I reached the seaside, it was empty.
My nerves were hurting for a smoke. I took out a cigarette and stuck it between my lips, then took out my lighter and flicked it in the morning air a couple times. Sparks snapped at me, but there was no fuel left. I'd only bought it three days ago and it was already out.
"Fuck," I cursed, tossing it into the sand. The tide was in and it swallowed it up greedily.
I heard my name being called, and I shot around.
"Hey, Robert!" it came again. Jonesy stood at the top of the concrete stairs that led down to the sand.
"Hey," I greeted him lamely. "What's up?" I distantly wondered how he knew I was here until I remembered the beach was right below out hotel balconies.
"Nothing much," he said, coming down the steps. "You seen Jimmy?"
"Yeah, he's back at the hotel."
"I know." He sat down on the log beside me.
Looking up, I noticed in his expression he was about to drill me for a few questions. I got ready.
"He's passed out, you know," he continued.
"You know what's new. It wasn't the alcohol."
"Yeah, well, you know Jimmy. He experiments with his music, why not drugs?" I sniffed, trying to keep good humour, though I knew I sounded pissed. "He'll be fine, though. He's too smart to get too into that shit."
"No-one's immune, though, keep that in mind."
"Don't remind me." I paused. "Do you think he'll be okay, though? Honestly."
"Yeah," Jonesy replied simply. "We've all done shit."
"Yeah, that's true." I tried to ignore the recollection of the first time I'd tried coke. Five minutes into my high, I was thinking of how I could get some more.
"Tell you what," Jonesy started. "We'll both keep an eye out for him, alright? If he starts to look bad, we do something about it."
I agreed, though I knew that was a terrible plan. If he started looking bad, it would already be too late.
Oh, look, Jimmy's got track marks all up his arm and can't get out of bed. Time to do something about it.
Jonesy lit a cigarette, smoked half, and gave the rest to me. I dragged on it hard, I burned it up in half the time Jonesy had. I snuffed it out in the sand and stood up.
Hell, Jimmy was old enough to make his own decisions. And I trusted him to make good ones. The way he had handled this mess of a band never failed to leave me with admiration. He hadn't let anything get in the way of this dream us three had. Nothing. And he certainly wouldn't let that slide just to get high.
"Well, I'm going back to the hotel to get some sleep before the show tonight. You'd think I'd be used to this touring shit by now."
"Don't trip over Jimmy," Jonesy laughed.
"He's probably up by now," I shot, finding his comment tasteless.
"Yeah, see you later." I left in a rut and when I got back to the hotel, I realised I didn't have a key. I took a moment looking at the burgundy hotel carpet to silently will Jimmy to be awake, then I knocked. To my relief and surprise, I heard footsteps inside.
"Who is it?" It was Jimmy, and telling by his voice, he'd just woke up.
"You okay?" I blurted, putting my ear to the door.
It swung open, and I teetered in the air before catching my balance.
"What do you mean are you okay?" Jimmy said, standing in the doorway, clad completely in black. He cocked an eyebrow and stepped aside to let me in. His nose was clean, but it still looked like it was running, and when he wiped it, I just wanted to confront him about it.
But I didn't. I just stepped in and shook my head. "Never mind," I said, walking into the kitchen for a glass of water. "It was just that you were passed out--"
"I was fine, Percy. How many times have you seen me passed out?" He laughed at his own expense. "You should be used to it by now."
"I know," I said, walking back out to the main room where he was sitting on the bed, his thin body dark against the lavish cream bedspread. I took a drink, and set the glass down on the dresser. "You're right. It was just that you usually pass out on a couch or something. And your head was pretty close to that bed frame."
"Robert, I'm fine," he said with a little incredulous laugh. "Calm down. I drank too much, that's all."
I tried to change the subject for both our sakes.
"So," I said, sitting down on the other bed. "What did you do last night?"
"I was going to go to sleep," he started, leaning back, black curls rolling over his sharp jaw. "But then I remembered Bonzo was down at the bar, and I thought, hey, why not."
"Oh," I stated.
He was lying to me. I shouldn't have cared, but I did. He was lying about something I was actually worried about. I didn't ask him anything else about his night. I didn't want any more of his bullshit.
"Well, I'm going to be lazy and had catch some shut-eye before tonight."
"I was right," he smirked.
"When you're not singing or partying, you're sleeping," he recited with a grin.
"Or writing," I swung back.
We shared a tired laugh, and I rolled over, facing the door out to the balcony.
Maybe he was just lying so I didn't worry. Maybe I didn't have anything to worry about. And maybe it was a one-time thing. Like I'd said to Jonesy, Jimmy was too smart to get fucked up. Atleast, I hoped he was.