June 6, 2007

HOLLY'S SIDE OF THE STORY

Well, I’m an older fan. There are a lot of those now.

I first heard of MCR on the radio. It was a cover that attracted me to their sound. The way that they made me feel touched me to my core. At the time there was so many things happening and I was so alone. I researched them and found their CDs. I got them both. I began to listen every day and the feeling of their music rushing through you when you are sad and lonely is a feeling that has to be experienced. It’s a hard one to describe.

When you are hurting, you feel dark, you feel lonely, and you feel lost. The lyrics do seem dark when you listen but when you are in that state of mind you can see just what it means. You can feel the hope in the songs from three cheers. You can feel the release that “bullets” allow you to have. TBP is a record of hope and pain and struggle and triumph. It causes you to feel that no matter the shit that happens, no matter how hard it is, you can do anything. Their lyrics are metaphors about real life feelings that we all experience. To hear what you are feeling in a moment of grief, makes you feel less alone. That’s the main reason of my love for this band, they are just like me. But in no way do MCR condone self harm. They help you understand that you can do this. You can live.

Like I said there’s no way to describe it unless you feel it.

Once there was a girl, she was a dreamer, a poet, and a writer. Only she lost that. One day she awakened to the reality that she had to grow up. She didn’t have a few years or even months. She had to be a grown up then. At 16, she had to grow up and it didn’t make any difference if she wanted to or not. Believe me, she didn’t want too. But this story starts before that, it starts when she was 14. She hated school. She didn’t go if she could get out of it. There was always someone saying shit that would make her feel like nothing. It was the way she looked and if it wasn’t that it was because her parents were blind. That made her different, so she didn’t have many friends. She hated gym the most, you had to wear these stupid shorts and t-shirt in there and the teacher insisted that the shirt had to be tucked. Why did it have to be tucked? She was “the fat kid” the nerd with the pimples and the stringy hair.



Most everyone just ignored her. But there was one girl. This one girl that would slam her with the ball when the teacher wasn’t looking. I bet the teacher thought that she was a very clumsy girl because every time she turned her back she had one student that would end up on the floor. The entire class would be laughing and she’d tell them that it’s not nice to make fun of her. She never knew about the ball being thrown so hard that it would knock her off her feet. If the damn ball had been aimed at the same place every time then maybe sometimes shed have a chance but it never was and she always hit the floor for their amusement. That was just gym. There were the whispers in the hall and most of the time it was, “ Her parents are blind.” Please, some one tell me what the f**k is wrong with that? Yea school was the worst place in the world to be and she was smart too, she could have gotten strait As if she had figured that it was worth it but she was to busy avoiding confrontation and trying to figure out ways to stay home so she never did homework.

They had placed her in advanced English once but the, “ Oh my god, why is SHE in here.” Made her purposely get an F to get kicked out. And the damn teacher was even worse. She sent home that F paper for her dad to sign. Which he did. He would sign stuff with a scribble signature. It didn’t look like his name at all but someone had taught him and he’d been signing like that way before she had been born. But that teacher when she saw it said that she was making fun of her parents! Making fun of them. Like she would do that. Everyone did but she would never do that. That teacher paddled her for that and it seemed that she would paddle all day except the girl said, “Please stop it hurts to badly.” She stopped and went into a speech about how most kids would have said Hurts to bad, not badly, and how she could be an honor student. Well she knew that. But she didn’t want to face anyone and watching her ass and concentrating on school was too hard to do at the same time. She got kicked out of that class. She never took advanced math for that reason too. Then there was a day when she had to quit, it wasn’t a choice, she had to. But that’s later.

When she was 14 she fell in love. A boy that lived next door to her was who he was. He was striking to her with long black hair and green eyes. Only thing was that he hated her. Or that’s what it seemed at first. He was mean to her. She understood why, I mean she was an ugly girl. She was a big girl, “fat” they told her. She also had pimples on her face. Not a few, no she had what people call pizza face. So she knew she was ugly. He was popular too, everyone loved Michael. Yea she lived next door to one of the most popular guys in school and he hated her. It wasn’t like he didn’t know she was alive, oh yes he knew. Him and his best friend, who just happened to be the brother of her best friend, would chase her if she made the mistake to go outside. She made that mistake a lot.

Cause she wanted him to be her friend. Just stop chasing her and hurting her. Yea, he didn’t stop at just chasing her. He would come up with shit to do when he cornered her. Once he was just slapping her face over and over. It was really more than once that he did that and his best friend would help by keeping her cornered. Then one day he got a dart set. A real one, not the toy one. It was steal. And so he decided when he cornered her he’d throw them at her legs and see if they stuck. They did. It was quite painful when they stuck in her knees. She begged him to stop but she never cried. She would just ask him to stop and then shed try to make it funny. She’d make him miss and laugh, saying, “I won that one!” but she lost a lot. Still somehow she thought she loved him. One day when he caught her he sat on her stomach and at first she thought he was gonna hit her like always but instead he touched her. He touched her breast. She was shocked. If he did that did that mean he loved her? Is that why he was so mean? He must have gotten embarrassed by it cause he got up and walked away. No he meant to touch her there, but he must have been embarrassed that he wanted to and he left.

She was 14 and she thought she loved him so she thought that she could get him then. She also thought she new about sex and all that it entailed because when she was 9 there was a man that touched her. He would come to her house to bring milk. He was the milkman and he found out that her mom and dad were blind so he decided that he could get away with putting his fingers inside her. He was right. So she thought she knew about sex. She called Michael two days after he touched her and she asked him if that was what he wanted from her and that if it was, that she would let him. The day after the call he cornered her again. But this time he kissed her. But there was a catch to getting him. It was an awful catch. There’s always a catch isn’t there? She could have him but only if she let his best friend be the first. It didn’t take her long to decide it was worth it. She loved him and she’d do anything to get him and make him stop hurting her. So she said ok and she said that the only condition was that they had to stop chasing her and hurting her. So they agreed and she gave her virginity to her best friends brother so she could have Michael. She continued sleeping with him till she was 17, almost 18 but that’s later in the story. She was in her world that day, the day it happened. Worried about boys and friends.

Mostly about one boy. One that was using her for pleasures that she had experienced a lot more than once but still didn’t fully understand. You see, she still thought that the reason he shared that with her, the reason he wanted her was because he loved her. It must be that. He must love her because that’s why she let him, because she loved him. She was 300 miles from home on her birthday. Sweet 16 they said. They had no idea what they were talking about, but she didn’t tell them that. She kept thinking that shed be gone a whole summer! The whole thing and he’d have to miss her. He would tell her that when she got back. He would admit it to her finally. Only it wasn’t the whole summer. It was a week that she was gone and after that week was over she had to grow up. If she had known that that was her last week of being a child she would have stopped pretending that she was grown and just enjoyed it while it lasted but she didn’t know. She didn’t know anything. She had her birthday in the home of her mom’s best friend. A lady that had helped her parents a lot when she was little before they moved her 300 miles away. She spent her birthday in the same bed she was in when she was 8 and wanted to go home so she tried to dial her home number but got it wrong. The lady on the other end was nice but when the girl asked, ”Would you call my mom and dad and tell them I want to come home? She only said, “I’m sorry honey but I don’t know how to call them.”Why the girl didn’t ask the lady that lived there, I don’t know. I guess because she was still a child and not sure how to go home? I don’t know. She went home the next morning anyway.

But when she was 16 she didn’t want to go home. Anywhere but home. Home turned out to be a sad place where devastation was waiting. No, she didn’t want to go home. She was 16 after all, and she didn’t have a choice. She was in a church that morning. In the church of Christ to be exact. She always thought it kindof funny that they believed they were the only church going to heaven. Her mom’s best friend, Lucille was her name, used to beg her parents to be members of that church, because if they didn’t, when they die they are going to hell. They were Baptist but it didn’t matter they were still going to hell.

But that day she was in that church and she had been 16 a whole day. There was a phone call in the office and they pulled the freshly 16-year-old girl from her pew. On the other end was her dad. He was a good man. He loved her so much, and he was a strong man. If he was upset ever, in any way, you knew that you should be worried too. She herd the anguish in his voice the moment he said, ”Baby, please sit down.” He just kept asking, ”Are you sure you’re sitting down?”

He began to ramble and the girl knew there was something wrong and her dad just didn’t have a clue how to tell her so she finally said, “Daddy, just say it, say what it is.” Tears were already sliding down her cheeks because even tho she had no idea, she felt it and somehow she knew. Somehow, she already knew. So he simply said, “Honey your mom’s dead.” He never was one to know how to word things. He never knew what to say. He never said the words “I love you.” Never in all her 16 years had he said it to her. But she understood. In his mind it was just a given. His daughter knew he loved her and he didn’t have to say it for her to know. She understood that. He didn’t say it then either but he was crying. OH god! Her dad was crying on the other end of the phone. He didn’t cry. Not him. He was her dad! He was invincible. He was immortal. But then her mom was too and she had died so how immortal is that. In that moment, she had to grow up. She fought it tho. She didn’t grow up right then. Instead as her immortal father was crying on the other end and telling her that her cousins were coming to get her in their car, someone had to come get her so it was them.

She couldn’t here the sobs coming from him anymore. She knew he was hurting she knew that, but she just couldn’t hear him falling apart any longer. He wasn’t supposed to fall apart. So she threw the phone as hard as she could as far across the room as she could. She stood there a moment as if in a daze. Hoping that she was asleep and dreaming this. But then standing became too much to do and she collapsed in a sobbing heap in the floor. People rushed to her people tried to consol her but she couldn’t see anything or anyone at that moment. She knew someone was on the phone with her dad. No idea who but someone. She told them she just wanted to stay there. She could wait to go home a week or so. Everyone was angry for a while. They thought she wanted to stay because she really didn’t care. But what was going through her mind was maybe if she waited, just maybe it would go away. Maybe if she didn’t go home now they would tell her it was a cruel joke, or some weird mistake. But it wasn’t a joke or a mistake. Yea she had to grow up but that wasn’t all that happened. Oh no! There was going to be a lot more than that. Why stop there?

She continued sleeping with the boy, why not she loved him. But now she was the mistress cause he had a cheerleader girlfriend. She was pretty too, with blond hair and pom-poms. But he slept with her so it didn’t matter that he had a girlfriend, he loved her, and she just knew it. She began to cry one day, bawling for the boy next store to be hers alone. Her dad came in and said, “What’s wrong?” She said, “I love him and it’s not fair.” He knew of her wanting the boy he knew that she liked him but he had no idea that they were doing what they did. He simply said, “Life’s not fair, and it gets harder.” That sentence will be in her brain forever. He was so right there. So right.

Six months later she came in from school and her dad was in the bathroom spitting up, he did that a lot. He forgot to flush tho and when she went to the bathroom she looked down. She looked into the water and saw the red. It was blood in the water and her dad had spit it in there. Her dad’s blood. She told him in a loud panic. He was calm and told her it was fine. Don’t worry he said. But she was worried and she called her uncle and told him to make her dad go to the doctor and he did. Her dad was angry with her for telling him to make him but he went and they said that he had cancer, lung cancer. He’d had it a long tome. His whole left lung was covered and half of his right lung was covered to. They could do chemo but it would only make him live a little longer it wouldn’t be much help tho. Her dad’s mom was alive and terrified and begged him to do the chemo. He did it for a week but then said that he didn’t want to live the rest of his days with what felt like a bad sunburn. He told his mom that he was sorry but he was stopping the chemo. He really just didn’t want to stay any longer than he had to. He had only smiled once sense his wife died. Only once and that was when the doctor had said he was going to die soon. Yea, he really didn’t want to stay any longer than he had to.

She told the boy, Michael, that she had to stop seeing him one day. She felt guilty that she was having sex in the house and her dad was dieing so she told him to stop coming over. He didn’t take it well, he threw a glass bottle through the window and her dad took him to court, he paid the fine and for the window and that was the end of that. She did it finally because she finally saw that he didn’t really love her anyway. So it didn’t matter. She missed him of course, but she missed her mom so much more.
One day she came in from school, He yelled to her from the bedroom, “Would you tell me if there’s blood on my face?” She walked into the room, and yes there was blood, lots of blood. It was coming from his forehead where a deep gash was. Blood was all down the side of his face all over the top of his shirt and it was mostly dried. She asked what happened and he said, “I was in the hallway and I got dizzy and I guess I passed out a little while.” The dried blood stuck her and in a shaky voice she asked, “ When did it happen?” He said, “Around 9:00 AM”

And that was that. She called her Uncle and got him to the doctor they put 9 stitches in his forehead and she quit school. She stayed home with him from then on. One day his daughter felt it, all of it crashing in on her. She was angry with him in that moment. The sadness had flooded through her that day and turned into anger. She rushed into his room. She screamed at him cause she couldn’t hold it in.

“How could you leave me too? How could you just leave when momma just left me! I’ll be alone and you’re leaving because you want to be with mom more than you want to be with me.” She was crying then and he started to cry too. He was sobbing on the side of the bed. At that moment she felt so awful that she had said that to him. He couldn’t help that he was leaving. It wasn’t his fault so she just said, “I’m sorry, but this hurts, but I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m so sorry.” And she wrapped her arms around him and she held him and she had the mind to know that it wouldn’t be long till she couldn’t do that so she savored that hug. She memorized the way his warmth came through his shirt and how strong his arms still felt wrapped around her. She memorized his smell. He smelled of tobacco and coffee. She was right, it wasn’t long till he did go. Four months till her 18th birthday he went in the bed next to her. When she awoke he was there not covered even tho there were other family there, no one covered him. His eyes were open and his mouth was open. She just stood there looking at her dad. The immortal man that she loved and he was gone. Her aunt came in and said, “He kept putting his fingers in his mouth, we don’t have any idea why he would do that, we would push his hand down and he would put his fingers in his mouth again. He did that until he took his last breath and none of us know why.” But she knew why. As soon as her aunt said that she knew very well why.

You see as I said her dad was blind so he couldn’t go looking for her when she was running around outside. He said that she couldn’t hear when he yelled her name so he would put his fingers in his mouth and whistle. It was a loud whistle and no matter where she was, whose house she was in she always heard that whistle and knew she had to go home. That day that she had fallen apart and yelled at him after the tears had subsided they had talked. “I’ve heard that you know when you are about to die, that’s what most people say so if you do know and I’m not there, would you call me? Would you call me so that I can be there?” She said “I’ve heard that too, so if it’s true, I’ll call you when I know.” There was more talk and tears that night and many other nights before he died. One night he had called her to the bedroom and she said, ”Yea?” He said, “You do know I love you right?” “Oh god, yes I do know that, you know that I love you too, right?” And he said, “Yea I know. That’s all, I just wanted to make sure you knew.” She went back into the living room but it felt good that he had said it and she never forgot that moment. Eventually he had lost his memory and he couldn’t walk or talk a lot when he was in that hospital bed at her grandmas. He didn’t always know her, they said that the cancer messed up his memory and the morphine made it worse but he remembered that he was supposed to call her when he knew he was going and he tried. He placed his fingers in his mouth until he took his last breath, he just didn’t have the breath to create the whistle. But he remembered. That was enough. Even tho she slept through him leaving, it was enough.

Her uncle had told him that he’d take her in when he died. He promised him that on his deathbed, but when he was gone he told her that he was so sorry but he just couldn’t take care of a 17 yr old pregnant girl. So she was truly alone then. None could take her. But then her cousin did. Her and her husband and two kids took her in. Somewhere in all of that there was another guy that had fallen in love with her but she had never loved him. Somewhere in there she had loved one other guy besides Michael, who was her favorite. And the one that she didn’t love was the one that gave her the baby she carried. She was 4 months pregnant when her dad died. Here she was petrified and living with her cousin and she had no idea how she was going to take care of her new baby so she called the guy that loved her. She told him that she wanted to be with him and he got his mom to get them a place and they lived together for 6 years. In that time they had another baby. The first was a boy, the second was a girl. Only problem was that she still never loved the guy so she never married him. He left her for another girl when her daughter was 1 yr old. It didn’t bother her much except that she was alone again. In the whole 6 years she never cheated on him. Not once.

Then she met “the one” well, she thought he was “the one” anyway. He wasn’t. But she still believes he is. Even tho she knows he’s not, if that makes any sense. He was on drugs, lots of drugs but he hid it well. She loved him, more than she had ever loved anyone in her life. He was using her, same as all the rest. Except maybe the one that did love her, the one she could never love. Life went on and she had times that she thought she had found love, many times. Too many times really. She had gotten sex and love confused. Then there was a man that came to her house with a friend and he wasn’t her type really but he was promising her the moon and she didn’t want to be alone so she kept him. He wanted her to take her kids with him and leave that little town. The only place she had ever known. She did it. She left with her kids and they were together only 4 months when he managed to get them homeless. She lost her kids to the state they were in because you can’t keep kids when you are homeless. I’m not saying it was all his fault. All she had to do was go home and fight and she may have gotten them back but she was 22 and even tho she had grown up fast she wasn’t grown. She still thought that no matter how deep the shit is you are standing in that it has to clean itself up. She believed that with all of her heart. So she stayed with him and she thought they’d get her babies back. Of course they would. They were together a year when they got married by the justice of the piece, both of them wearing shorts. It was May after all. She didn’t know that he was doing crack and you can’t get a home and have a normal life if you are on drugs. Ironically she never did any drugs of any kind. Not even alcohol, the closest thing she did to a drug are cigarettes. She lost the kids that she loved so. People blame her for that others blame him. Everyone’s right. There’s a lot to that story but I can’t tell it, not here, not really out loud cause there’s too much pain there. Way to many what ifs and should haves. So moving on.

She stayed with that man for 9 years and left him one day when they were in a hotel and he got caught stealing. He went to jail and she just drove away. She went to her friend’s house and stayed there. Her friend took her to church and there was “the one”, the same one that she loved for so long sitting in a church. They were immediately together again and stayed that way for 3 months till that fell apart too. He happened to be recovering from the same drug addiction that her husband had. He didn’t make it. He fell back into it and she had to leave him too. She lived in a shelter for battered women. They hired her to answer the phones at night so she got room and board. Christmas eve came around and it was two weeks after she had lost “the one” to drugs, Two weeks to the day. She decided to drive to her best friends house so she wouldn’t be alone on Christmas day. She drove the 30 miles going 20 MPH because the roads were iced and snow was everywhere. She had liked music all her life but she had never been much on any particular group or style. She liked all kinds but she was more into movies. Mostly horror or sci-fi. Not gory really just weird stuff, the kind that couldn’t possibly happen but makes you say what if? Ya know. Anyway, she liked music but there was never any one musician or group that she could relate to. There was always something that she hated about each one. But that day she was crying for “him” and lonely and driving and the radio station had decided to make it an all Christmas song day. She left it there anyway. She really didn’t care, her mind was filled with a longing for something that she couldn’t have anyway.

Then not long after she started her drive they played a cover. It was “All I want for Christmas is you” In her state of mind, that song should have made her mood much worse only a strange thing happened. The voice coming from the speaker was, to her, the most beautiful thing she had ever heard. And then the band started to play. They played the f**k out of that song. She smiled. “That’s how it SHOULD be done!” She thought. She said, “Who is that?” out loud to the radio. But the radio DJ just cut to another song without saying the name of the band. She was shocked and angry and cussed out the DJ. She got almost to her friends house, all she had to do was round a corner. She rounded that corner and the car began to slide. There was a ravine the car was headed to and she panicked but at the last minute she remembered to turn the wheel into the slide and it stopped. She laid her head on the wheel in relief and then finally rounded the corner and the very moment she reached to cut the car off, the song began to play again. She laughed out loud and cut the car off and the key back so the radio would still play and listened to the heavenly voice sing the very sad song. She didn’t cry though. It made her smile.

She felt she had fallen in love with this band in that moment and she said when the song was about to end. “Please, tell me who the f**k that is, please.” And then she thought she needed divine intervention as crazy as that sounds its true. She really thought that. So as the last line of the song played she said out loud, “Lord please, I have never asked for much and I’ve been through so much so all I’m asking is that you make that DJ tell me who that is, please” And she stared at the radio and the song ended and she held her breath and the DJ said the name of the band. He said it and she laughed. she said, “ Oh my god, yesss, that so fits! Thank you god! I just lost my love to his chemical romance and now I’ve found mine!” She has loved everything about and by that band sense. It’s like an obsession of hers. They make her smile no matter what old ghosts or what tragedy comes to her mind. She smiles when they play and he sings into her ear. That’s why she keeps them with her in her pocket and why she listens to them every day and has for 2 years. She saw them live once and paid a lot to do it she’ll do it again as soon as the chance presents itself. When she finally saw a video she loved them a little more and then reading interviews and listening to them talk she realized that she really was in love with a band.

She finally took her husband back because she just isn’t able to stay alone. It’s not possible for her. He does love her and at the moment he’s clean. So that’s good. They still always end up homeless a while because he has no education and even worse no drive. I can’t talk though, she has no ambition either. Most stories have happy endings. I have no idea if this one does or not. It may not but that’s ok. She is happy when the love of her life, her fav band, is playing in her ear.

She admires the entire band. Each one for some reason or other, not to mention that Bob does look like a younger version of “the one” and Ray has the same birthday as her. She does love them but its not really anything to do with physical attraction. It has to do with how she feels when she’s in a moment of panic because her life isn’t what she dreamed it would be. She’s in a moment of fear that grips her throat and wont let go that she will die with nothing and never know real love ever in the rest of her days. That she has lived for nothing, after all she couldn’t even raise the two little babies that she was supposed to protect and love forever. It has to do with those moments and how she feels like it will be okay anyway despite all that as long as they will be in her ear. As long as they are in her pocket for her to listen to when she needs them. She smiles a lot really. She decided that she would just not be an adult. She is always making people laugh, always laughing and being a child. Why not? She doesn’t believe that you’re only a child once. You can be anything you want after all.

In a way this band, My Chemical Romance, are her best friends. No, she’s never met them. They are just all that she has. The only thing in her life now that she truly loves. She clings to them, because if she didn’t have them, she would be nothing. She would loose her mind from the pain of it all. They save her from her heartache and make life bearable. She fells strange admitting that the only solace in her life comes from a band. Five strangers that have their own troubles and woes that they put into music. But there is no other way to describe how they have affected her. She loves them. Unless you feel that, you will never understand. When she listens to them. When they are there for her, her smile reaches all the way through her. She feels it. Its like the sadness that hides behind it dies a little then and she can breathe. Yes, she loves them because they make her feel less alone and they are the only ones that can truly make her smile."

-Holly, 33, TN