LPfiction

Category Linkin Park

Aesthetic by Umi

You showed him some new lyrics.

He praised them, as per usual, but made fun of you for using a phrase as cliché as "Deafening Silence", even though that was exactly what he left you with when he killed himself a couple hours later.


But then again, that was somewhat cliché, too, wasn't it?


The lifeless tattooed body of a rockstar.

A half-empty bottle of expensive whiskey.

A history of drugs, abuse, and children from multiple women.

Memories of times where the whole band was drunk or stoned or both to varying degrees, just because there wasn't really a reason not to be, and he... no one really knew what he was on back then.


And now he's dead and buried and you can't even remember the fucking funeral anymore, because that whole day felt like a surreal dream. You hugged and got hugged by and shook hands with and accepted condoleces from several hundred people, and you were thankful for the summer sun allowing you to wear sunglasses the whole day, because your eyes kept burning and your vision blurring and everyone already pitied you enough as it was. No need for them to see you cry on top of that.


You feel like your life has turned into the setup of a low-budget indie movie.

You're probably supposed to go on a road trip now. Or something like that.


That's what you get for living so close to Hollywood, you muse, as you sit in your home studio and take another sip of that $2000 vodka you got for free at some red carpet event a year or so ago.


The world refuses to feel real anymore.


And the void inside your chest screams.



*



You meet up with Rob and even though you two love each other dearly, you never quite figured out how to talk about things, so instead you just go to his practice room and jam a little.

It starts out all casually.

Smiles happen.

Until you realize your fingers are plucking the tunes of a Grey Daze song on your guitar and it sounds so wrong without his voice, you can't help but cry.


And when Rob attempts to hug you, you flee.


You're pretty sure he was crying, too, and you know you're in this together and you should've probably at least made an effort to try to comfort him, but you just don't find it in yourself to care.

Your own grief is so big, so loud, so heavy, you just.

Can't.


The next time you see each other, you pretend nothing happened.

He plays along and you remember why you've become friends with him in the first place.


Smiles happen.


And something inside of you cracks.



*



You meet up with Dave and he wants to talk, so you talk.


He doesn't attempt to hug you, so there's no need for you to run away, and so the two of you just sit there and your mouths move and words fall out of them and Dave cries and you vomit empty phrases about Chester being at peace now and hope and friendship until you start to feel physically sick. And vomit half-digested breakfast and maybe a beer or two all over your lap and his living room table.


You feel embarrassed but also somewhat relieved that you don't have to talk anymore.


You left your house, you visited a friend, you talked, you said comforting things - you did The Right Things.


He lends you a pair of his jeans and while you change clothes he cleans the living room and smiles sadly, when you leave.

You promise to come back once you're feeling better again.


You're pretty sure you won't feel any better anytime soon.


And you kind of embrace that.



*



You meet up with Joe and he doesn't want to hug or talk, so the two of you go to his atelier and paint a little and as soon as his daughter is in bed you call a cab and go barhopping.


You remember laughing a lot and drinking even more and being mesmerized by the light effects above the dancefloor next to you and feeling dizzy and asking Joe if he ever felt like maybe not getting better wasn't the worst thing that could happen.

Maybe it was just part of the aesthetic. Maybe breaking apart was a form of art in and of itself.

Like, Chester was broken, wasn't he? And he was beautiful. With his huge sad eyes, boyish smile and haunting voice.

He was sweet when he was sober and caring and passionate about being the best person he could be... But GOD, the fucking aesthetic when he wasn't. When you banged on his door, worried sick because you hadn't heard from him for days, and he opened and just mustered you with tired eyes, leaning against the doorframe, shirtless, an almost empty bottle of whiskey in one hand, a cigarette lazily hanging between his lips, everything about him screaming self-hate and anger and helplessness and just not giving a fuck anymore.

He once told you that this was all he was good at: fucking, drinking and singing. And that was it. Everything else was just show. Or maybe not show, but work. Just. So much fucking work... all the time...


It always dragged you down, hearing him talk like that.

Seeing him like that.

Just knowing that he was capable of being like that.


But fuck, looking back you also wish you could've been a part of that...


Joe seems distraught over your words.

You can't help but feel disappointed with him.

He's an artist, like you. You thought he'd understand. But he doesn't.


So you shrug and chug another tequila shot and laugh and stumble backwards into the dancing crowd and almost fall, until strangers grab you by the arms and lead you outside.

And Joe is still there, or maybe back, you can't remember if he was gone at some point, but he's here now and helps you into a cab you can't remember ordering, helps you fastening your seatbelt and also helps you opening the door to your house.


You thank him, watch him leave, and then crawl up the stairs into your studio, where you just lie on the floor for a while, watching the ceiling spin and spin and spin, until that gets boring, and you undo the belt of your pants and slide it around your neck, just to see how it feels.


It makes you feel uneasy but also a bit turned on.


You still don't understand why he did it, though.

Apparently you're still far from giving so little fucks about life anymore, you don't even care how much dying hurts.


And you feel another part of him slipping through your fingers.


And sob.



*



You meet up with Brad and he's so pale, the shadows under his eyes so dark, his hair and beard unkempt, it almost jerks you out of self-absorbed grief-struck little world, reminding you once again that you're not the only one hurting.


But only almost.


You're pale yourself with deep shadows beneath your tired eyes, and maybe a little drunk, too, again.

You remember Anna saying something about taking the kids to their grandparents but can't remember if she said she'd join them or if she promised to come back. You might've already been a bit drunk then. Or at least tired, with a headache and another open bottle of ridiculously expensive booze you got for free for being a rich-as-fuck rockstar in your hand.


You can't remember.


But isn't it stupid how much fucking shit you get for free all the time?

How much expensive fucking shit you don't really need and could easily afford yourself, while elsewhere others can't even afford seeing a doctor for a life-threatening illness, can't afford food, can't afford their rent...


Brad snerks.


You ask him if he's been eating enough - because you think you remember someone mentioning he hasn't - and he just shrugs. You take another sip of your drink and ask Brad if he agrees that not giving a fuck anymore makes one feel closer to Chester. At least that's how it is for you.

Brad doesn't answer, doesn't even look at you, but he smiles weakly.


And it makes you smile, too.



*



You meet up with the remains of your band and some folks from the label to discuss how to go on.

They granted you a month to come to terms with what happened, but time is money and money is what makes the world go round, so how to make as much profit as possible from what's left of Linkin Park, before another celebrity kills themselves and steals the spotlight?


You're drunk again, a little high, too, and just tell them to go fuck themselves.

Or at least that's what you'd like to do.


In reality you might not be as sober as they probably want you to be, but you still successfully bite your tongue and let them talk. And let their lawyers talk. And let Rob and Dave and Joe and Brad talk. And let your lawyers talk.

And absent-mindedly run your hand across your neck, imagining to just get up, go home and hang yourself.

Not because you want to die, but just for the sake of it.

It's that you won't be around to see the fallout of such action that keeps you from actually doing it.

That, and this website on suicide methods you browsed, which described in way too much detail all the things that can - and often do - go wrong when hanging oneself.


Chester was an idiot.


In the end the five of you agree to stock up your merch shop and maybe think about an EP about your pain, and when you light up another joint in the parking lot, Rob asks you if you'd be okay with sharing and you nod and follow him home and you spend the rest of the day on his bed, smoking, eating cheap pizza, listening to 20 years old music and not talking at all.


He kicks you out of the house when you ask him to fuck and maybe - while at it - also strangle you.


And you're not so sure anymore that Chester was even real, that there ever was a time when you had an actual life, a functioning band, friends you felt comfortable with, a heart that wasn't just dirty, shattered glass.


And you take a photo of your shoes and lie to your one million followers about being okay.



*



You stand in front of the mirror, again with your belt around your neck, watching your reflection closely while slowly pulling it tighter, eyes only sometimes darting towards the door behind you.


It's been several weeks.

And yet you kind of expect him to burst into the room any second, slapping your hand off that belt before loosening it and throwing it away. Pulling you into his arms. Telling you how sorry he is for hurting you, leaving you, and how he won't ever do it again.


You don't give a flying fuck about his suffering and couldn't care less if he's resting in peace or burning in hell.

He's dead.

You're alive.

So guess whose feelings are more important now. Asshole.


You pull the belt tighter.


He still refuses to raise from his grave and stop you.



Tighter.



He doesn't care about you anymore. You heard that's normal for dead people, but it still stings.



You try to pull the belt tighter, but you can't.

Your hand and arm just refuse to do what you want them to, probably sensing that you're not be trusted anymore.


So you give up.



Your phone rings.

Brad's in the hospital.


You decide to try not eating anymore, too.


And flip off a photo of a smiling Chester (with your dumb smiling face next to him) on your way out.



*



You meet up with what's left of Linkin Park, your big dream, your life, and you all just stare at each other blankly.


Maybe the five of you could've managed, if you tried.

But you didn't because what use is there in trying to hold something together that's broken beyond repair anyway.


You did manage to put together that EP the label asked for, though, and you don't even sound too drunk on it.

And the merch store on your website is filled with the most random shit again, everything you could find that you ever put your name on within the last 18 years.

And you still post on social media at least once a week, pretending to still be a functioning member of society who just misses a dead friend but is otherwise going on with life.


Just because you lost all fucks to give doesn't mean you want the kids to do the same.

Three fan suicides are enough, no, too many already.



Sometimes you resent your fans, because they prevent you from just dropping off the radar altogether.

But they've also become a part of you over the last two decades, and, to be honest, falling apart the way you do would only be half as satisfying if you weren't a disgustingly rich celebrity.

Cause who would you lie to, then? After all, lying is the actual fun part of the game, isn't it?



Rob smells like pot and avoids looking at anyone.


Dave just stands there, helplessly watching his friends with wide eyes, unsure who he should worry about the most.


Joe's on his phone, smirking about something funny, probably patiently waiting to find out who'll die next. And how.


And Brad looks like a fucking zombie, just skin and bones, and you smile at him and he smiles back.



And the silence is deafening.

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