Written 9/10/07. 1845 words.
Bandslash, Pete/Patrick. This started as a blog entry of mine, but then I realized it kind of sounded like something Pete would write. Takes place at the end of 2007/beginning of 2008, in an alternate reality where FOB broke up after the Young Wild Things tour and Pete and Ashlee broke up around the same time. For the band, it's supposed to be a true hiatus, wherein they take some time off and then get back to work, but Pete doesn't realize that and takes it very hard. They would have gotten back together at the end, had I gotten that far.
drivng jhome in the rain. throat hurst almost as much as my heart. its the old cliche, i wish you werehere.
It’s not coming down hard, but even the little sprinkling of rain feeds into Pete’s mood. Driving is always fun for the first few weeks after getting home for a tour – being active in getting yourself from place to place and all that – but soon, it just becomes a chore again. The highway stretches before him, uniform and endless. Every now and then, signs pass.
Chicago: 184 miles.
He woke up with a sore throat and a bit of a headache that morning, sure sign of a cold coming on. Which figures, in a way. It’s all very symbolic, and Pete would probably find that more cheesy and stupid if his head wasn’t a little foggy. But the sky’s grey and cold, and he’s on the second day of his journey home, the second day alone but for Hemingway, snoring in the passenger seat. He was listening to a mix, but turned it off once it became too hard to focus on the road through the mental haze. So now it’s just a sleeping dog, the vitamin C he picked up that morning that isn’t really helping much, and this funk he can’t shake.
Chicago: 162 miles.
Not that there’s going to be much else to dwell on once he gets home.
Fall Out Boy has officially been on a break for about a month now. They were going to stop touring for a while after the Young Wild Things tour, anyway, but one day towards the end of the tour, they’d all looked at each other and realized they were thinking the same thing: This isn’t fun anymore. Things had been a little too intense for about a year and a half, and a rest was clearly in order. From the start, they’d agreed that as long as it was fun, as long as they all wanted to be in the band, they’d keep doing this. So now they’re on an official hiatus.
Everybody knows what happens to bands on hiatus.
Chicago: 157 miles.
After the tour ended, they all flew home. Pete stayed out in a L.A. for a few weeks, but when Patrick had called and said, Hey, I need to go to New York for a while, you want to come, Pete had said, Yeah, let’s road trip. He’d flown out to Chicago and borrowed his mom’s car. She didn’t mind. She never did. They still had another.
It was almost like old times, except for Hemingway sleeping in the backseat. Except that Pete was staying for a few days, then leaving Patrick there for some undetermined amount of time and going home. Except that they couldn’t just walk down the street and be tourists anymore. Except that Patrick was going to New York to produce an album for some band Pete had only vaguely heard of, whose name he refused to remember on general principle (out of spite). Except that Patrick was no longer this impressionable kid with no idea he was going places and Pete was no longer this dude from a bunch of failed bands, trying so hard to make this one work, trying so hard to convince Patrick to have as much confidence in his talent as Pete did. Except for a lot of things.
Except for everything, really.
Chicago: 145 miles.
No one was having a birthday and no one’s album was dropping, but Pete was in New York, so he and Patrick went to his bar the first night, just for the hell of it. Because they could. They hadn’t called ahead of time or told anyone else they were in town. It was a Thursday night, and pretty empty, but the four women sitting in the far booth clearly noticed when Pete and Patrick walked in and kept glancing over, interested. To their credit, though, they never tried to come over or anything, and soon went back to their own conversation. Pete and Patrick didn’t stay for long. Sometimes it was nice to just have a drink or two and check in, make sure everything was still running smoothly.
Pete spent the next three days hanging out in New York with his two best friends, and then it was time to take one of them home.
Chicago: 122 miles.
It’s raining steadily: not a downpour, not a drizzle. This seemed like a much better idea when he was thinking about driving there with Patrick, rather than living the reality of driving home alone.
122 miles later, the rain has finally just let up, but Pete’s throat feels like razor blades every time he swallows. He takes his bag and his dog and goes inside to collapse.
The one nice part of being sick is that Pete actually sleeps. This time, the other nice part is that he’s home. That thing about how you always want your mom when you’re sick, no matter how old you get? Absolutely true (not that he’ll ever admit it to anyone, not even Patrick). You get used to being sick on the road, but there’s always a little piece of you that wishes you were home. His mom makes him chicken soup, and Pete spends the afternoon online, blogging, answering questions on the q&a, reading fan reactions to the hiatus. Most of their fans are worried. Pete wants to tell them they don’t need to be, but he’s not so sure of that, himself.
if you were here id ask you if this isall a mistake. too hard to think in metaphors when my head is cloudy. 2008 doesnt feel right, but starting over never makes a dfference.
Logically, Pete should be the one who has the most options at this point. He’s got a successful clothing line, a widely read blog, his own record label, activist tendencies, even. He’s a celebrity and a millionaire. Yet he’s the one sitting on his bed in his childhood home, feeling more alone than he’s ever felt and wondering where to go from here.
Where Pete wants to go from here: into the studio to work on some new stuff he and Patrick had been writing on the road. To Vegas to check on Panic, whose new record drops in a month and a half (finally). Back to Africa, to feel like he’s actually making a real difference in the lives of people who literally have nothing.
(To Patrick’s hotel in New York, is the one thing he won’t let himself think.)
It’s strange the way nowhere feels like home anymore. His house in L.A. felt like his place, but the city of L.A. never really held much for him. Here isn’t home anymore, and it’s a little scary to think that even Pete Wentz could outgrow his childhood home. Touring isn’t home, either. You’re always very aware, on the road, that home is exactly where you’re not, and anywhere else is where you are.
Pete wonders why he’d bothered to come home from New York, other than his mom’s threats about what would happen if he didn’t have the car home within two weeks. But that leads to wondering why he bothers to be anywhere, really, and that’s a bad train of thought. By now, he knows to cut it off pretty quickly and call Patrick instead.
“Hey, man, what’s up?” Patrick asks, sounding a little rushed.
“Not much,” Pete says, not adding I just wanted to hear your voice. “What are you up to?”
“Okay, what’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” Which is kind of true. It’s nothing and everything.
“Everything?” he tries.
Patrick sighs. “One of those days, huh?”
“I guess so.” Pete stares up at the ceiling. “Do you still think this was a good idea?”
There’s a long pause before Patrick says, “I think so. You know we couldn’t keep touring nonstop like we have been.”
“Yeah, I know,” Pete says, “but we had all those beginnings of songs, remember? We were going to – we didn’t have to just stop everything.”
[rest of conversation here]
The thing is, Pete does have a purpose. His side projects are all things he cares about, he’s just having trouble remembering that right now. But he needs to be doing something.
He spends one more week bumming around his parents house before flying back to L.A. It might not be ideal, but for better or worse, it’s his home base now.
He works on new designs, checks in on his bands more often than usual – mostly just for something to do – and thinks about words.
iv never known waht i was doing but it used to feel easier.
its always easier withyou around.
Pete has never been able to keep himself off the internet for long. He spends too much time on his own boards and fan sites, morbidly curious despite the certainty that he should know better. Lately, people have started speculating about him and Ashlee – well, not so much “started” as “never stopped.” It’s a chapter of his life he’d be just as happy to be finished with, but people on the internet can never let things die.
Everything had been going really well until the Young Wild Things tour. Ashlee was touring at the same time, and none of their tour dates overlapped. It had been over a year with minimal relationship problems. The last thing Pete ever thought was that touring separately would be what screwed them up. But it was. [explanation here]
Apparently, his latest blog entries have read – to some people, anyway – like he’s missing her. Like he has some regret there. Other people have been saying that maybe he’s got a new girl he’s already missing.
They’ve all been about Patrick.
It’s not that he’d care if people knew that – the constant speculation has never bothered him, and sometimes it’s fun to feed into it, even – but he’s never clarified anything about his blog entries before. Why start now?
The internet’s been getting to him lately in a way it never had before. Maybe it’s because he’s not as busy as he used to be, but people’s stupid assumptions, the kind he used to laugh off, have been irritating him these past couple of months.
[q&a about if he’s dating anyone where he doesn’t really answer the question but talks about patrick a lot and basically says no, only in sort of a convoluted way, goes here]
The boards explode.
He keeps writing songs. Or at least, he keeps writing phrases that could be songs, that have “give to Patrick” stamped on them in his mind.
He knows it’s useless, but he can’t not.
There is such a thing as too famous.
That was the last conversation they’d had as a band. They were all tired of it.
Patrick shows up at Pete’s house at the end of November. Pete opens the door, surprised, and Patrick just says, “I read your blog, you know.”
Pete didn’t know, not that he’d write it any differently if he did. “Okay.”