“…How about ‘Teen Spirit’?” Pat asked, the usual optimism and spark in his personality fuelling his desire to play.
The words churned in the pit of Dave’s stomach, and he fought the urge to say no. Krist hesitantly nodded, and threw the strap of his bass around his neck.
Dave pushed the bile that rose in his throat to the back of his mind and settled on his drum stool. He jammed in his headphones and hit play on the song he hadn’t listened to in twenty years.
The opening chords filled the room as Pat kicked in, Dave’s heart hammered in his chest as he squeezed his eyes shut and pounded out the opening rhythm. He yanked out the headphones and threw his iPod across the room and just continued to play as he let his experienced hands guide the way.
In the back of his mind, he could hear Kurt’s voice… screaming the lyrics with wild passion despite the lack of vocals in the room. When he shut his eyes, gone was Studio 606… He could smell Sound City Studios, he felt like he was back there. The air grew a little mustier and he could swear it even got hotter. His lithe muscles contracted as he hammered out the steady, recognizable beat and when his eyes reopened, his heart broke as he looked at his surroundings.
To his left stood one of the kindest men he’d ever known, time had aged him, his laugh lines becoming more prominent. His scruffy beard was now grey, matching the diminishing hair on his head, which was covered by a beanie hat. His eyes were also closed, his lips pursed as though he was deep in thought. His body swayed magically with the rhythm, his fingers dancing over his bass as though he’d never stopped playing this song.
Pat was hunched over his guitar, playing the recognisable chords with passion that would rival that of even Kurt’s, because he knew how much this song meant to all of them now. Time had aged him too, although he was still one of the liveliest motherfuckers to ever cross Dave’s path. To the world, this song was the anthem of a lost generation. To them, this was a song that changed their lives, that brought them here today, that reminded them of their successes but also their tragic losses.
Tears stung Dave’s eyes as he played through the song, he looked in front of him, saddened by the lack of the one man who made all of this possible. Normally, when playing this song, Dave would have looked out at Kurt, watching him swing his guitar around wildly, screaming in to the mic and just losing it on stage. Without him, it’s just a shell, almost like a ghost…
He dropped his sticks and wiped the tears that had spilled down his cheeks. Almost immediately Pat and Krist stopped playing and turned to him, Dave scampered out of the room before they could see his tears though.
Panting, he found himself in the bathroom. He splashed some water on his face in an attempt to calm down.
He heard footsteps and before he knew it, a large, hot, familiar hand clamped down on his shoulder, providing comfort. A comfort he hadn’t known since Kurt died. He unconsciously leaned in to the larger man’s touch, heaving out a deep sigh.
“That was fucking heavy…” Dave muttered.