Brian walked through the empty city streets. It was only midnight, yet New Orleans was deserted, and just when it seemed that life in the city usually picked up. While unusual, it proved lucky for Brian; he didn't have to deal with a shitload of fans piling up behind him as he made a mad dash for his hotel. The night was cool and dark, an air of false mystery clinging to the wind-a ghost of the true and vast enigma that shrouded the city.
Brian liked to walk in the quiet night, stopping occasionally to gaze at the stars or the ever-present moon which seemed to always be there when he looked. Though August, it was still warm in the day, warm to the point of stuffiness, and Brian rejoiced in the cool night air biting at his neck and creeping in through his sleeves. He came upon a small antique shop, many of the things in the window looking at least several decades old, and many more seeming still hundreds of years old.
He spied in the corner of the shop a shiny silver necklace. A tiny and fine-cut chain, it was woven into an interesting mail pattern and gleamed like the night moon itself. Out of fancy, Brian gave the large door of the shop a light push-and it gave. He looked down and noticed a small sign that, despite time nearing one in the morning, proclaimed that the store was indeed open. He walked into the dimly lit place, calling out, "Hello? Anyone here?"
He walked over to the corner and looked at the necklace, admiring it in the darkness. He picked it up and examined the hinge at which it opened. Just then a voice boomed behind him, "Can I help you?" Brian turned about, nearly falling over. A young lady rushed up and grabbed him, pulling him up from his fall before he toppled. "Father! Watch how you startled our customers!" Brian made to speak for a moment, and then dropped out a yawn.
"So, can I help you?" The young lady asked as her father went into the far room from which he had come. "Oh, do you want to buy that!?! It's so old, don't you believe! We've had it since only this afternoon, but it's from the ancient Greek times, from around Tibet, supposedly. It's hard to tell anymore. Hey, you look familiar! Have I seen you anywhere before?" Brian got ready for her to squeal and scream, but she just shrugged. "I guess not, I must just be letting my mind play tricks on me."
"I was hoping to buy this." Brian managed to squeeze out in relief, and the girl smiled, running behind the counter. "It's supposed to be worth several thousand dollars," she said, rolling her eyes and gesturing to her father's path, "But to be realistic I think it's only about a good $650, perhaps $700. We accept checks if you'd like..." Brian pulled out his checkbook, surprising the girl as he wrote out nearly twice what she'd said. Then she noticed the name on the check and her mouth formed a wide 'O' as realization dawned. He smiled and placed the check down on the counter, running out just as the girl screamed, "Oh my god!"
Making his way along in the town, Brian went into a nearby music store, perhaps not the wisest spot for him to be seen in, but he risked it anyway. He picked out several new CDs, almost at random, just grabbing whatever seemed to look like it would sound good. He was sure to use cash and to be very inconspicuous, though, being as the clerk would be most likely in all the world to know his identity.
He slowly made his way back to the hotel, carefully avoiding the hundreds of hormonal teenaged girls camping out in front of the hotel by going in through the service stairs. As he walked through the hall Nick peeked through his door, "Home late again? Where'd you go? What've you been up to?" Brian just waved him off, "Tomorrow, okay. I gotta get some sleep." Nick shrugged and closed the door. Brian didn't go to sleep though. He flopped his purchases onto his bed and sat down on the balcony to stare at the moon.
As lonely as he was, he dared not go downstairs and pick up some teen who was sure to spend as long with him as he wished, as a few of the other guys did every now and then. He wanted something more, though, something tangible. Brian sat back closed his eyes, sighing. The night was too long and too cold to be alone.
Brian sat forward, staring at the tiled floor of the balcony. A hand over the rail startled him. Two guys wearing awfully revealing punk clothes climbed over the rails and looked back down to where they'd come from. Brian just looked wide-eyed for a moment. He could tell, though, that they were both at the least mildly drunk. "Whoa! Look how far down." Both appeared to be around seventeen, on with blonde hair and the other with black. They both turned to each other and kissed. Brian just watched on, mesmerized, but still startled. One turned to him, seeming to realize his presence but not fully grasp the meaning of it. "Man, do you have a bed we could use?" Brian shrugged, saying to himself, c'est la vie, and lead them into his room.
Just as the two collapsed on his bed, Brian snatched up his purchases from earlier that evening and went into the spacious bathroom.
Perhaps unwisely, Brian left the door cracked. He sat out a small Cd played and looked through what he had randomly picked up earlier. Loreena McKennitt, Matchbox Twenty, Ozzy Osbourne, and, oops, a Backstreet CD! He put in the Matchbox Twenty CD and turned it up to barely audible. Running a warm bath, he stripped himself of the street clothes he'd worn out earlier. Brian poured himself a slightly cold drink and sat into the nearly full tub, letting the music slip into his thoughts.
As the hot water soaked into his body and the lyrics into his mind, Brian toyed with the necklace he'd got at the antique shop. His thoughts winged quickly to the two in his bed, though. While partially excited by their presence, Brian also found himself envious. He couldn't help thinking of their hot bodies as their low moans made their way into the bathroom and consumed the music. Lonely was his life. Apart from his friendship with the others, and his family, which he seldom saw much, Brian had no one. He needed someone closer than those who he know; he needed someone to share life with.
His thoughts were interrupted by an oddly loud moan from the bedroom. He sat back with a slight smile. Brian soaked in the warm water for another good twenty minutes, then stood from the bath and pulled on a long, cotton bath robe. He cut off the music and then peeked in on his 'guests.' He almost shed a tear when he saw them: wrapped in each other's arms, they slept quite peacefully.
Though naked, and sleeping in traces of their foray, they looked absolutely innocent. Two pale, smooth bodies wrapped in each other; it was a picture of serenity. Brian snuggled up in a large chair, wrapping himself in a long, warm afghan. He fell asleep pondering the two young lovers.