This is the fourth part of a twelve-part story called Ten at the Trio. It takes place in and around the Chicago area in the Spring of 2000. It is dedicated to everyone I have ever gone to an Alkaline Trio show with. For previous parts go here.

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Ten at the Trio

IV. You won’t catch me behind the wheel

“Wait a minute,” John said, stuffing a greasy wad of french fries in his mouth, “so you’re on your bed, making out, and she says what?”

“She said, ‘I’m breaking someone’s heart right now,’ and I didn’t have any clue what that meant so I asked and apparently she’s with some other guy, has been for awhile. AND turns out she met him at a meeting I took her to that she never wanted to go to in the first place.”

“Damn dude, I’m sorry but she always was kinda batshit crazy. Wait…wasn’t it her idea to get back together?”

“Yup.”

“Damn. You think she was planning it all along? Get back at you or something?”

“I don’t know. I don’t wanna think about it. Or her ever again. You almost done? We gotta get going.”

“Hold on there Sherlock, we got tons of time. Or at least we would if you didn’t drive slower than my grandmother. Who is dead, by the way.”

“Ha ha.”

John dipped a fry in his frosty as Robbie stared at the girl behind the counter. She was what? Late twenties, he figured, with, he guessed, two kids at home and an inattentive husband who right this second was asking himself, “Why the hell did I marry her?” while fantasizing about the new girl at work.

John and Robbie had been friends since high school. The first time they were introduced John thought Robbie was gay. He wasn’t the only one. The schools demographics were stereotypical, the foundation of an 80s teen movie, and with nobody openly out, those at the top of the social structure could regularly be heard to call out “fag” as they passed Robbie in the hall.

Since then the two had become good friends. John was a few years older and suffered from a multitude of medical problems, none of which he ever brought up and none of which Robbie asked about. Much like siblings, their relationship consisted of regularly putting each other down in ways they would never stand for from anyone else.

“Alright, finish up,” Robbie said.

“Com’on man, why can’t I just take it with?”

“You know it’s my grandma’s car, I don’t want to take any chances.”

“I understand. Don’t wanna piss off your old grammy. Pussy.”

“Asshole.”

They laughed as they climbed into the tan Buick Century. Robbie threw an unlabeled cassette into the tape deck.

“What the crap is this?” John asked.

“Converge. It’s metal. You like metal.”

“Yeah, real metal – Slayer and Megadeth, not this crap. This is…”

“Better?”

“Worse than my crotch when its 100 degrees out.”

“Yeah, well, as horrible as that might be, I’m driving so shut up and enjoy yourself. Fatty fat fat.”

“Asshole.”

“Hey John?”

“Yeah?”

“Thanks for comin’. I know it’s not your scene but after she pulled that shit I really didn’t want to go alone. It was all we’d talked about the last few weeks.”

“No problem man, anytime.”

End of Part IV

Part V

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