Pairing: Simon & Garfunkel
Summary: Story about the moon and Paul and Artie sitting under it.
Reviews: Yes, please. This piece has not been Beta’d before I posted it.
Disclaimer and other nonsense: Paul told me, if I want to write a story about the heart, I should write a story about the moon. So, hey presto, here’s a story about the moon.
the actual Disclaimer: Total make believe and fantasy. My apologies to the people bearing the same name; I did not mean to use your names in vain.
Paul let an exasperated sigh escape when he saw the golden curled man sitting in the middle of the small beach, all on his own. Artie was the last person Paul wanted to see right now. He had three options as far as Paul could see. 1) Leave and find something else to do. 2) Join Art on the beach and pretend he wasn’t there. 3) Join Art on the beach and try and be civil as best as he could.
His brain did not make the decision, his feet did. He walked onto the beach approaching Art, his brain still juggling the latter two options.
Then his mouth made the decision: “Hey,” he said mentally slapping himself in the forehead.
Art looked up, unimpressed.
“Hey, you know, she’s gone,” his voice way too cheerful to his own annoyance.
No expression on Art’s face when he replied: “I know. So is Penny; they left for LA together.”
“Oh, what d’ya know,” Paul casually murmured trying to regain control over his limbs and mouth.
Art had redirected his attention to the ocean; Paul could well be somewhere else.
“Hey, sorry about what happened…I mean the album, and uhh…” Paul mentally slapped his forehead again. This was the last subject he wanted to talk about and he suspected Art had no desire to revisit the last couple of years either.
Art’s agitated and mocking voice confirmed Paul’s suspicion: “Yeah, how did that work out for you?”
Paul scratched his head brushing his thinning hair carefully behind his ears. He had not bothered with the wig today.
“Well, y’know…” his voice trailing of in the ocean wind letting the disappointing sales drifting away with it.
Then he sat down next to Art earning himself another annoyed look. It was as if he was controlled by an invisible force, saying and doing the opposite of what he wanted to do and say.
“I’m sorry it went the way it did. I made a few mistakes, I should never have agreed to do a new Simon & Garfunkel album…and…I could have been nicer ending it.”
Art looked bitter: “It could have worked.”
“If you trusted my judgement and work.”
Paul felt a sting of shame; Art was right in that respect.
“That wasn’t really the problem, I suppose,” Paul admitted.
Art retorted: “It was to me!”
“No, I mean…I know you can do the work and I know you would do it well…”
Art was obviously still feeling hurt: “What!? Then what!?”
“It doesn’t matter. We were doing it for all the wrong reasons.”
“Me wanting to play with you again is wrong?” Art’s voice was full of hurt.
Paul was still not exactly clear about why Art was feeling hurt; his argument, Paul hadn’t changed since high school, didn’t fully explain it. That reason had, however, coloured their joined effort to make an album and the tour to promote the new album. Besides, Art hadn’t changed since high school either.
Paul stared at Art’s pouting face: “You didn’t really act as if you wanted to play. It looked more like you were trying to play against me.”
“What do you mean ‘against me’?”
“You came in late, hours late, and once you were in you would stall the session for an hour, because you were still getting in the mood and smoking pot.”
Art quickly averted his eyes; that was actually true. That was Art’s inarticulate way of dealing with his frustrations and irritations.”
Paul wanted to avert his eyes too, but for some reason he kept staring at Art’s sad silhouette.
For some reason he started talking again: “Hey, all those things we talked about before we went ahead and tried to do it….”
Art didn’t turn to face Paul when he reacted: “That didn’t matter; we already knew. We resolved nothing.”
“No…” Paul agreed with the latter; they resolved nothing.
The heart was heavy, both their hearts. Art expressed it by being even more aloof than normally, he made an extra effort. Paul, troubled and irritated by it, eventually exploded ending their collaboration right then and there, without warning. It made no difference to him; Art was in this whole adventure no partner, no counterpart at all. He had no idea how else this could have worked out, matter how stubborn Art was about it.
Paul wanted to leave all that behind him now. It had happen, the damage had been done. He looked up at the rising moon. A wry, ironic smile appeared on his face as he thought: “Yeah, if you want to write a song about a face, that you can’t remember, can’t erase; write a song about the moon.” That was really it, because no matter how much their partnership lay in the past, somehow that partnership was also in the future. No matter how hard it was to remember, to identify why they once worked, he couldn’t imagine Art not being there in the future,
He wanted to cut off those thoughts. Go back to what once was, cause it was a really sad state of affairs; two grownup men, clearly still adoring and admiring each other, not being able to overcome their differences.
Finally, Paul managed to let the silence settle between them, only the soothing roar of the ocean filling the warm June air. You could smell a faint breeze of sweet flowers from the grassy fields only a small distance away mixed in with the salt of the sea.
They sat long enough together for the smells, tastes and touches of cooling summer breeze to sooth their wary minds. They tolerated each other long enough to see the sun setting into the ocean casting a red shine onto them. It was all so romantic and reminded both of them of one summer evening on a strange beach. Art had travelled out to discover the world and Paul went after him, as a surprise. He had had nothing but a postcard to go on, but found Art soon enough in a small town, busking to get some money so he could buy some food that evening. They spent the evening harmonizing in the little square till people told them to shut up.
With no food in their stomachs, they had forgotten to shop, they stumbled onto a small beach and crashed down onto the white sand. They talked for a while, laughing so hard, tears rolled down their faces. Small touches starting to occur, till they were rolling in the sand making sweet love and then fell asleep in each other’s arms. It had been so easy, so logical. The moon their only witness.
The same moon now mocking their declining friendship. They sat long enough to see the dark descend onto the ocean and the moon casting its pale light onto the beach. Everything is always easier in black and white and Art didn’t budge nor protest when Paul put a hand on his leg and rubbed the inside of his thighs. There was no question that this was right. In the dark, the troubles from the past were unseen and all that was left was the now.
Paul wiggled closer to Art, legs touching. Art cocked his head away from Paul, wistfully gazing at the moon. Paul’s left hand automatically landed on the back of Art’s neck, affectionately squeezing, running down to his shoulder blade and down his arm to his fingers. He curled his fingers around Art’s, holding his hand, Art didn’t protest.
Maybe it was enough to marvel at the moon, together, in silence. Maybe they could connect in admiring the sparkling glow onto the water. Maybe they could agree they weren’t the only idiots on this planet, to sit and gaze up at the moon, forgetting about what pushed them apart. Then it was fine.
Paul felt Art’s fingers tightening around his own, actually holding his hand instead of lying limp in Paul’s grasp. That was enough for now. Nothing more to say. They sent their thoughts to the moon and drank in the quiet and peace, the warmth of their bodies, the silent hold of their hands till the moon disappeared beyond the horizon.