« Last post by Teemeah on April 26, 2017, 11:39:45 PM »
Snowflakes floated and settled gently down on his palm, as he stuck his skinny arm out the window of the attic. Tick tock. Tick tock. The metronome was relentlessly ticking, followed by distorted sounds of an acoustic guitar, squeaking and breaking up as Toshi failed the melody again. Yoshiki smiled into the snow-clad landscape and reached his other arm out, as well, taking a deep breath from the fresh air. Winter was his favourite season. Nothing bloomed that could trigger his asthma bouts and he could breathe freely. The guitar strings squeaked again. He turned around shaking his head.
"You'll never learn it that way."
Toshi stuck his tongue out on him and clumsily placed his fingers on the neck again, trying to press the strings down the right way. Yoshiki sat down on the floor, with the open window behind his back and just sat there watching his best friend struggling with the task.
"We will be rock stars one day. Well, if you can learn those chords, that is," he laughed and Toshi pouted.
"You're a brat!", Toshi retorted, and pressed on the strings even harder. Yoshiki shrugged his shoulders and turned around again to gaze through the window.
"So what if I am? We will still be rockstars. You'll see."
Toshi was glad he kept his habit of wearing huge sunglasses indoors. At least it hid his emotions, he could wear it like a mask that kept his inner turmoils secret. Now again, for the thousandth time that day, Yoshiki was unbearable. The others also kept their distance at times like this, and silently endured his antics. The shouting, the swearwords, the violent shattering of transluscent plastic as he dragged a pickaxe through the floor to his drum kit and smashed it into pieces. Where he found that axe, Toshi had no idea. Staff went about cleaning up his mess, as usual, everyone silently doing their job, quickly replacing the broken tams with new ones. They had an entire truck filled with spare parts for his drum kit, and Tama ran a separate production line in the factory, just for Yoshiki's drums. They were consumables, like plastic cutlery, and Yoshiki did consume them at such a rate, as well. Everyone was used to his outbursts, even Tama staff knew about them. The only one truly shocked at the scene was their new tour manager. Of course, she never witnessed soft spoken, almost shy Yoshiki's other side. As Taiji once aptly expressed, Yoshiki had one half of the face of an angel, the other half - an agonizing devil. He could be the nicest guy on the planet, kind hearted and attentive, but he had a destroying force within himself like no one else Toshi ever met.
It was kind of a miracle they became friends, at all. Nobody really befriended Yoshiki at school, either. He was an aloof child, often sick and missing classes, silent and withdrawn, except when provoked. He would kick and bite then, once he bit off a piece of a classmate's earlobe, because he called him a "mommy's boy". Toshi would still hang out with him, somehow he was drawn to his already manifesting magnetic personality, and his dreaminess. A dreaminess he always acted upon. Other kids were also dreaming about becoming this or that, but they never really acted upon it. Yoshiki did everything he could, to make those dreams come true. He rebelled, he fought, he bit anyone who would stand in his way. He dragged Toshi along with him, and he gladly followed Yoshiki's leadership.
More than 40 years had passed since, and Yoshiki was still as aloof and lonely, as he used to be in his childhood. Girlfriends came and went by, no one could really stand him for long. And Toshi also knew, that his friend was never really in love with anything but music. He valued his scores more than a lover's kiss, or a friend's hug. Everyone and everything came after music. It made Toshi sad, because he knew that his best friend was simply destroying himself every single minute of his life. During a beer drinking night out at a bar, back in the golden days, Pata once said something that struck Toshi as being incredibly insightful. Pata has always been like that, so calm and silent, just observing and never interfering. He said, Yoshiki would not live very long.
"His whole being is built on a force within himself, that keeps destroying his sanity," Pata said as a matter-of-fact, slowly munching on fried octopus, as if he was talking about the weather and not their bandmate's presumed future. No one could have predicted, that Hide would leave this world first, of course. Yoshiki didn't hear Pata's comment, rambling about in the opposite corner of the bar drunk, calling a punk band's guitarist a dickhead and smashing his face with a tabletop, his long blond hair messed up, after the poor unsuspecting guy made a comment about his laced outfit and called him a tranny. You don't mess with drummers, they hit hard. Hide was already sleeping on the table next to Toshi, with an angelic smile on his face, mumbling in his drunken dream in incoherent English, as he always did and then started snoring loudly. Taiji turned Hide's head to the other side, to stop the snoring and smirked into his glass of whiskey. They were all glad Hide passed out of the amount of alcohol he consumed, otherwise he would have already joined Yoshiki in dismantling the bar. Another place they wouldn't be let in next time.
Exhausted, Yoshiki was now crouching on the floor, breathing heavily, with his head lowered. Witnessing such a scene, you would think he had a good reason to get mad and smash an entire, freakishly expensive kit to pieces during rehearsal. But no. He just got angry because his roadie (obviously, a newbie) failed to set up one of the tams as he requested. Instead of just asking him to fix it, he actually started swearing like a sailor, and then rushed off stage, found that axe somewhere in the backstage and destroyed the entire drum set. Toshi heaved a deep sigh and glanced at Sugizo, who was fiddling with his guitar setup, trying not to pay attention to the drama. Toshi almost laughed out. Sugizo fit their band perfectly, he got the hang of what it was like to be an X Japan member, pretty quickly. They had 5 hours left to the show, they had no time to care about Yoshiki's emotional stress.
Of course, Yoshiki wasn't always violent, and didn't always destroy things in his way, but when he was stressed or otherwise mentally unstable, hell broke loose. Toshi started wondering what actually might have caused this outburst now, right before their second show of the tour. If this goes on, they would have to endure his unstable condition for a long time. He decided to get up from the stairs he was sitting on and walked to Yoshiki, still crouching on the floor, next to his destroyed kit.
"You ok?", he asked Yoshiki in Japanese, squatting down and put his hand on his friend's shoulder. He expected no answer, or Yoshiki's usual silent nod - a sign of his adrenalin levels subsiding and his sanity returning. But instead, what he heard was sobbing. Desperate, painful sobbing.