(2018-04-05) Just Being Stupid
Just Being Stupid
Summary: Audgrim solicits romantic advice from Eddie. Maybe he really is stupid?
Date: 2018-04-05
Related: None
Player Characters: Audgrim, Eddie

----——| Baker Street - Port Angeles |


You never know what the next turn will bring in the Baker Street neighbourhood, save that it's unlikely to be uplifting or overly pleasant. Perhaps this has to do with the abandoned Rayonier Mill site; what could have been a valuable waterfront property is merely a vast, polluted swath of ground, fenced off from public access. Or maybe it's the wastewater treatment plant in the east of the district, ensuring the resentment of those who live downwind from it.

More likely it's the housing that leaves the impression, alternating between cramped conditions and odd little homes that stand alone: weather-worn row houses with chipped paint and dirty windows; little moss-covered homes on overgrown lots; and shabby homes crammed close together with derelict cars parked on overgrown lawns. The businesses of the area don't offer much respite from the imagery: whether that's the unique shabbiness of the dingy and run-down Chinook Motel, an 'Adult' store run out of a trailer in a cluttered lot, or the strange, coffee-selling presence of Hi-Caliber Guns. Only the fixture of Frugal's Burgers stands above, with the stainless steel art deco look (and the constant flow of customers) standing out from the general impression of the neighbourhood.
-------------——|

Audgrim makes a living busking, or at least he claims so. But in truth, he loves it. He goes out on the street to play, not only for others, but for himself. Often, his shows are filled with energy and upbeat music, music he half makes up as he goes. But today, he's taken up a spot on a corner, and he's playing a learned piece - it's not quite as soulful as usual perhaps, but he is a good violin player.

And he's playing this haunting, melancholy song - enough to make a winter weep.

He has a captivated audience, literally. There's a dozen or so standing there, looking like they're being entranced. And they do ooze glamour, melancholy and sadness.

It doesn't take much to make some Winters weep, really, but Eddie isn't one of those. It's anybody's guess if he even can, with those eyes he has. He stands across the street, leaned back against a decrepit gray stone building currently occupied by some predatory payday loan outfit, watching Audgrim work with that look of professional curiosity he gets sometimes. As the pefromance goes on and the crowd starts boiling with glamour, that looks resolves into one more of appreciation, and even he can't help but sway along to the tune a little bit. When the song is over he crosses the street, tossing the cigarette he's been smoking down the storm sewer on his way, and when the crowd starts to break apart he steps forward and drops his contribution into the violin case. A buck forty-two and a Werther's original, still in the original plastic and everything.

"Very nice," he says, "more my speed than your usual stuff. I'd clap, but," he looks down at his banged up arm, and shrugs his good shoulder.

The Nightsinger seem to have been affected by the mood himself, his expression somber and calm as he watches people filter away - many of them with a dazed look on their faces, but most shaking it off after walking a few steps. He does get quite a few donations though, before they leave - more than he'd usually get, due to what he did to them with his Nightsinger ability.

He gives Eddie a lopsided grin, and crouches to gather up the bills and coins, stuffing them in a pocket. "I not play that good," he says factually. "I learn from notes - had to train very long." Nightsinger, but also a beast - it must be hard for him sometimes, to combine the two. Standing up, he says hesitantly; "I learn things, in Other place. I don't use it much, here."

"I forgot more than I learned, over there," Eddie says. He doesn't talk about his Durance much, or really at all. That's probably the most he's said about it in all the time he's known Audgrim. "Anyway, notes are good. Keep the mind sharp, and we need all the help we can get." He taps his temple with one long finger. He's a Beast, too, clever as he can be sometimes. "Me, I do crosswords. C'mon, you can buy lunch. There's a 7/11 up the street where the hotdogs have been spinning since they invented the wheel, practically."

Audgrim packs up his violin and opens his Werther's original, chewing on that as he joins Eddie. "I remember too much," he says darkly - something is bothering him. His tail swishes slowly, and he keeps an alert eye out - especially keeping an eye on birds. He knows where that 7/11 is so he steers that way with a rather dominating presence, people moving out of their way; sometimes he does that. Sometimes he can't be arsed. "Am hungry. I like hot dogs with lots of mustard," he admits.

Eddie trails behind Audgrim, happy enough to let the taller man clear the sidewalk and watch the skies. His own face is downcast, shoulders slumped, like he's carrying a heavy weight on his back. He doesn't seem particularly troubled, no more than usual, anyway. That's just how he gets around most of the time. "I'm more of a relish guy," he says, about half-way to the convenience store. "So what's eating you?"

Audgrim makes a non-committal grunt and shrugs his shoulders, like he's trying to shrug it off. But he can't - some disturbing thought has pierced that thick skull of his and has decided to stick around. He stares at his own beastly and demonic reflection as the two pass by a large store window. "Maybe I still do it like I did on other place," he begins, voice lowering. "Maybe I make people like me, and then I hurt them." It's perhaps not the most humble way of saying that you've got a way of drawing people in. "Is very hard to think." He rubs a temple, obviously concerned about this.

Eddie takes that in and grunts his own grunt, sympathetic but a little amused at the same time. "We all hurt each other," he says, then gestures around Baker Street as proof. "Not just us us. Everybody, all of them, like breathing. Just walking around and being alive." He steps onto the mat outside the 7/11 and waits for the sliding doors to open, then steps inside and heads for the hotdogs. They're just as promised: wrinkled and red, with an outer skin you could use for shoe leather. "There's nothing for it. Sometimes I think that's why we're here," he says, waiting for a particularly desicated specimen to spin around and claiming that for his own. He goes to work loading it down with the works. "Is this about Denver?"

Audgrim perks up a bit smelling the hot dogs. That faintly sour smell of overcooked drying hot dogs. "Hmm," he says, digging out a tangled mess of bills and thrusting them at Eddie, to let him order and pay. "Four hot dogs," he decides, licking his lips; his stomach even makes a few noises, so he probably is quite hungry. "I try to tell her, we be friends - that would not hurt her. But that /did/ hurt her, and that hurt me, watching her hurt. Could not stand it. Did not want to only be friends, anyway. But I think maybe she only likes me because of…" He gestures vaguely. Because of what he has become and what he can do. Like he's not sure her feelings are real, at all.

"What, because you're a musician?" Eddie grins his crooked grin. "Probably so. Women like that, in my experience." Mustard, ketchup, onions, relish. This place even has those little plastic bags of sauerkraut, and Eddie loads his pockets full of those when he's done squirting a couple onto his hotdog. He steps aside to let Audgrim prepare his, and grabs a bag of Sweet-Tarts out of the candy aisle while he's at it, then goes to pay. He comes out with some of his own money for a book of crosswords off the magazine rack and heads outside to continue the conversation sitting on the curb. "What you do is who you are, or part of it, anyway. If you're so worried, just don't play her any love songs."

Audgrim manages to balance four dogs, getting one of those paper trays to put them on. He puts everything he can on his, too - and lots of mustard. A mug of coffee to go along with it, and he joins Eddie on the curb, stretching legs out as he eats, watching the day crowd with passing interest, never really unaware despite that lazy countenance; it's part of a deception, perhaps, one he doesn't even realise he's doing. He listens with all seriousness to Eddie's advice, and snorts a bit - it's funny how the winter gets to pick him up and make him worry less. "I'm just being stupid," he sums it up. "Denver is smart, she likes me for being me. I like her for being her." He gives Eddie's back a hearty pat in thanks.

Eddie rips open the pack of Sweet-Tarts and dumps half of those onto his hotdog, too. He smirks at that part about Denver being smart, and he's clearly on the point of making some glib remark, but he occupies himself eating before he can get himself in trouble. "I gave up trying to understand why women like the things they do a long time ago," he says, swallowing. Eight years ago or so, probably, to guess from his personal life.

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