You broke my bed
You broke my room
You broke my Massive Appendage
But most of all your broke my heart

You’re Gone. M.S 1987

Several things happened the morning Andrea stormed out of Steve’s place.

Firstly there was several angry voices yelling at me to shut the fuck up, at least I assumed they were at me because Andrea was half way down the street by the time the voices registered in my head. While I know I chased her to the front fence I don’t actually remember yelling at her to come back so my assumption was they were yelling at her and I didn’t needed to be concerned.

The second thing was that I really don’t think I felt the depth of what had happened right there and then. I wasn’t kidding myself that she was playing some kind of joke and would walk back into the house a few hours later saying “Gotcha!” but I didn’t feel her departure in my heart or my mind. I guess I was still annoyed with the way she’d gone about things rather than the act of leaving itself.

I guess the heart and mind not immediately accepting things was fed a little bit by the number of people inside the house who said things like “don’t worry she’ll be back”, or “give her a chance to cool down”. But at the same time I’m sure that there was part of my mind just wanting to black what happened out.

The third and fourth big thing to happen after Andrea walked out took a bit longer to happen.

The third thing was that I lost myself in my music and my guitar. I went to work each night with Steve and the band, but by that stage I was almost like a robot, I could go through the paces almost without reaction or interaction. Most nights I would just get on with the job, do what was expected of me, then clock off at the end of the shift. When we got home if Jim wasn’t around I would lock myself in my room with my records, my guitar and my headphones and just play, play, play.

It would be nice to suggest that all that playing made me some kind of expert, but it really didn’t, I was basically just emulating what I heard on the records and not always very well. However it was the escapism that I was after, weed and Jack Daniels were no longer a buzz they were a necessity, I could tell you I wasn’t an addict at sixteen but I know that is not the truth. I needed the booze and the weed to function as much as I needed air. Sadly when the guitar and the music were introduced to the mix they didn’t replace my vices they just made their way into the mix. Had they replaced either the weed or the Jack my life might have panned out so much differently.

The fourth and probably most significant thing, for a sixteen year old already drinking, taking drugs and playing guitar, to happen was the damn rumour mill. I’m sure we have all suffered through such a thing, be it through bullies at school, break ups or even at work, there is always someone ready to spread rumours and gossip about another person. These people often to it to hide their own shitty lives, some do it because they think they are helping, but many do it simply because they are shitty people.

I don’t know which category my rumour mill fell into at the time but by week three of being single the rumours started getting back to me that Andrea was over me and not coming back. Honestly, on the surface I knew she wasn’t come back and I’d stopped even caring what she was doing but I think some people thought that if they told me she was worse off without me that would make me feel better. Truth was I wasn’t feeling anything so it didn’t matter in the least. Not at the time anyway.

The word was that Andrea left me and fell straight into the arms of another man and that her screams of me cheating that night were nothing more than misguided blame at what she was doing herself. Then by the end of the first week she was shacked up on some meth house, her addiction worse and she was fucking anyone who would give her another hit of cocaine. Even when I was told the harshness of her reality was that she was spending her days so fucked up that she’d quit work and spent her entire day laying naked in the back room of some hovel like house just waiting for her next shot that was delivered by someone with both a needle and his cock stuck in her at the same time I just wasn’t interested. She had made her bed, so to speak, she had walked out on me, and I had no intention of feeling sorry for her or wasting my time thinking about her. Maybe those feeding the rumour mill knew that and that’s why they told me what they did.

While my rebellion against being dumped was obviously the music and the guitar at times it also became women. I don’t know if hearing that Andrea was off getting laid influenced my thoughts, because I don’t remember having conscious thoughts, but it took me very little time to start seeking the company of another woman. I wouldn’t call it seeking the love of a woman because as Andrea might have once put it I was simply fucking them, nothing more, nothing less and there was a different one every few days, sometimes every day.

I wasn’t taking advantage of the woman I bedded but one thing you learn quickly in the game of rock and roll is that groupies don’t always follow the guitarist, or more to the point the guitarist can’t have them all and there is always scantily clad women waiting for their time to shine even after the band has left the building. Some might call it picking up the dregs but I was simply taking what was on offer, using it as they used me and then discarding them if they hadn’t discarded me first.

But perhaps the worst part of all that, even more than the people who would judge me harshly for doing those things so many years ago, was that I actually thought I was enjoying myself.

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