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Chapter 15
Beyond the Reaches of Fame

I walked along an abandoned road to an empty terrace where a man motioned for me to sit with him. The man had a large manila envelope in his right breast pocket, which I pointed to curiously. He smiled a crooked grin as a cloud of smoke escaped his rotten yellow teeth with a forward overbite.

I gently reached toward the envelope and grasped it firmly in my hand. He stood up firmly and I clumsily reached into my pockets for my checkbook and tore out a blank check with only a signature. He sat back down as I shook the brown manila envelope because tearing the seal would have been an open condemnation and lack of trust to my comrade.

Satisfied that his end had been kept up I shook his hand, gave him one solid hug, and walked down the abandoned street. Curiosity nagged at my heels as I took a few more steps to the next mysterious stop on my journey. I refused to break the seal no matter how tempting its contents might be.

The quaint villa lost its gruesome dark dirtiness as the mansions sloped up a neighboring street. Each house had a white picket fence and springy green grass. Children laughed, running up and down the streets, some even brave enough to tug at my jacket. I smiled giving that fatherly look of compassion and love as I continued to walk along the new installed sidewalks.

A wind blew a small crumpled piece of paper out of my pocket and I quickly dashed after it. My eyes completely consumed on the floor diverted from the happy surroundings to that single slip blowing away. I bumped into a woman just as I cornered the snippet once and for all. I stared at her feet and slowly moved my glance upward along her slender curvaceous body. Repeating the process one final time for good measure, I made eye contact with the Spanish beauty.

Remembering my mission, I shook her hand violently as hard as I could. She yanked it away delicately like a cactus flower as I kissed it softly. I stood up dusting off my pants and wrapped my arm with hers. We sat at a small café as the maître d' served us a glass of French Champaign. Now the time had come to open the mystery package from earlier that mourning. The wax seal clung tightly as I slid my butter knife to separate the residue.

My vendor had kept his word on the high quality of the item I had before me. I slid the smooth shiny objects through my rough calloused fingers. The female companion to the right was wrapped up in a menu and did not pay me much heed as I stared glossy eyed at the article now laying in my lap.

The maître d' asked for our order and we both pointed to what we wanted on the menu. As he walked away, I slid my hands around hers and presented the gift, the pearls. They shone brightly against her olive tanned skin, snow-white balls of perfection. She seemed genuinely surprised by this display of affection as we laughed heartily and toasted our glasses in the air. A perfect looking meal made the evening seem too good to be true as we each shared a bite of the others entrée. After only one bite, she ran with her hand covering her mouth into the ladies room in the far corner of the room. I followed her in only to witness her guts practically hanging out of her mouth as all the food left her body.

I stroked her hair gently and asked her why she threw up. She looked up at me teary eyed and down back at her body again. Those lost childlike eyes said it all. They said our fears, our hopes, and our dreams, but mostly they said our future. She never gave me an honest answer or rather she never spoke an honest answer but I knew the truth and this time the truth was not setting me free. I stormed out not wanting to face her, to face the staring passer-byres, to face it... she followed me and wrenched her fingers around my arm. I pulled her by the necklace of glistening pearls as the clasp snapped spilling the white marbles to the floor. Casually glancing at them I ran until she was a shadow, a figment, and a memory that in my eyes never existed.

Who was this woman of my subconscious? I pictured everyone my mind would allow but not one matched her in beauty, in style, or the lust that swarmed my heart at her presence. No, she was a new breed in the equation of McCartney dreams, one I cannot place, for now...

Needless to say I still couldn't decide whether it was a true nightmare or just a bizarre dream. Well I hadn't sprung up like a jack in the box afterwards as I often do with most of my other nightmares; so perhaps it was just a dream compiled after many glasses of beer and a visit from Jane. I reached for the blanket in my state of half sleep and noticed there was no blanket to pull against me. I blinked one eye and saw it crumbled on the corner of the balcony, where I finally registered I was lying.

I scratched my head and tried to stop the throbbing pulse clashing like cymbals, over and over, and over again. If the hangover felt bad, it was nothing in comparison to the way I would feel if I had to talk to Jane this mourning. I pushed the door open avoiding the drunken corpses waiting to be brought back to life. The simplest movement would bring them back to the world of the living hangover, an alcoholic partygoers only dimension. I quietly dialed the phone and waited for room service.

"Bonjour," a friendly female voice greeted, "Mon nom est Vanessa. Comment est-ce que je peux vous aider?"

"Uhh... Est-ce que vous parlez anglais?" I said with a heavy English accent, "Je ne parle pas français bien."

"Je suis le monsieur désolé mais je ne parle pas beaucoup anglais," she spat quickly, "s'il vous plaît la prise pour un moment." Well at least that's one word I recognized. I just hoped that moment wouldn't take an hour. I looked at my watch impatiently fifteen minutes later as the elevator music continued to blare out of the earpiece.

"How may I help you?" asked the irritated voice on the other line as a high pitch beep sounded, "sorry but you have to hold on another moment."

"But last time you..." and just like that I was clicked back into the terrible soothing bland classical music. I waited again trying not to let today's bad start affect my fair mood. By the time I can ask about a cup of coffee I won't have a headache, I mused. Ten minutes later, I was connected back to the rude unpleasant employee.

"Sorry about the wait," she said unenthusiastically, "how might I be of service to you this mourning?"

"Could you bring up a pot of hot coffee, two scrambled eggs, a glass of orange juice, and a pot of tea to room 121 A?" I asked heartily.

"Will that be all," she said as forced sounding as possible, "because I have a lot more calls than this one to handle."

"Hey guys, do any of you want breakfast?" I yelled covering the mouthpiece, "Speak now or forever hold your peace, it takes half an hour to find some one who speaks English."

"Need sleep," John groaned stuffing the nearest pillow over his head, "ask me again later."

"I'll have two eggs, some bacon, and hash browns," George replied while rubbing his eyes circularly.

"No thanks," Ringo coughed politely, "if I eat anything after the amount of alcohol I consumed last night it would fly out of me in approximately two point five seconds."

"Just another plate of hash browns, bacon and two more scrambled eggs," I echoed into the phone.

"Let me double check, two orders of scrambled eggs, one order of bacon, one order of hash browns, a pot of coffee, a kettle of tea, and a glass of orange juice," she repeated.

"I believe that's everything," I said cheerily, "I hope you have a better mourning and don't get stressed out by all us British speaking folk."

"Thanks for your concern but I deal with this everyday because I am one of the few employees whose first language was English. Your food will be up momentarily," she yawned, "enjoy your stay here at the hotel."

"Bye," I answered politely as the other line disconnected swiftly, "that was rather rude. I barely squeeze in a good day and the phones already disconnecting me."

"Maybe she just had to take another call because none of them speak English well," George presented sweetly, "or perhaps she just didn't like you. You never can tell with the birds these days."

"Halleluiah, halleluiah, let the choir sing to that one," Ringo praised with great enthusiasm, "the birds these days are a different breed. They're starting to ask questions like: Why do we never talk? Wouldn't you rather do something else besides have sex? Blah, blah, blah... I need to be respected. Can't they get a life and go back to the way things were?"

"You're damn right they should," John echoed, "but lucky for me I got a wife who doesn't ask questions and does what she's told. Yeah I feel bad for the gits who get horsewhipped by their old ladies. When did good ole Great Britain go so wrong?"

"Well it all started in about 1940 when you were born ironically enough," George shouted fondly, "you were an accident and the Germans were trying to take you out so you wouldn't contaminate there youth."

"Funny, I always thought that they bombed us because we were at war with them," I said teasingly, "you might of heard of it before, it was called World War II. But then again that's probably just a conspiracy created by a bunch of ignorant people who don't know what the fuck they're talkin about."

"Gee Paul, I have to admit I was among those poor ignorant souls until I saw the light and saw that death warrant for my arrest all those years ago," John added, "can you believe them makin up all that shit and believin it no less. Makes me sick"

"Yeah we all know how TOTALLY unfamiliar you are when it comes to streamin a web of lies even a two year old wouldn't believe," Ringo said sarcastically, "if I couldn't trust John as an honest person then I just wouldn't have faith in humanity anymore."

"So what does it feel like to loose the will to live?" George asked playfully, "I remember when I first lost my faith in humanity. John told some fat teenager to drown himself in a tub of chocolate because he might as well save his parents the expenses on food that could feed an elephant."

"And then he had the gall to say at least an elephant might be useful and do things, unlike him who just sat there twiddling his thumbs. If I'm not mistaken he also said that his parents wished he was never born," George continued, "the poor kid never could look at anyone afterwards without cryin. Ended up runnin away from home cause he thought his parents hated him."

"Yeah I can be a cruel asshole at times, can't I?" John gloated proudly, "Thinkin back on it there could have been worse things to tell him than that."

"He's not the only person you've traumatized before," I pointed out, "but then again your whole life is based on fuckin up people's self esteem to increase yours."

"No I fuck up peoples self esteem because I'm prejudice," John quipped, "any pick me ups in self esteem are a bonus you worthless pile of shit."

"Point taken," Ringo smiled thoughtfully, "I think I better go to the loo or there will be a huge vomit stain on this pillowcase."

"Well quit talking and start gettin your ass up, I don't want to call room service again for as long as I live," I said urgently, "it would take them an hour just to get a wake up call placed in. Those phones better be ringin off the hook otherwise I'm goin to be very upset that it takes so long for the simplest..." Ringo rushed toward the loo with his hand over his mouth before I could finish my complaining.

"Do you need any help in there?" George offered, "I really don't mind helping if you need me to seeing as Paul is busy goin on a rant about the poor service here."

"Sorry I didn't mean to be impolite," I apologized, "I guess I'm just a lil' cranky from not gettin enough sleep, havin a splittin headache, and not eatin me breakie yet. Where is that damn breakie anyways? What are they doing slaughtering the pigs in the kitchen? Or are they just waitin for the chickens to lay their eggs?"

"You weren't kiddin about not bein your normal bright sunshine self," John chided, "so I hate to say it but you're goin to have to call 'em again cause I want breakie too and I don't know how to even ask if they speak English."

"Oh no you don't," I said sternly "I have no intentions of doin your dirty work just cause you were too lazy to learn the key phrases Brain gave us for emergencies."

"Yeah well I seem to recall doin YOU a favor last night but then again my memory is a bit faded," he replied devilishly, "perhaps YOU would like to talk to Helga this mournin seein as you don't need me to protect you. I mean as a friend I would be downright despicable to ask somethin as COMPLICATED as that."

"Alright, alright, you made your point," I said frustratedly dialing the number again, "but don't expect me to become your favor bitch from now on cause I don't take kindly to blackmail."

"No one does," George mumbled to himself while tenderly cradling Ringo's head by the sink. He stroked back his hair moving it off his forehead and walked out silently.

"Does what?" I asked as the chamber music blared in my ear and pondered aloud, "can't they at least get somethin from this century on this piece of shit?"

"Takes kindly to blackmail," he answered, "or people that talk to themselves for that matter. I hope they get here with that coffee pretty soon because you definitely need your head cleared. We all do really."

"Except John that is," Ringo chuckled, "there's nothing in that head of his to clear out. Maybe a dead brain cell or two but I highly doubt it."

"I'm hurt Rich, I'm really hurt," John said in a fake quiver, "but not as bad as you will be if you say somthin like that again mate. Do you catch my drift?"

"No only your colds," George quipped, "why can't I catch somethin more exciting from you like your smooth essence with the birds? I would kill for somethin like that."

"It can be arranged," I said evilly arching an eyebrow, "oh yes it can. Speakin have arrange, who wants to get fixed up with Helga since she seems to be the community whore?"

"Seems to be," John yelled, "well I don't know about you guys but I can definitely voucher that seem is the wrong adjective for her sort. That woman is a sex fiend, I bet she hasn't been a virgin in over five years the way she whacked me off last night. Not to mention..."

"That's more than I need to know," I cut him off, "Shhh... be quiet I think I finally got someone on the other line. Hello."

"Hello," squeaked the other person in very think English, almost as if she was reading it off a note card, "how can I help you?"

"I need some breakfast, bre-ak-fas-t, you know petit déjeuner," I read aloud from the French dictionary, "do you understand?"

"Oh you speak French," smiled the voice now put at ease, "Que est-ce que vous aimeriez?"

"Je ne parle pas français bien," I admitted while kicking the floor, "I only know several words in French."

"That's okay I know several English," the woman stuttered, "what you want to eat. See I speak good English. You impress."

"Yes I am impressed," I lied hoping to spare her feelings, "I will try to use what little French I know but let me ask everyone what they want first okay." I didn't need to see her to know that she hadn't understood but two words I said and could imagine her nodding profusely at the customer in front of her while she concentrated on our conversation.

"What do you want, Lennon?" I asked a lil' annoyed and begrudgingly because I really didn't want to make this phone call, "Quick before I get put on hold."

"I'll have scrambled eggs and toast," he said rubbing his empty stomach, "with strawberry jam and some of them scones. Those look good and how about some bacon too. Can't eat a meal without meat can you?"

"We aren't trying to feed the whole world here," I teased still holding my hand over the mouth piece, "try only ordering what you know you're goin to eat instead of everythin on the menu and only takin a couple bites of everythin."

"It just so happens that I like to try a lil' of everythin," John pouted, "and don't think you're the first to try to get me not to waste food either. I do it all the time, I do."

"You still there?" asked the voice now uncertain after such a long pause, "hello you still want food?"

"Yes désolé about the wait," I said apologetically, "My friend would like oeufs, et pain grille, strawberry jam, and some scones as well."

"Thank you for try speak French," she said humbly, "very helpful. Food be up soon and have nice day."

"Bye," I said politely and clunked the phone down on the counter, "I still am ashamed of you for wantin to waste all the good food you are orderin. Speakin of food shouldn't that first order be makin its way up here by now?"

"It already did," George admitted bashfully, "funny story really. I opened the door and this homeless boy and girl asked if I was goin to eat that other side of eggs; well at least that's what I thought they said it was in French. Anyroad, I said they could have it because I couldn't deprive a starvin child of a meal."

"That's one hell of a long story for a lie," I growled bitterly, "and you can do a lot better than that can't you. What about the one where an elephant escaped from the local circus and ate my lunch or the Pope stopping by and you HAD to give it to him or he would damn you to hell forever? Why can't you just tell me you ate it instead of elaborating on

the longest bullshit explanations I've heard in my entire life?"

"No one could possibly go more out of their way to exaggerate or lie about something than John so don't be pointin fingers at me," he said firmly tapping his chest twice with his finger to illustrate his point.

"Yeah, John does top the cake when it comes to elaborate high-tech bullshit," Ringo agreed, "but I don't think you should be so hard on lil' George cause you talk your game of shit to birds all the time. I don't know one bird you haven't lied to or deceived to get her into to bed, so stop tryin to act all high and mighty."

"Uhh... I... Well you see... The point is..." I stuttered trying to fully think out my argument but all I could see was black. Absolutely nothing to dignify why I had any right to insist George treat me with the dignity I did not give to all people. I was a walking hypocrite like everyone else who only wanted to benefit personally instead of humanity

benefiting. So I decided to accept my behavior because after all hypocrisy and selfishness is what makes this world go round. Survival of the fittest so to speak but somehow I felt I was trying to convince myself these things rather than truly believe them.

The silence continued to haunt me as I sat there cold, hungry, and tired. I never did care for silence that much; it forces you to think. And thinking is a dangerous thing to people who don't want to change for the better. Who cling to the past, to the easy life they currently lives rather than accept a life of fulfilling adult growth.

So, I walked out into the hall and lit a ciggie hoping to calm my nerves. That uncanny silence lurked in the room but the hall was filled with bellboys bounding down the halls like deer, breakfast carts slid by faster than mopeds, custodians opened the doors to un-expecting guests who had forgotten their "Do Not Disturb" signs, the sounds of beds being stripped and new employees vigorously trying to imitate their older counterparts, apprentices to a trade of excellence. Even though I could not physically see the color and flurry behind the closed doors, I could hear the magic behind them.

"Excuse me sir," a nervous house cleaner whispered faintly trying not to scream at the site of a Beatle just sitting among common folk in the hallway, "Smoking is only allowed in the rooms not the hallway."

"Sorry I didn't know that," I apologized letting the final butts fall to the floor before smashing the flames out of existence, "thanks for tellin me."

"Oh it was no trouble at all Pau... I mean Mr. McCartney," she fumbled scratching the back of her head nervously, "I was wondering if you... Well could I have your autograph? That is unless it's too much trouble. I know you get asked all the time but..."

"It would be my pleasure to," I cut her off flashing the PR smile, "But you have to tell me your name first so I can specially request this smashin employee to bring me breakie or other lil' things we need every now and then. Besides I couldn't possibly give you a signature not personally addressed seein as we're formally met and all."

"Oh my name is Cassandra," she blushed trying not to ramble, "and I would be more than honored to get you anything you need for the rest of your stay here at the hotel."

"Well actually there are a few things I need at the moment now that you mention it," I laughed while putting the final touches on the autograph, "George ate my breakie and I would be forever grateful if you could pull a few strings and get me some eggs now instead of havin' to wait an hour for someone to get them here."

"I'll see what I can do," she breathed as her knees slowly began to buckle after her "long" conversation with Paul McCartney. I pushed down on the floor with my left arm to pull myself up yawning one last time before I pushed the door open. Nothing seemed like it had changed much since I stepped out. George was still eating, Ringo still watching the tellie, and John still on the phone long distance with Cynthia saying how much he missed her. It was a white lie "we" all decided was best or so John insisted anyroad. The party guest had been cleared out, I suppose Neil had taken the initiative while I was on the phone getting John breakfast, lazy bastard. At least the irritable silence as gone, I mused when it hit me like a ton of bricks, I knew who the Spanish beauty was.