Sunday, September 18, 2016

Chapter 1

Jon sat watching the waves lap at the shore, a cold bottle of wine sat breathing on the table beside the deck chair, a glass in his hand forgotten.  He was on Jon time. The album was done and sent to the label. His mind went back, like it often did, on these quiet summer nights, to that miserable night he had come home to his wife trying to kill herself.  He could overlook the fights and the infidelities over the years. The medication for her bipolar have been working for a while and then they gradually stopped. He even noticed when she had gotten into cutting herself.  But that faithful night, when he came home and found blood everywhere in her bathroom, he knew this time she had gone too far.  He couldn’t put the kids through it anymore, her sisters had agreed that sending her to the sanatorium was the best for everyone.

They had visited her there twice when he got the call, that she had taken her own life. The last visit it has been horrible, she begged to come home, and when he told her no, she begged Stephanie and Jesse to let her come home. They had walked out the door with the younger boys, they didn’t need to see their mother hit rock bottom.  Things were stable for the first few months that she had been there. Then the day came they and they had gotten the call she had hung herself in her room.  She had gotten out of the restraints and made a noose out of her sheets. First they couldn’t understand how she had gotten first the restraints off, then second why the bed alarm didn’t go off, warning them that she had gotten out of bed. 

His lawyers had kept it hushed how and where she had passed, isn’t that why he paid them the big bucks. The press release had said that she had an accident and had died.  There was a small private funeral and her ashes had been placed in a bio urn and planted at the river house, in Rumson.  In truth, his sister in laws took the ashes and placed them in the family plot.

Life for the kids had gotten back to normal, Stephanie was working for Nylon magazine and Jesse was finishing up his term at Notre Dame.  Jon and the younger boys had headed to the Hamptons to clean out the house. They were off with friends after helping their father drop off their mother’s things off at Dress for Success, a charity that they had found to take her things.

Here he sat alone with wine and his thoughts. David had tried to get him to go to Saint Barths with him and his family, but he knew what needed to be done. Standing up he grabbed the bottle, recorked it and took it back to the kitchen. He had gone up to the empty bedroom and stripping his clothes off as he stepped into the bedroom.  Looking at his body in the full length mirror, the fifty something body wasn’t the same as his forty something body had been. The gray hair, yeah gray as much as his fans called it silver he knew it was gray, was now a part of himself he couldn’t hide anymore.  Reaching into the shower he adjusted the water and stepped in.  After taking care of himself he turned the water to hot and steamed the wine out of his system.  He finished washing. got out and wrapped a towel around his body to dry off.  Snatching the twin to the one around his waist he toweled his hair dry and stepped back into the bedroom.  The closet was so empty with Dotty’s clothes gone, he needed to spread his out so it didn’t look so bad.

Once he was dressed and in the car, he had no idea where to go.  He wasn’t looking for a one night stand, and anything else was way too soon.  He wanted someone to talk to him, him Jon, not him Jon Bon Jovi.  Share some food and friendship, hell a dog would do that.  He slowly drove his car down the main street, everywhere he looked he saw were families and couples. He headed toward the shore area, he knew some of the clubs down there, and he could get lost down there.  Pulling into a spot he grabbed a ball cap and got out, pocketing the keys he headed down to the clubs.

She hauled beer bottles and mini kegs out to load the chest cases and popped new kegs on the draughts. She had thrown out two drunk kids after calling Uber to haul them home, the sloppy kisses good night almost made her about loose her dinner.  When her brother called her to tend bar tonight, she grudgingly agreed.  He bought the bar from a friend and the last bartender had drank more than he sold.  These last minute calls were starting to get to her.  She barely had time to go home and change before getting here so he could got to childbirth class with his wife.   Rubbing her back she reached into the tip jar and went over to and fed the jukebox.  Going back to the bar, she grabbed her towel and started to wipe it down. Glancing at the clock Robert should be heading back any minute, just then the door opened and a man walked in.

Jon looked around the bar, not many people, and jukebox blasting some old school rock.  Moving to the end of the bar he pulled up a seat. The bartender was finishing up a wipe of the counter and came over. Taking in the redhead in the well-worn Bruce Springsteen tee-shirt and tight ripped Levi’s, he watched her walk over to where he sat.

“What will you have blue eyes.” She leaned her hip on the bar.

“Jack and coke,” Jon told her, it wasn’t the first time a woman called him blue eyes.

She reached under the counter and brought out a bowl of pretzels and cheese crackers as she went off to mix his drink. 

Jon sat back and looked around the bar, mostly locals, he felt comfortable here and the bartender was easy on the eyes.

Bringing over his drink she smiled as she sat the glass down.

“Here you go blue eyes, when you’re ready for another just let me know.”  She smiled and started to turn away.

“Thanks Red.”  He tipped the glass at her in salute.

“The name is Colleen, and I have the Irish temper to go with it.”  She gave a laugh and headed back down the bar.

Jon took his time on the first one, she was good, and the drink wasn’t half bad either. He got into the game playing on the television over the bar. He drained the last of the drink and she was right there with another.  This was a woman after his own heart.  Wow where did that come from?