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Jars of Clay - my new SP story

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    The band is manufactured and the world doesn't know it. Pierre Bouvier is beginning to become disillusioned with the charade and cracks are beginning to show. 

    This story will be recounted by the band's closest friend and confidant, Patrick Langlois, and will document the rise and fall of one of the most beloved pop punk bands in the world.

    For like jars of clay, they were broken, discarded…but Pierre isn't going to give up on them. He is going to pick up the pieces and put them back together again. To create a beautiful, real, thing.

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on 05 Jun '14

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The band is manufactured and the world doesn't know it. Pierre Bouvier is beginning to become disillusioned with the charade and cracks are beginning to show. 

This story will be recounted by the band's closest friend and confidant, Patrick Langlois, and will document the rise and fall of one of the most beloved pop punk bands in the world.

For like jars of clay, they were broken, discarded…but Pierre isn't going to give up on them. He is going to pick up the pieces and put them back together again. To create a beautiful, real, thing.

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The ending is not the

The ending is not the beginning repeating

The ending is not the beginning repeating
Los Angeles
9th May 2014


Pierre called me. A first in a million years. I know. Exaggeration, but seriously. It’s not like we really had much to talk about in the last…lifetime. Not really. Not after all the lies. The betrayal. The hurt. Which, to be fair, wasn’t my fault. Nor his. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, really. Well, not anyone that actually mattered.

David once said to me that it was the industry that was the problem. Profound for someone who had a hard time pinning things down at the best of times. Though at the same time not surprising, since he is a creative at heart. Pierre is too. Chuck on the other hand is a more logical person and that’s why he and Pierre clashed at the moments that counted. Seb and Jeff? Well, they were, are, a mix. And, oddly they were the least effected.

Anyway… Pierre called me. Wanting to talk. About an idea he had. Oh, and the fact that it was his birthday and he wanted to catch up.

I’m thirty-five, Pat…and none of us are getting any younger… His words. And, so true. Though sometimes I feel a hundred years old after everything that’s happened.

I guess I’m not making much sense, am I? What am I even talking about? Well, perhaps I should start by saying that this is a story about a band. No. That’s wrong. It’s a story about five young men who thought they were a band. I mean, they were a band. But…it’s complicated.

Oh, and it’s my story too. Though, I’m more a bystander than anything. Pierre would vehemently disagree with that. And so would the fans. They call me the sixth member of Simple Plan. Kind of them…and not something I take lightly.

I see myself more as the person who’s here to tell their story. Makes sense, right? I was their web guy, and merch guy, and videographer, before they went all pro…well, before management pushed me out. I’m not bitter. Many would say I’d be entitled to the emotion. I gather they just didn’t want me looking too closely. Not that they needed to worry about me.

Pierre Bouvier was the crack in the perfect vessel that the Label had created…

* * *

I was telling you Pierre called me, and I never did get to the point, did I? Well, we talked about banal things, as you do. And then Pierre dropped the bombshell.

Chuck and I are getting together to write songs.

I’m still trying to get my head around that.

The traffic right now is going slow as I sit here on the highway. However, it’s still going faster than my brain. I’m on my way to Pierre’s to find out what the Hell is going on. I don’t even want to hazard a guess… it’s too shocking if I’m going to be completely honest about it.

My phone buzzed at me. Shifting gears and checking my Bluetooth connection, I answered with a grunt.

“Where are you?” Pierre.

“Stuck in traffic, dude.” I grimaced at the long line of cars ahead of me, no end in sight. “I’ll be there when I can…”

“Get some beer; David just rocked up in a complete mess.” Pierre sounded distracted, which wouldn’t be surprising if what he said was true.

“David’s in L.A.?” I said and shook my head, squeezing the steering wheel.

“Yeah. He lives here, remember?”

I scratched my cheek as I finally passed the tollbooth. “I didn’t forget. He was away.”

Pierre scoffed and said, “Right. Well, see you soon.” He hung up after that and I heaved a sigh as I continued to wait for the traffic to move.

* * * * *

A million years later… well, again, not really… and I could see the apartments where Pierre lived with his special girl. No, he hasn’t a girlfriend. I’m referring to Delilah his Chihuahua. I sat for a moment in the guest parking chewing over what I was likely to witness. And as I sat there a beat up rental pulled up next to me, and a familiar bald scalp came into view. I blinked then rolled down my window.

“Stinco?”

Jeff halted next to my window and smiled as he said, sounding equally as surprised, “Pat? Did Pierre call you too?”

I nodded as I got out of my car. “He tell you what he’s up to?”

“Yeah, and I don’t get it. But, guess we’ll find out what’s doing, eh?”

Slapping my palms together, I felt like my head was going to fall off my shoulders as I made my way for the entrance.

Pierre was standing there. He must’ve seen us pull into the parking bays.

“Dude, where’s the beer?”

I groaned, shaking my head and slapping him on the shoulder as I walked past him. “Hi to you too, Pierre.”

He half smiled as he tapped his fist to Jeff’s. “Took your time.”

I rolled my eyes as I took the stairs to his floor two at a time; his statement wasn’t even worth a response. And, I really just wanted to get this over with. Whatever this even was.

“And you couldn’t even get the beer.”

Stopping at the stop of the stairs, I turned to face him, feeling this sudden wave of anger rush through me. Irrational, I know, but I had just driven for God knew how long to find out what the Hell he was up to and I was in no mood to be treated as if this was some normal visit.

His pupils dilated as he must’ve seen some of what I was feeling flash across my face.

“Fuck you, Bouv. I didn’t come over here to be nagged.” Pierre recoiled at my words, opening his mouth to protest; but I didn’t let him get a word in. “If you want me to stay, you could at least be civil.” I turned and stomped into his apartment, not realising a shocked David was standing just by the door.

I only realised when he was suddenly wrapped around my shoulders and his too loud voice was in my ear.

“Hey, dude! Dude! You’re finally here!”

I smiled as I managed to extricate myself from his arms and turned to face him. David hadn’t changed, much. His hair was longer, though. And he looked older. But, didn’t we all?

“David.” I couldn’t really think of anything to say to him, so just nodded at him. He didn’t seem fazed, though, grinning at me before spinning on his heels and heading further into the apartment.

I followed him into a spacious living room, dominated by the grand piano that Pierre had purchased in a fit of passion a couple of years earlier. I remembered asking him why he bothered. He just shrugged and said he thought it looked cool…

David plopped himself down on the bench, kicking his feet out.

“Been a long time, man.”

I nodded as I remained standing in the middle of the room. “Yeah, I never did call you.” And I felt bad about it.

“You were hurt as much as the rest of us,” Pierre said as he and Jeff joined us. If that wasn’t the truth, I really don’t know what was. But, I believed I’d moved on from all that.

I shook my head, slowly. “It’s no excuse, though.”

Pierre clapped a hand to my shoulder and said, “Maybe not. But you always come back to us.” My brow furrowed at his words. He gave me a meaningful look as Chuck walked through the door that lead to the kitchen, carrying a case of beer.

“Hey, Pat…a little help here?”

I allowed myself a small chuckle as I went over to relieve him of his load. He heaved a sigh and smiled at me muttering his thanks. I nodded, setting the case down on top of the piano. David raised his eyebrows at me. I ignored him as I snagged a bottle and turned to face Chuck, and Pierre.

The latter was leaning against the large windows, facing away from me, his eyebrows down over his eyes, expression dark.

“You going to talk, Bouv?” I said. His shoulders lifted as his eyes slewed toward me.

“Must think I’m crazy, Pat. After what I said.”

I smirked. “You and Chuck, writing.”

Pierre tilted his chin down. “Oui. You know how things were between us.” He rubbed at the back of his neck. A nervous gesture I knew. He closed his eyes then said, “We’ve come a long way from the kids we were back then…”

I had to agree with that.

We were too young to know what we really wanted back then.

Too young.

Too naïve…
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We were young and naive

We were young and naive

Laval, Montreal
7th May 2001


Pierre and I were sitting on our skateboards outside his house, contemplating life after college.

“What’re your plans for the summer?” Pierre was smiling up at the clouds, not really paying attention to whether I would answer him or not. I wasn’t in the mood to humour him.

“My parents want me to go to UQAM.”

“You kidding?”

“No. There’s a good Marine Biol course there.”

Pierre rolled his eyes at me. “Dad wants me to go there too.”

“We could go together,” I said, too enthusiastically. He cast a sour look at me.

“Right. And become perpetual students? No thanks. I know what I want to do with my life.”

I snorted. “You’d be the only one.”

“Oh, come on. You know you want to be a rock star.” Pierre good-naturedly ribbed me, smiling again. He knew I couldn’t do anything with an instrument to save my life. I’d crashed and burned at keyboard…and when I sang, well let’s just say cats could do a better job than me.

“You’d be the only one,” I repeated, kicking at my board. Pierre’s brow furrowed as it dawned on him that I wasn’t biting.

“Hey, dude…what’s up?”

Pierre was mercurial. He could swing from high to low in a matter of moments. But, I was used to it. I’d learned a long time ago how to work our friendship around his moods. And, he also knew how to navigate my constant calm. We were close. And that’s all that counted. He always figured out at just the right time that maybe I needed to be treated differently to him.

I sighed and said, “I’m leaving at the end of the week.”

Pierre blinked, once, twice. Then his expression darkened. “You’re leaving?”

Nodding, I glanced sideways at my best friend. “Yeah. Off to see the big wide world.”

Pierre sat down next to me, hard, and I could see the light drain from his eyes. For a moment we just sat there. A very long moment. Suns rose and set…well, not really…

And then…

“Take your camera.” Which was obviously the only thing he could think of saying in response.

“Seriously, I’m not going to have time…”

Pierre actually glared at me, daggers in his eyes. “Take the damn camera. I gave it to you.” I blinked, a little surprised by his aggression. It wasn’t like I was disappearing off the face of the earth…

I said as much to him and he didn’t react too well to that. He stood up, stomped hard on his skateboard, narrowly missing my face and then stormed toward the front door of his house, yelling something about dicks at me.

Like I said. Mercurial.

He’d get over it. He always did. But, I was going to call our mutual friend, Chuck…just, you know, to touch base with him.

Sighing, I got up and after carefully rolling Pierre’s board into the garage, I turned and rode my own board back down to my place.

* * * * *

“Hey, Pat!”

I removed my headphones as Chuck’s head poked around the door of my room. Hadn’t even heard him come in the front door. There was no need for him to knock, we’d been running in and out each other’s houses since we were in second grade.

“Hey, glad you could come over,” I said. He nodded as I swung around to face him. He knew this wasn’t purely a social visit. Pierre was on both our minds.

“Pierre’s pissed at you?”

Sighing, I nodded, glancing across at a photo that was propped on my desk. The three of us last summer with our skateboards, pulling silly faces. I looked back at Chuck. His brow furrowed as he leaned in the doorway.

“You want me to talk to him?”

I scoffed. “No. Let him be angry. I’m still leaving.”

Chuck shook his head and walked into the room, taking a seat on my bed. I observed him for a moment. He had his head down, obviously deep in thought. He was like that, introspective, often in his own thoughts more than he was with us. I admired him for that.

He met my gaze and said, “We should all do something.”

“Like what? You’re not big on parties, Comeau.”

Chuck rolled his eyes. “Oh, nothing like that.” He pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, pinching at it. “Maybe we could all meet at the skate park, kick around a bit.”

I nodded, then decided to change the subject, a little. “How come he’s not mad at you?”

Chuck was headed to school to do Law. Follow in his dad’s footsteps. That was kinda logical, if it weren’t for Chuck’s first love. But, I’d already attempted to convince him that he was being a stupid-head. That hadn’t worked either, but at least I didn’t get my head bitten off for it.

Chuck flopped back on my bed, removing his glasses and cleaning them on his tee. “Pierre’s not mad at me because he knows this is my parents’ choice, and not something I really want to do.” He lifted his shoulders, a resigned gesture if there ever was one. “I’m keeping the peace.”

I couldn’t help but snort at that. “Seriously?”

Chuck looked hard at me. “Reset was fun. But, it’s time for the serious work now.”

“Really?” I said, scornfully. “So, that’s why you got in a fight with Pierre and left the band?”

His brows drew together as he said, “That was because of…musical differences.”

“Right,” I said, shaking my head. “Keep telling yourself that, if it’ll make you feel better.”

“Pat, honestly.” Chuck sighed, sitting up again. I could see the pained expression in his eyes. Knowing him, it really hurt having to push back his dreams. But, I guess we couldn’t all be dreamers. Example, I wanted to work in radio, or TV talking about what I loved. Music. And hockey. Like that would ever happen…

I said, softly, “Sorry. I swear I’m not a dick.”

Chuck cracked a smile as he put his glasses back on. “No, you’re an ass.”

I pretended to be wounded, clutching at my chest; he grabbed one of my cushions, tossing it at my head.

“Hey! That hurt!”

He rolled his eyes and shifted so he sat cross-legged on the covers. “So, what to do about Pierre?”

I shook my head as I dragged my fingers through my hair. He looked at me expectantly as if I had all the answers. If only…

“Charles, Patrick?”

We turned to see my mom standing there, cordless phone in hand. I lifted my eyebrows.

“Hi, Charles,” she said to Chuck then she looked at me. “It’s Pierre.” Speak of the devil…

“Oh, right.” I rubbed at my nose with the flat of my palm. “What does he want?”

Mom smiled. “I’m not psychic, Pat. You’ll have to ask him.”

I shook my head; Chuck’s brow furrowed and he stood and said, “Let me talk to him.”

I shot him a grateful look; he mouthed back at me, you owe me. I could handle that. I just nodded, leaning back on my chair. Mom looked at me questioningly as if to say, are you two mad at each other? I waved her off, so she left.

Chuck leaned in the doorway as he spoke quietly into the phone. I waited, only able to hear his side of the conversation. And, let’s just say he has the patience of a saint. Saint Charles. Saint Chuck…

“Pat. Pat.”

I blinked as I realised I must’ve spaced out. Chuck was looking at me with a curious expression.

“What?”

He put the phone down on my desk. “Pierre said he was sorry. And he thinks my idea is a good one.”

I rubbed at my forehead. “You mean, meeting at the park?”

Chuck nodded, speaking slowly as if I was deaf. “Yeah, that idea.”

“He’s sorry?” I said, making sure I’d heard correctly. It wasn’t often he’d concede like that. Chuck gave me a look that suggested I take his word for it. Then he shrugged and smiled.

“You know he won’t say it to your face.”

I said, “Probably not. But, I’m used to that.” That was Pierre Bouvier for you. But, we were friends and I knew his actions were a lot more important than his words. The fact that he wanted to meet up, maybe that was enough.

It usually was.
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