Flash Fiction Story 001: "Second Bananas"

She clung to The Edge. Bono was fine. Everyone loved Bono, and rightly so. He fed the starving children, and got the credit for all of U2's songs, but God did she love The Edge. With The Edge, there was no need for a showy persona. The Edge's name was the only showy thing about him. The Edge marched his way through October and War with only a need to do his job. Bono had a desperate need to be part-John Lennon, part-P.T. Barnum. Bono needed to be loved; The Edge couldn't help but be admired.

As 1991 drew to a close, the perfect confluence of serendipity fell upon her. U2 might perform in Stockholm and Sarajevo, but they would also be coming to her little town of Rosemont. She didn't want tickets to the show; they were a necessity.

Tickets would go on sale January 1st for a March 31st show. She avoided the very idea of New Year’s Eve and rose in the morning, just as most people were returning from their ill-advised jaunts to the Windy City. She would be the first in line for tickets.

She may have been the single greatest fan The Edge would ever know, but she underestimated the fans of Bono. When she arrived at the amphitheater, the line for tickets spread beyond the horizon. The air was somehow colder than when she left home at 5:15 that morning. It made the air thin, more like the vacuum of space than anything she had breathed before.

She managed to calm herself as she joined the ticket line. She became encouraged when the line moved steadily. One day soon she would be in the presence of The Edge. All was well.

Then the line in front of her dwindled and dispersed. Her heart sank as she suddenly became the front of the line, but was still a half-mile away from the box office. As they scattered, the people in front of her muttered words like "sold" and "out."

She stood in place for several minutes, long after those in front of and behind her had moved on with the rest of their lives, hoping that there had been some sort of mistake and U2 would add a second show or a missing block of tickets would appear, but those miracles never came. There would be no concert for her. Without The Edge, her life would be over.

The winter passed and the weather warmed. On the last evening in March, she was at work, scanning a copy of Achtung Baby and sacking it for an oblivious customer. She idly noted the beginning of the concert that had so destroyed her a few months ago. She wasn't in the front row, or anywhere near the Edge. She was stuck at Target.

It was just another Sunday night in Rosemont. She had Tom Petty tickets for July, but she absolutely clung to The Heartbreakers.

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That’s me! Thanks to Eris O’Reilly for the art!