Bret Easton Ellis: But when I sit down…

by Nick

“But when I sit down something strange on the stage catches my eye. Bono has now moved across the stage, following me to my seat, and he’s staring into my eyes, kneeling at the edge of the stage, and he’s staring into my eyes, kneeling at the edge of the stage, wearing black jeans (maybe Gitano), sandals, a leather vest with no shirt beneath it. His body is white, covered with sweat, and it’s not worked out enough, there’s no muscle tone and what definition there might be is covered beneath a paltry amount of chest hair. He has a cowboy hat on and his hair is pulled back into a ponytail and he’s moaning some dirge–I catch the lyric ‘A hero is an insect in this world’–he has a faint, barely noticeable but nonetheless intense smirk on his face and it grows, spreading across it confidently, and while his eyes blaze, the backdrop of the stage turns read and suddenly I get this tremendous surge of feeling, this rush of knowledge, and I can see into Bono’s heart and my own beats faster because of this and I realize that I’m receiving a message of some kind from the singer. It hits me that we have something in common, that we share a bond, and it’s not impossible to believe that an invisible cord attached to Bono has now encircled me and now the audience disappears and the music slows down, gets softer, and it’s just Bono onstage–the stadium’s deserted, the band fades away–and the message, his message, once vague, now gets more powerful and he’s nodding at me and I’m nodding back, everything getting clearer, my body alive and burning, on fire, and from nowhere a flash of white and blinding light envelopes me and I hear it, can actually feel, can even make out the letters of the message hovering above Bono’s head in orange wavy letters: ‘I . . . am . . . the . . . devil . . . and I am. . . just . . . like . . . you . . .’
And then everyone, the audience, the band, reappears and the music slowly swells up and Bono, sensing that I’ve received the message–I actually know that he feels me reacting to it–is aching erection pulsing against my thigh, my hands clenched in fists of tension. But suddenly everything stops, as if a switch has been turned off, the backdrop flashes back to white. Bono–the feeling in my heart, the sensation combing my brain, vanishes and now more than ever I need to know about the Fisher account that Owen is handling and this information seems vital, more pertinent than the bond of similarity I have with Bono, who is now dissolving and remote. I turn to Paul Owen”

From Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho from Vintage.

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