Today is Layne Staley’s birthday. He would have turned 50, had he lived to see it.
While others had Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder as some of the biggest voices of their childhood, for me it was Layne. My dad loved Alice In Chains, and they are still his favorite band.
When Layne died, my dad was completely heartbroken. He had his phone programmed to show him the exact day of Layne’s death for years, and would blast Alice In Chains every time we took a car ride anywhere. He would listen to the tribute songs to Layne and weep.
Which was often. I spent my childhood listening to Layne and Alice In Chains as much as Slayer or Type O Negative, or Metallica, or Acid Bath. They were my grunge experience more than any other grunge band that existed.
Layne’s voice is still one of my favorites I’ve ever heard. The way he could harmonize with Jerry and have this voice that still seems like it was impossibly coming out of that skinny man.
He would have turned 50 today, if the drugs hadn’t killed him.
I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS BUILDING. The next bunch of posts are all going to be from the same building. They are super weird studios with little closet bedrooms. someone in my office is listing one of these studios and it has ALL original light fixtures and windows and everything. it’s going to be a series - watch the mayfair manor tag to see other units in the building.
Post-Wedding: Eric’s a little famous, but he’s not used to taking advantage of that status. Good thing he’s surrounded himself with people who don’t have the same hang-ups.
Beyoncé’s new tour dates are announced and not only is she playing Starbucks Arena, she’s playing in Seattle during a lull between a stretch of home games.
“I didn’t realize you were so into Beyoncé, Bittle. Isn’t that a little bit stereotypical?”
Eric doesn’t have time for Boomer’s casual homophobia, pre-sale tickets go on sale in three minutes and for once this miserable season, he’d like to get something he actually wants.
“I don’t know if anyone has told you, Booms, but I’m pretty fucking gay. And you know what else is a stereotype: sucking big, thick, hard –”
Boomer raises his hands and backs away from Eric’s table. “Okay, okay, I’m sorry.”
Eric waves the d-man off while Carter slides out the chair beside Eric and drops his take-out box on the table, careful not to jostle the laptop.
“He’s getting better.”
“He’s getting his stall plastered with hardcore vintage porn is what he’s getting,” Eric mutters. “Swear to the Lord, you’d think I was a walking identity crisis –”
Two minutes. His card info is pre-loaded. Carter is chomping away on something that smells like curry. Eric’s blood is vibrating under his skin like he’s in overtime. He’s ready.
“Wait, why are you buying them yourself? I’m sure JoAnn can get some from the front office for us.”
Eric stares at the screen. 1:27. He doesn’t want to bother the team’s publicist over something like this. He’s an adult. He needed help with Hamilton tickets, he doesn’t need help for Beyoncé. He knows Beyoncé.
Maybe not literally, but still.
“Dude, let me call her. Just in case.”
“Leave her alone. She’s done enough for us this season.”
“Maybe we should –”
The waiting room clicks over and he’s in. Easy as pie. He selects his seats, nabs the VIP package, gets to the checkout screen, and…
“What the hell…?”
An error message pops up.
“No, no, no, no,” Eric clicks the screen, and when the page refreshes there’s nothing there. No seats. No VIP meet and greet. Nothing. A happy little banner pops up that reads ‘Thank you for participating in Citi Bank’s Presale –’
Eric’s stomach drops. “Are you kidding me!? It’s been thirty seconds!”
“It’s bots, man,” Bay shouts from across the room. “Those ticket resellers program these computers to –”
“I don’t give a good god damn if it’s a robot! I was right there! They were mine!” He drops his head to the table and whines. “I can afford them on the secondary market, it’s just the principle of the matter.”
“I’m so sorry, man,” Carter runs a sympathetic hand over his back. “Can I call JoAnn now?”
Eric shakes his head, content to wallow in his own sadness. “Everything I touch turns to death,” he moans.
“That sounds like a yes.”
Eric’s phone starts vibrating beside his head – the tap-tap-tap pulse he’s set for Jack – but before he can answer Carter’s tapped the call button for him.
“Hey, Zimmermann. You’re on speaker phone, your husband’s in a state.”
“Carter, um, thanks? Bits, you okay? Did you get your tickets?”
“…no,” Eric sighs, lifting his head to stare blearily at his phone. “The bots ruined me, Jack. I’m dead.”
“Your man is too proud to use his contacts, Zimms,” Carter snickers and elbows Eric in the side.
“That’s unfortunate,” Jack consoles, but Eric can hear something else in his voice. Something distinctly amused.
“Jack, I swear to god if you make me wait any longer –”
“I have two VIP passes sitting on my desk at home right now. I talked to my agent about it weeks ago. I wanted it to be a surprise.”
Eric’s mouth goes dry and Carter shakes his shoulders roughly in excitement. He can’t make his voice work.
Carter leans in close, whispering, “Bittle, you crying?”
“Bits? Bud? You there?”
“No,” Eric breathes, composing himself, “I’m just, really happy I married my husband, and I get to meet Beyoncé.”
There’s silence across the line, then, “Bits, I know those things aren’t in order, and that’s okay. I love you, too.”