(Attention: This story contains profanity, suggested drug use, adult themes, and is intended for mature readers only.)
(continued from last Tuesday’s post, The Fight, part 2)
Monday, June 28, 1999 – 9:10 am
The silence in the car was toxic. There was plenty to say, but between the two lovers, there was a wall of shame, confusion, and fear that kept their mouths closed, and their eyes from making contact. Cody shifted in his seat. He was uncomfortable not only because of the terrible rift that had been created by both Lily and him, but also because he was going through withdrawals from the drugs that he had not had for nearly sixty hours.
Cody was arrested Friday night after the fight at NorCal’s, and he was not arraigned until Monday morning. There were lawyers from both the Dutch Oven and Colonel Manatee offices trying to post bail, but the judge refused to make an exception of Cody based on his celebrity status.
Cody did not mind. Every minute he was in jail was another minute that he did not have to face Lily. He was ashamed of his drug use, and he was ashamed of the fight that landed him in jail. He was also ashamed that his marriage was surely ending after Lily’s infidelity. This was the biggest issue for him to face, and he was not looking forward to it.
Now, in the car with Lily, on the way back to their home in Fair Oaks, he wished to be anywhere else but there. He sat slumped in his seat, staring out of the window, and tried not to acknowledge his wife in the driver’s seat next to him.
Lily also feared this meeting. She dreaded the drive home, but knew that she would have to confront the issue head on. Still, she did not visit Cody in jail; instead, she communicated with the lawyers and met Cody at the courthouse on Monday morning. Lily spent the entire weekend alone wondering how their confrontation would go. She was angry about his arrest, and was doubly angry about his drug use, but she knew that she would have to answer for her affair with Charles.
The closer they got to their home, both Lily and Cody felt their stomachs tighten and their hearts pound a little heavier. They were scared, and had no idea how this day would end.
Once inside, Cody tried to speak, but Lily was still not ready. He ordered him to bed. He needed some real rest, and she needed more time to think. She could tell that Cody was not ready to talk—was in no condition to speak rationally—and that he, too, would need more time.
Cody did not argue. He went straight to their bedroom, kicked off his shoes, and collapsed on the bed into a virtual coma.
Lily sat in her study and cried. Once he had come home, it became more real to her. She sobbed hysterically with the realization that their marriage was probably over. Once the tears had stopped, she walked into the bedroom and lay down beside Cody. When she realized that Cody was in a deep sleep, she curled toward him, threw her left arm around him, and held him tightly—perhaps for the last time.
She was in the living room when Cody emerged from his sleep some eight hours later. She heard him taking a shower fifteen minutes earlier, and made a pot of coffee in anticipation of him coming down the stairs. Cody poured himself a cup, and sat down in his chair on the opposite end of the room from her. They stared at each other in cold silence, waiting for the other to speak first. No movement, and no words; only eyes locked in silent battle. Just as Cody was about to make the first move to ask her directly about the affair, Lily spoke first.
“Why were you naked?”
“Why did you strip down naked to fight that guy?”
Cody had to think hard for a moment about the question. He was so prepared to talk about the affair, or about his drug use, that he had almost forgotten about the fight outside of NorCal’s.
“I wanted to shame that punk all the more by kicking his sorry ass while naked. You should have seen this guy, Lil–all brawn and attitude, on a steroid-infused rage—he needed his ass beaten.”
“By a naked junkie?”
“Okay, Lil, which issue are we starting with? The drugs, the arrest, or the affair? We got a lot to cover.”
“You’re not kidding, Justin.” There was another moment of silent staring before Lily spoke again. “I would say the drugs started it; let’s start there. How long has it been out of control?”
“I don’t know if it ever was out of control.”
“You were barely conscious in the basement of our house. Your eyes were rolling back. I’m not even sure you knew that it was me yelling at you. You just had a stupid grin on your face…”
“I was just getting the last of the tour out of my system…”
“In our house? You brought that shit into our house, Justin! You have never done that before.”
It was then that Cody realized that Lily had known about his drug use for some time now. His shame deepened.
“How long have you known?” he asked.
“How long do you think, Justin? I am with you all the time. Did you really think you could hide that from me?”
“I only did a little bit, and you never said anything about it before…”
“You and Huey aren’t exactly sly about it. You make it look like you have been drinking, but it’s not the same. You are not the same when you are drinking.”
Cody had been open with Lily about all of the drug use in both the MGHB and Dutch Oven, but had always sworn that he stayed away from it all. He assured Lily that he would be fired from Colonel Manatee if he ever was caught doing hard drugs, so he would never even try. But when he discovered Huey’s penchant for heroin, he could not resist the temptation to share this one vice with his best friend. Cody and Huey never used needles; rather, they smoked it so that it would leave no trace. Once the heroin became a regular part of the band dynamic, cocaine soon followed as a natural counterpart.
“Besides, you have completely pulled away from me this past year”, Lily continued. “You work too much, and you spend too much time with Huey, Jamil, and all the others, and you have been pulling away from me. How long have I known? I’ve known the whole time, and I just watched it happen without saying a word because you were fulfilling your dream. I wanted you to be happy. I wanted you to realize your dreams. But, I also wanted to be a part of it, and I haven’t been for some time. I’ve just been your wife, not your mate. I feel like you replaced me with the drugs…or with Huey.”
Lily was sobbing hysterically now, and Cody was speechless. He had no answer for her. Of course he wanted to make a name for himself; to be something more than just a side player in the Manatee, but he had no idea that it had affected Lily so negatively. He was unaware that she was so unhappy, and so left out; just as he had no idea that his drug use had gotten out of control.
Picking at a fiber from a small hole in his leather chair, Huey took his eyes away from Lily. “For what it’s worth, I have decided to quit using drugs all together.”
“Why? Because you were caught? Because you are up against charges? Or are you only now quitting because you know that you can’t hide it from me?
“No. I’m quitting because I realize that it has gotten out of hand. You know how I hate to be controlled.”
“Well, don’t do it on my account.” Lily was not sure what to make of this new claim.
“Well, I am doing it on your account, and my own, for that matter. I told Huey and Jam on Friday that it had to stop. And yes, you catching me in the basement had a lot to do with that decision. So did the arrest.” Cody had the sudden realization that all the guys from the Manatee must already know about the arrest, and that he would have to answer to them about it, as well. His stomach tightened further.
Lily was not sure that this decision would affect her at all. She still had to answer for her own crimes, which she was not yet ready to do.
“So, how are you going to do it? Quit, I mean.”
Cody never really thought about it. “I guess I’ll just quit. When I gave up smoking cigarettes, I just quit. Simply made the decision to stop, and I stopped. I guess I’ll do the same now.”
“And what about working with Dutch Oven? The whole lot of you are constantly high on something.”
“Well, I guess I’ll have to set some boundaries. You’re right. It’s everywhere on every level of the organization. I’ll have to change things within the band. I don’t know…hire more handlers, I guess. I’ll worry about myself first, then I’ll see if I’ll have to play boss with anyone else. You know I’m not comfortable having to tell anyone what to do.”
“I think that’s part of the problem, Justin.”
“Yeah, well, maybe I’m going to have to get more involved in a lot of matters in my life. Things have gotten slack in a lot of places, haven’t they?” He gave a hard, accusatory, glare into Lily’s eyes, and the silence returned to the room. For about two, long, uncomfortable minutes, they said nothing; only stared at each other’s eyes, knowing where the conversation was headed next.
“Okay, we’ve talked about my shortcomings in this world…”, Cody started.
“Oh, not by a long shot…”
“…what about your own? Are you even aware of your own? Let’s talk about you now.”
(to be continued tomorrow…)