[This was done for a story jam. Each of the people who read that night were supposed to write something around the Bon Jovi song “You Give Love A Bad Name”. Being the dadaist genius I am, I decided to use the cut-up method made popular by William S. Burroughs where you take a text, chop it up and reassemble it to find something hidden. Submitted for your approval.]
“It is what you sell,” Richie explained to John. “When passion’s a prison. No one can save your fingertips. A school boy’s loaded gun.”
“I think I’m starting to understand a little bit of what you mean,” John said to him. They were sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the surf roll in the distance. New Jersey could be warm this time of the year.
The two young men were down from Manhattan for the weekend. Neither one wanted to endure another night of screaming academics in The Bowery. Let those idiots spend their time at CBGB’s listening to whatever punk band was playing tonight. They had bigger sights and plans to make.
“Darling,” she had told John, “You give love a bad name. Through hell chains of loaded guns. Yeah. Your smile on your lips.”
John couldn’t get Stacy off his mind. He loved her deeply, but to her John was just another guy with a fast car and big hair. Now she claimed someone wanted to put her in the movies. He thought about their conversation earlier in the day.
“But you had forgot the very first kiss was your first,” John replied to her. “No one can save me the bad name. Bad name I play!”
John looked across the sand dunes and tried to think of all the good times. Richie and he were much older now. So was Stacy. She was certain the talent agent would make her a star. He wasn’t. John was afraid she’d end up on video boxes in the back of the store.
“Bad name,” he told Stacy. “Bad name. Love a bad name. I play my part. The heart and you’re game. You give love, whoa!”
“Damage is done,” she replied. “Shot my part. You play through the heart. You give love a bad name. I play, you give love. You give love!”
He no longer knew what to do. Should he go back to Stacy’s house and try to get her to leave with him? Her parents were divorced and dad was never around. Her mom…the less said about Stacy’s mom the better. John thought a little more and turned to Richie.
“Shot,” he said. “And you play your game. You give love a bad name.”
By now, Richie was beyond confused. He knew things were not good between Stacy and John, but what did he expect him to say? He looked at John again and put the beer can on the car seat.
“Love got a hold on me,” he told him. “Blood red nails. Kiss goodbye.”
John sighed and agreed with him. “The damage is done. You act so shy. There’s nowhere to run.”
They climbed back in the car and drove away. John and Ritchie agreed on something for the first time. Best to leave Stacy alone, she was an adult and could make her own decisions. But if she did go out to California, maybe they could visit her.