Sid Stills' Blues (Three-Quarters in the Bag in Alphabet City)
Sid Stills' Blues (Three-Quarters in the Bag in Alphabet City) is a story written by shukyou and illustrated by serenity_winner. It ran in Issue 34 and can be found at s2b2.livejournal.com/199935.html and shousetsubangbang.com/mirror/sid-stills-blues-three-quarters-in-the-bag-in-alphabet-city/.
At 87,023 words, it is currently the longest story ever run in Shousetsu Bang*Bang.
From the Slash Pile: "Sid Stills is just an old technophobic has-been. Sure, he was a big shot musician once upon a time. but now he's nothing more than a New York hermit. But that all changed when the cute strawberry-blond up-start named Nathan Vaughn crashed into his world. Now Sid is going to have to deal with all his fears and insecurities, face the world, and, maybe the hardest part of all, learn how to work his damn iphone."
The headache wasn't what woke him, but it was what kept him from going back to sleep once he was up. It rolled through his head like a drum line, pounding its high school marching band arrangements of some once-golden oldie across his brain with all the embarrassing force of the time he'd been sixteen and nearly killed himself with his father's Jack. He hadn't been hung over like this in years, decades. Just one more shit side effect, he supposed, of getting old.
From pinboard.in: "An old washed-up musician finds something worth living for in the bright young thing he accidentally befriends, only less cheesy and more awesome than that sounds."
Sid Stills' Blues is part of the Whitniverse.
A short, untitled story that takes place after the events of Sid Stills' Blues can be found here.
Sid Stills' Blues has been featured on GoodReads.
There's a lot going on here, obviously, and some of the inspirations may be obvious to some of the readers. Shh.
What's not a secret, though, is how damn much this story owes to beeblebabe. She was my co-conspirator here in the extreme, and everything good about it, she had some sort of hand in. Legitimately, I can't thank her enough for the everything of which this story is only a tiny part.
And speaking of valued contributors, I cannot praise serenity_winner's work enough here. She nailed what I was going for, especially with the final image, and she was so patient with me as I tweaked and hemmed and hawed and wrung my hands. I knew from the second I first started putting this together that she'd have to be the one to draw it, though, and I'm so glad I was right.
I'm not going to be melodramatic and say that this story saved my life, but I will say that it saved my sanity more than once during some very dark times this past year. I know there are some medical inconsistencies in here (and there are probably even more than I know about), but a lot of this story is some pretty blatant wish fulfilment with regards to the aforementioned real-life troubles. Long story short: fuck cancer.
There are some places in there that aren't real places, but there are even more that are real places, and one of the best times I had this summer was when I'd gone into Manhattan to teach a class, and the next morning I woke up on beeblebabe's couch and let myself out far earlier than my MegaBus was supposed to take off. So I called up some relevant tunes on my iPhone and plugged my earbuds into my ears and went wandering around midtown on a cloudy, muggy, warm day, thinking about this story the whole time. I don't love New York City like Sid loves it, but it's a hell of a town, and I hope I preserved some of the taste of the place.
Sid makes for a funny narrator, because as a technophobic sixty-one-year-old, he doesn't know the names or terms for things that I do. I have an iPhone like he does (though his is newer and has a front-facing camera), and a lot of this story was spent squinting at it and thinking, if I didn't know what to call that, what would I call it? He's also very good at not thinking about what he's not thinking about.
There's actually another related story! It happened all the way back in May, which should let you know how long this has been in the works (and why there are a couple of inconsistancies with how the longer story turned out). It can be found here, and it's sexy and porny, and it's set a couple months after the very last scene with the Grammys, and it's about Jason, whom I adore. Sid's absolutely right to be cautious, but that asshole's got a sweet heart. It just ... needs medication.
At any rate, it turned out to be 87,023 words long, which is far longer than many people can be expected to read, so if you've made it this far and through these notes, well, my hat is off to you. And I'm grateful.
This is by far the longest thing I’ve ever written. It’s also the story that kept me going while I was dealing with my stepfather’s death from cancer. This started out as being something silly my friend Whit (Domashita Romero) and I could talk about to keep my mind off things, and would up becoming my symbolically saving my stepfather’s life, even after he was gone. I think of the tale of how Mandy Patinkin, during the Princess Bride, imagined that when Inigo Montoya stabbed and killed the six-fingered man, he was really stabbing and killing the cancer that had killed his own father. It is the epitome of what I mean when I talk about being self-indulgent with the beauty of language, and the last 60k words of it (or so) were written in a three-week frenzy, and by the time I was finally done with the lengthy mess, both Sid and I felt a lot better.
This was really a 'wow' type of story and my summary doesn't do it a bit of justice. The narrative from Sid's point of view is nothing but gritty truth. It definitely wasn't the sugary fluffy stuff that I'm used to. Sid and Nathan are so completely different from each other that it was hard at first to see how they could ever work in a relationship but they just... did. I was a little wary of the age gap at first (Sid is sixty-one and Nathan is around twenty-five) but I completely fell for these characters, the age difference wasn't a huge deal. It was really a huge help that the author didn't skirt around the issues that came along with the age difference.
It was wonderful to see the slow progression of the friendship that built up into a relationship. They were both shy and a little hesitant at first, especially Sid, which was really cute. Just by the way they interacted with each other you could tell that it was an instant connection, but they didn't jump into anything straight away. I liked that because it showed that they were thinking with more than just their dicks. I loved the parts where Nathan makes Sid realize that he's not the down and out old man that he thought he was and that yes, old dogs can learn new tricks too, like falling in love.
- http://secretsolitaire.livejournal.com/184292.html: "I'd recommend this for anyone on my flist who enjoys May-December romances, or fic about music/musicians, or simply a good story peopled with quirky, real characters."
An technophobic, aging rockstar who hasn't produced anything in years discovers Youtube and a certain video of a certain young man covering one of his songs. This sets off a relationship that could very well save them both. I seriously cannot tell you how much I loved this. I stayed up until 1:00 AM when I have to be up early tomorrow for training, and I will never regret it ever ever. Something about the pairing also reminds me of one of my favorite pairings (John/Matt), enough so that I get residual fannish feels, while still being unique characters with unique and amazing characteristics and seriously, if you don't read this now, you will regret it FOREVER.