"Why do I always feel the need for what we might call the obligatory-edgy?... Edginess can be a way of introducing energy and/ or an appropriate overtone of skepticism, a way of enlarging the frame, of accounting for the complications of real life." -George Saunders
The Edge got into his white Ford Escalaro which was parked in his four-car garage at the base of his mountain-top ranch. He shifted the gear shift which was a custom-made chrome replica of his trademark goatee and started down the winding road to the camouflaged gate which gave access to the highway. From the highway, the gate looked just like more of the same trees that lined the road in that area.
He pulled out into traffic and drank some of his iced soy chai that he had gotten at his ranch's cafe. It tasted damn good, he thought. He was listening to one of his band's cds. The not-so-famous one after Zooropa.
The Edge drove down the highway hugging the curves like skirt on thigh. He had a charity event at 3, but first he needed to score some blow. His fucking dealer had skimped him last time and now he had to make this trip. Unnecessary.
He thought about brushing his teeth, reminiscing from the morning, looking in the mirror, the suds or froth or whatever effervescing like a science experiment in his mouth. He looked at himself in the rearview mirror and saw his sunglasses looking back.
The Edge turned into Rt. 76 and thought about driving to the beach; the Pacific was only thirteen miles away. He thought maybe he would drive to the ocean and take off his shoes and socks and walk along the part of the water where the waves come up and over your feet and then go out with the tide and recede from the sand. His feet sinking into the wet sand and making oblong tracks the water would come and fill and erase.
The charity thing was some baseball fund drive. He hated fucking baseball. He wondered how hard you would have to hit someone to break their skull. The Edge subconsciously pressed his foot against the gas pedal, increasing his speed. He thought about getting into an accident. How James Dean and Jackson Pollock had died in car crashes. He thought about driving his car so hard into some immovable object that he would become enmeshed with his car, two become one. He took the exit off the highway and drove down a boulevard that had palm trees at regular intervals planted in the island.
He got to the side street where he was going and pulled into the driveway of a once-nice loft. The thing about lofts was that even if they were once nice, before that they were all factories or slaughterhouses or worse. The Edge got out of his car, his $4,000 vegan shoes swatting the pavement. He thought about meteors crushing him, aliens descending and preventing him from jogging up the three stairs and knocking on the front door. A satellite could fall out of orbit. He jogged up the three stairs.
The Edge sat in his parked white Ford Escalaro. He looked out through its windshield at a flock of birds flying as a unit up down and around, going nowhere, making maneuvers. He flipped the turn signal on and off for no reason.
The Edge got out of his car, twirling the key ring on his finger. It made a clinking, metallic sound. He had parked at an overlook which looked over a 500 foot drop to the ocean which licked at the base of the sheer cliff like a dog that wanted to jump up into the arms of its master but it was too fat from eating unearned treats. The Edge bit his thumbnail and chewed off a piece, spitting it out into the ocean. It took the thumbnail forever to fall through the empty space between The Edge's lips and the water.
There was a bench welded into a slab of cement at the lookout next to a commemorative plaque. The plaque said something about Cortez that The Edge didn't read. Instead he looked at his wrist and read his watch. He had a thing at 3. He thought about the possibility of not going to the thing. It was probably going to be a benefit or a fundraiser or something. He would have to stand in front of all those people who wanted something more from him than a few riffs.
The Edge looked across the ocean and tried to see as far out into it as possible. It was just water and water and water all the way to the slight curve where the sky took over and became nothing but sky.
The Edge got back into his car and drove down the highway, thinking. He had started teaching himself the banjo and the ukulele. No one wanted him to play the banjo or the ukulele because he was lead guitar. He wanted to start painting again like he had in college before they got big, but there was no time for that anymore.
He drove along the roads which went on and on, turning from one onto another. He stopped at a traffic signal and another car pulled up alongside his. The passenger in the other car looked at him and he couldn't tell if it was a look of recognition or just a car-idling glance.
The Edge looked at his dashboard clock and saw that it was after 2. He pulled into a drive-thru fast food restaurant and ordered a hamburger and a chocolate shake. He sat in his car in the restaurant's parking lot and ate the food, his jaw moving as he chewed.