William Miller rolled over, rubbed sleep from his eyes, and threw his legs over the side of the bed. He stood up and scratched himself - his balls, his hair, his chest. He walked over to his record collection and picked out Tommy, lowering the arm and listening to The Who fill his room. He walked to his closet, throwing a Stillwater t-shirt over his heads, jumping in to his jeans and throwing his bag over his shoulder. He was off for another day at work, another day editing for Rolling Stone.
Ever since the final interview with Jeff, William felt like all he did was edit other peoples work. As other people sent in useless drivel about Bowie and AC/DC and other bands that William liked, but not enough to write about. And he had to read it all. It was his job. It only paid $2.75 an hour, but it kept him in all the records and passes that he wanted, which was more than he could have ever asked for.
"Hi mom," he said, as he walked in to the kitchen and found his mom pouring a glass of orange juice, a plate of pancakes already sitting on the counter.
"Hi, honey," she said, reaching up and kissing his forehead. He smiled and took the glass or orange juice, walking out the door, waving over his shoulder. "But, I made you breakfast," she said as the door slammed.
William knew it was wrong to just walk out on his mom, but he hadn't really been in a talking mood for a while. He was going through Penny withdrawal. He wanted to see her, wanted to touch her, wanted to hear her voice. It had been almost seven months since he had last seen her, even longer since the days of Tiny Dancer, and William was worried that she was forgetting him. That thought was terrifying him, because he sure wasn't forgetting her.
The walk to the office was usually long enough for him to think about lots of things, including which pieces he wanted to pass on for the magazine. But lately, the only thing he had been thinking about was the first time he had met Penny Lane - and he replayed the moment over and over in his head until he was in his office, and then again and again until he went to bed that night. Some people called it a sickness. He called it Penny Lane.
We are not groupies. We don't sleep with the band. We inspire. We - we are band aids.
I always tell the girls - never get serious. Never get serious, never get hurt. Never get hurt, you can keep having fun - and if you ever get sad, you just go to the record store to see all your friends.
You are home.
Anything she said. Everything she said. That stupid coat, those huge sunglasses, the smile that always let you know that she knew more than you did, even if she didn't know what.
That day, when William walked in to work, things felt different. The air was…off. In a way he hadn't felt since the day his foot hit the floor of the Stillwater tour bus. He stopped in with the general reciptionist and asked if he had any messages. Usually she just scoffed and waved him on - he wasn't high up on the magazine food chain, but today she handed a small, regulation-pink paper.
Penny Lane was in France. And William Miller was going to interview her. Tomorrow.
Hold me closer tiny dancer.