Author's Note: These guys belong to Jonathan Larson

Author's Note:  These guys belong to Jonathan Larson.  Please don't sue.

I started off with all intentions of writing a happy Mark story, but this is what I got.  I don't know how I feel about it, so if you would please be so kind to review when you are done reading, let me know the good, the bad, the ugly and if I should continue or not. 

"New York Noise"

            Mark barreled down the stairs almost colliding with Roger, who was returning from band practice.  He stopped short, out of breath, muttered an apology and tried to step around.

            "Hold up, Mark, what's wrong?"  Roger hadn't seen that much energy come from Mark in months, it worried him.

            "What?  Nothing… I just need to go, I'll explain later."  He pushed passed Roger and walked out the door onto the street.  Roger shook his head at his friend and continued his way back up to the loft.  When he got inside he plopped his guitar case on the table and took out his cherished possession and began strumming the strings.  On the walk home a tune had gotten into his head, and he wanted to see if he could figure it out and perhaps get a song out of it.              He was pleased with the way the new band was going, they were getting gigs around the city, mostly downtown, but a few in Brooklyn and midtown.  They had regulars following them around to shows and one of the club owners mentioned a friend who was starting a new record label.

            He worked on the new song uninterrupted only for a short while, because his girlfriend Mimi stopped in, dressed for work at the Kat Scratch Club. The guitar was forgotten about for the duration of her visit.  He joked with her that she wasn't allowed to come see him when she was dressed for work, because it always made her late.  She laughed, teased and cooed at him, and just when he was about to pick her up and bring her into the bedroom, she announced she had to leave at that instant.  He pouted, but let her leave and he picked up his guitar and continued. 

            As he worked, Roger had a consistent smile on his face.  Was it only a few months ago that everything in his life looked so dismal?  Now, he had figured out and had everything he wanted.  Mimi had mostly recovered from the sickness that almost took her away.  She still had violent coughing spells, but they were few and far between.  The band was going well, and Mark… well Mark was the one thing that wasn't right. 

Roger didn't know why, but Mark seemed to distancing himself from him.  He had been much quieter, never really leaving the loft, but when they were there together, Mark would hide out in his room, scribbling in his notebook or working on his film.  It was Mark that had always been the one to infiltrate the conversations between the two. With him not saying a lot, the silences grew.  Roger chocked it up to Mark working hard and didn't really think about all that often.  He had been spending most of the nights downstairs at Mimi's anyway, so perhaps everything with Mark was fine and he was just feeling guilty.

            About an hour after Mimi left, Mark came back to the loft.  He looked defeated and worn.  Roger noticed immediately his friend's demeanor, but chose to ignore it at first.  He knew that if Mark wanted to share what had happened, he would.  At least, the old Mark would have.  He went straight into his room and shut the door and barely muttered a 'hey' to Roger.  Roger sat and struggled with the song for a few more minutes, almost forgetting that Mark was home, but the closed door, usually left open, gained his attention.

            He put the guitar down and went and knocked on the door, he didn't hear an answer, so he began to speak through the door.

            "Mark?  You ok?"

            "Yup, just fine."  His voice was harsh, and quick, not like anything he had ever heard from Mark before.  Roger opened the door slightly, only to have it shut from the other side. 

            "Mark, what the hell is going on?"  He tried the door again, but this time something was blocking it.  "Mark, this is ridiculous, why won't you let me in?"

            His friend didn't answer but on the other side of the door he heard banging and paper ripping.  Roger pushed the door with all his might and got it to budge slightly and before it could be closed, he grasped his hand around the doorframe.  "Just leave me alone, Roger."

            "Not a chance," He pushed the door harder and was able to open it enough to step inside the small windowless room that was once a closet.  There was barely enough room for the mattress on the floor, but Mark had managed to find room for a pile of boxes that held his old reels of film, notes, magazines and other assets. The boxes were what were blocking the door.  Except the two of the boxes were missing and Roger noticed their contents, mostly old scripts and pictures shredded all over the small space.  The posters that hung on his wall had been ripped down, some torn in half, some crumpled, others destroyed completely.  "Mark, what is going on?" 

            "Get out of my room!"  Mark stepped towards Roger, balancing himself on the mattress, grabbed his arm and pushed him towards the door.  Roger lost his balance for a second, but quickly regained composure and began to get mad.

            "Not until you tell me what is going on."  This was the third time Roger had asked the same question, there wasn't going to be fourth, and he made sure his tone of voice let Mark know that.  Still, Mark remained silent, picking up a picture of the two of them that was lying face up on the mattress and ripping it in half, splitting it evenly down the middle and dividing the two friends images apart..  This act of defiance was almost too much for Roger, and he grabbed the filmmaker's wrists and forced him to look in his eyes.  He watched Mark begin to cower in fear and pushed him away so that he fell onto the mattress.  "I'm waiting."

            "Nothing, everything is just hunky dory."
            Normally, Roger would have laughed at his friend's use of the term hunky dory, but this wasn't the time.  "What happened?"

            Mark just shook his head, got up off the mattress and walked out of the room.  He left the loft before Roger could process what was happening and he soon followed him onto the street.  Unfortunately, Mark had a head start and when Roger got to the street, he didn't see him in either direction.  Roger took a guess and began searching for his friend, not knowing exactly where to start looking.

            Mark couldn't understand exactly what was happening.  His head was screaming with pain and rage, and he had lost control..  Something that afternoon snapped inside him and felt as if he were a madman. Perhaps he was?  He knew Roger was just trying to help, but the bitterness was there.  It took him acting like a raving lunatic to gain attention from his so-called best friend to finally notice what Mark felt like was obvious.  Mark wasn't happy, in fact, that wasn't even the right term. Happy seemed like so foreign and long ago, Mark was downright miserable.  He didn't have an explanation or a reason, just the emptiness he felt in his stomach when he woke up and the headache he went to sleep with.  He didn't want to talk to anyone, could hardly generate enough energy to start a conversation.  He hadn't even been filming lately, though the others thought he was hard at work.  Of course, if any of them took a moment to notice the filmmaker's change of attitude, even his change of appearance they may have realized.  Mark had stopped really caring about the way he looked; he wore the same clothes day after day, hadn't had a haircut since Angel's funeral, and barely shaved.  But none of his friends stopped to detect, or question Mark, all of them assuming he was fine. But he wasn't, and he hadn't been in a very long time.