[Takes place on Wednesday, March 15th, on Joseph Armstrong's 11th birthday. Players, not puppets. Will be backdated.]
[Disclaimer: The characters portrayed within have no bearing whatsoever on the real members of Green Day or their families, and should not be taken as such. No disrespect or harm is intended; everything within is a work of pure FICTION. Again, in no way, shape or form is any of this meant to reflect upon the members of Green Day or their families, or any of their friends. Repeat: FICTION]
Billie Joe has to admit that, on some level, he's been lucky. His separation from Adrienne, this whole process of divorce, hasn't been fun even by the most masochistic of definitions--eleven years of marriage don't just disappear when you make the decision to walk away---but at least he hasn't been alone. He's had Tré and, more importantly, he's had Mike, both of whom have been through not one but two divorces each. They've seen each piece of paperwork before, know what every headache feels like; they've had the unpleasant phone calls and the awkward questions about in-laws and joint bank accounts; they've done it all, and done it twice, each, and while Billie knows he would've had their support even if they'd never done this before, it's very comforting to simply know that they understand. It's not a brotherhood he was exactly itching to join, the League of Ex-Husbands, but in some twisted fucked-up way it makes Billie feel closer to his bandmates.
But the one thing that no amount of explaining, hand-holding, or sympathy could prepare him for was exactly how much moving out of his family's home would affect his relationship with his sons. Billie grieves on a daily basis over the injury he's done to his two small boys, remembering the loss of his own father when he was just a year younger than Joey is now, and parents separating isn't as bad as the death of one, he supposes, but in his own mind it might as well be. Being precocious and insightful for their ages doesn't prevent Jakob or Joey from not understanding, on a gut level, why their father is no longer there when they come home from school--especially when he'd promised them for Christmas they'd have Dad home all for themselves for the best part of the coming year. ( Billie consoles himself with the bitter thought that they're already more used to their father's lack than to his presence, what with how frequently he's away on tour or recording or publicity gigs, and wonders if the only one shocked by the fact that he left is Billie himself. )
Title from Rufus Wainwright's Dinner at Eight. Lyrics.
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