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"Dreams of Bluer Skies - Part 1"
Title: Dreams of Bluer Skies – Chapter One
Author: Myo (Renee)
Genre/Pairing: The guys with OFCs (girls)
Rating: PG or R
Warnings: Drug use, some sex
Disclaimer: I do not own the Monkees, or any of the characters from the show. I only own my OCs.
Summary: A group of friends trying to figure out life and love, in the 1960s and beyond. This chapter is mostly about Peter, we also briefly meet Micky.
Author's Note: This is an AU fiction. The guys are somewhat like they are IRL but the settings and scenarios are mostly a product of my own warped imagination.
Years later, when Peter Tork would see the movie Oliver Stone directed about The Doors, his heart would nearly stop during the scene in which Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek meet on the beach for the first time. It had been very nearly like that for himself and his best friend, Micky Dolenz. As a matter of fact, they even resembled the players. Peter was blonde, brown eyed and quite upbeat, Micky was tall, lean, with shaggy brown hair and an easy, almost spacy gaze.
Meeting on the beach, approaching a complete stranger and striking up a conversation. In 1967 that sort of thing could happen. People weren't bogged down with electronic devices, there were no cell phones, no internet; there were still many people who didn't even own a television set! No matter how convenient technology made certain things, Peter always insisted that life was better when it was simpler.
He had left home three years before. Home, a town in Connecticut called Glastonbury. Peter was a “change of life baby,” ten years younger than his brother, Robert, in whose footsteps Peter's schoolteacher parents expected him to follow. Robert graduated first in his high school class. Robert went to college and later medical school. Robert dated “nice” girls who came from good families. Robert was clean cut. He wore his hair short, listened to Pat Boone, never drank too much or smoked. Every parent's dream.
Peter, on the other hand, was the complete opposite. He was bored with school, preferring music to studies. Pat Boone was a square; Peter was crazy for Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, and of course, Elvis Presley. Peter saved up his allowance and any money he earned doing odd jobs for the neighbors and when he turned thirteen treated himself to a birthday present – a second hand acoustic guitar. From the first moment his fingers touched the frets, Peter was hooked. The world melted away, the hassles at school, the fights with his parents, the image of his brother. It all disappeared as he taught himself to play the music that was his passion.
Soon Peter grew his hair long and began wearing jeans and t-shirts. He was never a tough guy but he was far from squeaky clean. He drank whiskey and smoked cigarettes and even popped pills on occasion. The girls Peter dated all had reputations. His virginity was gone by the age of fifteen.
After school and in the summer, Peter worked at a gas station. It was mind numbing work, but he earned enough cash to bulk up his record collection and was eventually able to buy a brand new guitar.
His parents were constantly on his back. His grades needed to be better, what were his plans after graduation, why couldn't he find a decent girl like Mary Sue, his brother's fiancé?
Peter tuned them out as best he could. It got to the point where he didn't even argue anymore. He would just stand there and listen as they extolled their lectures then he'd lock the door to his room and sink into the oblivion of rock and roll.
The summer of 1964 was Peter's last season before entering his senior year of high school. He was seventeen and constantly on edge, feeling ready to burst at the seams. Even the guitar could no longer soothe his soul. By now the Beatles were on the scene and so were the folk rock performers like Bob Dylan. And Peter suddenly knew what he had to do. If he was ever to have any kind of life, if he was to have the life he wanted, the life he needed, Peter would have to pack it up and leave Glastonbury and all its ties far behind.
A week before school was to begin, Peter packed his bags, left his folks a note, and hopped on a bus headed for New York, Greenwich Village to be exact. He had read about the swinging folk music scene there and thought this could be his chance at a new life.
Peter's assumption was right. He got off of the bus, moved into a hotel and soon obtained work as a dishwasher at a small cafe called the Existential. Each night a different folk singer appeared on stage and Peter got to know them all. He got close to one couple, Kathy and Johnny, who like him, had left oppressive parents to strike out on their own. Johnny was a guitarist and they both sang. Peter would spend his free time jamming with Johnny and Kathy, smoking pot and drinking cheap wine and eventually the trio appeared on stage at The Existential.
Johnny and Peter could have passed for brothers; they looked so much alike. It became a joke because people were always mixing them up, but in reality it made Peter happy to be compared to Johnny. Peter wished they really were related because they had so much more in common than he did with his own blood brother, his entire family in fact. Peter had only bothered writing home once and never received a response. Though he hadn't been a legal adult when he left Connecticut, the Torks hadn't bothered to try and track down their younger son. Peter was certain his parents were relieved that he was gone.
Eventually, Peter left the hotel and became Kathy and Johnny's roommate. The apartment was small, with only a one bedroom, so Peter slept on the couch. It wasn't long, however, before he began not only sharing appearance and a roof with Johnny, but a woman as well.
Kathy came to Peter very early one morning after a night of marijuana, wine and singing. He hadn't really even gone to sleep, was sort of drifting in and out of a peaceful haze, when there Kathy was standing over him, her light brown hair out of its typical braid, hanging in waves down to her waist. She was naked except for the silver sparrow pendant she always wore, that hung down between her small, bare breasts. Slender fingers ran up and down his chest as she moved to straddle him. “Sparrow,” Peter whispered, using Kathy's nickname as she leaned over and brought her mouth to his neck. This was why she wore the bird jewelry, the necklace had been a gift from Johnny, she had said, on their first anniversary together. She was a sparrow, a gentle, beautiful creature. In the early morning light he saw passion in her pale blue eyes when the kiss was over.
“I know you want this, Peter,” she said, matter-of-factly. “I see the way you look at me.”
Peter couldn't deny it. And even if he tried, surely Kathy could feel his desire rising as she rubbed against him. “What about Johnny?”
As an answer, she kissed Peter, parting his lips with her tongue. “He doesn't mind, as long as I don't leave him for you.”
Peter thought he could live with that and wrapped his arms around Kathy, pulling her close. She was very thin, he could feel her spine through her soft skin, and her breasts were almost nonexistent but Peter didn't care. Kathy was beautiful and sensual and as he moved to undress and she kissed him everywhere, as he entered her Peter knew that it wasn't just lust...he was in love with this woman, this Sparrow.
And that was going to cause trouble.
Actually it was fine for awhile. The three of them hung out, played their music. Kathy would take turns with them in the dead of night, no talk of love was ever uttered. Little things started bothering Peter, though, the way Johnny would sometimes treat Kathy like a servant, the way he told her what and how to sing, the way he would never take her suggestions into consideration when it came to their music. Peter would try to help Kathy with the housekeeping, cooking, doing dishes, but Johnny would laugh and say that was woman's work. His attitude grated on both Kathy and Peter's nerves.
“Why do you let him talk to you like that?” Peter asked her one night as they lay together in the darkness.
“Don't do this, Peter,” Kathy said, gravely. “I owe Johnny a lot and I can't have this conversation with you.” Her finger lightly traced the hair on his chest. “I know where this is going.”
Maybe she did, Peter thought, and maybe she was right. Better to keep things status quo. So he tried to bury his feelings, put a smile on his face as they made music together – which was great, and took pleasure with Kathy when he could get it – which was amazing. Still, try as he might to stop his feelings or act like it was no big deal, Peter had fallen hard for Kathy.
Keeping his thoughts to himself, Peter let go in his music. He wrote pages of love songs that never saw the light of day, but at least it was a way of getting the emotions out without hurting anybody in the process.
All was well until one “pass the hat night” at the cafe. A pass the hat session was just that, musicians would play and a hat would go around the room. Patrons would toss money in to show their appreciation for the music. The only problem was, they were about as poor – if not more so – than the performers so there never was much cash collected. Not that it mattered, the musicians weren't in it to get rich, they were there because music was their passion.
That particular night, Peter decided to debut one of his love songs. As soon as he started singing about a sparrow's voice and eyes of blue, both Johnny and Kathy – as well as most of the audience who were aware of Kathy's nickname – knew beyond the shadow of a doubt who was the song's subject. He glanced over at Kathy as he sang and saw not happiness but tears in her eyes. He could feel Johnny's raging stare at his back. But it was too late for Peter to stop what he had started.
That was the last song of the set and the minute Peter left the stage he was not met by Kathy's embrace as he had dreamed when he planned on performing the song, but rather by Johnny dragging him out to the alley behind the cafe and beating the living daylights out of him. Peter was a peaceful kind of guy, he didn't believe that violence would solve anything, and so he took the beating, again hoping that Kathy would be there for him when it was through.
Some friends took Peter into the bathroom of the club and cleaned him up and when he returned home that night, there was a note from Johnny saying he and Kathy had split. The place was completely ransacked as Johnny and Kathy must have thrown all of their things together in haste, but none of Peter's stuff was missing, thank goodness. There was no sign of Kathy, though, no acknowledgment of Peter's song or his feelings that he could see, at least not until he lay down on the couch and felt something inside his pillowcase.
Sitting up he stuck his hand inside and found the sparrow necklace. Did it mean she loved him, too? Or was it Kathy's way of apologizing? Peter didn't know and at that moment it didn't matter. He slipped the chain over his head and cried himself to sleep.
Peter could have stayed in the Village and kept the apartment. Even if he couldn't afford it there were plenty of friends who would have moved in and split the rent, but the Village had lost its appeal. Peter had been there for two years and decided that once again it was time to cut ties and move on.
Scrounging together what money and belongings he possessed, Peter once again headed to the bus station with his guitar strapped to his back. This time he was going farther – California was the place to be.
When he landed in the Ocean Beach area, Peter met a group of kids that, as soon as they saw his guitar, invited him to hang out. He stayed with them for a few days, then met some other people and stayed with them, and thus a new pattern of his life was born. Peter would play his guitar, pan handle for money, he experimented deeper with alcohol and drugs and discovered that the girls in California were very accommodating indeed.
Peter was sleeping on the beach with a group of people, including his latest companion, Judy, when he met Micky.
It was early in the morning and Peter's head was fuzzy from a night of pot smoking which had followed a two day acid binge. The sunrise was particularly awe inspiring that day, whether it was from the after effects of the drugs or the feeling of freedom that still continued to hit him like a hammer Peter couldn't say. What he did know was that he had to start moving. It was strange, while most people he met could sleep the day away and party all night, Peter was always an early riser. First light was his favorite time of the day and there was nothing better than walking on the beach, along the water, as the rays ignited the waves.
Peter was wearing brown pants that were permanently covered in sand and slipped on a white shirt which he left unbuttoned. The sparrow pendant was around his neck as well as a string of brown and yellow love beads, a gift from Judy. She was a sweet kid, really groovy, knew how to take care of a guy, but Peter was feeling restless about that as well. After the disaster with Kathy, Peter didn't want to give his heart to anyone. He treated his girls well, was always kind to them but at the same time was up front with the fact that he wasn't looking for a serious or permanent relationship. Besides, truth be told he wasn't completely over Kathy. It was one thing to sleep with other girls but it was totally different to fall in love with one.
However, deep down inside of Peter lurked the heart of a romantic. Somehow he knew when the right girl came along everything would click and he would no longer have that need to wander, to find a new warm body to lay beside at night. He would no longer be afraid to completely open his heart. At the same time, though, it wasn't something Peter gave much thought to. Even though losing Kathy hurt, he was enjoying himself too much – he had been free in Greenwich Village but it was nothing like life in California, on the beach, in the sun, drifting through the days, in a good way, in a high cloud, playing guitar, hanging with good people. If and when true love happened, well, he would worry about it then.
Now as Peter walked, the only sound coming from the crashing waves and eager seagulls, he took in a deep breath of salty air. There was nothing like it, the smell of brine and sand all mixed together, filling, it seemed, not only his nostrils but his soul as well. The morning breeze rippled his blonde hair, longer and fairer now than it had ever been before, and cooled his perpetually tanned skin. “It's groovy man, groovy,” Peter said to no one but himself, smiling like a mad man.
It was then that Peter found he was not alone. Approaching a nearby jetty, Peter noticed that there was a man sitting amongst the rocks. As he walked closer, Peter could see this man was not one of his group, they were all asleep about a mile back. This guy was like him, out alone, probably enjoying the California beach dawn.
As was the way, Peter didn't hesitate to greet the man once he reached the jetty. “Hey, brother,” he said. “Nice morning.”
The man turned and fixed Peter with an intense gaze. “Always,” he replied. He was dressed in denim, jeans, jacket, and black boots. From within one of the pockets of his jacket, a joint was produced. “You want to smoke?”
“Sure,” Peter smiled and scrambled up on the rocks, situating himself beside the stranger. The guy cupped his hand around the joint so that the wind would not snuff out his lighter, then took a leisurely drag. Without a word, he then passed the cigarette to Peter.
“Name's Micky Dolenz,” he said, nonchalantly.
“Peter Tork,” came the response. “Thanks for the smoke.”
Micky shrugged. “Plenty more where that came from.”
“Do you sell?”
“No,” Micky shook his head. “I just don't mind sharing the wealth.” He took his turn on the joint. “See that house up there?” He pointed behind them.
Peter leaned back and squinted. “Barely. It's pretty far away.”
“It's closer than it looks,” Micky said. “Anyway, I live there.”
Peter's eyes got wide. With all the people he'd met since arriving in California, he had yet to make the acquaintance of anyone who had an actual house.
He examined Micky then, almost suspiciously. Was this guy some rich fat cat, just trying to look cool, trying to dress hip, getting high because that's what “all the kids” were doing?
No, Peter was sure that Micky was the real thing. There were plenty of people who put on an act, but Peter wasn't picking up on that vibe.
“I used to be somebody,” Micky continued, passing the joint back to Peter. “You remember a show called Circus Boy?”
Peter thought about it. “Vaguely. Wasn't it about some orphan kid who lived at the circus?” He laughed. “Obviously.”
“Yeah, that's the one,” Micky affirmed. “Well, that was me. I was Circus Boy.”
Peter didn't know whether to be impressed or feel sorry for the guy. Micky caught on and smiled slightly. “It's okay,” he said. “Not like it was some great dramatic achievement. Wasn't even on the air that long.” He took a drag. “Anyway, I did alright. My parents had me in commercials, too. They were actors also, did movies back in the 40s.”
Peter wondered again if this guy was telling the truth, but again did not get any kind of sense that Micky was lying. “They were pretty good with my money. They didn't blow it or anything. They were good with their own cash too. Here, you finish it,” Micky gave the remainder of the cigarette to Peter and stood up.
“They died in a car wreck last year. Left everything to me, their only son.” He ran a hand through his wavy hair though it was impossible to smooth it down on account of the wind. “Why don't you come back to the house with me? Hang out a while?”
Micky was obviously a rambler once he got started talking, but Peter didn't mind it. There was something about this Dolenz guy that he liked. There was a kindness in his smile that Peter hadn't seen with Johnny, that was for sure. Plus it might be cool to hang out at a beach house for awhile. He could certainly do with a proper shower at any rate.
“Thanks, yeah, I think I will,” Peter got to his feet. “I have to get my stuff, though.” Peter didn't care about his clothes and to be honest he wasn’t worried about saying good-bye to Judy either, but he wasn't about to leave his guitar behind. Maybe Micky was only inviting him over for a couple of hours, but maybe not. You never knew.
“That's cool,” Micky said, climbing down from the jetty. “Come over whenever you're ready. I'll be there.”
Peter said that he would and they parted.
As they say in the movies, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.