That time of year had come again.
A letter smelling of cigarette smoke and splattered in various colours of paint had arrived in Joes mailbox and the invitation was gladly accepted by the, now alone, man. His wife had left him due his cheating, which he had done numerous times. He expected her to leave but he missed his girls. He missed them being here after a long day in the studio and he missed trying to teach them guitar. The youngest had gotten the hang of it and a good feel for the neck but the eldest had some trouble.
He realised how lonely he was one day while standing in the studio. He missed having a band. He missed the constant – sometimes-annoying – company. There was always someone to talk to but now… he was alone with his own thoughts and that was not exactly an ideal situation. His experiences with speed and other such drugs in the past had left a lasting impression on his way of thinking. However, the thought of having company soon made him relax slightly.
As he read over the untidy, creased, and stained letter, he could not help but laugh. Paul must be working on a new piece of art, he told himself. Of course, towards the bottom of the page Paul had made a note.
“Sorry about the paint… been busy.”
Joe always thought that Paul always seemed quite modest about his art, but he had seen some and thought it was just beautiful. The way the colours blended from one to another over the whole piece, the way the brush strokes were so fluid almost like a dance, and the way there was heart and soul in the piece.
Paul must be lonely too. He had never married or had children; he just had his painting and the letters he and Joe would exchange. Nothing much was said in the letters, only what music they had been listening to and things happening in their life. Paul had been very supportive through the whole separation thing.
Although it felt like they were miles apart, their relationship was much closer. He would compare it to the relationship brothers shared in later life but that was not the case. They were nothing like brothers; they were close friends with whom they had shared their most defining moments. They had been close since they met. They had similar morals, and wanted equality for everyone. Joe had never met anyone who thought the same as him until he met Mick and Paul. He felt at home with them until Mick’s ego took control and Paul had had enough. After Mick left, they were not really a band anymore. It was a duo with three other fuckers added to the band.
Joe sat down on the sofa and felt a tear run down his cheek. It landed on the letter and he looked at it in confusion. He wasn’t sad, was he? He watched as it rolled down the page a little before it started to soak into the paper. He dabbed at it so it would not ruin the paper. He sighed and held his face in his hands for a little bit. He was hit with a rush of sadness thinking about his past but he wanted to be happy. The past wasn’t a sad place, it was the best time of his life and to be sad was wrong.
He wondered if the others became sad while thinking about their past, thinking about what they became. He shook it off but it was always there in the back of his mind.
He decided to write a reply to Paul and retrieved his writing supplies. He simply stated:
“I would love to come over
He was walking to Paul’s house with a box full of records and a few bottles of whatever alcohol he could find. He had so much music that he wanted to show Paul from new strands of Reggae to some old Moroccan music he found completely on accident. He stopped at the corner of the street and let out a few breaths as he placed the box on the ground. It was not light; he had so many records that he misjudged how hard it would be to carry to Paul’s. He wiped the sweat that was starting to bead slightly on his forehead. The sweat caught the shine of the setting sun, making it appear as if Joe was glowing a shade of faint orange-red. It looked as if he was on stage again; the bright lights making him seem like the centre of the universe. He looked at the ground and smiled as he heard children’s laughter from the nearby park that turned into screams of the crowd. His smile turned into a small frown however as he watched two ants fight over a crumb while two other ants minded their own business near the fighting ones. It made him think of times in the past, particularly a moment when he and Mick had a rather bad argument.
The crowd was screaming, begging for more and Joe didn’t know what else to give them. They had just done two encores and they were out of decent and relevant material. He wiped the sweat that was dripping from his forehead with the back of his hand and groaned. He hated disappointing the fans but what more could he give. He gave them his heart and soul and still they want to take more and more and more. It was just a never-ending cycle of constantly giving and never receiving anything back. He felt like an empty shell. The Clash had become what they said they never would. In reality, they sold out and Joe could see that. It was on his mind all the time and no amount of drugs could stop him thinking about that fact. The Clash had sold out. It hit Joe like a tonne of bricks as he sat down on the floor with his head in his hands. The cheers from the crowd were turning violent. He could not give them what he wanted and he sure as hell did not have the energy to tell them to behave. They were not children after all and he was not their dad. He was once one of those teenagers out there, but he could now see that was not as glamorous as it seemed. Neither was the rock and roll lifestyle. It was lonely, it was hard and he could not take it anymore.
After the crowd had left – well been kicked out – Joe and the other band members went back to the hotel. They all sat in Paul’s room listening to an old Marvin Gaye record. There were some girls; there were some cigarettes and quite a lot of alcohol. There was mindless talking and he did not know what it was but Mick said something and it just set Joe off. He turned to Mick and spoke. “What the fuck did you say?” he shifted closer to Mick, and Paul and Topper moved away.
Mick looked as shocked as his band mates did as he repeated himself. “I was just saying how we should have done another encore. They wanted more and because you had enough we pissed off a lot of people.” Mick said with a shrug as he sipped his beer.
Joe nodded and gritted his teeth. “We had no more material to perform. It may have been relevant in 1976 but its 1981 now for fucks sake! Things have changed, people have changed!” He was losing his temper and he felt Paul place a reassuring hand on his shoulder. Joe flicked his eyes up to Paul and calmed down slightly.
“It’s just as relevant today as it was five years ago Joe! I think it’s just that you’ve forgotten what its like to be them. You’ve forgotten what it was like when you were living in the streets. You can’t be bothered anymore!” Mick was getting pissed off as well and Joe could see it.
“I’ve forgotten what it was like? You write shitty pop songs about love and play the most expensive guitars Gibson has to offer. So don’t tell be I’ve forgotten what it’s like seeing as I write about what’s relevant and you write about how that girl from The Slits dumped your pathetic arse!” Lines were being crossed, Joe knew it. “You’re always late to rehearsal; you think you’re too good for The Clash? Then fuck off!”
Mick was about to retort when Joe cut in. “You say one word and I’ll fucking punch you in that ugly mug of yours.” He growled. “Well-“ Mick started. However, as soon as that word was said Joe’s fist had made contact with Mick’s jaw and he had fallen back onto the floor.
Mick couldn’t believe that Joe had hit him and Joe looked just as shocked as he started to shake and he slowly dropped to the floor. Topper went to aid Mick, and Paul sat with Joe. It was the start of bad thing so come. From there they just all broke apart.
Joe was snapped out of it when someone bumped into him accidentally. It took him a while to recognise where he was and he shook off his memory. He was haunted by these thoughts ever since he punched Mick. He knew it was one of the worst mistakes of his life. Mick had only just started talking to him again but he always felt the guilt.
Joe picked up his box again and started to walk to Paul’s place again. He passed numerous restaurants and bakeries and smiled at the nice smells. He always wondered why Paul lived near all of these places, as he could not smell. Surely, it would just make him feel like he was missing out. Reminding him of something, he could not have.
Paul’s house always smelt nice. It always felt like home, as it smelt of cigarettes, alcohol and a little paint. Joe always felt welcome when they had a little get together. He was never treated as if he was a nuisance, he always felt as if he lived there. Paul had offered for Joe to live with him many times but Joe always made up some excuse for not accepting Pauls offer. His girls, his work, even girlfriends, but none of that was relevant now.
Everything had to do with what was relevant in that moment of time. Relevance was a bitch. Maybe Joe didn’t want to be relevant for once. Maybe he wanted to be a tangent. He wanted to experience everything that he couldn’t do before because then wasn’t the time to do that because what it was wasn’t what was relevant. Relevance ruined some of his best opportunities.
While in his thinking state, he didn’t realise that he had walked all the way to Paul’s home. He sighed in relief for some odd reason. He didn’t know why he was holding that breath in but Paul was always like a breath of fresh air when it came to bad thoughts. He didn’t know what it was about the younger man, he was always so quiet and calm that you couldn’t help but be calm around him. Joe placed the box on the ground before knocking on the door. His heart fluttered in anticipation as he looked at his feet. He cared for the younger man so much that he couldn’t help but grin and pull him into a tight hug as he opened the door. He could feel the younger chuckle and embrace him back. Joe had his eyes closed and he could feel all the tension and bad thoughts just fall away. Paul was rubbing Joes back softly as he let out a soft sigh.
“I didn’t realise you missed me that much.” Paul teased as he pulled back from Joe slowly. Joe looked up at Paul and couldn’t help but admire him. He had filled out a little so he didn’t look as skeletal but he hadn’t changed so much as looks go. He still had that gap toothed grin and shy nature, even after knowing each other for around fifteen years. Joe felt at home already and he hadn’t even crossed the threshold yet. He could already smell the cigarettes and paint and chuckled to himself.
Paul heard his chuckle and raised an eyebrow, “get your arse inside a‘ight, I’ll bring this in.” he said as he lifted the box of records and gave Joe a nudge. Joe was reminded of the time they spent in jail giving each other small nudges and kisses to show that they were both there. He blushed slightly at the memory and walked to the kitchen so he could place the alcohol down.
There was a soft thud before Paul joined him in the kitchen. “Are you a’right? You’re not sick are you, it’s just you’re as red as a brick.” He jested but there was clear concern in Paul’s voice.
Paul had been lonely. All he had were his paintings and letters. It was nice most of the time but, he did not have anyone to come home to, he didn’t have a band to get into fights with, he had no one. Paul finished on good terms with Mick unlike Joe but even then, Mick had his wife and daughter to keep company. They all had families now accept Paul and that did leave him with a feeling of loss. It made him feel empty because he wanted that. Joe’s girls were always so sweet to Paul. They called him uncle and always made sure to give him tight hugs because they didn’t know when they would see him next. Paul was family to the strummers but that can only fill a void for so long. Paul and Joe were just two wondering, lonely souls. It was as if their emptiness was filled with the other when they were together. That’s why Paul had asked Joe to live with him so many times. They were more powerful than any drug or alcohol when they were together, and they needed each other. They always needed each other.
“Yeah I’m a’ight, just a lil flustered yknow.” Joe mumbled as he leant against the countertop of the kitchen. He rubbed his face with his hand softly and sighed. He was relaxing more now he was here but his heart was still full of so much pain. Paul saw this and pulled him into a tight embrace again. It was a wordless promise that if Joe ever needed him, he would be here, always.
Joe closed his eyes and just relaxed completely into the embrace. It was the most solid and heartfelt action he had seen or felt for weeks. The last being when his daughters hugged him goodbye. His eyes filled with tears at the thought and squeezed his eyes completely shut. He hugged Paul back tightly as if he was the only thing in the universe. His thin frame reminded him of how his arms overlapped when hugging his girls.
“Daddy I don’t wanna go!” the youngest screamed as he latched onto Joe’s leg. There were hot tears running down her cheeks and she squeezed Joe tightly. Not long after there were sobs coming from his other leg and his eldest was latched onto it. “Daddy please we wanna stay!” the eldest hiccupped as she wiped her face, much like how Joe did when he was frustrated. Joe’s heart broke as he looked at his children crying and screaming, not wanting to leave their dad.
“Come on you two.” He said softly as he picked them up, one in each arm. Joe was crying too, they were silent tears but he couldn’t show his children how upset he was. “Mummy will look after you for a while a’ight? I’ll come and visit, it’d take a giant, a troll, and some evil wizards to try and stop me and I’d still make it.” He said with a sad chuckle. The girls were crying into their dads shoulders and he walked to the car where their mother was waiting. “I love you both so much, and so does mummy. I’ll see you soon I promise.” His voice broke as he spoke. He was nearing sobs, he could feel them coming. He bit his lip and wiped his daughter’s cheeks as they tried to calm down.
They nodded and hiccupped quietly. “I love you daddy.” They both said almost in unison. “You’ll see us soon?” the oldest said quietly. Her big brown eyes were full of so many unshed tears.
“I promise I’ll see you soon.” He held his pinkies out and pinkie promised his girls. Joes now ex cleared her throat and Joe’s heart dropped. “I’ll see you soon.” He said with a sad smile before closing the door of the car and waving as it pulled out of the drive and drove away.
Once the car was out of view, he crumpled to the floor and started to sob loudly as he rocked back and forth.
Joe and Paul had ended up on the floor wrapped around each other. Paul was rocking with Joe as he sobbed loudly and called out for his daughters, as he called out for their mother to bring them back. It was such a heartbreaking sight to see. Paul had never seen Joe act like this. In fact, there was only one other time when they had ended up in the same situation and that time Paul was the one crying in a heap on the floor. It was for such a stupid reason as well. Ari had just teased him about something and it just set him off.
Paul was in his room. He was half-dressed and he was a sobbing heap on the floor. He held his knees to his chest and he couldn’t breathe. There were streaks of hot tears running down his cheeks and he was huddled up in the corner. It was so stupid that one measly little comment could set him off.
Ari did not mean it in a malicious way. She merely stated that she could sometimes see the female in him and then proceeded to give him some tips. She was trying to help but it still hurt. It hurt that he would never be accepted if anyone knew what he was. He was a freak. He was halfway through transitioning making him a girl with no tits or a man with a cunt, and he could not do anything about it. He looked in the mirror and all he could see was a monster. He had tried so hard to fix himself but after all his efforts he could still see that he was a woman. No amount of testosterone or operations could change the fact that all he saw was a freak. He was wrong and the 80’s was no time to be like this. As if being in a punk band wasn’t cause enough for being killed, being transgender sure as hell was.
He let out a sob and hiccupped slightly. His stomach twisted and made odd noises as he held his legs closer to himself. He was too thin. He was reminded of that daily by the band and all he could do was shrug and blame his lack of smell for his lack of appetite. He would not tell them that eating was one of the only things he could control for himself and he couldn’t see the point of eating when he didn’t want to be here anymore. He did not see the point. He would pass his food to Joe and say he wasn’t hungry, he would tip it into the bin, he would do anything but eat the food he was given.
He was a skeletal, transgender, freak. His hollow cheeks and eyes said a lot. He had had enough. He had had enough off not being happy with himself. He had had enough of life. Playing bass wasn’t fun anymore and constantly being around Mick was just pushing it. He was an egomaniac and he couldn’t take it anymore. He was glad when Joe punched him but he could see that they were falling apart. All of them fought constantly. Topper’s drug addiction was just too much; Mick’s large and unsatisfied ego was just asking to be cut away. The only members of the band that could still stand to be around each other were Joe and Paul. They were as close as ever and saw that the other two needed to be dropped from the band.
He tried to get his breathing under control but it didn’t work, he just made it worse and let out some more sobs. His chest felt so tight as if something needed to break out but instead he just started to rock back and forth slightly. He was starting to hyperventilate and as if on cue, Joe walked in the room.
“Can I borrow your – shit Paul!” he said as he ran over to the younger man. “Hey Paul, mate what’s wrong?” Joe cooed softly as he tried and pulled his hands off his legs so that Joe could get a better look at him.
Paul was just rocking as Joe tried to get him to open up, literally. Joe sighed and pulled the younger man into a tight embrace. “Whatever you did or someone else did, I-it’s not your fault and things will be a’ight. You don’t need to cry for no one, they’re not worth it.” Joe mumbled into Paul’s hair. He didn’t know what else to say so he just rocked with Paul and offered warmth and support.
Paul couldn’t tell Joe that he was Trans. He couldn’t tell him that this whole time he had a vagina instead of a cock. He couldn’t do it. It would ruin everything. He silently wrapped his arms around Joe and let all of his tears out.
Paul and Joe had somehow made it to the sofa in the lounge and Paul was slowly running his hands through Joe’s hair. It was still dark; he had not started going grey yet. Paul smiled at this and decided to nudge him with his head. Trying to cheer Joe up any way he could.
Joe was reminded for the second time today about their time in the cells of Glasgow. He smiled and hid his face in the crook of Paul’s neck so it appeared he was still sad. He was still sad but in this moment, he felt comforted by the presence beside him. He wasn’t alone. He didn’t have his girls with him but he had Paul.
Paul would always offer a comforting embrace or a silent nod of understanding. He was there, always. Whether it was in spirit or in the back of Joe’s mind, he always knew Paul had his back. He always knew that Paul would never let go. Neither would Joe. He could never let go of the thought of his closest friend. They had shared everything together. It was as if they were two peas in a pod, they had grown with each other until the time came that they were split apart. However, even then they still meet occasionally in the bag or the pot. They were always bouncing back and forth off each other and Joe wouldn’t have it any other way.
Joe was snapped out of his thoughts as he felt Paul pull away. He looked at the man a little confused but blushed in embarrassment as he saw Paul taking off his shirt due to the amount of tears that had fallen from Joe’s eyes.
“It’s a little bit wet.” Paul teased as he chucked his shirt in some direction. He walked to the record player and started to play some Reggae instrumental music before turning it down slightly. He turned back to Joe and gave him a soft smile before walking over and sitting next to him.
Joe curled up against Paul again and furrowed his eyes at some scars on Paul’s chest. They were just under Paul’s pectorals and they were faded, so they must be old. Joe couldn’t help but trace his finger over the one closest to him. The skin there was old but the scar still there. It was almost hard to see if you weren’t paying attention to it.
Joe could feel Paul tense up as he continued to trace the scars on his chest. Joe couldn’t remember Paul being injured in any way, especially not this bad. He frowned in confusion and a little sadness as he settled his hand on the centre of Paul’s chest. He thought back to when he found Paul on the floor in his room crying, feeling as if this was a similar situation.
Joe was out of shirts and he assumed he would fit Paul’s, he was thinner yes but taller so that should compensate for Joe’s larger build. He entered the room and spoke. “Can I borrow your – shit Paul!” he said as he ran over to the younger man. “Hey Paul, mate what’s wrong?” Joe cooed softly as he tried and pulled Pauls hands off his legs so that Joe could get a better look at him. Paul was a wreck. He was shaking and rocking and Joe had no idea what to do. He just held him close and rocked with him. Paul was always so quiet, reserved. Yet here he was a sobbing heap on the floor. He had no idea what could have caused this gentle and loving man to be so upset.
Eventually he was cuddling up to Joe properly and Joe frowned as he saw marks on Paul’s bare chest. They were scars, not very old ones by the looks of them but they were surgically done. Now was not the time to bring it up but he didn’t want something awful to happen to Paul. What if he was seriously sick and he told no one? What would Joe do then? He couldn’t go on without his, literal, left hand man. He was always to the left on stage; he was always on his good side.
He bit his lip and kept quiet about the scars as he gently managed to get Paul settled and into bed. He also got under the blanket and held the younger man, scared that if he didn’t Paul would just slip away.
“Why do you have scars on your chest Paul?” Joe asked worried. He didn’t like the thought of Paul being sick.
Paul bit his lip as he looked at Joe’s callused hand. It was thicker than his and it was strong. Paul took hold of that hand and played with his fingers gently. What should he say? How should he say it? There were so many possibilities that it was so nerve-racking. He had no idea how Joe would react if he told him.
“I –“ Paul started but he couldn’t finish. He moved his mouth. He opened and closed it over and over but no words came out. Only hot tears as they started to fall from his eyes. He feared rejection from the man he looked up to; he feared rejection from this man who he called his family. He feared being called a freak and he feared losing him.
He feared losing his Joe.
“Please Paul, you’re scaring me. I need to know that you are okay. No matter what it is I’ll always be here please.” Joe was pleading. He was so worried.
Paul looked up into Joe’s eyes and he gave him a sad smile before cupping his cheek. Joe’s eyes always spoke more than words ever could. Right now, they were showing so many variations of caring that it was hard to read them all. Paul let out some soft breaths before nodding.
“I-I’m okay, w-well I’m not seriously ill.” Paul spoke quietly as he closed his eyes and squeezed Joe’s hand. “I-I-I-I’m –“ He couldn’t get the words out. It was so hard. “I-I’m transgender.” He whispered so quietly it was almost inaudible.
Joe heard it though. He heard.
Joe silently pulled Paul into a tighter embrace and guided Pauls head to the crook of his neck. “That’s alright Paul.” He cooed with a soft smile. “You’re still Paul. You're still the guy that I've spent a good long period of my life with. Whether it be on the road or like this, listening to old records while getting pissed.” He chuckled.
His fingers ran through Pauls hair softly and he placed a gentle kiss on the others forehead. Joe did not fully understand what transgender meant, it was quite a new thing that unless you were it, you didn’t know what it was. He had an Idea of what it was but it needed explaining to him. All he knew was that he needed to be here for Paul.
It took a little while for Paul to calm down but he was glad he wasn’t outright rejected. Joe made it clear that he wasn’t going anywhere and that rarely happened. It was later on in the night and there were empty beer bottles and discarded records lying around. On the couch, Paul and Joe had stopped cuddling each other. They were now on opposite sides of the couch. They were slightly inebriated but they were still upright so they took that as a sign to keep drinking.
Joe raised his slightly hooded eyes to look at Paul. He had so many questions to ask but he didn’t want to seem insensitive, he was just never informed about what transgender really was. He studied Paul for a while before the other turned to him.
“What are you looking at Joe?” he asked with a soft chuckle at the end. He had noticed that Joe had been looking at him for a while on and off. It was odd to have the other man staring at him but it didn’t feel uncomfortable. It felt rather normal.
Joe snapped out of his thoughts as he heard Paul address him. “I'm looking at you clearly.” He snorted. He bit his bottom lip as he looked away at the now scratching record. “So what does ‘transgender’ mean?” Joe asked with a small furrow of his brow.
There was a long silence. It wasn’t awkward but it wasn’t comfortable either. Paul played with the rings on his right hand a sighed. “Transgender is someone that doesn’t conform to the conventional male or female.” He said simply before taking a long sip from his sixth bottle of beer.
Joe nodded as Paul spoke but then shook his head. “It sounds very punk…” he chuckled, “but I still don’t… understand.” He said as he turned to look at Paul again. He didn’t want it to seem like an interrogation but he wanted to understand Paul so that he would feel like he didn’t have to go through this alone.
Paul made eye contact with Joe for a short period before giving him a small smile. “I was born a girl. My name was Harriet. My parents named me after a painting, ‘Wife Dagny and daughter Harriet’ by Paul-Gustav Fischer. So guess where I got my name, Paul Gustave Simonon.” He chuckled softly. He rolled the now empty beer bottle between his palms. “But when I got to about age 16, I noticed I was… different. I didn’t really go out looking for boys, I didn’t dress up and I didn’t really have many friends that were girls. I related more to the boys and I suddenly felt that my body didn’t represent… me.” He placed the bottle on the ground. Joe took this opportunity to take Paul’s hands in his own. “I felt like I was being forced to be Harriet when really, I wanted to be Paul.” He squeezed Joe’s hand softly and Joe squeezed back. “So I told my mum, she cried. Told dad, he didn’t really care and then I went to art college. Not long after I met Mick, joined the band, got enough money and got my boobs cut off to put it simply.”
Suddenly Joe understood. He could not ever experience what Paul must go through but he now had an understanding of what it meant to be transgender. It also made him understand how Paul is also lonely. He can’t show people the true him because of the fear of rejection. Joe knew how that felt. He finished off what must be his tenth bottle of beer before smiling at Paul. “You were always meant to be an artist then?” He teased as he gave him a genuine toothy grin.
Paul rolled his eyes. “It would seem so.” He chuckled. “Do you want another?” he asked as he reached for more booze. Joe nodded and opened the bottle with his teeth.
Joe didn’t need any more answers. He was very content with what he was told. He felt quite honoured that Paul had told him his well… secret. They felt closer now. As Joe looked at Paul all he could see was his best friend, his go-to for all his problems, he would even go as far as to say soul mate. This man meant a lot to Joe and he would protect him at all costs, as cringe-worthy as that sounded.
A weight had been lifted off Paul’s shoulders now that he had told Joe. He did not know what he was expecting but for some reason acceptance wasn’t something he thought would happen tonight. He was happy he told Joe. He knew that he could trust him with anything and now he knew his biggest secret he felt that it would take something huge to break their bond. He flashed Joe a small smile which the older returned. He would never be able to thank Joe enough for what he did for him tonight. However, that went both ways. Joe would never be able to thank Paul for the constant support the other offered him.
These two entered the evening as two lonely individuals but now, they were not alone anymore. They had each other and they always did. It just took countless bottles of alcohol, a breakdown and a heart-to-heart to see that.
They were never alone. They are not alone. They never will be alone again as long as they were with each other. Whether it is in spirit or in person, they always had each other when the world seemed like such a harsh place. They always had each other when one or the other was in good need of a piss up. They just always had each other.
The night went on, many many more bottles were drunk, and laughs were had. They played what must have been nearly twenty records and probably upset the neighbours with their singing along, if you could call it singing. It was mainly shouting loudly and matching pitch to the song that was on.
Joe turned to Paul. They were practically falling over each other now they were that intoxicated. "What’s in your pants doesn't matter. It’s what’s in your heart…” he leant over and poked Paul’s chest softly. “That does.” His words were slurred and he had a goofy grin that Paul could not help but laugh at. “And in your heart…. You have more balls than any man.” He toppled over and landed on the ground with a thud. Paul laughed loudly. It was a genuine laugh and he could not remember the last time he had been this happy.
“Thanks Joe.” He hiccupped. It was no use though as Joe had fallen asleep. Paul decided to follow suit and close his eyes, but with a smile on his face.