Silent Partner (1)

This one’s in process. Long ago, two dudes, Adam and Bruce, came from Athens to Atlanta. In Athens, they’d been a semi-successful college band; in Atlanta, they worked the local scene, which in the late 1990s was significantly more vibrant than it is today. Bruce was talented, Adam charismatic; Bruce ambitious, Adam kinda lazy. Bruce wants to make it big; Adam gets enough tail and doesn’t care to work that hard. Adam is a genial stoner, the guy who you call when you want to know what a given prescription drug does.

A girl, Claire, comes along. She’s hot, smart, totally bipolar. She *believes* in Bruce, and they start dating. Bruce is not hot. They try to pressure Adam into really taking the band seriously, but Adam is smart/lazy enough to know that it’s never going to make them stars. Adam, instead of being noble and just calling it off, does a typical mid-20s douchey thing by seducing Claire. This wrecks the friendship and the band, gets Adam off the hook.

But Claire won’t go away: she’s borderline and obsessive. Adam didn’t think any of this through. She drives him crazy, but then kills herself with a cocktail of prescription drugs. Bruce knows Adam did it–Adam had done other bad things in college. Adam, for his part, gets scared straight, abandons his hedonistic ways, settles down with the unattractive but stable medical student Danielle, who gets pregnant. Adam takes a job as a UPS driver to support them while Danielle’s still in school.

Fast forward 15 years. Adam is now a father of three and rising in management at UPS; Danielle is a successful physician; Bruce runs one of the last good live-music venues in Atlanta. But the recession sends Bruce’s business swirling down the drain: to save it, he takes out loans using Adam’s name and SSN, which he knew from way back when. Creditors come looking for Adam, who really does feel bad about the whole thing and doesn’t try to get Bruce busted.

But Bruce is busted. The DA wants to plead him out, because Bruce was sufficiently clever about the setup to make the trial tedious, expensive and maybe even chancy. Bruce won’t do it–unless the police investigate Adam’s role in Claire’s death, which Bruce maintains was a murder, not a suicide.

More to come.

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