86,400 Seconds 21

In the history of time, or rather in the span of my lifetime, fighting has never been the way to solve problems.  It sounds so text book, so parental, and yet it's the truth.  It only ever seems to bring more tension and anger to situations that were probably foolishly tense and angry in the first place.  And yet, here we are making our way across the room to basically start a fight with a guy over an action that neither of us really know the reason behind.  We saw him grab her arm and believe me, no guy needs to be grabbing on Vivian in that way; no man needs to be grabbing ANY woman that way.

In recent years I've gotten into a few scuffles myself.  A guy my size seems to attract that kind of attention even if I do lead kind of a cloistered life.  No one would believe that I lead this monk-like life, but when I'm not out and about with Justin I feel like just sitting in a corner and reading or watching movies, or even at the odd moment, making a little music of my own.  I'm not one to go out and make trouble, even though from the looks of me, you'd think I was a trouble maker.  I work twenty four seven and somehow when I do get some time off, I end up finding the one person in the room that wants to throw a punch or just decided that I'm the person they are going to use to try out for the WWF.

Trying to body slam a guy my size is never a good idea.  Not for the other person and not for me.

Fighting though is never a part of work.  You'd think that it would be considering what type of personality the movie The Bodyguard put out there for all of us behind the scenes.  It's really nothing like that at all.  Most of it is planning.  I do more transportation arrangement than anything else.  I'm more of the liaison between the police and the artist.  Besides, most of Justin's fans are harmless.  There are the rare few that slip between the cracks, but for the most part they're just looking to get a picture or an autograph, not physically hurt him.  But I've been lucky, I've never really had to do more than crowd control.  I'm the one to calm people down rather than bust them up.  It's a shame though because when things do hit the fan, everyone sees bodyguards as these rough and tumble guys that just manhandle people left and right and throw their weight around.  It really isn't about that.

It's about control.

Control is not what's going on tonight.

I've had enough stress today anyway.  First it was Beverly on the porch, then seeing Beverly and him outside, but now it's the two of us being pulled across the room towards the one person that neither Justin or I can get in an argument with in public.

Hell, we can't even disagree with him in public.  It makes for interesting days.

The thing about pop music, well the music industry in general is that everyone in a person's "camp" has to be on the same path, heading in the same direction or this stuff, this hype machine, won't work.  It's all about having a united front to face the public, the fans and most specifically, the critics.  Tonight Vivian's deviated from that path and now Justin and I are going to play as buffers to the yelling that Barry is clearly ready to lay out onto her.

Without much movement I bump into Barry's back.  It's the classic move to use, to let a person know that you're there, both mentally and physically.  It makes a strong statement as to your mood for the evening.  I immediately excuse myself for getting pushed into him and move so that my back is to the crowd and Barry is on my left side while Vivian and Justin are on my right.

"This is pretty great," I say watching Justin's expression for any signs of cracking.  "Isn't it Vivian?"  I try to motion to her with my body language to let her know that no matter what Barry just said to her, we can't be fighting in the club tonight.  There are too many important people here, mainly Justin's family and my daughter.  It would be easy to explain it away to the general public, but explaining to the ones you know is always the hardest.

When I take a moment to look towards the VIP section I see both Lynn and Paul on their feet with Jayden in between them.  Everyone seems to be looking this way, as if the show of the night is going to be Justin and Vivian against Barry in some kind of long lived grudge match.  If it were only that simple.  This conversation has been a long time in coming.

I turn back to see Justin leaning towards Vivian talking into her ear, trying to figure out what's going on.  She looks upset.  Not stricken with fear as I first would have guessed, but more upset that this incident is even taking place.

A crowd starts to mill around us, probably not because of the fight that could break out at any moment, but for the pure fact that Justin Timberlake is at his own release party and is standing on the dance floor instead of high up in the VIP section away from everyone.  He's really not like that.  I wish people would get that through their heads.  He's one of the most normal guys I know considering the living and working situation he has to put up with.

Just as Justin is about to open his mouth to say something to Barry, a screeching noise goes over the loudspeakers in the club and soon a tiny voice is saying.  "THIS ONE IS FOR JUSTIN!"

I don't even turn around before I start to hear Jayden's squeaky voice singing out the first few notes of Senorita.

Ladies and gentlemen
It's my pleasure to introduce to you
He's a friend of mine
The DJ came in on the other part.  Yes, yes he is

Jayden took a deep breath, sending a rasping voice across the room before her voice squeaked out the next lines.

And he goes by the name...

When I finally catch sight of Justin's face he's got this slightly twisted look on his face.  I'm not sure if he's upset or just trying not to crack too big of a smile.

All the way
from Memphis, Tennessee
And he's got somethin' special for y'all tonight
He's gonna sing a song for y'all
About this girl

Everyone's heads turn towards the DJ table and I see Jayden standing behind the turn tables with the DJ pointing out into the crowd towards us.  So much for keeping a low profile this evening.  I'm sure Beverly is going to flip her lid.  I almost want to search for her in the crowd, but my eyes are stuck on Jayden.  Despite everything, I'm just in awe by the fact that she's standing up there singing every word of the song.  I don't even know where she's heard Senorita enough before now since it's not yet one of the singles they've released.

"HI JUSTIN!  HI DADDY!" she yells.  She waves then starts to dance a little.

With my head turned towards the DJ and everyone watching her, my attention is on her and only her, that is until I see an arm reach passed my shoulder and reach out to grab Barry.

My arm quickly reaches out not sure who's arm it is, since it's clad in a black sleeve.  I twist around and find that I've got Justin's arm in my grasp and that his other arm is now reaching for Barry and I finally see that Barry's pissed off and heading towards the stage.  He hasn't taken many steps and my free hand grabs at the back of his shirt and pulls him back.  "Where are you going?"

Barry turns back towards me.  "Don't make this into a soap opera Horace."


"You need to quit getting in the way--"

I'm about to punch the guy in the face when I hear Jayden's voice fading in and out of the microphone.  "No!  NO!  I don't wanna."

I whip around and look towards the stage.  I don't see the guy's face, just his back, but he's got Jayden's arm in his grip and she's pulling her away from the stage.  Before I know what I'm doing, my feet carry me across the room and I jump on the guy.  I knock him over with my weight and he slams into the side of the stage.  Jayden screams and from there it's all pretty much a blur for a few moments as I pull the guy into a headlock and hold him still until I see that Jayden has crawled back up on the stage and is being held in the arms of the DJ who somehow has turned off the music.

Silence.  It's the one thing in the world that I've been looking for after all these years and yet now, faced with no sound at all, the only thing I can wish for is that the music will go on playing and that what I've just done wasn't really happening to me.

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Last updated: 08/12/04.