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I Am Clever


A Fine Line - Between Chaos and Creation

Everybody seems to think I'm lazy; I don't mind, I think they're crazy...

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Chapter 3 ('At last!' everyone shouted)
I Am Clever

When Roger had finished crying and regained his composure, Keith whispered into his ear, "It's okay, Rog. We'll make it. We did before, we can do it again."

Roger gestured John forward, even as he began a reply and John told it to Keith. How do you know, though? Somehow, I'm not sure.

"We did before," Keith repeated.

How do you know we'll make it this time, though?

"Answer me this, Roger Daltrey. Did we or did we not make it when John went deaf?"

Well...yeah, we did. But...

"And when I went blind, were we able to manage?"

Yeah. But...

"And when Pete was in the accident, we still managed to get by, didn't we?"

I guess we did.

"Then we'll make it this time, too." Keith spoke with a firm conviction that everything would be alright.

But with all the money we're losin', and all the legal problems, added to the fact that we're all handicapped in some way... I just don't know.

"We WILL make it," Pete repeated Keith's statement. "Come hell or high water, I swear to you that we will. Together. Even if we have handicaps, there are places where we can still work. We're still capable of earning money, and being able to support ourselves."

Wait just a tick. What do you mean, 'together'? We live apart, and we've said that when the Who broke up, we'd all go our separate ways.

"We can sell our other flats, buy ourselves a house and live together," Pete said calmly. "Besides, I don't see the Who breakin' up, do you? We just aren't playin' music any more. Anyway, I think we'll be able to manage a lot easier if we all support each other. Don't you agree?" He finished his statement and looked directly into Roger's eyes.

Roger nodded. Yeah, I suppose it's a good idea. If you think it'll make it easier to manage, then I'm for it. John and Keith gave their assent as well.

"When you get out of here, then, will you learn sign language? We'll all learn it too, so that we can understand you when you want to talk to us. Especially me," Keith asked. "Otherwise, I've got no way to talk to you."

Roger frowned. How would you do that? You have to see sign language.

John told that to Keith, and Keith answered, "I don't know, but I will somehow."

By now, Roger was yawning silently but uncontrollably, remembering how exhausted he had been before the other three had showed up. Pete noticed that fact and got the others to leave the room quitely as Roger slowly drifted off. Roger was still worried abpout what would happen in the future, but he knew he could lean on any of the others for support. With that thought, he fell asleep peacefully.

* * * * * * *

Three months came and went.

The Who had ended up buying an inexpensive decent-sized house next to the Thames.

The lawsuits and money issues had finally bled them dry, leaving the Who with virtually nothing. It was only by a stroke of mercy (and luck) that they had been able to buy their house when they had.

When the news of their bankruptcy had come, they had all (with the exception of Keith, who had Pete or John read out loud to him) immediately begun searching through the classifieds for jobs that they were still able to do.

Pete had found something almost right away: he had taken an office job, dealing with paperwork, handling phone calls, and the like.

Soon after, John had found work in a restaurant, washing the dishes, and occasionally doing other odd jobs.

Keith, on the other hand, couldn't seem to find anything that he could be hired for. All of the jobs that were available required sight for one reason or another.

Then, in another stroke of luck, Keith had managed to find a job as an assistant (or 'assisted', as Keith said) engineer in a recording studio. In reality, he was closer to being the primary engineer, but he still had a few areas to work on.

He actually had already known a lot from watching the engineers when he and the others were still making records, so he only needed minimal guidance to make sure he didn't accidently hit a wrong switch and damage something.

Roger, meanwhile, was fairly busy. He had gotten a job in the city archives, helping to sort documents and put them in their proper places. It was fairly easy and didn't require much talk, which was a good thing for him.

When Roger had finally gotten out of the hospital, the first thing he had done was to look up the address of the building where the doctor had gotten him (and the others) sign language lessons. He got a personal lesson each day, and the others came as their work schedules permitted.

Since he and Keith worked at the same time (except for some few instances where Keith wouldn't get home until very late), they went to the lesson together.

Keith was making good progress. For Keith to know what Roger was saying, Roger needed to sign into Keith's hand. Keith was having to learn what all the different words and letters felt like, but he was getting a good idea of what they all were. John and Pete were learning as well, and they were picking it up fairly quickly. Roger seemed to be doing fairly well, although he did have some troubles at times...