The Edge Confesses

1981

Dear Mum:

Things with the band are going well. Perhaps you’ve heard us on the radio. Bono is quite a showman. He struts about onstage like a regular peacock. But the fans seem to like it. Still, the rest of us are more about the music.

Love,

The Edge

1983

Dear Mum:

The band I am in is very famous now. I bought a new hat (black). We recorded a live album. On the cover is only Bono, squatting, and a sunset. Yesterday I broke a string at rehearsal, and while restringing my guitar I watched Bono prance about and felt a small part of my soul crumple inward upon itself and wither like a spoiled fruit. Best to Dad.

Love,

The Edge

1987

Dear Mum:

Last night we were having dinner with the President of America and Bono made a joke that I was “the edgy one.” Everyone laughed, even Adam and Larry. Even the President of America. Even his wife. I bent my spoon in half and had to hide it under my napkin. The President of America asked, “Not enjoying the soup?” and when I said nothing his wife said, “Quiet, dear …you’re putting him ‘on edge'” and everyone laughed again, hard, and I wished the earth would implode upon itself like a neutron star and suck me screaming into the eternal void.

Love,

The Edge

1993

Dear Mum:

On the new tour, Bono has us wearing giant heads. It has something to do with being pop stars. Inside my giant head, I cannot breathe. Also, they are heavy. And hot. And behind us onstage is a giant screen and I look up through the eyeholes in my giant head and see my giant head on the giant screen and I just want to tear the thing from my body and stamp it to bits on the stage, then crank all my pedals and smash my guitar against my amp, drowning out Bono’s caterwauling in a wall of feedback, and then just run and run and run and run. Hope you’re enjoying the new Jaguar.

Love,

The Edge

1996

Dear Mum:

I am writing you this from Japan. The picture on this postcard is of a monastery. We went there to visit. Bono kept asking what things were called in Japanese. The monk would say a word and Bono would repeat it. Except poorly. And in this annoying reverential whisper. He thinks the monks are so serene, but what Bono doesn’t know is that they are, in fact, killing machines. Any one of them could crumple Bono’s windpipe with a single swift blow to the throat. Bono would stagger around gasping for air before he collapsed in a Zen rock garden, dead. And that would be ironic. Because Bono talks so often about how much he loves to “rock.”

Love,

The Edge

2000

Dear Mum:

This morning I was next in the toilet after Bono’s friend Salman Rushdie. He forgot to flush.

Love,

The Edge

2003

Dear Mum:

Tonight we are playing a free concert in Johannesburg. At the news conference, Bono wore sunglasses. We were indoors. It was night. But, still, the sunglasses. Is he secretly full of shame? Every night when he lies down in his silk sheets, does he toss and turn knowing that his political activism is obviously more an exercise in ego-stroking than genuine goodwill? Does he weep? Does he think about hurling himself from his penthouse balcony and landing with a sickening splat on the pavement below, Bono no more? Oh, I have a new goatee. It’s working out pretty well.

Love,

The Edge

2006

Dear Mum

In case you haven’t heard, Bono is up for the Nobel Peace Prize. Henry Kissinger won that thing, once. And Henry Kissinger is responsible for numerous atrocities. Like carpet-bombing Cambodian villages. Do you know what else is an atrocity, Mum? “Lemon.” I hate that song. I hate that video. I hate that idiotic MacPhisto character with the devil horns. And another thing: remember “Numb”? My token single? Bono hid a tape recorder in my hotel room when I was doing my affirmations (“Don’t think, don’t worry, everything is just fine,” etc.) and then had Lanois set them to music in the studio. If Bono wins this award, I do not know what I will do. I imagine I will cease to believe in anything. Even my guitar. These will be the end times, Mum. The Apocalypse. Armageddon. To be safe, I will say goodbye now, before it’s too late. Goodbye, Mum. I love you. Goodbye.

Love,

The Edge

P.S. Thanks for sending those date squares! They were delicious.

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