Nicholas propped himself up again, this time a little less vertical. He was having a lot of trouble holding his weight up with his elbows.
"I liked that about them. I thought Minor Threat was just too much mindless aggression and noise. What about the Flaming Lips?" Mike said, then crawled out of the chair and lied on the beige tile flooring next to Nicholas.
"I really dug the Transmissions album. I remember hearing "She Don't Use Jelly" on the radio when I was a kid. I picked up The Soft Bulletin and Yoshimi after a friend suggested them. I thought it got a bit too, hmm, ethereal for me." Nicholas' voice had dropped low and his eyes were no longer open.
"Shit man, those are my two favorite Lips records."
The men were silent for a spell, just lying amid the debris and rubble of the coffee shop.
"Slayer?" Nicholas finally mumbled.
"What? Oh. Not really." Mike said.
"I never really got into punk or metal much, sorry."
Mike's voice was getting weak, as was Nicholas'.
The pair were quiet again. On their backs on the ruined floor of a coffee shop they lay dying, both immensely different but the same. United by shock, mortal wounds, and a passion for music, they held on to their last life thread desperately. One would never know the desperation just looking at them, however. Both wore the brave a serene face of a man at peace with himself. They almost looked happy.
Mike began humming a familiar tune softly, almost under his breath.
"Hey man," Nicholas' frail voice asked, "What song is that?"
"Positively 4th Street, Bob Dylan." Mike stated, sounding amazed by his own voice.
"I love that song, man."
Both of them started humming a bit louder, reinvigorated. Then louder still, they sang:
"You got a lotta nerve to say you are my friend,
When I was down you just stood there grinning,
"You got a lotta nerve to say you got a helping hand to lend,
You just want to be on the side that's winning,
"You say I let you down you know it's not like that,
If you're so hurt why then don't you show it...
The men, Los Amigos En Muerte, laughed in unison at the last line. The laugh was youthful and jovial, both faces contorted into wide, crying smiles. Sirens of emergency vehicles could now be heard and were closing in quickly. Grasping each others arms, both of the dying held each other firmly and laughed. The laughter was ghastly, echoing out into the street and unnerving the bystanders. When the paramedics arrived, they caught the last gasping laugh of two dying men that made the hairs on their necks stand straight up. Finally, Nicholas Maerk and Mike Heller were silent.