I meant it when I said that “compromise” is part of the package if you’re going to be a professional musician, if what you mean by compromise is you accept that you might not just be able to scream the word “fuck” two hundred times and call it a song. Or any other thing that you might want to do. Understand, you have every right to scream “fuck” two hundred times if you want: It’s that no one gives you a right to make a living doing it. If no one wants to hear you, that doesn’t mean your art isn’t valid or important or good, just that it isn’t commercial.
ctan: I think we’re overdue for a liner note, aren’t we?
Daron: You’re asking me a time question?
ctan: Point. Well, let’s do one anyway. I didn’t want to interrupt either your angstfest or your lovefest for one.
We walked down Boylston Street. The night air was breezy, humid in that end-of-summer way.
“I can tell you’re upset,” Ziggy said.
“In the sense of, like, the apple cart in my mind flipped over, yeah.” I took a deep breath of the night air. We were passing the hotel where Jonathan and I had spent a weekend, but that thought barely made it to the surface. “I’m not angry. I’m not freaked.”
When we woke up I almost didn’t want to get in the shower. I wanted to lie there and breathe in the scent of him forever. We were pressed together so closely that I couldn’t figure out which one of our stomachs it was that growled really loudly.
I’ll confess I got a little anxious when I tried to call Ziggy before going over to his place and got a recording saying the number was out of service. I know he had said his phone service was probably off, but I had this moment where I suddenly worried that he had left the country again. It felt like poison slowly coating my insides. I told myself I was being stupid. I was halfway there on the train when I realized I probably should have brought his bag with me. Whatever. He could get it later.
It was about half past three when I buzzed his apartment number from downstairs.
Up there I found him with a black and brown smudge on his cheek, wearing a T-shirt inside out, running shorts, barefoot. He had a paint brush in one hand. The artist kind, not the house-painter kind. “Hey,” he said. “Sorry. I found a piece that was half-finished and the next thing you know I started working on it, and is it after three already?”
You might have noticed when Ziggy went off to have a one-night-stand with the lead singer of Sugargum, he didn’t ask me what I was going to do. That would make you quicker on the uptake than me, since I didn’t think of it until later. It was a lot of new stuff to deal with, you know?
I insisted we get together and play some of the old material the next day. Ziggy never made it back to his apartment that day. He discovered everything in the bag had been laundered. I didn’t remember doing it but I must have, when I was freaked out. That whole week was a blur. Week? However long it was before we went to Mexico. He changed into clean clothes and we hung around all day. I showed him the Mac in the basement. We walked to get a late lunch in the middle of the afternoon at the Vietnamese place I liked.
When the meeting was over, and we had run out of things to say–because you know of course we rehashed everything at least twice and maybe three times–I was in no mood to actually play. More importantly, neither was anyone else. Bart made some noises about having to get up early for real and that was all the excuse any of us needed to call it a night.
We had the band meeting in our living room, because where else would we have it? Carynne, the four of us, Courtney taking notes and Colin there to talk about the accounting stuff.
Honestly, it was hard to concentrate at first because Ziggy was sitting in the chair across from me and it was like he had a spotlight on him: I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was brighter and shinier than everything around him, and I don’t mean his clothes, which were dark. His jeans were dyed an almost-black wine purple and he wore a loose shirt with a turquoise and navy blue pattern on it. There was a purple sheen to his hair, too, underneath the black.