We ended up back at the hotel. I stuck the bouquet of flowers into the ice bucket with some water. Then I hung Christmas Cat Elvis on the mirror and asked him for some advice.
“Maybe you’re not the best person to ask about this sort of thing, King, but I may as well start with you.”
I could see my reflection in the mirror. I’d changed into dry clothes at the venue but hadn’t washed my face, and despite the waterproofness of the stuff Ziggy had used, I’d at some point given myself a good swipe and smudged it in a kind of arty way. There was something else, too, though. I leaned close to the mirror, while I talked.
“See, there’s this guy who is really sweet, and he says it’s okay and he doesn’t mind if I’m a… a tomcat.” A gay tomcat, I added in my head, but I didn’t feel right saying it out loud. Even to a Christmas ornament. “And maybe it’s just my hangup if I don’t believe him, exactly, but you know, I think he deserves to be treated better. But whatever, say I take what he says at face value. And I decide that it really is okay to sleep around like he seems to expect me to.”
I rubbed at my eye and realized that the thorn on the rose that Ziggy had stuck under my mic headset had scratched me and it had bled a little. I blinked, realizing how close to poking me in the eye it had come. “Jeez, who leaves the thorns on roses, anyway? But as I was saying, say I decide, okay, fuck it, I’m horny as hell after a show like that, I should do something about it.”
I went into the bathroom, got a wet washcloth, then returned to the tall mirror to dab at the wound. “Then I’ve got the problem of doing something about it. And right now I just don’t like the possibilities.”
Fuck, it was bleeding again. I held the cloth against it, hoping it would stop.
“I could go out and look for a bar or pickup spot. But the problem is my face is getting way too recognizable. The last thing I need is Mills or somebody deciding I blew it, that we aren’t worth the bad publicity, and dropping us. I know, that’s assuming it’d make the papers. Right now, I don’t know which would be worse, having it in the papers or having it just in industry gossip. I don’t know. I just don’t know.”
The cut was just oozing blood into the wet cloth, so I swapped it for a dry tissue. That seemed to do better at stemming it.
“Then there are the usual things to worry about like AIDS, getting bashed, that stuff. And it’s starting to sink in that there are people who will do crazy things for a touch of fame or whatever.”
I wiped away some of the remnants of the eyeliner, but couldn’t get it all with just water. I wondered how Ziggy ever got it off. Maybe he didn’t.
“So, it basically comes down to, I’m horny and I’m afraid to do anything about it. I’ve got one more option and it’s probably the worst one of all, though, which is give Ziggy another chance. When it comes to weighing risks, am I crazy that going out and finding someone to suck my dick against a tree seems like less of a risk than opening that can of worms?”
Christmas Cat Elvis didn’t answer. I didn’t expect him to. I don’t expect Elvis was ever afraid to get laid.