I spent another week in Boston, during which Carynne made me go to the dentist, and I got all my new furniture arranged. My room seemed bigger when it had actual shelves and a sleek chest of drawers instead of all the piled milk crates. Having an actual bed meant there was room under it for two guitar cases. It was nicer, yeah, but I couldn’t help but feel a little bit like I’d made it more like a hotel room. Which wasn’t exactly my idea of home, even if I’d slept in a lot of them in the past few months.
Courtney helped me, though, and it was actually kind of fun to go through my stuff with her and arrange it for the first time since I’d moved into the Allston house. I had a lot of magazines piled up. I didn’t want to throw them away, but with Court’s help I moved a bunch of them to the basement, which is where the computer and stuff was anyway, and so was the place I was most likely to want to refer to, say, a back issue of Musician.
Court took all the milk crates for herself, amusingly enough. When I said I’d buy furniture for her, too, she reminded me she might end up in a dorm in a few months anyway, so the milk crates were actually the best thing. They’d certainly served me well in all my many moves so I couldn’t argue.
Chris and I went out to see a show, some local metal. We paid the cover at the door and apparently this caused some consternation among the club’s management. I didn’t see anything wrong with paying like normal people, instead of calling up to try to get on the guest list or pulling favors. I think the cover was eight bucks, so it wasn’t a big deal. But I guess they felt we were trying to “sneak” in? I don’t know. People are weird. Carynne told me not to worry about it. The show was nothing special, but it was nice to hang out with Chris like we used to.
I flew to LAX and had to change planes in Chicago. Jonathan picked me up, we went straight to In-and-Out Burger, and I caught him up on what everyone was up to, which was mostly nothing, but you know, that’s the thing. Every conversation isn’t about some life-changing decision or something. I told him about the furniture and about Courtney trying to figure out what to do school-wise and about Led Zeppelin and Michelle’s latest stuff about trying to get her design business going.
“I had no idea what was involved, but apparently a lot,” I told him, while we sat in the car eating. He had picked me up in the red hatchback, which had come across the country with his stuff. “So she’s focusing on accessories, which I guess means handbags mostly.”
“That’s gutsy. I mean, all the challenges of starting a small business and a retail operation and a manufacturing operation at the same time? And being creative about it?”
“Apparently Bart’s father is totally fascinated by the whole thing and has decided there’s a missed opportunity in capital investment in small entrepreneurship and so not only is he fronting a bunch of the money she needs, he’s starting some kind of think tank or consultancy or something.” I licked grease off my fingers. “Though I think maybe it’s also just his way of showing he approves of Michelle.”
“Are they getting married?” Jonathan asked.
“Not that I know of. But they bought that condo in the Back Bay together, which as I understand it is halfway there. Pretty sure they’re married in their minds, if you know what I mean.”
“Committed to each other.”
There’s no way to describe the silence that fell then as anything other than awkward. Commitment was the elephant in the hatchback. Or at least in my mind.
Jonathan started the car and turned us toward Laurel Canyon. It took me a moment to orient myself. “Hey, we’re not going to West Hollywood?”
“Utilities aren’t getting turned on until Friday. My stuff’s all there, but once it gets dark it’s a bit dull.” He gave me a wry smirk.
“Ah, I see.”
“Besides, I didn’t ever get a real answer on whether you’re moving in with me or not.”
“I know.” I sucked in a breath, suddenly spurred by the need to explain myself. “I figure my failure to muster an objection is a pretty strong indication that I want it to happen.”
“What?” His brow wrinkled as he tried to figure out what I said and keep his eyes on the road.
“I mean, I suck at saying yes.”
“Ah, yeah. You do.” He was grinning. “So you’re saying… you’re not saying no, and that leaves only one alternative?”
“Yes. So, yes. There, I said it.”
He laughed happily and a giddy but frightened feeling ran through my veins.
It wasn’t until we were at Remo’s house and I was getting my stuff together that I realized what I should have said. My stuff was actually pretty well consolidated in and around my suitcase in the bedroom and in one corner of the studio. Something about being on the road a lot had trained me to keep my shit together and not spread it all over, I think. Anyway, what I should have suggested was that I stay at Remo’s during the week and then at Jonathan’s on the weekends. But having not said that, I felt it would be weird to try to say it now, as it would seem like backing out. I decided maybe I should just tell my inner voice to shut up and enjoy the ride.
Besides I didn’t have a gig at the moment and maybe it would be stupid to sit around alone in the canyon with my thumb up my butt. At least until Remo got back in a couple of weeks.
We watched a Tom Hanks movie out of Remo’s collection and got in bed earlyish for us, since J. had to be at the office for a meeting in the morning. And because he was eager to get into bed. I mean, yeah, we hadn’t seen each other in over ten days, and so it should come as no surprise he was eager. No complaints here.
The next day I finally talked to Remo. He’d managed to miss me in Boston a couple of times. He had pretty much pieced together the whole story for himself by the time he reached me, between talking to Carynne once, Christian once, Digger once, etc. He didn’t have a lot of time to talk, and long-distance from Europe to LA has got to be a killer, but he wanted the whole thing from me with the full Arlo Guthrie four-part harmony treatment. So he got it.
And I told him I was moving in with Jonathan for a couple of months in West Hollywood, but I wanted to know if it was okay for me to still come use the studio here if I needed to, and of course he said yes. And never once did he say or imply that it might not be a good idea to move in with my boyfriend immediately after getting dumped from my record label for being too gay. Remo’s exact words about the whole BNC situation? “Fuck ’em.”
Two days later I officially moved in with Jonathan. I don’t know which thing I was more terrified of: that it wouldn’t work out, or that it would.