Cuts Like A Knife

Digger’s advice to prevent a hangover was to always drink a glass of water before going to bed. I didn’t really believe him, because he often had a hangover anyway. However I always drank a glass just in case it helped. My theory was that if it did help at all, it was that the extra water got you up to pee sooner, before you could stew too long in the poisons. But that was just one of my personal beliefs, no facts to back it up.

Another one of my personal beliefs was that four months of ignoring each other while working together every day shouldn’t have had the same effect as having not seen one another at all. But as I said, my beliefs could be wrong. Ziggy and I were familiar strangers standing in that room together.

“Happy Birthday,” he said while I took a glass from the cabinet and filled it from the tap. It was a McDonald’s glass with Ronald the Clown on it that one of us must have got free at some point.

“Thanks,” I said for lack of a better thing to say. I drained the glass and put it in the sink. I started upstairs and he followed me all the way into my room. “Were you…?” I’d meant to say something about a cab, but didn’t.

He shrugged. “Just wanted to know how you’re doing, that’s all. I mean, with us working every night and, you know.”

“I know.”

“So? How are you?”

If I thought I was relaxed, I was wrong. Suddenly I felt brittle like glass, like if I moved I might shatter. “I… I’m…” I felt a little drunk, too, but it wasn’t until his fingers touched my chin that I felt dizzy. I hadn’t realized I was looking down until he tilted my face up.

He wasn’t doing his sultry, seductive brown eyes thing. Instead, he looked at me, slightly smiling, like he had just remembered a cute story. “Hey.”

“Hey,” I said back, like the word meant something. “I’m not sure…”

He took his hand back and stood still while he waited for whatever I was going to say.

“I’m not sure… what I was going to say.” I felt foolish. The birthday boy knows what he wants, does he?

Ziggy shrugged his shoulders. “I know things haven’t exactly been great between us lately. I’ve been kind of a jerk. But I was hoping maybe I could make it up to you, if you’d let me.”

I closed the bedroom door, which I suppose was my version of an answer. Would I have done it if I weren’t still buzzed, defenses down and blood racing? I don’t know. I took his hand and tucked his fingers behind the button fly of my jeans while I kissed him. It felt good, like a good drink of cold beer, traveling down from my mouth into my gut. Something in my belly tightened at how much I had missed this.

We slipped down onto the mattress and he loosened my fly, then yanked my jeans and shorts down to the middle of my thighs. Before I could sit up to take them off the rest of the way, his hands were at my chest while his mouth lapped at my bare parts. I had missed him and it almost hurt to be there with him then, like putting a hand that’s half-frozen into hot water. My breath came in shuddery shakes.

But no matter how good he was, no matter how close he brought me to the top, there wasn’t a moment when I forgot who we were and what we were doing. I told myself that was okay, that this was just like the rehearsals before everyone knows their parts, awkward, self-conscious. When the show goes live it won’t be like that. But that lead me to thinking about the Christmas show and how bad that had been, and how if this wasn’t the real thing for me and Ziggy right now, what was it?

I chased myself around thoughts like those until I came. Then there was a mercifully blank moment, where all thought ceased and little black explosions popped in front of my eyes.

And then I was right back to reality, gasping for air.

He was stroking himself through his jeans, kneeling on the bed in front of me. His chin was wet. “Are you okay?” he asked. “You look kind of… stressed out.”

“I’m okay,” I managed to say, thinking I should feel proud that I’d had an anxiety attack there but hidden it. I was still breathing fast.

“What’s the matter?”

I wanted to deny anything was the matter, but something surely was. Every time I swallowed it felt like tears were about to leak out of my eyes. “It didn’t used to be like this,” I said, my voice sounding like it came from the other side of a river of static and blood roaring in my ears. “I didn’t used to… What is wrong with me?”

“Hey, hey.” His hand was warm on mine.

“I don’t know,” I said, to no one in particular, as my hands began to shake. I pressed them together and that only increased the feeling like my head was going to explode.

“Maybe I should go.” He held up his hands.

I felt like shivering even though I wasn’t cold. For some reason now the thing I wanted to do most in the world was scream at him to get out. Get out, leave me alone! But I thought I heard Christian’s heavy step against his floor/my ceiling, and Lars and his girlfriend laughed noisily down the hall. Still, in my mind I could almost see myself, like a movie, my mouth open and my jaw aching from screaming: Get out. Instead I stuck the heels of my hands into my eyes, pressing at the wetness there.

He was taking the hint and standing up slowly. “Are you sure you’re okay?”

“I’m fine.” My voice sounded small and enclosed in my arms. Get out!

“Really, it’s okay with me,” he said as he stood at the door.

“Yeah, okay,” I said.

If I were a space alien listening in on the conversation I’m sure I would have thought the word “okay” meant something like “horribly fucked up.” But then he was gone, and I lay back too exhausted to think anymore. I went to sleep with something loud and wordless in my headphones.

or if you prefer the original:

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Comments 9

  1. D. wrote:

    Oh, Daron…

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    I know, I know.

    [Reply]

    Posted 23 Oct 2010 at 11:01 am
  2. BriAnne wrote:

    Next step? Being alone with Ziggy and actually being honest with him.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Why is it I can be honest with everyone else in my life but him? Well, now that I’ve actually told them. Most of them. Okay so there are still a few to tell, but of the people I’m really close to, you know? Okay, not counting my father who is a special case and god knows his own grasp of lie/truth is pretty damn weak, too. Now that I think about it, I think Ziggy’s is, too.

    I just don’t know.

    [Reply]

    Posted 23 Oct 2010 at 12:10 pm
  3. Amy wrote:

    As I’m trying to think of what to say, iTunes plays, “Lordy don’t leave me / All by myself!”

    And really, I think that sums it up pretty well. Oh, boys, when will you learn? Or at least talk?

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    I’m a slow learner, I guess.

    [Reply]

    Posted 23 Oct 2010 at 1:30 pm
  4. Rikibeth wrote:

    I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count as talking to him.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    No. No it really doesn’t.

    [Reply]

    Posted 23 Oct 2010 at 3:05 pm
  5. Ann wrote:

    alone again

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    yep.

    [Reply]

    Posted 23 Oct 2010 at 4:23 pm
  6. sephydoll wrote:

    First, I would like to say ‘Hi, I’m new’ :) and I really love reading the chronicles. I got hooked pretty much from the first chapter.

    Now, some tough love from a stranger. Daron, sweet, before you can be honest with Ziggy about your feelings, you have to start by being honest with yourself. The question that is just about killing me right now, is what do YOU want? I mean, what do you expect to happen between the two of you? What would make you happy?? Honestly, I don’t think you guys will be able to resolve anything unless you are able to answer this to yourself first…

    Now, I hope I’m still allowed to read your chronicles after my blunt first post >.<

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Welcome to my world and yeah, you’re a hundred percent right.

    I just want to be happy. I don’t know how to get there, but I’m hoping I’ll figure it out if I keep trying.

    [Reply]

    Posted 23 Oct 2010 at 9:35 pm
  7. Andrea wrote:

    that wasn’t much of a talk.. :[

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    Yeah.

    [Reply]

    Posted 24 Oct 2010 at 11:18 am
  8. Jude wrote:

    Talk [tawk]
    1. to communicate or exchange ideas, information, etc., by speaking.
    2. to consult or confer.
    3. to spread a rumor or tell a confidence; gossip.
    4. to chatter or prate.
    5. to employ speech; perform the act of speaking.
    6. to deliver a speech, lecture, etc.
    7. to give or reveal confidential or incriminating information.
    8. to communicate ideas by means other than speech, as by writing, signs, or signals.
    9. Computers. to transmit data, as between computers or between a computer and a terminal.
    10. to make sounds imitative or suggestive of speech.

    …. Nope, nothing in there about blow jobs.

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    The blow job was his idea.

    [Reply]

    Kate B Reply:

    lulz

    *zing*

    [Reply]

    ctan Reply:

    And so true. :-)

    [Reply]

    Posted 25 Oct 2010 at 11:13 am
  9. s wrote:

    Ugh…not what I wanted you to do with your mouths! Boys. Can’t operate both heads at the same time, huh?

    [Reply]

    daron Reply:

    We definitely both have that two head problem. (Four when it’s both of us..?)

    [Reply]

    Posted 27 Mar 2015 at 6:13 pm

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