238. Devil Inside

So in that “it’s a small world” sort of way, it turned out Cameron and Louis knew each other from some previous project. They caught up a little while I showed Antoine around the theater. Carynne appeared and met everyone and I trusted her to get everyone’s names and figure out who we needed to stay in touch with, if anyone.

I think I was feeling a little cranky, honestly, by the time we got set up at the rehearsal space, but I didn’t really notice it until I stepped on the stage and immediately felt better. I wasn’t looking forward to having to pantomime a lot, the way we did when we filmed those bits for Candlelight, but I just felt good in my own space, tuning my guitar. That reminded me, I better start bringing Colin to rehearsal.

The others were talking. I wasn’t listening. I didn’t have to. Right now my job wasn’t to be witty, or tell a story, or be beautiful, or make any plans. It was just to play the fucking guitar. And that was good. That was very good.

Miraculously, we didn’t film everything a hundred times. Only maybe ten. Which seemed reasonable. They had multiple cameras going. We did our thing with Wonderland, which was the song we needed to work on most anyway. While they packed up we did a few others, but didn’t do the whole set.

While I was putting my stuff away, Carynne came up to me to say, “Party back at the hotel. Gotta blow through the rest of the budget. We’ve got the suite until tomorrow at noon anyway.”

“Okay. Be there in a sec.”

I really didn’t think about what kind of party we were talking about. Everyone had been professional and diligent all day. They didn’t seem like my idea of party animals, I guess.

But someone had a connection, and the 15-hour workday was done, and so by midnight large amounts of booze had been consumed, along with what I think was cocaine but there was a part of me that really didn’t want to know.

I ended up drunk on a couch, kind of sprawled next to Ziggy so that our heads actually touched. The advantage to this was we could actually hear each other talk. The room was really noisy, and full of people I didn’t know.

“I just saw Chris do a line off Lacey Montaigne’s butt,” Ziggy said.

“I really did not need to picture that,” I answered.

“I guess they’re happy. That’s what matters.”

“Yeah. I guess. That really was kind of a nice thing you did before, you know.”

“He’s so insecure. It’s obvious. He thinks he doesn’t really deserve her. Poor guy. That’s going to break them up if he doesn’t get over it.”

“Is that what they call an inferiority complex?”

“Maybe. Ask Bart. He’s the pop psychology whiz.”

“Where is he, anyway?”

“I think he left after he walked in on Chris banging Lacey by accident. No wait, that’s him over there.” He pointed to one corner where Bart was making out with someone I didn’t recognize against the wall. “I think he’s on Ecstasy.”

“What makes you think that?”

“The way he’s humping her but not getting anywhere.”

“Um… okay.” I knew Bart had done his share of recreational drugs at rich kid parties on the Cape. I’d even been to a few with him. They weren’t that different from the drug parties of the underage burnouts I’d hung around with his high school in that it often led to people pairing off–not always with who they’d arrived with–and also in that I spent both kinds of parties typically playing the guitar instead of partaking much. “And what are you on?”

“Just good old rum and Coke,” he said. “How about you?”

“The same. Only I think I forgot the Coke.” My head was alternating between feeling puffed full of air like a balloon and being heavy as lead. I was trying not to move it around too much. “I can’t remember the last time I was this drunk.”

“I can,” he said, then cursed in some other language, but I’m pretty sure it was a language he didn’t actually speak. Like maybe German.

“Something wrong?”

“Um, no. Never mind.” He cursed again. “I think maybe I should go home.”

“I think so, too. But I’m not sure I can make it to the lobby without making a scene.”

“My apartment’s not very far from here.”

“It’d be great if we could just, you know, beam ourselves over there, like in Star Trek.” I say stupid shit when I’m drunk.

“Yeah. I might be able to make it there with help, though. Just, you know. In case I fall down.”

“What if we both fall down?”

“Hopefully we won’t do it at the same time. At least there’s no ice.”

He made it sound like a good idea. “Okay. Let’s go.”

I don’t actually remember how we got there. I do remember an intense feeling of shame while I was puking into some bushes, and hoping they weren’t anyone important’s bushes.

His living room looked like something from an antiques catalog, at least what I could see of it in the light from a swoopy white glass lamp that looked like a flower. We sat down with glasses of water. He’d put a slice of lemon and something else in them, but I was too drunk to be suspicious or anything.

“Drink up, you’ll feel better,” he said, and tried to chug his in one shot, ended up choking on the lemon or the other thing, I’m not sure, and I ended up banging him on the back because I couldn’t actually remember what all those Heimlich Maneuver posters I’d seen in New York restaurants said.

He was breathing. “Forgot about the ginger,” he said, when he could. “Be careful not to drink it.”

I picked out the brown thing next to the lemon peel and held them in my hand while I drank the rest.

Now before you get excited about me spending the night at Ziggy’s can I remind you we were so intoxicated that neither of us could really see straight? Neither of us could stay awake for long, either.

I woke up in the morning on a red velvet couch, with a black velour blanket thrown over me, and a dried piece of lemon still in my hand. Ziggy was asleep on the floor next to the couch, his head on a throw pillow, and instead of a blanket, he had my denim jacket over his shoulders.


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