879. Sweetness and Light

The next day we had our second show in Buenos Aires. No day off in between. It was the first time on the tour we had back-to-back shows and I think I was not the only one who was feeling it. On the one hand it was great to not have too much time to just sit around and stew.

On the other hand, even on a show day there was a lot of downtime where I could eat away at my own thoughts. What kept me from gnawing on my own arms was that I also had a show day’s drug and alcohol intake and that kept me from getting wound too tight or crashing.

I was also so tired I commandeered a stool to sit on during soundcheck. I doubted I’d need it during the show because adrenaline would take care of my energy needs, but at three in the afternoon I needed it to prop me up.

I was sitting there while the rest of the band gathered, and Ziggy sidled over to me.

He kissed me on the forehead. “You look wiped out.”

“I feel wiped out.”

“Same stuff or are you coming down with something?”

“I better not be coming down with something on top of all the other crap I’m dealing with,” I said. He didn’t have his stage makeup on yet, which meant I could touch his cheeks without worrying I was messing it up. I put my hand on one and guided myself carefully to kiss him on the lips.

He smiled. “You used to be afraid that someone would see you do that.”

“I’m still afraid of that, but I don’t let it stop me anymore,” I said. “So. What’s up?”

He raised an eyebrow. “Does something have to be up? I can’t just come over here to talk to you because I want a kiss?”

“Ziggy. You’ve barely spoken to me since we crossed the Equator.”

He frowned. “It hasn’t been that bad.”

“If it hasn’t been that bad, then maybe I’m just paranoid.”

“Well, you’re right about one thing,” he admitted, biting his lip, and putting an arm around my shoulders. “I did come over here to talk to you about something.”

“Ha! See? What?”

“Mainly that the dancers are on notice that I may drag you around the stage anywhere I like and they should be able to deal with it.” He gave a little shake of his head.

“By ‘should’, do you mean they actually can deal with it or that they ought to, but might not?”

“I mean they actually can. This isn’t the fucking Joffrey Ballet or something, and I told them so. They’re all fine with that now that I made it clear.”

“How’s Josie?”

“Joselito is fine. He’s keeping his ankle taped today but he’s not even limping. He won’t have to miss a show.”

“That’s good.” I had one of my arms around Ziggy’s waist, my hand resting on his hip. He was wearing a tracksuit that looked like it could have come off the rack in a preppy sporting goods store, a dark satiny-blue with white stripes down the leg and arms. Point being he could wear anything and make it look great. “You’re sure they’re okay with us messing with the choreography? I mean, I could stay put during the dance numbers and we could save it for the rest of the songs where they’re not–”

“Daron. It’s fine.

“You know, the dancers are out there for less than half the songs.”

“But a lot of them are the best songs,” he argued. Which was true. “Stop worrying. Okay?”


“Hey, how’s your hand?”

I flexed it. “You know what’s interesting? I thought it would be really sore and terrible after I overdid it at that flamenco bar, but it’s actually been pretty much okay. I mean, I’m highly medicated, but my hand has actually slipped down the list of concerns to no longer be number one.”

He watched my lips moving through that whole explanation. “In other words, it’s ever-so-slightly better?”

“It hasn’t cramped up badly in a couple of days, anyway.” That might have been the result of the upped dosages, but I guess that meant it was working. “The rest of me, on the other hand, I don’t know.” I was wearing one of Flip’s black terry cloth headbands to hide the oversized Band-Aid on the gash on my forehead. I really couldn’t tell given the various mind-altering substances duking it out in my system whether I was having any concussion symptoms or not. And I hadn’t been sleeping right, which was messing with everything, too.

He cradled my palm in his hands and pressed a kiss right on the scar in the center of it. “You know I’ll love you even if you can’t arpeggiate 32nd notes anymore.”

Ouch. That stung even though I knew it totally was not supposed to. He was trying to be funny and loving and supportive, but my hand jerked free involuntarily. As if Ziggy’s love could be more important to me than… being whole? As if love was supposed to make me whole, magically, all by itself?

That only happens in sappy songs and cheap novels. If only it were that easy.

I think I hid that I was smarting from the remark pretty well. “I love you even though sometimes I can’t figure out why,” I said, and not in a mean way.

That brought out a smirk and he kissed me on the ear. “You love me because you can’t figure out why.”

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  • s says:

    Yeah, Ziggy, it has been that bad. I’m concerned that you don’t think it has…

    And how pathetic am I that just this little bit of his presence makes me happy? Just go on and put that “L” on my forehead.

    • daron says:

      I think he knows perfectly well it’s been that bad, but he can’t say it. Or this wasn’t the moment to say it. Is it weird that now I seem OK when he says the opposite of what he means because I think I know what he means?

      • s says:

        Well, he’s finally let you get to know him on an intimate level. So of course you think you know what he’s thinking/meaning. Doesn’t mean you’re right though. That’s a pitfall many long term couples fall into and it means trouble, so tread carefully, my friend.

        • daron says:

          When we can actually start calling ourselves a longterm couple, I’ll start worrying about that. Right now, it’s supposed to be the honeymoon period, isn’t it? *sigh*

  • G says:

    When the tour is over, what IS Ziggy’s love going to do for you? What is your love going to do for him? Because I don’t know what love is doing for either of you right now. I know Ziggy wants you here, but I hope he sees he’s been absent and is acting like he doesn’t because the moment’s not right. I know you are in a tailspin and I’m wondering what you need besides rest. I wonder if you know what you really need after these ten days. I’m anxious and scared about the first day at home.

    Shit, ouch, that hurt.

    • daron says:

      Oh jeez, G. I just want to make it home. I won’t know any of those answers unless we can get there. I can’t see beyond the finish line right now.

  • Aunt Muriel says:

    It’s an interesting question which physical and mental capabilities are required for one’s sense of being whole, because a lot of them do get temporarily or permanently impaired. Of course, your average young person won’t realize that until something goes wrong.

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