Things went to hell the next day.
No, they didn’t. I just wanted to try saying that and see how it sounded. Because things don’t just suddenly go to hell in the same way they don’t just magically get better, either. If there’s a miracle in my life, it’s the miracle of patience. I don’t give up on things. Even when I’m not even sure what those things are.
And in fact the next day was pretty good, all things considered.
It was the aforementioned last media day, and part of that was yet another photo shoot with all four of us. Christian didn’t take his sunglasses off, but I didn’t find that too unusual when what they wanted was us outdoors anyway. They took us to the beach in Santa Monica, which was actually kind of nice and somewhere I wouldn’t have minded walking around for a few hours. It was a nice boardwalk to contemplate sitting down with a guitar and an open case for tips. Maybe someday when I didn’t have people rushing me from place to place.
One thing that surprised me: an open air pumping-iron type of gym right there on the sand. Is that where the term “Muscle Beach” comes from? I had no idea.
When the last of the media obligations was done, I asked Carynne if I could head to San Diego on my own, right away instead of waiting until morning.
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I’m getting itchy from being in one place too long,” I said, which was not a lie. “Is there something we have to do in LA tonight?”
“Miraculously, there is not,” she said, and acted like she was looking something up in the datebook inside her head.
“The crew’s there already, aren’t they? Could I rent a car?”
She chuckled. “You really are antsy, aren’t you?”
“I”m so not used to being around so many people all the time,” I said.
“Well, half of them are your housemates, but point taken,” she said. “Why don’t we ask the concierge desk of the hotel? Just promise me you’re not going to die in a fiery wreck.”
“I promise. No James Dean act.” It was Dean in the car wreck, right? Buddy Holly: plane crash, Elvis: drugs. Johnny Cash was still going strong.
I ended up talking to the concierge myself, and failed to convince him that a shitbox would suit me just fine. He got me some kind of convertible, pristine white as if the LA smog had never touched it. It would probably be gray by the time I returned it, but whatever.
I almost got away without anyone else noticing. But as the bellman was hiding the guitar case in the trunk, Ziggy sauntered up.
“Where you going?” he asked, hands in his pockets.
I contemplated a couple of answers, all of which were true. San Diego. South. Out. For a spin.
What came out of my mouth was, “To find relief.”
He didn’t say anything. Just gave me a little chin-lift and turned around and went back inside.
I drove for a while without really knowing where I was going, radio on. I had the rental car map from the glove compartment, but mostly was going on the mental map I’d built of LA the few other times I’d been here.
I’d once gotten picked up by an airline steward on the way to LA, I suddenly remembered. At the time, what had I been thinking? Mostly I’d been terrified of fucking it up, when I should have been terrified of AIDS or being taken advantage of. It had been one of the few times I’d let things happen without fucking them up, actually.
Just like I’d let things happen with Remo and the Nomad gig. I could have probably talked my way into a permanent gig with them. Remo had hinted as much. They’d take me anytime I wanted to. Much as I liked playing with Nomad, it was good, but it wasn’t the end-all, be-all. Or at least it wasn’t right then.
Moondog 3 was the end-all, be-all… for now. What would happen when things ran their course? Some bands are forever. Some aren’t. I close my eyes at a stoplight, struck again by that vision from my dream, Ziggy airbrushed as the night sky full of stars and reaching for me.
A honk from behind me brought me back to reality. I drove until I saw a payphone outside of a convenience store.
I took a page from Jonathan’s book and called the hotel I’d just left and had the concierge desk look up the name and address of a gay bookstore. It was one way to start the hunt, anyway. If nothing else I knew I could pick up a newspaper there with information in it on where I could go, if not pick up a person who could take care of my needs. They pointed me to a place in West Hollywood, where it seemed my rambling drive had taken me anyway.
I didn’t have to return the car until noon the next day, in San Diego.
All I’ll tell you is I made good use of my time.
(Kickstarter update! I posted tour dates and a mock up of how a tour T-shirt might look over at the updates section: click here to see! Unfortunately, yesterday was the first day ZERO pledges came in, so we’re stuck at $1,650. That’s $1,100 to go, with 13 days left! TODAY I’m chatting in the Yahoo group of Beth Wylde, a writer of queer erotica and romance if anyone wants to drop by and say hi to me. here’s the link to her group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bethwylde. Thank you thank you for continuing to spread the word! We need about 40 more donors to make it!)