The next morning at eleven Colin went with Flip to the gym. I stayed in bed and told them not to worry because it wasn’t like I could get myself into any trouble while I was asleep.
I didn’t fall back to sleep, but I did lie there with my eyes shut, feeling like if I didn’t get out of bed nothing bad could happen. Nothing would get worse, anyway.
And then a miracle occurred. The door opened and closed quietly and Ziggy came in. I was not dreaming. I didn’t open my eyes but I could tell with every other sense who it was.
I heard some of his clothes hit the floor and he slid under the covers next to me and pulled them all the way over our heads. He kissed me on the ear and spooned me in the cave he’d made. “I miss you, dear one.”
“I miss you, too. Which is pretty fucked up.” Considering that we were on tour together and all.
“I was afraid it would be like this.”
“Like we were in two different worlds.” His palm was flat across my stomach. “You wouldn’t enjoy the alternative, though.”
“Which is what?”
He was silent just a beat too long before saying, “Which is keep up with my promotional schedule. Even if you weren’t injured and needing your time for other things, you’d hate dragging around with me to interviews and photo shoots and blah blah blah.”
His hand shifted down to my thigh and my breath caught.
“May I?” he murmured.
I nodded, biting my lip.
He got me off deftly with his left hand. I cradled my right hand to my chest and tried to keep it from cramping by gripping my left thumb. It almost worked. Meanwhile he was rubbing himself against me. After I came I turned around and reached for him with my crampy hand and found him ejaculating suddenly as I took hold. He made a helpless sound, high in his throat, as he came, and one of his legs shook like a dog’s.
The phone began to ring. I stuck my head out from under the covers and tried to answer it, dropped the receiver onto the night table once, and then picked it up again. “Hello?”
It was Carynne. “Have you seen Ziggy?”
“Ziggy?” I asked, looking back at him. He was shaking his head and waving his hands “no.” “I just woke up. Why, is he missing?”
“No, of course not. I’m sure there’s just been a miscommunication,” she said, but with an edge to her voice that might have been sarcasm. “If you see him, tell him we’ve got some press waiting for him up in the master suite. I’ll order them coffee or something.”
“Sure.” I hung up the phone and turned to him. “Did you catch that?”
“I did.” He slipped from the bed and began picking his clothes up off the floor. They made a trail almost all the way back to the door.
He put various things on, then carried the rest into the bathroom and I followed him. He washed his hands and his genitals in the sink and dried them with the same towel, and then began poking through my and Colin’s various toiletries. He found the stub of a black eyeliner pencil and began doing his eyes, then lined his lips with the same pencil.
“Are you going to sneak up there?” I asked.
“If by ‘sneak’ you mean waltz in acting like nothing happened and I wasn’t missing, yes,” he said, coloring his lips in and smudging them with a tissue to make the black cover more evenly. “If they act like they knew I was missing I’ll say I just had to take a few minutes to write a song and lost track of time.”
“Huh. Okay.” I felt a bit nauseous remembering the thing where I hadn’t even had a hint of an idea for a song in months.
He looked me up and down. I was naked and sitting on the edge of the bathtub by that point. “How are you?”
“Better now,” I said, because it was the required answer–the right answer, even if it wasn’t wholly true. I mean, I was a teeny bit better, because I had got off and because I liked seeing him. But I was worse in every other way. I had a headache at my temples, my hand felt like crap, and the feeling that I was in a downward spiral had only increased. “I still think it’s fucked up you had to sneak away to see me.”
“‘Had to’ is a little strong,” he said. “But you’re right that it’s been much worse than I thought it would be. Look. We’ve got three days in Sao Paulo before the first show. I’m declaring tomorrow a complete off day. No rehearsal, no media, nothing. I’m going to lock myself in a room if I have to.”
I sighed. “Tomorrow we’re supposed to meet Ro-Ro’s drummers.”
He pressed his fingertips lightly against his forehead as he shut his eyes. “I suppose you ought to be there for that.”
“As your band leader, yeah.”
He sighed heavily. “Do what you have to. But I’m giving orders that you are the only one allowed to break my sequestration.” He opened his eyes. “Please be the one to break my sequestration.”
“I’ll try to only spend a couple of hours with the drummers,” I said.
“Good. Because, fuck.” He grabbed me and kissed me, ignoring that he’d just covered his lips in gritty eyeliner, ignoring my morning breath, ignoring everything but a searing need that burned right through my fog for an instant. “Tomorrow. Okay?”
“Tomorrow,” I promised. And then he was gone.
(This song supposedly isn’t about masturbation, but they sampled Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, so maybe it actually is. I actually don’t remember this one from 1991 but maybe I just forgot it. Or maybe I managed to miss it. I was kind of out of it, you know? -d)