I went back to the green room to find it totally deserted. My bag wasn’t there, but that wasn’t unusual. I expected to find it in the bus.
It was in my bunk, in fact. Out of the zipper pocket, several stuffed animals’ heads poked out.
In the back lounge, Chris, Bart, and Courtney appeared to be playing a three-way game of cribbage. Carynne was sitting near them, writing something in a notebook. Colin was in front, talking computers with Trackie and Tony. I could hear Ziggy singing from inside the head.
Marty put the bus in gear and I sat down quickly next to Carynne.
“Where’s Digger?” I asked.
“Oh, did he not say goodbye? He’s staying behind. Catching a plane in the morning.”
“Aha. No, he didn’t say goodbye.”
She chuckled. “Maybe he’s afraid you changed your mind after all.”
“Changed my mind about what?”
“About firing him on July first.”
“It’s July first?”
“According to the dates on the tour shirt, yes,” she said, then yawned. “So are you going to fire him when we get home?”
“I don’t know,” I said. “I’ll have to think about that later. I do know you should take Miracle Mile off our Christmas card list.”
“We don’t have a Christmas card list.”
“Okay, make a Christmas card list and don’t put them on it. No, wait, would it really confuse the fuck out of them if we sent them cards?” I was probably still high, which is why it seemed like such a fantastic idea. “Yes! Make a list and put them on it. Christmas loves everybody equally. Even deluded, self-righteous, religious nuts.”
She chuckled and made a note. “Okay. You got it, boss.”
“All right. I’m taking my drugged self to bed.”
I went over to my bunk just as Ziggy was coming out of the head.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hey.” I ran my hand through my hair, which was still damp from the shower. “You doing okay?”
“Think so,” he said. “A little shaky. I drank some water, but, eh.” He shrugged and dropped his eyes. “Can I ask you a favor?”
“What is it?”
“I’m trying to, you know, get through it on my own, but.” He let out a heavy sigh.
“Get through what, Zig?”
“Life. The day. Feeling… rough.” He shook his head. “It’s not panic. I’m just…”
“Zig. What are you asking?”
“I really want to talk. Not about anything in particular. And I really want to hug you.”
“Oh. Well, that makes sense.” I nudged him toward his bunk. “Go on, get in, and I’ll get in after you.”
“Wait, it makes sense?”
“You’re high, I’m high, it makes sense. Just get in.” I kicked my shoes off and threw them in my own bunk. Ziggy did as I said and I climbed in after him and put my arms around him.
“It’s really a good thing that we’re small,” he said. “Or this wouldn’t work.”
“Yeah.” I leaned my nose against the back of his shirt. Whatever laundry detergent they had used was different from what I was used to. “So what did you want to talk about?”
“I want to try to work that song into the set.”
“Yeah. But I think Chris will have a conniption.”
“I think maybe Chris will be a little less high-strung now. He gave me this whole big apology.”
“I heard about it but not what he said.”
“He basically decided too much religious zealotry was a worse mental illness than being an addict.”
“That was priceless how your sister took Dave to task.” Ziggy shook with chuckles.
“I missed the beginning of it but I got the gist. I guess the Bible study my mom’s second husband insisted on came in handy.”
“Yeah, I got the feeling she’d made those arguments before. Dave, on the other hand, acted like he’d never been challenged like that before.”
“He probably hasn’t. Pompous ass.”
The rest of what we talked about was trivial stuff. I can’t even remember what. Just stuff. Until at some point he dozed off, and I just let myself doze off right after. It felt too good to be wrong.
I know, I know. Right before that I’d kissed my boyfriend-lover-special-person goodbye, and here I was cuddling with another guy. But one of the things that made the thing with Jonathan so special was that it was about him and me and not about me and anyone else. We weren’t exclusive. And Ziggy wasn’t a boyfriend. I couldn’t even call him a lover.
He was my singer. That was more intimate and more significant than any other “standard” relationship I could label.
Anyone who wanted to judge that could go to hell.