I guess I really should tell you what happened on our last night in Cleveland, too. As I’d predicted to Carynne, I spent the next day doing nothing but watching TV and sleeping. The other band bus went ahead to Pittsburgh to catch up with the crew. We stayed put and rested up. Carynne said an acupuncture specialist was going to come and treat Ziggy.
Maybe I should admit that I needed the rest as much as Ziggy did, and maybe part of feeling so down was that I had a chance to. I don’t know.
Bart and I had dinner in my room. His remark: “You seem really wiped out.”
“I am,” I agreed, and that was the end of that subject.
The other piece of news Bart brought was that the local fans had figured out we were still in town. He said his plan was to go down to the hotel bar, where a number of them apparently could be found. As long as they bought drinks and weren’t a nuisance or underage, hotel management wouldn’t kick them out.
So, Bart went to get laid. And I wondered what I should do with myself at that point.
I called Ziggy’s room and got no answer. Then I felt stupid and thought, what if he isn’t answering the phone because he’s not talking? So I went to his door, and then felt stupider, when the sounds coming from behind it made it clear he’d done the same thing as Bart. That or acupuncture wasn’t what I thought it was.
Could I blame him? No. Was him being lonely my fault? Probably. Would sex feel really good right now? Yes. Was a good, mindless fuck one of the only highs he could get with no side-effects and no bad interactions with whatever else he was on? Undoubtedly.
It wasn’t like I had any right to be the one he turned to, anyway. Toronto, New Orleans… I didn’t know what to think. Right then I thought about all the times I’d pushed him away, and about how he kept saying he didn’t want to overstep my boundaries.
I brought this misery on myself, I thought. This is your doing, you fucked up fuck-up. Live with it.
Colin came down the hall and found me with my head against the wallpaper outside Ziggy’s door. He steered me back to my own room. We weren’t even inside the room yet when he asked, “What do you need?”
“I don’t know,” I said. I didn’t want to drink myself unconscious. I didn’t want drugs. I didn’t want to write a fucking song about it, either.
He seemed to be thinking about what to say for a long time. Long enough that I finally said something first.
This is what came out of my mouth. “Would it be beyond stupid for me to ask you to go down to the bar and bring two girls back here, one for you and one for me?”
“You only live once, boss,” he said, which I took to mean no, it wasn’t stupid, and that he agreed.
“Do it. I’ve got condoms,” I said. I handed him my room key.
I had more than half a bottle of Maker’s, too. I had a shot while I was waiting. They call it liquid courage but it’s more like liquid anti-anxiety.
Colin returned much more quickly than I would’ve thought possible, a girl on each arm. They both had brown hair and permed curls. I had no idea how this kind of thing should go. The girls, on the other hand, did. Everyone had a shot while there was a little small-talk about how we liked Cleveland. And then clothes started coming off.
I don’t know how they decided which one of them was supposed to have which one of us, but maybe it didn’t matter, since at one point they swapped places. Not to put too fine a point on it, they were both much squishier than I was used to, which was disturbing at first. Then I got used to it. They seemed to enjoy themselves a lot, if the amount of giggling and noise was any indication.
They didn’t stay long afterward. I heard Colin give them the money for a cab. I figured he would leave then, too, and I could lie there feeling reasonably numb and not in pain for a while.
But I was wrong. He got back in bed with me, still naked. I felt I owed him a favor by then, and I could feel he was hot and hard.
He still tasted like rubber from the condom, but with my head under the covers it was even better than having my head in the sand. Maybe it was infantile, but having him in my mouth was soothing. I had no worries. None. He tried to reciprocate at the same time, but our heights were too different, and I wouldn’t let go, so I won. He jerked me by hand and eventually I came again, and then he pulled free of me and finished himself off with just a couple of quick tugs and a grunt.
I didn’t peg Colin for the cuddly type, but we lay there, his long arms around me, for a while after that. I started to drift off. I felt the warmth of that full-body bliss good sex gives, like a heavy blanket holding me down.
But I couldn’t help thinking about Ziggy. “Do you think he’s all right?” I asked. Again, no need to tell Colin who I was talking about.
“I’ll go check on him.” He started to pull away.
“And then come back?” I felt pathetic. “I know. I’m weak.”
He rubbed me on the shoulder. “You’re fine. I’ll be back.”
He got up and left, and I drifted to sleep. I woke up again when he came back in using my key.
“Do you need me to stay?” he asked.
“Please. I’m sorry.”
“I don’t know what the fuck you’re apologizing for,” he said, as he dropped his jeans and climbed back in.
“I don’t like using people,” I managed, as he wrapped himself around me again.
“You just handed me one of my biggest wet dreams ever. Who’s using who here?”
“Um, point.” But I didn’t like the thought that this is what it took to get me through. Chris’s accusations burned in the back of my mind. He had his drug, I had mine. “Would you have said no if you didn’t want to?”
Colin’s nose was behind my ear. “For pete’s sake, Daron, this wasn’t a pity fuck.”
“Okay, good,” I said. I almost apologized again for being pathetic, realized that doing so would itself be pathetic, and shut up.
In the morning we left for Pittsburgh.