I needn’t have worried, I guess. When we got to the hotel, a party was in full swing, and before I could even start to make some kind of a plan, Ziggy corralled me just outside the suite door.
“Spend some time with your Jersey boy,” he said into my ear, so he could be heard over the noise coming out of the room.
“I’ve got other flesh to fly.” He pecked me on the cheek then and disappeared back into the room before I could say anything. I put my hand where he’d left it damp. But Ziggy, what if I didn’t want to do it this way? The thing was, though, maybe this made sense. I suppose I would have liked to be consulted first but at that moment I didn’t have the energy for a fight, or even to figure out what exactly just happened. I mean, was he doing it to be nice to me and J? Or was it some other way to kind of yank my chain? Or make me jealous? None of the above, all of the above?
He must have said “fish to fry” I realized. Though “flesh to fly” sounded more like him. I imagined him wearing wings, suspended by ropes and pulleys above the bed, like some kind of avant garde performance art.
Those weren’t the sort of thoughts I should have been having if I wasn’t spending the night with him, though. I didn’t know who he was going to sleep with and I didn’t care.
Well, okay, I cared that it wasn’t Courtney. That would’ve pissed me off. But I was pretty sure even he wouldn’t go that far.
I was standing there running this hamster wheel of useless thoughts when J. poked his head out. “Oh, here you are.”
“Here I am.”
He came out and shut the door so the latch was in it, keeping it from locking. “You’ve had enough of the cocktail party scene, I take it.”
“Yeah. Let’s go to my room.”
Of course, that required me to remember where my room was. I had forgotten the number but remembered the location well enough since the key I had in my pocket opened it. The guitar case at the foot of the bed let me know I was in the right place. My sense of relief was total and overwhelming. I sat down on the bed and didn’t move.
J. crawled onto the bed behind me and put his fingers into my hair, massaging my head. Not the way I did it for Ziggy, this was more like he was pretending to wash my hair with imaginary shampoo. It felt good. I relaxed.
“When you conked out in the car, I was almost worried, but Ziggy said you almost always do that in a moving vehicle.”
“I was always like that as a kid,” I said. “Living on the tour bus has made it even stronger. Plus, I’m really tired.”
“Not tired enough to kick you out of bed, if that’s what you’re asking.”
He laughed. “I wasn’t actually insinuating anything, but that’s nice to know.”
“Come here and kiss me before I change my mind.”
So J. kissed me, and we let nature takes its course from there and it was unbelievably comforting to have sex with someone I knew and who knew me and although we were still kind of new to each other it was simple and good and…
Good. Just good. And I didn’t think about all the people down the hall, or the people at the karaoke night, or the people in the diner, and I didn’t think about what Ziggy was doing or what it meant or anything. I had sex with my boyfriend like a normal person. A normal gay person. Whatever. You know what I mean.
And when we were lying there afterward, not asleep but lying there, various thoughts began to trickle back into my brain like they do, and the first thing I actually said after a long silence was this:
“So what did you think of the show tonight?”
And J. started to laugh, and laughed, and laughed, until I couldn’t help but chuckle along with him a little. He hadn’t started using words again yet when he shooed me into the shower, and then he eventually caught his breath while we were standing there in the water.
And I said, “What?”
And he said, “You have a one-track mind.”
And it was the first time someone used that phrase on me and it wasn’t about sex.