403. I Need to Know

I ended up in the parking lot of a Circle K, at the pay phone on the outside of the building, on the phone to Carynne.

“Daron, are you crying?”

“No, I’m not crying. What the hell makes you ask that?”

“Well, you sound upset.”

“I am upset.” I was not crying. This wasn’t a “cry over it” kind of problem. This was a “fuck the world because the world is fucking me” kind of problem. “Mills has declared the album unrecoupable because I’m gay.”


“You heard me. You want it in more detail?”

“You bet I do.”

“Okay, let me see if I can do it justice. First he shows me and Digger some numbers…”

“Wait, you had a meeting with him?”

“Yeah. At the BNC office out here. Oh, by the way, I fired Digger.”


“Let me tell the story in order and maybe it’ll make sense. Okay, so he shows us these spreadsheets…”

“Did you keep a copy?”

“I did. Will you stop interrupting me? This shit is complicated.”

“All right, all right.”

“Anyway. He shows us how much money we owe them, then tells me the contract I signed not only lets them gang the payments they owe us for the re-release into the debt, he rubs my nose it in reminding me we can’t record with anyone else and we’re dead in the water. And he says the reason the album isn’t selling as well as it should, especially given the great publicity and the sellouts on the tour, is not that they fucked up and didn’t get enough stock into the stores…”

“Wait, not? I thought they were saying the laydown was low because of genre confusion.”

“They were, before, but we’ve moved on from that now, apparently, to the album isn’t selling because I’ve been seen all over Los Angeles with Jonathan.”

“Wait. That makes no sense.”

When she said it like that, it hit me that it really didn’t make sense. I mean, when Mills had first said it, I had been in denial about it, but I had half-believed what he’d said. Maybe because this was the sort of thing I was afraid of all along? Right? Wasn’t that the reason everyone stayed in the closet? Because everyone knew it would hurt your career if you didn’t?

But no one had ever come right out and explained how it would hurt a career. This wasn’t like a group of concerned mothers was leading a campaign against stores carrying the album or picketing outside the stadiums. This wasn’t like venues refusing to book us. This wasn’t even like actual bad press had been appearing… yet.

I tried to explain it in more detail. “Mills is under the impression that the average record-buyer in America thinks all gays should be thrown into AIDS death camps. Because of this, they are mystically-magically divining that they should not buy the Moondog Three album because they will… get gay cooties? Support the gay agenda? What the fuck is our agenda? No one invited me to the meeting about that.”

“You’re joking. I mean, you are joking, but I mean, he can’t be serious about that.”

“Serious enough that he paid some tabloid photographer for photos and negatives of me and J. and Ziggy.”

“When did you have a threesome with–”

“Dude! I’m on the phone here. Come back later.” I waved off a guy who kept approaching the phone with a handful of loose change and a hopeful expression. He had the grimy look of someone who had slept in his car and hadn’t showered in a week. You see a lot of that in L.A.

“Are you on a pay phone?”

“Yes. Anyway. I have the photos. I don’t have the negatives.”

“Are they bad?” She sounded like she was cringing.

“Pretty bad, I guess. Especially when you see them all together. The bitch of it is the most incriminating one is totally innocent. Not that that matters. Anyway. Digger said ‘I told you so,’ and I said ‘You’re fired.’ That’s the short version anyway.”

“Jeez, Daron.”

“In the meantime, did I tell you I did a soundtrack for a documentary?”

“Did you just say you’re going to do the soundtrack for a documentary?”

“Already did it. Turned it in and got paid. Which reminds me, I have the check. No way in hell I’m handing it to Digger now. We need to make sure he can’t get at our accounts anymore.”

“I can handle that. But, reminder: you’re part owner of his company.”

“Yeah, I know. And he’s still Ziggy’s personal manager. I know, Car’. I know firing him isn’t like putting a genie back in the bottle. I won’t get to pretend he doesn’t exist. Alas. The point is don’t let him make off with anything if he gets pissed off enough to be that stupid.”

“Okay. When are you coming back? When does Zig get out?”

“Zig’s supposed to be out tomorrow. Digger’s supposed to go pick him up.”

“I’m supposing you didn’t volunteer to ride in the car.”

“Yeah, no.”

She made that tick-tick sound with her mouth she sometimes did when she was thinking about things. “Dar’. You have to get there first.”


“If he hears this entire thing from Digger it’s going to sound like… like…”

Like I’d been catting all over Hollywood with my boytoy. Fuck.

“Like it’s your fault. You have to get there first. I’ll get you directions to Betty Ford. Does Remo have a fax machine at the house?”

“I think so but I don’t know the number. Call me there later and we can figure it out. There’s a line forming for the phone here.”

“Okay. Shit, I wish I was there. Daron, listen to me, don’t do anything drastic.”

“You’re the one telling me to kidnap Ziggy!”

“I didn’t say kidnap! Just talk to him first. Jeez. Don’t be so dramatic.”

“You either. The most drastic thing I’m going to do tonight is… eat a sandwich and vent to Jonathan.”

“Okay. I’ll call you later. Remember that people love you, though, Daron. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Carynne.”

At that point the grimy guy with the loose change in his hands made smoochy kissy noises at me and I thought about punching him in the face. I decided he wasn’t worth the trouble. There was no way smacking anyone was ever going to be as satisfying as smacking Digger had been. Maybe now was the time to dedicate myself to nonviolence for real. No, really. Quit while I’m ahead.


  • sanders says:

    Carynne for the WIN! I’ve missed her. Can she meet Sarah and spawn their own adventures as girlfriends?

    No? Only in fanfic, you say? Someone should get on that.

    • ctan says:

      Grin. You know, thus far I haven’t run across any DGC fanfic. But I figure someone will write some eventually…? (My statement on allowing fanfic in all my universes, if anyone’s curious: http://blog.ceciliatan.com/?page_id=331)

      • sanders says:

        I haven’t either, and it always surprises me. I keep waiting for someone to start an LJ or DW comm for it, too, and I’m starting to think I might have to be the one to do it. Sadly, I don’t do well with writing femslash or I’d be all over Carynne/every awesome woman ever. I might try prompting the universe in a fest somewhere, though, and see if there are any nibbles. I know I’m not the only fanworks creator reading DGC, and there has to be someone else scribbling notes about some epic Ziggy/Colin/Daron AU crossover with a medieval Sherlock ‘verse, right?

        • ctan says:

          Hee hee! It’s funny because I feel like I see the “rock star AU” for *other* fandoms fairly often… this would be the reverse if someone turned the boys into wizards or space travelers or something. (Here’s something I’ve never talked about but you might be amused to learn: Daron’s very very first appearance was in a Battlestar Galactica live-action role-play that a friend and I were doing in the early eighties. OLD Galactica, obviously…)

        • daron says:

          Want to know something funny? I have these weird recurring nightmares sometimes where I’m a busboy in a restaurant, and Ziggy’s a waiter, Carynne’s the front of house manager, Chris is a dishwasher, and Bart’s a low-ranking cook. They’re mostly about me being terrified to speak to Ziggy — in some of them I have some kind of speech impediment and can’t speak at all.

  • deb h says:

    wow what was load of crap,I am glad that Daron finally fired Digger .I am sure Carynne can figure this out. Digger didn’t even fight for them . Just rolled right over .That’s not who they need taking care of them with the big boys in control.

    • ctan says:

      No kidding. At least he finally did it.

    • Bill Heath says:

      Digger didn’t roll over for anything. He was integral to the program to destroy M3 forever so that Ziggy had nowhere to turn but to him and Mills. And M3 not only can never work again, there are severe restrictions on what Daron can do outside M3 as well.

      I think Digger is assuming that if Daron has no role in music he won’t be as attractive to Ziggy. Ziggy can’t return to M3 and won’t return to a Daron outside music, so Ziggy will drop Daron in favor of Digger and Mills.

  • Connie says:

    Sounds like nobody is panicking. Calling Carynne was a good decision.

  • Connie says:

    Poor Ziggy, fighting for his sanity and then being confronted with this mess right out of the gate.

    • ctan says:

      And will he be like “why did I bother to leave there?” or will he be “what the hell have you been doing while I was gone?” 🙂

  • Sara Winters says:

    Ah, Carynne, the voice of reason! The question is, will she be able to keep Digger from digging his fingers into the pot a little more? And how in the world is he going to be able to get at Ziggy? Or are the restrictions about who can visit and who can pick him up once he’s released different?

    • ctan says:

      I believe the theory is once Ziggy is released, they can’t very well stop him from talking to (or getting into the car of) whoever’s there.

  • s says:

    My nerves are about shot. How you holding up, Daron?

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