We didn’t have sex that night. We went out for dinner, and saw two bands at a local club, but didn’t stay for the headliner, and instead ended up sitting in the driveway in the car having such an intense–but good!–conversation that we didn’t want to interrupt it enough to go into the house. It was… kind of like how it was when we were still just friends and figuring out if it was going to become more. I had no idea it was possible to turn that knob up and down, that it wasn’t just a one-way thing.
It only got serious at one point, when we were talking about L.A.
“I was surprised when you said you’d move in with me,” he said.
“I surprised myself, actually.” Partly because of what I’d said before about the relationship being doomed after I went into Trauma Kid mode, but partly because “shacking up” had never been on my agenda. I said the second part. “It had never occurred to me we could shack up.”
“Well, me either. But then one thing after another fell into place with the gig.” He shrugged. “I thought we were going to be at Remo’s for a month tops and then we’d be back East.”
“Funny how these things work out.”
“Did you ever think maybe you decided to stay here because Ziggy seemed likely to come back here?”
I shook my head. “No. That never entered my mind. If I had known there was going to be a movie premiere or something maybe? But I haven’t heard a release date yet.”
“Hm, me either. I’ll keep an eye out. Speaking of which, when’s that documentary you did the music for airing?”
“Check the Discovery Channel. I think it’s coming up.” I’d almost forgotten about it. I’d done so many things while in L.A. I didn’t have any chance of remembering when they were due to actually appear.
And the conversation moved on, like conversations with Jonathan do, and eventually I was thirsty and he had to pee and we gave in and went into the house.
The message light was blinking. It was a message from Remo’s “people”–a travel agent–saying she had booked me on a six a.m. flight and that an airport limo would be coming for me at three.
So it was a good thing we didn’t stay out too late.
Jonathan said, “Hey, so, how do you feel?”
“Excited to be going to Japan, you mean?”
“I mean, about what you want to do now.”
I looked at him. He was the same, blond, angular genius who had thrown himself in my path enough times “back when” that I had finally got the message that he was interested in me. He was as attractive as ever. But I didn’t feel like I needed sex right then.
I know, let me repeat that. I didn’t feel needy right then. I had reached some kind of emotional satisfaction that day, or that night, and I didn’t feel like I needed anything else. “Kind of depends on what you want to do now,” I said. “But I’m for spending all night packing, if you are.”
“Oh god you read my mind!” he said, and hugged me. “Are you sure?”
So, we spent the rest of the night packing, and actually by the time the limo pulled up there wasn’t much left for Jonathan to do on his own. He was going to run one more load of laundry in the morning, and then dismantle the bed, and that was about it. We really didn’t have that much stuff.
Jonathan was looking pretty drowsy by the time the limo came for me, but he wouldn’t have missed saying goodbye to me for the world. I had the two guitars and my duffel bag and suitcase in the courtyard behind me. The limo driver ferried the stuff back and forth to the trunk while Jonathan and I had a last, lingering goodbye kiss.
“Thank you, for everything, for being here for me,” he said.
“I’ll see you back on the East Coast, I’m sure.” I added a kiss to his cheek.
He looked a little angst-ridden then, a flicker of doubt creasing his eyes.
I took out my wallet, tore a hundred dollar bill in half, and handed one half to him. “There. Dinner in New York on me. Next time I see you.”
He grinned, all trace of angst gone. “Okay. You’re on. Rock star.”