(Saturday bonus post! This is the one I owe you guys from the week of the Christmas norovirus when a couple of donations came in while I was too sick to do math! -ctan)
I know it makes no sense that Remo saying one little word freaked me out. Especially in light of the fact that I pretty much suspected the truth all along. Well, not ALL along, but certainly recently. I mean, part of me felt like I had when he’d said Clapton played the lead guitar and not George Harrison on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Like it was so obvious, and yet until I heard him say it, it wasn’t part of my worldview.
In this case, something with him and my mother was something I strongly suspected, and even joked about, and we had even talked about once before though we’d stopped short of a bombshell. But somehow hearing him admit that he’d had sex with my mother was different from merely being pretty sure it was true.
Why would hearing it aloud suddenly make me question things when speculating about it hadn’t? I don’t know. But it did. I suddenly questioned my talent. I hadn’t expected the answer to shake the bedrock of my self-image, but there you go–I suddenly wondered. I’d always assumed the sole reason Remo had put up with me was because my talent was unquestionably prodigy-level. The only possible explanation for all the bending over backwards he had to do to drag a 12-13-14 year old into his band was that I was simply that good. Right?
Why did I question that now that I knew he and my mother had played hide the salami?
“You doing okay?” Cray asked.
I still had half a bottle of whatever the stuff was he had brought me to drink. There was no English I could recognize on it, but then again my eyes were too crossed from alcohol to read the fine print. “Uh, think so,” I said.
“Because you look like you’re either having constipation or an angst fest between the ears.” He swigged back the last of his own bottle and put the empty down on the side table. He was sitting in a chair Remo must have pulled over beside the bed.
“Uh, the angst fest. It’s all right. It’ll pass.” I leaned against the wall, thumping my head a little harder than recommended against it, but I couldn’t feel well enough to tell.
“You want to talk about it?”
“You remember what you were saying about how him fucking your mother gives him the right to treat you like a son?”
Cray shook his head. “Doesn’t give him the right. Does-n’t. But you don’t seem to mind it.”
“Except all of a sudden, I do.”
“Clearly I’m a bad influence on you.” Cray smiled thinly. “How’d he meet your mother?”
“No fucking idea.”
“Well, okay, he was my father’s best friend.” I felt a wave of queasy pass through me and I thought maybe this wasn’t from drinking. “Shit. Remo never struck me as the kind of guy who would have sex with his best friend’s wife.”
Cray merely shrugged.
“Seriously. What the fuck.”
“I thought you said your dad was a piece of work?”
“He is. But back then, Remo and he were friends. Close friends.” I couldn’t imagine Digger actually approved of the tryst. Could it have been a threesome? Ugh. I thought maybe I’d be sick again.
I slammed back the rest of the drink instead. “I don’t want to think about it. I don’t. God. But now I can’t stop.”
That’d be like, like… if I got interested in women and had sex with Michelle. I could not fathom how such a thing could possibly come about.
Somehow that tore the scar tissue off a really old wound, a wound so old I had pretty much forgotten it was there. Remember when Ziggy and Carynne were sleeping together? She’d been afraid I would be angry at her. As it turned out, I was all too ready to place the blame squarely in Ziggy’s lap, but somewhere in the back of my head I’d felt a little betrayed, too. She knew she should have said no, but she hadn’t.
Then again it’s not like I could get on my high horse. I’d slept with both of them. And Colin. Why did I feel guilty about Colin? Why? There was no downside to it. Was it just that I’d told myself I wouldn’t? And then when I did I discovered how morally weak I was?
“Doesn’t anybody have any fucking morals anymore?” I whined.
Cray, who I’d half forgotten was still sitting there, murmured an answer. “Not in this business, my friend.”
“Don’t call me friend. I’ll just feel even more betrayed when you sleep with someone close to me,” I said joking but bitter, very bitter.
Cray, amazingly, didn’t take it personally, and joked right back. “Tch. Your mom’s not my type.”
I tried to retaliate by hitting him with a pillow but missed.
“Seriously, Daron, you don’t strike me as a prude.”
I hunched over, my arms crossed. “Not a prude.”
“Then why’s it such a big deal who sleeps with who?”
“There should be rules,” I insisted.
“Okay. What should those rules be?”
“I don’t know but I’m pretty sure your best friend’s wife is off limits. And so is anyone in your band.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
“You don’t think so?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever known a band that didn’t have somebody sleeping with somebody else, unless the situation was they were all straight guys, in which case I guarantee you one of them slept with one of the other one’s wives.”
“That can’t be good for band harmony. And I don’t mean the musical kind.”
“Maybe not. I’m sure it leads to a lot of strife. But maybe that’s just how people are.”
“People suck.” I hid my face in my arms again, fully aware that I sounded like a surly seven-year-old.
“Maybe so,” he said after a while. “But people need to fuck. It’s hard wired, just like the need for food. People need it so bad guys will even turn gay in prison.”
Here we go with the anal sex obsession, I thought. “Just because I need to eat doesn’t mean I take a sandwich away from a friend.”
“Yeah but fucking, unlike food, is infinitely sharable. Just cause you get some doesn’t mean your friend doesn’t.”
“Ah, fuck you, Cray, stop making logical sense when I’m trying to be miserable!” I pulled the pony tail holder out of my hair so I could hide behind it.
I think he was trying hard not to smirk. “I think you need to get laid.”
“No I don’t!”
“Okay, maybe you gays are different, but if you haven’t dipped your wick since the States–”
“Shut up!” This time I hit him square in the face with a pillow. It came right back at me and then it felt to me like the whole bed flipped over. But no, it was just me that flipped, and Cray had me pinned face down on the bed. And, damn it, I was hard as a rock. Even though I knew he was straight. Even though I wasn’t the slightest bit attracted to him. It was like my body didn’t care about anything like facts, or only the fact that someone’s body was close to mine.
I had to clench my jaw–my whole face really–to keep from bursting into tears. I remember Ziggy approaching it so matter-of-factly on tour: where and when are you going to get your rocks off, Daron? You need to plan for these things.
“You going to simmer down or do I have to get Flip in here to sit on you, too?” Cray said.
He didn’t seem aware I was horny or on the verge of losing it. I forced myself to go limp. Relax. “Sorry. Got carried away.”
He patted me on the back and then let go, stepping back from the bed. “Thanks for sticking up for me with Remo, by the way.”
I rolled onto my back so I could look at his face. “What? Oh. You’re welcome.”
“Really didn’t think you would.”
I tried to shrug but the effect was lost when I was lying on my back. “Reem said you’ve got anger management issues. All I said was he should hear this song we’ve been working on.”
“Well, thanks. Didn’t want you to think I was an ungrateful sonovabitch.” He cracked his knuckles. “I’m thirsty. I’m going to get more of that drink. Don’t go anywhere.”
I shook my head. “Not planning to.”
He left and a few minutes later a knock came at the door. I opened it, expecting it to be Cray again.
It was Mitch, the sax player. He had two more bottles of the soda, the long necks threaded through the fingers of his left hand. He held them up invitingly and said, “Hey, wanna fuck?”
“Yes.” I pulled him into the room and slammed the door.