The room was a corner suite. I stepped into the parlor room. The furniture looked like it was someone’s grandmother’s house. Someone’s rich grandmother, I should say. Tony waved me toward the door to the bedroom, which was open.
“I’ll be right outside in the hall,” he said in a low voice. “I’ll knock three times if Digger’s coming.” And then he–very thoughtfully–left the room completely.
I stepped into the doorway, my hands jammed into the pockets of my denim jacket, and leaned on the doorframe.
Ziggy was lying in the middle of the king size bed, tangled in the bedclothes but otherwise naked. His skin was strikingly tan against the white sheets. He had a pillow over his head.
I assumed he’d been awake enough to tell Tony it was okay to let me in. Right? Tony wouldn’t have just sent me in there without warning Ziggy first, would he? If Ziggy had fallen back to sleep I didn’t want to wake him. I held my breath, caught between wanting to crawl into bed with him and run away.
Far, far away.
You tried that already, I reminded myself. So did he. Yet here you are.
What if he doesn’t want me here, though? What then?
He looked like he’d lost weight. I wondered if that was from grief or if he’d gone vegetarian or what.
His arm moved sluggishly as he pulled the pillow off his head.
“I can try to come back later if you’re too sleepy,” I said.
His head turned suddenly and his eyes flew open. “Oh shit, you’re really… I was dreaming that Tony told me you were here.”
Neither of us moved for a while. I was sort of frozen, every sense of mine tingling. I had heard his voice, heard it for the first time in so very long. That voice. God. Coming out of his mouth, not out of the radio.
“Come here,” he said then, very quietly, but I heard him perfectly well.
I took a breath but not a step.
“Come here, please?” he tried, and I found myself gripping the door frame. Not sure if I was holding myself back or keeping myself from running away or what. Tears pricked at my eyes and I was feeling entirely too many things at once.
I tried to say his name then but it came out a whisper.
Ziggy struggled to sit up, then, when I guess it was obvious I wasn’t coming any closer. His makeup was a complete mess and his hair was epic. He blinked as if trying to focus on me. “Hey.”
“Hey.” I could barely swallow and my mouth was suddenly crowded with shit I knew I should not say. Who was that on the balcony? Do you have any idea what I’ve been through? Etc. I groped for something safe to say. “Are you all right?”
Wrong thing. “No, I am fucking well not all right, no thanks to you!”
Maybe there was nothing I could have said. Maybe the powder keg was going to spark no matter what I said. And maybe he had as much a right to be angry at me as I did at him. That didn’t stop me from answering in kind: “Me? No thanks to me? How the fuck is it my fault!” I probably wouldn’t have been so explosively defensive, of course, if I hadn’t feared exactly that. Of course it’s all my fault. “I didn’t tell you to give executive hand-jobs at the theater today.”
“Don’t you judge me. Don’t you dare judge me!”
“And what am I judging, exactly? Your choice in men? Or your choice to act like a fucking whore!” Why did I say that? Why?
“You don’t know what it’s like!”
Angry, scared, desperate, hurt. This is what it sounds like: “What what’s like, to have sex with someone other than because I want to? I’ve never had sex for any reason other than that. Oh wait, except with one person. You.”
He started to cry, as tears spilled over quite suddenly and his chest shook with dry but nearly silent rasps. I wanted to hold him and shake some sense into him at the same time. Everything in my chest was shredded–heart, lungs, voice–and that must have been how he was feeling right then, too.
He found his voice first. “Well, aren’t you lucky, then. Aren’t you lucky.” He pulled the sheet over his shoulder like he suddenly felt the need to hide his nakedness and in one of those upended-ice-bucket-down-the-back moments I realized what he was implying–that I’d never been the subject of unwanted sexual advances, but he had. As usual, everything turned upside down or inside out in Ziggy’s vicinity. I’d meant it the other way around, that I’d never made advances at someone to try to get something from them, but I knew he had, I knew he did. This flip to thinking of Ziggy as sexual victim instead of aggressor…
…combined with his opening accusation that this was my fault…
I couldn’t take it. I couldn’t. “You’re as full of shit as ever.”
That sparked full on hysterics. He began throwing pillows at me as he screamed, “So are you! So are you!”
What a time for three little knocks to come at the door, eh? I pulled the bedroom door closed just as the door from the hallway opened.
Something loud hit the door and I jumped back. Ziggy must have moved on to throwing things other than pillows. I couldn’t really worry about that right then, though, because in came my two least favorite people in the world. They looked at me like the feeling was mutual.
I kept refreshing the page waiting for this to be up.
Such a good post C!
Now I really just wonder what’s going on in Ziggy’s mind since we last heard from him.
I really didn’t expect them both to blow up like that, but I guess a year apart leads to a lot of pent up feelings!
Yeah, I’m 100 percent sure that wasn’t what either of them intended to say the first time seeing each other.
I wanna slap the both of them.
So do I.
we deserve it
Omg. So pissed at both of our special IDIOTS!
Why did I read this during church???
I’m just going to keep holding my breath….
You read it during church??!
Oh, there’s either a special hell or special heaven for that.
Oh, for FUCK’S SAKE, Daron.
Try not to get pulled up on A&B charges against Mills, huh?
Exactly. How could you go from knowing how badly Ziggy hurt to being an asshat in less three minutes?
Thanks to all of you who tipped for the extra posts!
To be fair, though, Ziggy was the one who flipped out first- and yes, Daron knew how much Ziggy was hurting, but it can be very difficult to remember those kinds of things when people are yelling at you.
They are BOTH at fault here.
We suck. THe question is, are we always going to be this bad for each other?
Knowing how much pain he’s in and me freaking out are not mutually exclusive, I guess.
Makes me think I don’t deserve him, you know?
Where’s voice one?!
What happened to, “Hey, I love you. I miss you”?
I don’t know. I wish I did.
I’ll repeat something that’s being said a lot lately: oh, for fuck’s sake, you guys. So much for both of you being more mature. *facepalm*
(And let me guess, now they won’t see or talk to each other again for another year. Or more.)
Not if I can help it. Maybe I can get rid of these clowns and try again.
I don’t know why I didn’t think it would go down like this. I think they need to be locked in a room together until they can figure everything out.
We really do. I bet Tony would do it, too.
Was kinda hoping Tony would save the day and get rid of those two idiots. Ziggy doesn’t need them filling his head with everything Daron has done wrong or even made up lies cause you know they are doing just that. Come on Tony! Daron just hire Tony first and have him show those two bozos to the door
I think one of the things that makes Tony great is his sense of honor and integrity. Digger’s writing his paychecks right now. I won’t ask him to mess with that.
Well, not so blatantly, anyway. He’s already done me enough favors.
I’m so frustrated with you both, damn Daron he asked you please. I guess old hurts and habits are automatic. Just chill and listen to Ziggy I think he was trying it tell you something bad happened but he is scared.
He did. But I couldn’t make my feet move. I don’t even know why.
Didn’t see this yesterday. So glad I got to read two in a row, but now I have to wait again. Tuesdayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!
The truth will out! It always does. Same old Ziggy, though. Daron, you must see by now, Ziggy will always be a whore, in one way or another.
Does that mean I shouldn’t love him, though?
No Daron, you should, of course. But he will always hurt you. He expends himself on other people, and other people on himself.
I could do with a little less of the slut-shaming, D. By which I mean, you sound like a dick when you go there, and stop it.
I know. I could hear it once I said it, and I don’t even know why I did. When I try to think about why I’m upset I realize I have no right to be on his case about that at all. I don’t own him. He doesn’t owe me. But out it came.
I know I’ll have to pay for that.
Would you put up with someone calling Carynne or Courtney a whore? Because we know Carynne has no problem having had random hook ups and enjoying sex, and Courtney has given the idea she’s same. No? Then it shouldn’t be leaving your mouth, period, regardless of what Ziggy may or may not owe you.
It’s not a financial transaction. You can’t “pay” for it. You can grovel and apologize, but you really have to own up to being wrong, not just because everyone else can see for miles that you are, not just because Ziggy might be justifiably mad at you and give you another excuse for pathetic self-pity, but because you were out of line.
When it comes down to it, he owes you less than nothing. He was trying to get himself healthy while you were playing happy houses with Jonathan and burying yourself in so much denial it was painful to watch. He needed you and no one could find you. His mother dies and you start off–after running away for months on end and dropping out of touch with everyone– by calling him a whore. Well done, that. Great way to show you give a damn about him. Why not go back and punch him again, too?
Isn’t that what I just said? I’m agreeing with you for fuck’s sake
Not really, no, it’s not what you said. I feel frustrated when I see you going up and down the comments trying to find a way to rationalize both calling him a whore and using the word in the first place. Both things are problems, like someone calling you a fag. It’s personally hurtful to him, and buying into and reiterating systemic messages about sexuality that are hurtful to all of us, especially when you’re judging him by standards you don’t apply to yourself at all.
Clarifying question: at what point did you have sex with Ziggy without looking to get something out of it or him? If you weren’t looking for affection, you were looking to get some kind of upper hand on him or some kind of balancing of imaginary scales.
I think you see me defending myself where I’m not. And re: your question, I can’t answer that without giving away what comes next and you’ll have to let Ziggy speak for himself.
I feel completely shell shocked. I think I need a moment to process this.
My thoughts are switching between a litany of fuck, fuck, fuck; shit, shit, shit and ohmygodohmygodohmygod.
In other words, you have voice two and voice two?
Yeah, that’s about right.
I’m still processing. Can’t imagine how you feel. And now to have to deal with Digger and Mills. I think my head would explode.
I can’t believe you called him a fucking whore. I know he started it but damn, Daron. Just, damn.
I can’t believe it either.
Daron, aside from the story, can you believe you are a living being in the living world of the Chronicles. We get all emotional and upset with you, laugh with you, cry with you, then chew our fingernails waiting for the next chapter. Sometimes I sit back and draw a long breath of disbelief, and just shake my head.
This has to be a really, really good story. And WOW, what an author!!!!
I was just thinking pretty much the same thing. This has to be one of the best stories I have ever read and I read a lot. Thanks, ctan!!!
You know, it’s just some people are realer than others.
Your ellipses sound kind of judgmental. Or maybe that’s me.
It’s just you. These ellipses are ‘I’m so stunned at how monumentally badly that went I don’t have any thoughts left in my head.’
To repeat: Oh fuck.
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHH… two people who love each other, miss each other when apart and make beautiful music together… and torture each other regularly?
And, Daron, I put much of this on you. You have always been judgmental, always. You’ve always been a bit of a “holier-than-thou” prig, and not just with Ziggy.
After all, didn’t you just spend several months in Spain screwing some other guy? You catch Ziggy giving some suit a BJ, and you lose it? Until now, I didn’t have a clue that you had such a propensity for hypocrisy.
Time to get off your high horse and beg forgiveness, or you can kiss your Moondog career and the man you love good-bye. And, if that happens, you’ll deserve it.
I don’t know about you, but I just don’t know if I’ll survive it!
I know. I know!
This. All of this. And let’s remember, the guy he went off to screw in Spain? He made that decision in an airport after knowing the guy for a week and not actually knowing his name or speaking the same language, and the guy was living with his girlfriend. I don’t remember too many moral quandaries about screwing around him, though. Glass houses, man.
You know, there was a very brief moment when I thought you might crawl into bed with him and it would have been so sweet. Couldn’t have been more wrong.
In hindsight that would have probably been a panic attack for both of us anyway.
Like two ships crashing in the night.
Well that went splendidly.
You have a marvelous way with words.
OMG I go away and come back to this .I wanted you to just give in and at least give the poor man a hug .he just lost his mom ,really…what am I going to do….
I wanted to. I just couldn’t get going.
Cecilia, will the chat for Kickstarter backers be archived anywhere? Will it be posted here but password protected?
I’ll archive it with a password. 🙂
Argh, I got distracted and didn’t manage to get the first half logged, so I only have the end of the chat. Chatzy only keeps the last 71 KB of data unless you pay for a premium room.
If you log back in and go to review mode it let’s you see a bit farther back in the chat but you can’t get back to the begining.
It let me go back as far as my comment about corwin getting me a ukelele.
Ok. It looks like it let you go back even farther than I got.
I wish I had taken screen shots as we went along. I meant to but I was actually out to dinner while I was watching it so I wasn’t as focused as I would have liked to have been. Maybe someone else took screenshots.
I feel I should explain that I am aware of how rude it is to be online while out to dinner and I usually wouldn’t have done it but I really didn’t want to miss the chat. Besides there were 8 people there so I wasn’t needed for conversation.
I’m so bummed I missed the chat got confused on the time difference as I live in California 🙁
Oh drat! And sadly I only managed to log the second half of it. The first half expired before I could copy-paste it. Quick recap: Daron explained why red is his favorite color, superstitions about green clothing and M&Ms were exchanged, people shared some favorite recent songs, Daron talked about why he’s anti-conformity, discussed Ziggy’s ever-changing wardrobe, and basically just shot the breeze with people.
Ok so I don’t feel so bad now thanks Ctan 😉
I know it’s been like 200 chapters, but this is NOT how we discussed you talking to Ziggy…I don’t know how many more tears I have left.
I know. I lost my head.
That’s the INFP speaking, Daron. I’m an INTJ, completely different approach to almost everything.
My initial reaction to “It’s your fault” was that the only thing of which Ziggy had first-hand knowledge was that you were out of the country when he first returned from India. Nobody had a single detail about what you were doing in Spain. Even Ziggy is level-headed enough not to make it your fault because you were out of the country. Ergo, he’s dealing in second-hand information.
The only sources of information he can possibly have are Digger and Mills. Both are devoted to destroying you personally and professionally so that Ziggy won’t return to you but will remain their jackpot. Ziggy’s head is full of poisonous information without a single countervailing piece of information. Of course it’s your fault.
When I got to you being a whore too I knew. You didn’t whore yourelf out to Jonathan or Orlando, anbd Ziggy doesn’t even know about Orlando. That leaves the more serious form of infidelity: musical infidelity. You whored yourself out to Remo and all the session work. And I can just imagine how Mills and Digger presented that information.
This will resolve itself when you can make Digger and Mills not the sole sources of info. Once you’ve done that, Digger is toast with Ziggy. I’m confident you will do that. Maybe not today, maybe not this month or year, but you’ll find a way to do it. Maybe through an intermediary. Tony, Carynne, Trav, you’ve got a lot of channels to use.