The next day, despite my hangover, me and Bart staged an early-morning intervention. When Christian tried to get up and go back to that job, the stubborn bastard, I hid the keys to his van while he was in the shower and when he came out Bart told him he had a three o’clock gig. Chris didn’t even ask what it the gig was, just stared at us with dripping wet hair and still-bloodshot eyes. He grunted like some kind of shampoo commercial Bigfoot and went back to bed.
I went back to bed, too.
When I woke up it was after two and there appeared to be no one else in the house. I went downstairs to see if all the drums were there or what, saw that they weren’t, and then saw the computer and turned it on to check my email.
Three hours later I stood up with a crick in my neck and the feeling I was ridiculously dehydrated. Note to self, carry food and water if you’re going to go dive into the deep recesses of the electronic world. I tried to remember if William Gibson had mentioned what cyberjockeys did to stay alive while in cyberspace. It had been a couple of years since I read Neuromancer, though, and the main thing I remembered about it was the Rastafarian space station. In fact, that’s still the main thing I remember.
Anyway. I discovered that when there’s no milk in the house, do not use yogurt as a substitute if the cereal you’re eating is Captain Crunch. I mean, I ate it anyway, but it was not a good combination. Froot Loops and a fruit yogurt’s probably fine–in fact, I’m sure it is–but yeah. While we’re on the subject, Cocoa Crispies are okay in banana yogurt but not anything else. The vanilla’s too sour and it makes the chocolate taste weird.
The thing is, I had decided to go to the grocery store when I saw we were out of milk, but you know it’s always a disaster to go food shopping when you haven’t eaten. Even I had learned that, at 23 years old. So I forced down a bowl of Captain Crunch smeared with Yoplait and then I put on clothes–another good thing to do before leaving the house. I was lacing up my high tops when Colin came home.
“Oh, hey,” I said when he came in. “You want to come grocery shopping with me? We need milk and two of us can carry a lot more than I can by myself.”
“Sure.” He hadn’t taken his sunglasses off yet and he checked his pockets for his wallet. “I’ve got a backpack we can put the milk and other heavy stuff in.”
“I’ll get it.” He went bounding up the stairs two at a time. As he did that it reminded me, upstairs, in my own room, under my pillow, were the keys to the van.
“Hey! Never mind!” I yelled.
Colin’s head appeared at the top of the stairs, angling out so he could see me. “What?”
“I just remembered I’ve got the keys to the van anyway. They’re under my pillow.”
“Right.” Colin didn’t ask how that happened. He went and got the keys without complaint. I drove us to the store while explaining the business with the keys as a precaution.
We went, we shopped, we conquered. By which I mean we bought things in all four food groups, as well as sugar, caffeine, fat, and chocolate.
If people thought it was weird that a rock star did his own grocery shopping, they didn’t say it to my face.
Bart and Chris came home later, and we hung around. Courtney, too. She was excited to see what we’d bought and made enough nachos for an army, which was dinner. I mean, come on, she put cheese and tomatoes and peppers and olives on, and we had bean dip and sour cream, so in my mind it was the same as eating pizza, nutrition-wise, maybe even a step up in the vegetable department. We talked about maybe having a barbecue in the driveway on the weekend and inviting some guys we knew.
It was like for a while we were everyday regular joes. I’m sure we would have gotten bored if every day was like that, but it was kind of novel to have a day like that once in a while.
Especially when I had a feeling with Ziggy coming back there wouldn’t be many “normal” days to be had.
Come to think of it, the boring-regular part ended when Carynne called to say she was done wherever she was so could drop by so I could fill her and the guys in on what was going on. I had told Chris the night before but wasn’t sure how much he remembered, and I had a feeling he’d told Bart a bunch, but again, probably with some gaps in it, so it was just as well she was coming over and they could hear it again.
The thing I hadn’t told Chris, because I was waiting for them all to be in the room, was that Ziggy was coming to rehearsal. So we were all in the living room gathered around the platter of nacho crumbs when I dropped that little bombshell.
“Rehearsal for what?” Bart had asked. “For which thing?”
“Who knows?” I said. “We have to have a band meeting, all of us together, and figure out what we’re going to do.”
Carynne sighed. “Does it have to be on Thursday? No, wait, forget I asked that.”
I wanted to ask why she’d asked, but she’d just said to forget it, so I tried to. But I suspected one of her other clients had a gig. “What time are you free? Since none of us are working day jobs right now,” I said, giving Christian the eye, “we could rehearse in the afternoon, too.”
“Let me get back to you, but whatever time you do it. I’ll be here.”
That was nice to hear.
After that we went downstairs and played around with the cello and keyboard and guitar. I never did find out what gig Bart had taken Chris to, but I didn’t think it mattered.
Maybe it didn’t. The thing is the motherfucker got up the next day after that and went to the job anyway. Go on, shake your head now. Just goes to show I didn’t have the monopoly on stupidity in those days.