I still think it’s weird how my entire outlook on life changes for the better when I’m having enough sex. More to the point: how it changes–for the worse–when I’m NOT having enough sex.
Ziggy left on a business trip to Los Angeles a week later. Before he left we played around with Bart and Chris a bunch, wrote some songs, worked on some things I’d almost forgotten about, but we didn’t have much drive to finish anything since no one knew quite what was going to happen next. So that was fun if a little frustrating sometimes, like it’s fun to play with wet clay but at some point you want to finish it and bake it, you know?
For the week after he left, Bart, Chris, and I goofed around some more and played music and wrote songs because why wouldn’t we? I could think of nothing I wanted to be doing more with my “free time” than making music. We cooked up some weird stuff, and some good stuff, and some wild stuff, and that was good. And it kept my mind and my body at least partly busy. That and playing with the computer, reading my email, etc. My mother used to say that sitting too close to the TV would ruin my eyes. I don’t think that was true. But staring at the computer screen so much definitely wasn’t: I’d come up from the basement sometimes and have trouble making out the captions on CNN if I was standing at the kitchen door. Weird, eh?
And I would say it was about a week after that I started to climb the walls. And by climb the walls I mean if I were a cat I’d be the kind that licked all my own fur off.
I called Remo one night. “Hey, wasn’t it you who said figuring out what to do with yourself when you’re at home was difficult?”
He paused for a second and I heard something that sounded like a power drill in the backround. Then he spoke. “Maybe. Why, you going stir crazy?”
“A little. It doesn’t help I have no idea where my career is going right now.”
“What’s the latest?”
I filled him in on how the current idea in play was one we all hated yet seemed inevitable now somehow: Ziggy going solo and the rest of us… “Sitting around with our thumbs up our butts, I guess. I mean, he’s basically saying he’ll take care of our financial worries, but then what?”
“I saw Chernwick the other night. He wanted to know if you were back in the saddle for soundtrack work. Hang on a sec.”
I heard another whizzing sound like a drill again. “Are you doing house renovation? Didn’t you decide you were better off hiring somebody for that?”
“Nah. I’m making a fruit shake.”
“A milk shake?”
“There’s no milk in it. Frozen berries and ice cubes and some peaches that were going soft. And some powdered health stuff.”
“Are you on a diet or something?”
“Or something. Doctor says I need more fiber and fruit. I figure I better work on that when I’m at home because short of the maraschino cherry in a Manhattan I don’t see much of either when I’m on the road.”
“Maraschino cherries are high in fiber?”
“They’re a fruit, aren’t they?”
“Hadn’t really thought about it. You going to do Japan and the Pacific again this winter?”
“Nope, taking this one off. What do you think, should we do Christmas out here?”
“At your place, you mean?”
“Yeah. If neither of us is on the road I think we should get together, anyway.”
The idea that we should plan “family” Christmas had not entered my mind. The idea that Remo would assume that we should also hadn’t entered my mind. Once he said it, though, it made sense. “Okay, sure. But we should go somewhere cold. It doesn’t feel like Christmas with palm trees waving around.”
“Damn, that shoots down my other idea which was Mexico.”
“How about New York? Then we could see Matthew, too.”
“You do have a point there. Have you heard from him lately?”
“I haven’t heard from anyone. I would’ve thought you would hear before me.”
“Huh. I guess. I thought you and him and his partner were getting close though.”
I was puzzled for half a second. “Why, because we’re all gay?”
Remo paused. Maybe he was drinking some fruit shake or maybe he was stopping to think about that. Or both. “Huh. Yeah.”
“Reem. Just because–”
“Yeah, yeah, I get it. Sorry, I just kind of assumed. Birds of a feather and all that.”
“Okay. But no, I never got close to Dennis because I didn’t think he was going to be around for very long, you know? Oh jeez, that sounds heartless.” I felt like a shit as soon as I said it.
Remo didn’t judge me, though. “Nobody needs to be Mother Teresa except Mother Teresa. It’s more important you be there for Matthew when he needs you, if you want to be a good friend.”
“You’re saying I should call Matthew.”
“You’ve got the phone in your hand, you know.”
“Okay, but does that mean you agree we should get together in New York? For Christmas?”
“Let’s say that’s definitely on the table.” Then he made a pained noise, like “arghhhhhh.”
“Jeez, if you really don’t want to–”
“No, no, it’s not that. I’m just having brain freeze from this damn drink.”
“Rub your tongue on the roof of your mouth,” I said.
“It’ll help. Speaking as someone who used to live on Icees and Slurpees, I know brain freeze.”
“All right, all right. Go call Matthew and call me back later.”
I had to dig out my notebook to get Matthew’s number, since I didn’t have it memorized. His machine answered. “Hey, Matthew, it’s Daron. I’m at home for a while, give me a call if you get a chance. Remo has this idea of getting everyone together for Christmas and I suggested New York as more central than LA, and so I was wondering what you thought of the idea because I could totally use some help convincing him. And by the way how are you and all that. Okay hanging up now before your machine cuts me off.”
To keep myself occupied I took the cordless phone with me to the basement and messed around on the computer a bit. When it rang again a few minutes later I thought it was probably Matthew.
(I confess. This chapter was supposed to be called “Miles Away” after the Winger song. But I just couldn’t do it. The cheese factor in the song and the video is just too high. Sorry, Winger fans. Have some X instead. -d.)