“The problem with writing songs with you,” Sarah said in the morning, when I had put the guitar away and she had put some waffles in the toaster, but we hadn’t yet slept, “is that you write these things that sound so great with the guitar riffs and then when you’re gone it sounds kind of lifeless.”
I leaned against the kitchen counter. “I didn’t think ‘Blue Skies’ sounded lifeless when it went to number three.”
“Okay, but we had to get a guitarist in there who could do it some justice, you know.”
“Did you ever tell me who it was? Did you get Steve Lukather or someone like that?”
The toaster dinged before she could answer and she put them on plates using her bare fingers. We put butter and syrup on them and stood at the counter eating instead of sitting down. No, I don’t know why. Now that I think about it, though, maybe it was because if we sat down we might be too tired to stand up again.
That was the kind of tired I liked. I liked staying up all night playing music and then being so exhausted that I’d conk out the second my head hit the pillow. It felt right.
She started to sing with her mouth full. “Blue skies, above the clouds there are always blue skies…”
I sang harmony and almost choked on a piece of waffle, but didn’t. I don’t recommend singing while chewing. Professional driver, do not attempt.
I slept on Sarah’s floor, on a folded up comforter, and I slept like a stone.
In the morning, by which I mean around noon, we woke up and took showers–so much for the “disheveled look”–and went to a fancy-ish brunch place where most people needed to wait but apparently not us. I wondered how many phone calls it had taken to set that up. Fancy brunch involved much better waffles but also grilled fish and other things I didn’t necessarily expect, along with some of the best coffee I’d ever had. I appreciated that Sarah could keep up with me foodwise, though she said she’d have to make an appointment with her fitness trainer to make up for it. I pointed out that we were going to go out dancing tonight and that would probably burn off anything we’d taken in.
“So true, so true. That’s the kind of truth-telling I like best,” she said.
We did some Manhattan walking after brunch, a bit of Fifth Avenue that we both liked nearish to the restaurant: Tiffany’s, St. Patrick’s, the big Japanese bookstore that is always fun to walk around in. While we were walking we talked a little more about Ziggy. But, you know, it’s not always about me.
“What about you, Sar’? Got anyone special?”
She snorted. “I’m too busy for a relationship right now. Besides the usual… issues.”
She didn’t have to say any more than that for me to know what she was talking about. “Yeah.”
We went back to the apartment where she actually did call up her workout coach and while her driver took her off to the gym I took a nap.
While we were getting dressed to go out that night we reprised the “image” conversation. I wore a pair of jeans I’d had so long I’d basically worn through in a couple of places.
“Wow. I approve,” she said, looking at them. “Jeez, I’m not even into dick and I approve.”
“Thanks, I think?”
“You do know that where the guitar has rubbed against you makes the contour of your private parts really… um… visible.”
I looked at myself in her full length mirror. “So it does.”
“Trust me, it’s a good look on you. Let’s gel your hair.”
“It’s just going to get all sweaty anyway.”
“Which is why to gel it. When you toss your head back to keep it out of your eyes it’ll stay.”
“Huh. All right. What about you? What are you going to wear?”
She looked into the closet. “I’m not sure. I have a really cute dress but the shoes that would go with it will kill my feet. Assuming we actually want to dance, and not merely be seen in a dance club.”
“We definitely want to dance.” I looked into the morass that was her closet. “Why don’t you do jeans and boots too, then?”
“I’m supposed to stay away from butching it up too much, you know. Oh wait, I know.”
She put on a pair of jeans that had an embroidered flower on the pocket and a vine down the seam, and which looked painted on. Stretch denim, she explained. A flower-print top and then a heap of necklaces and bangles. Not as many as Steven Tyler, but a lot. She pulled on a denim jacket then and looked herself over in the mirror.
“No,” she said. “The denim jacket is too cowgirl, too C&W.”
“You need leather.”
“Hm. That could be a problem.” She dug through the closet some but didn’t find anything.
“Wear mine,” I suggested.
“Ooooh. Let me try it on. If it’s not too big…”
“Sarah, you are an Amazon compared to me. It won’t be too big.”
In fact, it fit her perfectly. “Anyone who’s paying attention is going to know I’m wearing your jacket,” she said, examining the spot on the sleeve shoulder where Ziggy had drawn the Moondog Three rocket. “If we hadn’t already cranked the rumor mill, this will do it.”
“Oh, you mean in like a cheerleader wearing a guy’s football jacket kind of way?”
“Exactly.” She seemed quite pleased with this idea.
Then I watched her put on her makeup. It was very different from watching Ziggy put on his makeup. Probably because I didn’t get the same feelings about it.
In fact the feeling I got was to start, very intensely, missing Ziggy. He’ll be here Monday, I told myself.
“We should go out,” she said.
“We are going out.”
“When Ziggy gets here, I mean.”
“Did I say that out loud?”
So now you know the frame of mind I was in when we went dancing. We went to Limelight and danced until our clothes were soaked through with sweat, and then we danced some more. And sometime deep in the night while I was totally lost in the movement and music, a song came on that I hadn’t heard before. It had a good groove and a strong synth hook but I wasn’t really paying attention to it.
Until Ziggy’s voice came in. “Do, do, do it. Do, do, do it,” he sang. It was that kind of vocal mix where he’d sung it really quietly, but they’d cranked up the volume, so it was almost like he was murmuring in my ears, “Do, do, do it.”
It clicked. The B-side he’d worked on with Jordan. Of course there was a dance remix of it: it was Jordan and he was into that.
It wasn’t until near the end of the mix I heard a full lyric line, though, or full chorus, I wasn’t sure, and I realized that “Do, Do, Do It” wasn’t the whole line. It was “Don’t wanna do, do, do it without you.”
I stumbled when I heard it. Remember that notebook of songs that were almost all about me? Maybe that’s why I was so sure he was singing it to me.