When I woke up Ziggy was wearing me like a cape. We were nowhere near the pillows, curled in the center of the bed, with my arms around his neck/shoulders and the rest of me draped over his back. I freed one arm and pulled one edge of the duvet over us and then nudged him toward the head of the bed. I don’t even think he woke, really, but he moved and then we settled into a more traditional spoon position.
The next time I woke up I figured out why I was hot and he was cold: I was still in all my clothes and he was buck naked. Right. I folded the duvet over him completely while I slipped out to take a piss and strip out of my jeans and sweaty shirt. When I got back in bed, I saw Ziggy had magically transported himself under the covers. Good.
I slid in next to him and we settled in silence again. I could sense he was awake but I don’t think either of us felt talkative, or like talking was necessary right then.
I listened to the sounds of the city in the wee hours. Hotels always have a sound to them, a hiss or a hum or a murmur. Old buildings like that one especially. And cities have a sound, too, a root drone underneath everything else you can hear. The sound of New York was soothing, somehow. The hiss of taxi tires against the avenue was as calming as the wind through pines or ocean waves.
New York City is a strange, strange place. It didn’t feel “like home” the way Allston did. But I felt “at home” there. Does that make sense?
Ziggy fell back to sleep and I enjoyed the simple pleasure of lying next to him, my mind humming quietly like the city around us.
I must have dozed off at some point because Ziggy’s alarm woke him way too early. He said something to me about meeting a dance trainer at ten. I don’t remember exactly because I was only half awake and I went back to sleep.
He was kind and put the do not disturb sign on the door. I slept through breakfast and woke up in time to think about lunch. He hadn’t told me when he would be back, but I knew he had a meeting with Sarah’s vocal coach at two. Would he be coming back before then? I assumed so. I assumed it was probably gauche to arrive at a vocal coach’s while in one’s sweaty dance training outfit, so he’d come back to change. Then again, what the hell did I know?
I would have been happy with a granola bar if I could find one, but I didn’t have any of my stuff with me and I didn’t think it was a wise choice to dig through Ziggy’s stuff. So I called room service and asked if they could bring me a granola bar and they convinced me I should have a spinach salad that had toasted nuts and oat clusters and dried cranberries on it, which would be kind of like having a granola bar crushed on top of a salad, right? Maybe if you threw some chocolate chips on there? I don’t know. The Carlyle was fancier than I was used to.
They brought up the salad and a pot of coffee and I was amused the coffee came with chocolate dipped coffee biscuits. I ate those first, drank half the coffee, and then picked at the salad which was, admittedly, pretty tasty.
I had taken a shower and was wearing the bathrobe provided by the hotel when room service came. But after I got bored of eating the salad I figured next on my to-do list was get dressed, except I didn’t much want to put the things I had been wearing yesterday on. The jeans, maybe, except they were somewhat suspiciously stained near the fly. Yeah, having sex with your clothes on is great but be warned.
I was still trying to figure out what to do when Ziggy returned.
“You’re coming with me to meet this vocal coach, right?” he asked me while he dug in the bottom of a suitcase.
“Yeah, wasn’t that the plan? You hand me off to Sarah there?”
“If I end up staying in the city a couple more days, though,” he said, piling a few things next to the suitcase on the bed. “Would she mind if I borrow you?”
“I don’t think Sarah has dibs on me exactly, if that’s what you’re asking.”
Ziggy snickered at that. “Here, try these on.” He handed me a pair of black jeans.
I pulled them on and they fit reasonably well. “It’s not like I have much of an agenda. I mean, you know, the meeting I came to the city for is over. I’m just hanging out.”
He pulled a T-shirt that wasn’t too outrageous out of the pile and I put that on, too. “Are you going back to LA from here or home?”
“Home. I’ve got some stuff I want Bart to help me with, and, you know, see my sister and stuff.”
“How’s she doing?” He handed me a blousy blue flannel shirt, with shoulder pads in it (?) and long tails, but under my leather jacket it looked fine.
“Fine as far as I can tell. She says Emerson is a piece of cake, but really good. She tells me I won’t believe how many Emerson alums are in television and radio and film.”
“Good.” He fixed the collar of the shirt so it worked better with the jacket and then said, “So.” It was one of those forced-casual so’s, and I knew he was about to ask or say something pretty serious. He was standing right in front of me, looking into my face. “What meeting did you come to New York for again?”
The way he asked made me think he already knew. Apparently he wanted to hear it from me and, I guessed, was miffed I hadn’t told him yet.
I kept my cool. “Oh. It’s kind of funny. You know that soundtrack stuff I’ve been working on?”
“Bart and I made a demo tape of some of the songs when he was out West. He brought it home and played it for Carynne. Next thing I know Carynne sent it to Wenco, to the A&R guy who signed Nomad back when. Boom. He tells me they want to put out a New Age album.”
“Oh, really.” He still looked and sounded a little miffed.
“Really. Kind of unexpected.”
“How much does one get for a New Age album these days?”
“When you’re essentially unknown like I am? Twenty thousand.”
The miffed look turned to surprise. “That’s all?”
“You can see why I’m not making a big deal out of it,” I said. Well, that and Sarah had reamed me a new one the one time I’d gotten it into my head to brag. In fact, I said, “You know. People will listen to it while shopping for crystals and pyramids and shit.”
“Hm.” He seemed placated by the idea. He checked the time and gestured for me to follow him into the bathroom, where he dug out an eyeliner pencil and started working on one eye. “I guess it’s a nice bonus, though. What do they call it? Found money.”
“Pretty much. A feather in my cap.” I tried to be cool about it but I was probably blushing and I wasn’t even sure why. “Bart and I need to lay down a little bit more when I go home, and then it’ll be done.”
Ziggy looked at me through his reflection. “I want to lay down a little bit more,” he said, trying for seductive.
I knew we had to walk out the door any minute, though. “Of course you do,” I said. “You had tap dance lessons at the crack of ten.”
He chuckled. “Call Tony and let him know we’re almost ready to go?”
“What’s the number?”
“It’s written on the pad by the bed. It’s a car phone.”
When I was done with that I returned to the bathroom to find Ziggy had decided to touch up the black nail polish on his nails.
“What do you know about this vocal coach?” he asked.
“Nothing. This is totally outside my expertise.”
I had one of those moments, then, watching him, while he was so absorbed in what he was doing it was like he forgot for a second I was there. One of those moments that made my heart ooze with affection. Do you know what I mean? I had a flash of the night before, of him crawling over me, and then I wondered when was I seeing him again. Tonight? Could we? What had he said, “if” he stayed in New York another couple of days?
I wondered if he’d want to spend Christmas with Remo and the guys. His mother was gone, he didn’t, as far as I knew, have any other romantic attachments at the moment.
The phone rang before I could think of how to ask. Tony, saying he was downstairs.
All right, I’d ask him later.
(Site news: okay, as announced in yesterday’s Liner Note, we’re starting a fanworks initiative! Any kind of Daron’s Guitar Chronicles fanwork, whether fanfic, art, song, vid, etc. submit it before Valentine’s Day and I’ll give you a snazzy Moondog 3 totebag! -ctan)
(Neither of us liked the original video for this. So we decided to give you this live version instead. -d)