I went home. To Allston, I mean. But as I may or may not have established before, I’m terrible at being home. The problem with defining one’s self by what you DO instead of by where you’re FROM is that home becomes this really fraught concept…
Maybe I shouldn’t generalize. Maybe it’s only like that for me.
That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy being home. I did. I caught up with Courtney who totally treated me like one of those cats who are miffed when you first show up because of how much they missed you, and then once they get over it are glued to you.
The point where she really forgave me was when I cleared up that yes, of course she could come to New York with me for Christmas if she wanted. “Remo would have a cow if you wanted to go and didn’t,” I explained. It hadn’t occurred to me that it wasn’t clear. “I didn’t assume you wanted to if you’d rather be with your friends here.”
Her answer to that was, “Yeah, right!”
Fortunately for me unlike a cat after she forgave me she wasn’t glued to me, because she had her final exams and stuff, which was good, because she would have driven me insane otherwise.
I was maybe a little crazy by the third or fourth day, anyway. I’d talked to Artie again and convinced him I really wanted to re-record some of the tracks and make some transitions from one cut to another. He reminded me that what they were paying me was what some albums budgeted to spend on tape alone, much less studio time, engineering, etc. But see the thing was I had talked to Trav and he was going to engineer the tracks for me in exchange for me helping him out with some remixes he was doing for someone else. After Christmas. So it would be another couple of weeks.
Ziggy really had gone to LA. Or so I heard. I put him and my libido on the back burner.
That is, until the day when I found myself standing at the shelf where the house music was, which is to say all the miscellaneous CDs, party mixtapes, road trip mixapes, anything anyone didn’t like enough to keep in their own bedroom, freebies, stuff given to us by other bands or bands our friends were in, you get the idea. I was sort of staring at it, paralyzed almost, like I wanted to put something on, but I didn’t want to have to be committed to listening to it for a whole 45 minutes. Does that make sense? It shouldn’t. Why was I in the living room anyway? I was the only one home. I guess I had this idea in my head that it was “healthier” not to hide in my room, do you know what I mean? Is that idea bullshit or what?
Anyway. I was standing there with my brain all seized up and Colin came in. And we locked eyes.
I felt much, much better after he’d taken me up to my room and fucked my brains out. And then I felt momentarily terrible while I wondered when the lesson that sex was important and not something I could simply ignore was going to sink in. Why did I have to keep learning that over and over again?
“How’d you know?” I asked, while we were lying there, both too limp to move.
“What, you mean how’d I know that was what you needed?”
“Daron, you pretty much drooled when you looked at me.”
“Besides I figured you’d just spent, what, over a week sleeping on the couch of a friend–with whom you are sexually incompatible–and so, yeah.”
“I actually did run into Ziggy while I was down there,” I said, tentatively.
“Uh huh. And came home even more wound up than before.” He didn’t sound surprised by this.
“Am I better than I used to be?”
“Better in what sense? In bed?”
Colin could still make me blush. Which made me laugh. “No. I mean am I less fucked up than I used to be?”
“A little. You’re more mature. You’ve got more clues. Sounds like therapy overall was good for you. You tell me though, if you’re any happier.”
I took a couple of deep breaths while I tried to feel how happy I was. Not to think about it or justify it, but literally to feel it. Well, maybe this wasn’t the best time to gauge it, since being freshly fucked, I felt great. I ended up with, “I think I am.”
“Well, I’m not abjectly miserable, so that’s an improvement. And I like myself better than I used to. I’m pretty well bursting with creative ideas, which is a good sign. I don’t know where my career is going exactly and I don’t know where things with Ziggy are going, either: possibly both straight into the toilet, but I can at least be an optimist and say I hope neither do.”
“That was a long way of saying yes.”
“Well, you know. I think I’m happy and then I do things like go catatonic over a CD choice.”
“Good thing I came home when I did.” He pulled the blanket over us both as he rolled one leg across me. “So you’re here until Christmas?”
“That’s like, two weeks from now.”
“I have an idea.”
That was how Colin and I built a guitar together. Which gave us both something to do, which pretty well saved my sanity. I had forgotten he and I had talked about doing it back when we were on tour together. He had ordered some of the parts back then and we went around to some local stores getting the rest of what we needed. Chris helped a little, too: he knew things I didn’t, like what different grades of sandpaper were good for.
We built an electric guitar, not an acoustic: none of us were good enough woodworkers to make a decent acoustic guitar. But you could get the raw wood parts for an electric, and the electronics of course, and knobs and things. So some of the time was spent sanding and finishing the wood, and some of it getting the electronics in place and working, and of course we had to do something with the decorating in the end. We decided it should be Colin’s guitar, so we used actual spray paint from cans to finish it, alternating layers of black and electric blue, which meant that at the time anyway the guitar matched Colin’s hair.
When it was finished we spent all night jamming. No, I’m kidding. We played together for about an hour and then he begged off because he hadn’t been practicing and his fingertips hurt. We’d gone upstairs and cracked open a beer when Marilyn, the same Marilyn that had previously been in a band with him and who I thought might be a sometime-lover, showed up at the door. That meant we had to show off the guitar, so we went down and Colin and I picked up guitars and Chris drummed, and Marilyn and Colin sang together. We could only manage a couple of songs: I’m trying to remember what now. Anarchy in the UK, probably? And something by the Ramones? Colin and I had learned a couple of Ramones songs back when.
Then Marilyn and Colin went upstairs to have noisy, noisy sex, because I despite all the lessons I’d given him I had failed to warn Colin that the guitar was an aphrodisiac of the highest order. I don’t think he minded finding out on his own.
Anyway, Chris and I went back down to the basement, where it was quieter. And he asked, “Man, sex with an ex isn’t supposed to be that good, is it?”
“Sex With an Ex, good song title.”
“Let’s write a punk song about it.”
So we did. I even overdubbed some half-assed vocals onto our four-track.
This should in no way be considered foreshadowing.