Confession time. (I know, I know, that’s all the time. But this one is special.) I had a little bit of a fantasy from time to time that without me Ziggy was leading an out of control diva workaholic life, in which he was being slowly driven insane by the pressures of fame and the alienation, from which of course the only rescue or relief was to be found in my arms. This was partly how I explained to myself stuff like, oh, him showing up solo at a random airport hotel seemingly just to see me: that was him escaping from his celebrity tabloid life and getting a good solid dose of down-to-earth Daron medicine.
I know there were times he was trapped behind the wall of his entourage, or by his public facade. I liked the idea of coming to his rescue.
I’ll let you decide who came to whose rescue, though, that particular morning in Los Angeles. I woke up with with my arms full of him and for a while I couldn’t remember where we were or why we were there or where we needed to be next.
And then I sat up in a cold sweat wondering whether I was late to soundcheck, and remembering that we hadn’t had time to run through Fran’s song yesterday, and that we were doing it tonight at the LA Forum.
It was noon. I wasn’t late but I certainly couldn’t do what I wanted to, which was spend the next 24 hours in bed with him with only occasional trips to the loo or to answer the door for room service. I dragged myself out of bed with a groan and tried to think of something appropriate to say. “You coming to the show tonight?”
“Definitely,” he said. “Wouldn’t miss it.”
Whew. Picked the right thing.
“And then there’s an after party Wenco is throwing. And then, thank the Lord above, tomorrow is a day off.” It was the first time ever I could remember looking forward to not playing a show, but it’s because the alternative was so tempting. (See above fantasy about room service.)
I was somewhat unsuccessful at finding my clothes, which made me suspect some of them were still tangled in the sheets. “Want to get in the shower?”
“Yes,” he said simply, and got in the water with me, wrecking what was left of his hairdo and his makeup, and before I could try to come to any kind of decision about what kind of shower sex we could or should have, he jerked us both off in one hand using a really intense-smelling hair conditioner.
After I got dressed and combed some of his gel through my wet hair and began to wonder where my actual hotel room was, we said a brief goodbye at the door.
“So, what exactly did we do this morning?” I asked, right before I went in for an actual peck on his cheek.
“You mean did we set off a massive firestorm of media speculation and publicity?”
“Don’t know. We’ll probably find out tonight at the afterparty, though.”
“All right. Don’t make me regret it?”
“I plan not to.” He then kissed me on the cheek and I felt some kind of electric shiver all the way down to my toes. Affection, really simple affection, sometimes was all it took to shatter me, you know? Just not used to it. “I’m worried about you,” he added.
“Don’t worry. It’s just been a long tour. Four more dates and then we take a break until July.” I set down the Ovation. “I’m worried about you.”
“I’m fine. We’ll talk later.” He shooed me all the way out the door then, and shut it cheerfully behind me. I could hear him chuckling to himself and it was a happy sound.
Oh, right, I’ll give you one guess which hotel we were in. There are a million hotels in and around Los Angeles. But only a few who work really well with our management, I guess. So maybe there was a logical reason for being there other than Fate wanting to give me lots of flashbacks.
I managed to get a little something to eat before we took the bus to the venue, and guess who came along on the bus ride? You hadn’t forgotten that Carynne and Courtney and Bart were going to show up in LA did you? Of course you didn’t. That’s me who forgot.
Having them around chased away the last vestiges of the dark mood that had been plaguing me. And when we got to the Forum and were waiting around for soundcheck I finally got some time alone with Carynne, in a back hallway. “I heard the gig this morning went well,” she said. “Barrett seemed unsure it was going to happen until some time yesterday.”
“I know. I barely made it here in time as it is.” I took a deep breath and leaned against the wall. “Do you think this is going to lead to something?”
“I was going to ask you that.”
“I don’t know. I’m still letting it sink in. I get the feeling Ziggy and his team are waiting to see what kind of reaction it gets. If nobody cares, then whatever. But I guess the reaction to the song hasn’t been whatever.”
She nodded her head. She had pumped up the henna recently so her hair was extra-red and shiny. “You want the update on all the lawsuits and nonpayment shenanigans, or would you rather hear that some other time?”
“Is there an update?” I asked cautiously.
“Well, it was all incredibly complicated with multiple levels of blame building up, but it’s gotten simpler lately.”
“Because it’s become obvious that the thing that is holding up everything at every stage is your lovely father.” She held her tongue as a stage tech walked between us, carrying a light fixture of some kind. Once he was gone, she continued. “He’s suing WTA, even.”
“Yep. I predict that won’t go well because it really looks like they can nail him to the wall for doing stuff he wasn’t supposed to when he worked for them. Except maybe he has blackmail to hold over someone’s head? I don’t know. My impression is the blackmail hasn’t been working, which is why he’s resorting to nuisance lawsuits, though.”
“I suddenly don’t feel as bad as I did about BNC suing him with our help.” I had gotten really good at not thinking about the lawsuits or any of that stuff on the road and my head felt rusty, wrapping around the ideas again. “I guess my main question is about whether the mortgage is still getting paid.”
“Yes, dear.” She patted me on the arm with a smile.
That was the point where Remo came down the hallway. “There you are. I’ve got something I want to ask you, both of you.”
“Sure, Reem, anything,” I said.
But then George came from the other side with a sharp whistle. “Light repair’s done. Sound check time, guys. Better get on it if you want to run through whatever it was you missed yesterday before too many VIPs wander in.”
Right. Whatever Remo wanted to ask was going to have to wait.