The Digger drill had been depressingly predictable, though I guess there’s a comfort to be found there. Since I wasn’t surprised by anything he said, I also wasn’t deeply affected or hurt by it, merely annoyed as shit.
Knowing he might come back later (we couldn’t stop him from buying a ticket if he wanted to) put me on edge, too.
“Was he drunk?” Remo asked me, having somehow missed the whole incident while holed up with a reporter or something. He was now raiding the cold cuts for a quick snack.
I ate a piece of salami, reminding myself that I didn’t plan to stay long at the after party tonight. “I’m not sure. Maybe. What the hell was he doing here anyway?”
“Trying to shove our noses in the fact that he still has the clout to get in here,” Remo said with a shrug. “You know better than to let him get to you.”
“I’m not ‘letting’ him get to me,” I said. “It’s not my job to laugh off his shit. It should be on him not to talk shit in the first place.”
“I agree, which is why he’s out of here, but you do agree then that his shit is exactly that, shit. Bullshit. It doesn’t mean anything, Daron.”
“Yes, it does. It means he’s as bad as I remember.”
“I mean about you.”
I almost laughed. “My self-esteem doesn’t ride on Digger’s approval. If it did I would’ve been crushed long ago.” I ate another piece of salami.
Remo peeled a couple more slices of ham off the platter and then sat down on a couch. “Hey, does your friend want to come onstage during the encore?”
“Bart, you mean?”
“No. Ziggy,” Remo said, completely earnestly.
I almost laughed. He used “your friend” that weird way straight people do to mean “your homosexual significant other we don’t know how to acknowledge.” I couldn’t explain why that was weird and so I didn’t try. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. There’s enough hype swirling around right now.”
“So I gathered.”
“Do you want him to? Honestly I wouldn’t think you’d want him on the Nomad stage.”
Remo put a hand on my shoulder. “I got nothing to be afraid of. I just thought I’d offer if you wanted.”
“You’re too generous,” I said. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe this was Remo’s way of trying to say he was okay with me and Ziggy “getting back together” for whatever meaning you want to put on those words. If so, I wanted to show I appreciated it, but still didn’t think it was a good idea to get on the stage together at this venue. “Honestly, Reem, I have no idea where this publicity stunt is going. I…I think I’ve done my part now and I should step back and see what happens.”
He nodded and shrugged. “I was talking to his new manager a little while ago. Smart cookie. Straight-shooter. Surprising. By the way, a Wenco rep is here with a whole box of your CD. I think she wants you to autograph them.”
“All right.” I went to look for her. Instead I found a beer. Shortly after that I found Ziggy.
“You seem kind of stressed,” he said.
I had drunk half the beer at that point and I guess it wasn’t working. “Come sing a vocal warmup with me?”
His smile peeked out from behind his cool facade. “Sure.”
We went into our traditional place for that—the men’s room—and I poured the beer down the sink.
My throat was tight as hell, from holding in all the things I wanted to yell at Digger, I guess. Ziggy put a hand on my breastbone while we were singing, though what he was feeling for I don’t know. Maybe it helped me relax.
When we were done I felt a lot calmer. I mean, yes, having Ziggy there wasn’t exactly the most “calming” thing on the face of it? But everything’s relative. I held his hand on my chest and just breathed for a bit before I let go.
“I’ll see you after the show,” he said. And then he kissed me on the cheek, like he had that morning, and when he was gone I put my hand over that spot like I could hold onto that feeling.
(Site updates! I just turned copyedits on novel #1 of the three I have to write this year, I just finished the writing the first draft of #2, and #3 I’m 10,000 words in and have to hit 80,000 by October 15th. So going down to one chapter a week of Daron really really helped me to catch up on those contracted books.
But this week is the last week of that! Next week we go back to Tuesday/Thursday posting! And not a moment too soon, what with Ziggy around right now…!
Thank you all for your patience through the ‘slowdown’ and super thanks to all the fans who have blown me away with their awesome Thursday posts. One more of those is coming your way Thursday, as Lena will share some web comics to get addicted to. We’ve enjoyed having the fan posts so much that we’re discussing having one monthly day designated for new fan posts, possibly with various themes? What think? I know that I, for one, would love to see more!
In related news, please do take part in the DGC meme contest? Deadline is September 9. There are some rules (read the full rules and post here: http://blog.ceciliatan.com/archives/2459) as well as some tips about what size to make them and such. One tip a friend gave me recently is that there are some good websites that generate memes where you upload your own image and it’ll resize and let you add text, like the CheezburgerBuilder or the Wigflip ROFLbot. More suggestions welcome!
Thanks again, everyone! I look forward to getting back on our regular posting schedule!