I distracted myself from the funereal feelings by rehearsing. Good thing Bart was there. We actually came up with some really excellent arrangements, as well as working out the spots where we could trade solos, which would lengthen each piece a lot and would be perfect for the jazz club venue we were headed to.
I may be making it sound easier than it was. But I’m also sure for us it was easier to do than for any random two musicians. We knew each other well, and we were using music we both knew as a base, and none of the actual playing was meant to be highly challenging. A couple of time signature changes wasn’t going to make us bat an eyelash, you know?
Carynne made us knock it off at midnight, and then we got ready for bed, and I was worried I was going to be insomniac and keep them both awake if I was the one in the middle. So I downed the nip of Jack Daniels that had been riding around in the bottom of my backpack for who knows how long and that relaxed me enough that I could lie quiet and still while the two of them passed out on either side of me.
I lay there for a long time turning the thoughts over in my mind, about the band being dead, about how I should be happy that it had lived at all, trying to be grateful for the good things that had happened, even if some shitty things had, too, like–oh–the explosion, and Ziggy getting hooked on painkillers, and anything and everything involving Digger. Thing is, I thought I had “moved on” from a lot of that stuff already, but meeting all those fans had really driven home to me what a waste it was, how sad they were, how much love they’d poured into something that was now gone and there wasn’t anything they could do about it but mourn.
Or hope for something to happen. No wonder people were flipping out about me and Ziggy doing a radio gig together.
The thought struck me that the last thing I wanted was to have to be accountable for my relationship choices to millions of fans across America. But actually that wasn’t really worrying me right then. A spike of adrenaline rushed through me as I realized I’d promised Ziggy an answer about the tour when I got to New York. We would be getting on a train to New York in a couple of hours. I’d managed not to think about it for a couple of days now, but the deadline loomed.
Talk to Carynne and Bart on the train tomorrow, I told myself. And it’s not like Zig and Barrett are going to ambush you the second you step off the train and demand an answer with a gun to your head.
Bart started to snore softly. I realized I recognized that particular snore from the tour bus back when–I’d never been sure who it was. Well, that was one mystery solved.
Carynne raised her head. I could see her in the dim light from the parking lot: none of us had closed the blackout curtains. She held a finger to her lips–shhh–and beckoned for me to follow her to the bathroom.
Once we were in there, she whispered. “You’re tense as hell.”
“No, I’m not. I just had a shot of bourbon.”
“Daron, it takes more than a shot to knock you down, these days.” Her straight red hair wasn’t as long as it used to be and stray strands were in her face. She brushed them aside. “I think you need to jerk off.”
“Don’t be ridic–” I broke off because her suggestion had sent blood surging not just to my cheeks but to other parts of me, too. I closed my eyes.
“You want me to leave you to it, or you want help?”
“Car’,” I said, but I didn’t know what the hell to say to that.
“I still give a wicked blow job, you know–”
“That’s not necessary.” I leaned on the countertop, though, feeling sudden loneliness and longing slicing through me like an Alien trying to escape from my skin. Tears made it out from my clenched eyelids. “I mean…I’m honored. I can take care of it myself. But, it would be nice, if you would, um, hold me?”
Yes, I was the very definition of pathetic and she made soothing “poor baby” kind of noises at me, but they worked, and I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let her run her hands over my chest and shoulders. I pushed my briefs down to mid-thigh and she kissed me on the tattoo and wrapped her arms around me while I took care of business, looking at us both in the mirror until I had pumped several streaks of come into the sink. Handy that, easy to clean up. I pulled my underwear back up.
She kissed me on the forehead. “OK, go back to bed. I’ll be in shortly.”
“What are you going to do?”
Carynne smirked. “You think I could watch you do that and not feel a little something myself? I’ll take care of it and be right in. Two minutes.”
“You want me to hold you, too?”
“Are you all right with that?”
“Hell, if I had any clue how to get you off, I’d offer.”
“You’re sweet, but it’ll be a lot faster if I do it.” She leaned against me. “But sure, hug me from behind.”
She didn’t even have to undress, just slid her hand into her panties, breathed really fast for a short period of time, and then shuddered and shivered against me. Then she sat down on the toilet to pee. “Whew. Thank you. Jeez, Daron, you were always cute but you’ve really grown up gorgeous.”
I tried not to laugh out loud at that since we were ostensibly trying not to wake Bart up. I felt a lot better, though. We hugged. It was like all the intimacy of sex without any actual sex.
And it worked. I fell asleep almost immediately when we got back in bed.
Thanks everyone who hung out in the chats on Tuesday night!
You can see the entire chat with Daron still in the chat window here: https://daron.ceciliatan.com/chat-room-how-to including all the photos we posted of the movie stars Daron had crushes on back in the day.
And here’s the one-hour video chat, edited so all the fussing with levels and tech in the beginning is cut out:
and if you just want to see all the fan-made memes compiled together into a music video, here’s that by itself:
Meanwhile, during the chat we floated the idea of this year’s “Christmas” story being from someone other than Daron’s point of view, and I had a couple of ideas so I thought I’d let you guys vote.
In order to register a vote, here’s what you have to do.
1) I’ll give voting “points” for various actions:
- 10 points – Leave a review on Amazon for the newly released Book Eight (it’s got one lonely review right now!)
- 5 points – Review it on Goodreads
- 5 points – Join the DGC Patreon as a regular supporter (if you’re already a Patron you get 5 points to start with)
- 1 point per dollar – Make a donation via the TipJar
2) Email me [firstname.lastname@example.org] with the report of what you did and whose bucket you’re putting your points into (you can also split your points if you want! just tell me how many to give to whom).
Here are your choices:
I’ll take votes until Thanksgiving, which is in only two weeks, because if I’m going to have the story ready by Christmas I’ll need time to write it! I’ll try to update who’s in the lead via Daron’s Facebook and his Twitter!
One note about Patreon! Right now pledges there are around $30 per week. If we can get that up to $75 per week, I’ve promised to remove the graphical ads from the DGC site entirely. And if we reach $100 per week I’ll go permanently to three chapters a week!
And one note about Amazon! Book Eight, being just released, has only one sad lonely little review. (See it here: http://amzn.com/B015M48MIK) It could really really really use all of your help! Volume Eight starts with Daron heading back to Allston for a while, then comes the Christmas in New York where Remo learns he’s about to be a father and convinced Daron to tour with them later in the year. Daron spends a while living with Jordan in New York to record a lot of songs for him, and then we follow the Nomad tour through the East, NYC, to New Orleans. Ziggy and Daron get together several times throughout the book, to talk, to fuck, to try to figure things out, and at the book ends on “I miss you too, asshole.”