The next day we wrote a song. Because I woke up with the words all buzzing in my brain like a bunch of bees chasing each other around. I went and tried to write them down quietly in the windowsill, after eating half a cold Pop Tart to settle my stomach, but the sound of my pencil scratching against the paper of my notebook was enough to wake him. Or maybe he sensed it. I don’t know. Whatever.
I titled it “In Love With Being in Love.” And it had the kind of verses that sound like nonsense until you really listen and realize they make sense. Like:
I’m not in love
for the the first time
but it’s the first time
I’m in love with being in love
I didn’t fall
for the first time
but it’s the first time
I fell for falling in love
Ziggy had a cassette dubbing deck in his stereo, I improvised his headphones into a microphone, and we sat on the rug in front of the stereo cabinet and stuck down a raucous little demo of the song, with us singing harmony in the verses and him rapping over me playing the riff. “Ha,” he said. “Easiest bridge in the world.”
“Still needs a chorus,” I pointed out.
“Tch. Whatever.” Then he took the guitar out of my hands, laid it carefully down on the rug next to us, and climbed into my lap. “But did you mean it?”
“Are you in love with being in love?”
“Right now? Yes. That’s why I thought of it.”
“I always love being in love. That’s why I fall so easily.” He touched his forehead to mine, his arms over my shoulders. “It’s really your first time enjoying it?”
“Do I really have to tell you this? You’re really the only person I’ve fallen in love with. I love Carynne but it’s not a romantic love, and you could say there was love between me and J but it was…different. It’s easier to say now that I loved him than it was to say at the time. That tells you something.”
“Mm-hm.” He crawled out of my lap then, unplugged the headphones and stared at them. “How did you know headphones could be used like a microphone?”
“You never plugged them in backwards as a kid to see what would happen? Or by accident?”
“No?” He appeared to be holding in a laugh. “You mean you just discovered it by accident?”
“Basically. I was like, hm, these two plugs are the same kind, what happens? Turns out if you put the output in the input it just goes the other way.” I shrugged like that made perfect sense even though it was another thing that could sound like nonsense.
Ziggy grinned. “Well, it worked, anyway. And now I am starved.”
“Mm-hm.” Although the way we were looking at each other right then made me think food wasn’t foremost in either of out minds.
But that made it a luxury not to tackle him right back into bed. We could indulge in waiting, in not being desperate. Desperate had been my state of being for so much of my life, it was weird not to be.
We got dressed and went out for brunch to a non-touristy hole in the wall Ziggy had frequented enough that they knew how to prep his coffee without asking.
“Do you think we could walk around St. Mark’s Place without you causing a mob scene?” I asked, when we were mostly done eating.
“Oh yeah. Nobody gives a fuck who I am in the Village and we’ll blend right in. Especially over there. But if you want to be on the safe side, we could bring Tony.”
“I’d rather just spend time, you know, the two of us, for a little longer,” I said, trying not to sound pathetic about it.
“It’s kind of nice, isn’t it,” he replied. “You want to do some shopping?”
“At least some window shopping. And I want to get a pager. Although shouldn’t I wait until I’m back in Boston for that?”
He made a dismissive noise. “If people are going to gripe about long distance charges on a thirty-second voice mail, you don’t want to talk to them anyway. C’mon. I’ll take you to the guy who set up mine.”
Pager Guy turned out to be a cousin of Tony’s and that was how I ended up with a New York City pager number. I left messages for Carynne, Sarah, and Jonathan with the number, feeling proud of myself, and then I turned the pager off–Ziggy’s were still off–and we had so much afternoon sex that I felt chafed when we went out dancing again that night.
The next day I turned the pager back on and discovered I had messages, and Ziggy showed me how to retrieve them by setting his kitchen phone on speaker and then talking me through it
The first message was from Jonathan: “Heyyy!! Are you still in town? Kicking myself I wasn’t there at the Cat Club. Sarah Rogue has been gloating to me non-stop about it. I fly in to JFK tonight. If you’re free for lunch tomorrow or later in the week, let me know.”
Ziggy clapped his hands. “Let’s kidnap him from the airport.”
“Let’s go with Tony in the limo and pick him up from the airport. Come on, you know JFK sucks.”
“Okay, but why?”
“Come on, Daron. It’ll be fun. Jonathan’s a respected literary novelist now. He’s coming home from a successful book tour. We should take him out to celebrate.”
“Hang on, hang on.” I took the phone off speaker before the system could get impatient with us and disconnected. “First of all, A) how do you know he’s on a book tour? And B) since when are you interested in Jonathan celebrating?”
“Tsk. A) You could pick up a newspaper once in a while.” He pressed closer to me. “And B) You’re nuts if you think I don’t want to rub it in his face that you’re one hundred percent mine now.”
Yeah, when Ziggy decided to go for the full honesty thing it could be kind of terrifying, couldn’t it? But I liked the way his lips felt against mine while he tried to lay his claim and then–chafed or not–I nearly fucked him clear through the mattress.