The next day went about the same, except we noodled around half the time with Windfall and half the time with another one that had no lyrics and no title. I’d latched onto a riff with a flamenco feel but Bart and I weren’t quite nailing it. And while my fingers were trying to do their dance right, in the back of my head I was starting to form a vague idea of what the song was about. I didn’t realize I was doing it, though, until Ziggy, getting a touch antsy and bored, said, “Why don’t you make me a tape of that one?”
I was looking at the strings and not at him when I said “Why?”
“So I can go home and write words for it, and then bring it back. Save a lot of time instead of me sitting here.”
I gave him a blank look. Of course that made perfect sense. But I resisted. “What if it changes?”
“At least it’ll give me an idea. I can tweak the line lengths or what have you later.”
God, he sounded so professional at that moment, with a pencil behind his ear and a clipboard in his hand. A half-black half-blond strand hung between his eyes while he stared at me. “I don’t think it’s a good idea,” I said.
“I don’t know, I just do,” I said, which was half a lie, because I was starting to realize why I didn’t want him going off and writing the words. Because I wanted to do the same thing. I wanted to be there, trying to bring the vague idea that had started to coalesce in my head into the open. I didn’t want him to… to what? Interfere? “Give it another day, okay?”
All three of them looked at me like it was obvious there was a lot more going on in my head than I was saying. But hey, wasn’t that always the case? “Let’s run through some of the old set.”
They all agreed on that, as if playing the old stuff would bring us back onto the same page with each other. I’d mainly wanted to change the subject, and regretted it. Ziggy let loose like all this rehearsal had only wound him up tighter and he pranced and growled and twisted his way through the songs in that tiny basement, in such close proximity to me, that I tried to back off my playing to bring the energy level down. But I couldn’t really, and the others had picked up the feel from him by then, and ran away with it like spooked horses with a carriage. And then we were packing up and he said good night and bounded up the stairs and I wished, wished, wished, there was some way I could ask him or tell him or in some way convey a message to him that I wanted him, that I wanted him to come to my window, that I wanted something more. But he was gone, and what would I have said?
Bart didn’t hang around long after. We stood talking by his car in the driveway for a couple of minutes. I tortured myself after he left with scenarios of me trying to tell him about me and Ziggy until I felt sick to my stomach.
When everyone had gone, I went back into the basement with the four track, the drum machine, and flamenco on my tongue. With an acoustic guitar and headphones I could play down there all night and not wake anyone. Which is pretty much what I did.