I crashed hard. I slept something like twelve hours, maybe a little more. I’m really not sure. When I woke up and was really awake, though, Ziggy was in the shower.
I got in with him and we washed each other because that felt familiar and grounding. He was right: I felt like I’d been to the moon and being back on Earth felt weird, took some getting used to again.
When we got out, he said, “I have an idea.”
“I’m starting to like it when you say that,” I answered. “Is the idea about food, sex, or music?”
“Ask me about food and sex again in a minute because I have ideas about those, too, but this one is about music.”
“Okay.” I was sitting on the edge of the tub, half-dry with the towel over my shoulders.
“I’ll probably have a little fight with Barrett over it but I’ll win,” he said.
“Okay.” I still hadn’t heard what the idea was.
“But if it would make you happy, it’s a fight I’ll gladly have.”
“If what would make me happy?”
“I’m getting to that.” He wrapped the towel around his waist and sat on the lid of the toilet. He had a little of the dregs of eyeliner clinging under his lashes but was otherwise completely au naturel. “Do you have a name for your experimental prog rock trio?”
“Was it prog rock, you think?”
“Probably? If there was such a thing as ‘alt prog rock’ or ‘prog alt rock’ that’s what I’d say it was, but I don’t think that actually exists. Yet.” He shrugged. “Anyway. Do you have a name for it? Are you putting that out as an album? How the fuck did you pull that out of your ass in three days, anyway?”
“Well, it wasn’t really three days, though, it was just the tip of the iceberg that’s been building up…basically since the week I got back from Spain. Well over a year.”
“I think you should take some voice lessons. If you’re going to sing.”
“Who says I’m going to sing and that this thing isn’t just going to be a weird recording that never goes anywhere?”
“Because of my idea.” He stood and I could see there was water still in his belly button where he hadn’t dug around with the towel yet. “It’s not just an idea, it’s an offer if you want it to be.”
I put my hands on his towel-swaddled hips. “An offer.”
“Yes, I…” He trailed off as I tugged the towel aside with my teeth and sucked him into my mouth. I should have been trying to concentrate on business right then but come on, how was I supposed to resist something like that? A delicious offer.
We ended up back in bed, where the offering of his body was laid out fully on the altar he’d made for it, the bed that was the center of his apartment universe. In my head I could hear the music I’d recorded in the preceding days and I hoped it sounded as good as I remembered.
After I’d worshiped him all over with my mouth, and he was lying boneless next to me, utterly languid after his orgasm, I said, “You were saying? Something about an offer?”
He didn’t miss a beat. “I was saying what if you don’t want it to just be a weird recording that never goes anywhere?”
“I don’t. What’s the offer?”
“Take the slot as opener on my tour. The Daron Marks Music Experience or whatever you want to call it serves as the opener, but you play the main set with me. You won’t have any of the usual expenses an opener has to carry because we’ll be paying your way–”
“You just made me an offer I’d be shooting myself in the foot to refuse.”
Ziggy snuggled up against me. “Hmph. Like I wasn’t already?”
I wrestled him onto his back then in mock pique over the comment and kissed him until I was breathless.
“I never wanted you to come on the road just for my sake,” he said, licking his lips while I held him down. “But I couldn’t come up with any other incentives for you until now. Musical incentives, I mean.” He wiggled under me.
“You know I was going to say yes, anyway. I’m too addicted to you to say no.”
I tried to kiss him again but he put his hand over my mouth. “Don’t joke about that.”
“I’m not joking.” I was looking straight down into his eyes and feeling like I knew every inch of his skin, every inflection of his voice, everything that made Ziggy Ziggy, but also knowing full well that change was the only constant with him. Tomorrow he could decide to change his skin like a snake, peel away another layer like an onion, leave me grasping for crumbs of what I thought I knew.
But wasn’t that what he just said the other day? We all spend way too much time ensuring we’re the masters of our domains when that’s always an illusion? Ziggy was just…Ziggy.
“That should have been you singing,” I said.
He shook his head. “No. It’s all you. Not everything is about me. Difficult as that is to admit, sometimes.” He wrapped his legs around me. “Are the others still in town? We should go out partying to celebrate everything.”
“I have no idea.”
“Call and find out. I’ll call Barrett to tell him you’re taking the gig. He’s going to want to have a meeting, I bet.”
“Sure, just don’t make it in the morning if we’re going out partying.”
“Heh, right.” Neither of us made any move toward the phone, though.
I made love to him first. I didn’t care if it was an illusion, if the human mind or fate is unknowable, if maybe I was wrong about everything: right then it felt right.
(Tomorrow I’ll post the DGC “annual report” of income and donation totals! And remember, if you’re just catching up after being away for the holiday, don’t forget Bart’s story, which is a flashback and doesn’t appear as a numbered chapter: https://daron.ceciliatan.com/archives/4639)