909. Make Out Alright

We stood there, at the unofficial border between the dining room and the living room, holding onto each other. You might’ve thought a million things would race through my mind. Maybe normally they would. But I stood there gradually stretching each finger on my right hand to try to relieve the cramp and letting all my attention, all my brainpower, be on the physical reality of Ziggy in my arms. The scent of his skin and fabric softener, the rhythm of his breath.

His voice was hesitant. “Tell me what you’re feeling?”

“Terrified,” I answered.

“Of what?” He sounded surprised.

“The usual, I guess. That we’re going to shred each other to bits. I used to mostly be afraid you were going to do it to me, but at some point I got equally worried about doing it to you.”


A car went by outside, stereo booming some old school Chic. “I’m never far from a general fear that I’m going to fuck it all up horribly.”

“That’s a perfectly valid fear.”

“Because of how likely I am to fuck it all up horribly?”

“No. No no no. It’s a valid thing to be afraid of in general.” He looked up. “In specific, though, do you hear what I’m saying about how it sounded like you were just telling me over and over that I was wrong, regardless of what I said?”

“Yeah.” I pecked him on the cheek. “You’re not a dinosaur, though, and I mean that in the most supportive way.”

“Ha.” He nuzzled me and let out a sigh. “There’s a nuance it’d be a challenge to capture in a love song. The difference between ‘let me teach you how to love me’ and ‘believe all my lies.'”

“Those would both make good songs,” I said. “Although I’d flip the first one around: ‘Teach Me How to Love You.'”

“Quick, write that down. Put it on the fridge.”

“In a minute.” I wasn’t about to get into how blocked I was on the songwriting front. Not right then.

“Here, I’ll write it for you.” I let him go and he went to the fridge where there was a long, narrow notepad that said Shopping List magnetized to the door. He tore off the actual shopping list and stuck it on the freezer with a Museum of Science magnet, then wrote on the pad: Teach Me How to Love You, Believe All My Lies.

Then he turned to me. “Let’s wash the dishes.”

“What?” That really was not what I was expecting him to say.

“They’re not going to wash themselves, right?”

“Right, but right now, I’m much more concerned about you than I am about dirty dishes.” Even if they were expensive cobalt blue stoneware.

“Then come and do the dishes with me.”

Okay, sure. If it was what he wanted, sure, even if I was a bit leery. Part of my brain was still worrying about this turning into a Jonathan-type scenario and the ways that domestication and I had not meshed.

But Ziggy and I washed the dishes together without incident. Washing cobalt blue dishes is weird. At first I wasn’t convinced they were really clean, you know? They’re this dark color and when you’re used to plates being white it takes some getting used to.

Ziggy dried and put the plates away while I wiped down the counters. I was getting the crumbs off the dining table when Ziggy said, “It’s been a long time since I lived with someone like this.”

“I’ve been living at your apartment on and off for like eight or nine months, haven’t I?”

“That’s not the same,” he said. “We don’t cook or clean in the city. We’re in and out. It’s… different.” He was right. “The last time I lived with someone like this was my mother.”

I brushed crumbs into the wastebasket and then we both washed our hands in the kitchen sink. I was afraid to ask for more details.

He gave them unasked. “She’s the one who used to say that. ‘The dishes won’t wash themselves.’ She would tell me since she had cooked, it was my job to clean up, but then once I’d agree to do the dishes, she’d help me anyway. I could never figure it out.”

Well, if Ziggy couldn’t figure out Eugenie Farias, I certainly couldn’t. “Maybe she just loved you?” I suggested.

That brought a rather wet snort of a laugh out of him. “Yeah, probably.” He blew his nose in a paper towel and threw it out. “Washing the dishes with you just reminded me of it, though.”

I didn’t want to bring up how much strife Jonathan and I had about domestic stuff. Especially since right now Ziggy and I weren’t having strife about that. In fact it felt kind of like the opposite. “Maybe she just enjoyed doing things with you, even washing the dishes.”

“Yeah.” He smiled. “I feel better now. Let’s have a real conversation about careers tomorrow, though. And another one about negative ideation. Or maybe the next day.”

“Negative ideation?”

“Tomorrow,” he insisted. “Or ask your therapist about it.”

“Okay.” He was feeling better and so was I. “Is this the part where I’m supposed to sweep you off to the bedroom to rebuild your fragile ego with kisses?”

“No, let’s rent a movie.” He threw an arm over my shoulder. “Just kidding. Ha. Yes. Yes, indeed.”

(Hey, you know what we haven’t had in a looooong time? An adults-only bonus scene. This seems like a really good spot for one, too, doesn’t it? You guys know the drill. Make a monetary donation of at least one dollar through the TipJar or directly to the Paypal link http://paypal.me/daronmoondog and I will send you a bonus scene. If you haven’t previously sent me an age-statement that you’re 18 years old or older, email me that, too, or include it in the notes with the payment. Patreon patrons will of course be getting the scene free as a perk! If you want to join the Patreon, the ask is a pledge of $4 per month {it used to be $1 per week but that was too complicated} over at http://patreon.com/ceciliatan. Ooooh this one is going to be fun to write. -ctan)


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