The next morning we were awakened rather early by the phone ringing in our hotel room. It was Barrett and it was urgent.
“There’s a rehearsal you have to be at and the only flight out that makes sense is two hours from now, so you need to get going.”
“Two hours from now?” Ziggy’s voice cracked with morning roughness. “You know I’m like an hour from the airport, right?”
“A limo is on its way to get you already. You’re not checking a bag so you’ll be fine.”
I was half-asleep listening to this and didn’t really think before I said, “He’s going to let you fly all by yourself?”
“Don’t remind me,” Barrett replied, apparently able to hear me just as well as I could hear him. (Ziggy and I were cuddled together at the time.) “Tony will pick you up. Ask Daron if he’ll go with you to the airport to see you off.”
I was about to make some sarcastic reply to that, something like “this is Ziggy not a five-year-old” or something, but before I could get too far I thought better of it. Maybe I should go see him off. And why wouldn’t I want to spend every last second with him? Well, sleep would be nice, but I could always sleep later, right?
“Presumably the limo will drop him back off here,” Ziggy was saying to Barrett.
“Why don’t I just drive you, if we’re both going to the airport?”
“Because it’s stupid o’clock and the limo’s already paid for,” Ziggy pointed out. “Fine, Barrett, fine. Tell Tony to bring some clothes for me if we’re not going to the apartment first.”
“We’re already on it.”
“And you couldn’t have told me about this sooner?”
“Everyone thinks you’re in New York, remember? They assumed it could be done on short notice. Unless I’m going to start a firestorm of speculation about what you’ve been doing I’ve got to make everyone think you’ve been in the city all along.”
Ziggy groaned but got out of bed. “All right. Fine.” He drew out the “n” like a yawn. “But if you’ve got a way to contact the limo company tell them I’m not going anywhere smelling like this. I’ll be down as soon as I’ve had a shower.” He hung up the phone before waiting for a reply. Then he dove back under the covers with me and began humping my leg. “What a fucking pain. Let’s have a quickie in the shower, please?”
“Sure,” I said. My body and brain were still only partly awake but consciousness was not actually necessary for what Ziggy had in mind.
I was somewhat more awake when stumbling out of the shower soaking wet and trying to wrap a towel around me before answering the door. The limo driver was a chunky white guy with a middle-aged Pillsbury Dough Boy face. I told him we’d be dry in a minute and shut the door again.
Ziggy was lining his eyes. He then tossed the eyeliner pencil and some other things into a little zipper bag. His towel was slung over his shoulders like a cape while he dug through his clothes.
I reminded myself I better hurry, too. I needed to try to comb out my wet hair, especially given how hard he’d been gripping it just a few minutes ago, that even with conditioner it might be somewhat knotted. I got it all going the same direction and used an elastic to make a wet club, more like a beaver’s tail than a pony’s.
My legs were still wet, making it difficult to get my jeans on but I was too sleepy to dry them. I was rather out of it, to put it mildly. Did I mention it was ridiculously early in the morning?
“Shit. I can’t find my sunglasses.” Ziggy was looking ready to go except for repeated searching of each drawer and the pockets of his jacket.
“Here, I’ve got some.” I knew I had a pair in the side zipper pocket of my suitcase. I don’t recall them being particularly fancy.
He took them gratefully and put them on before exiting into the morning sunlight.
Outside we found that by “limo” Barrett had meant a multi-passenger van and not a black car. Not surprising, really, but sometimes you can’t tell.
We were silent until we got to the airport and then a short argument ensued between me and the driver about his need to take me back to the motel again, but then he used a radio to talk to some kind of central dispatch office and was informed I was his next round trip.
“Great. Wait for me right here,” I said, and hustled Ziggy inside the airport without waiting to hear any objections from the guy. Inside, he picked up his ticket at the counter, and then we ducked into a men’s room so that we could make out in a stall until the time to leave started to get close.
“Gotta go,” he said, breathless.
I walked him all the way to the X-ray machine and then watched until he waved to me from the ramp on the other side.
At the curb, the driver was smoking a cigarette and looking disgruntled. He opened the door for me and I got in, taking the seat right behind him, but then thinking better of it as he got in and started the engine. “You mind if I take a nap?”
“Go ‘head,” he grunted.
I flipped into the bench seat one row back and lay down, buckling the seatbelt around my middle. I closed my eyes but I didn’t fall asleep. I just lay there having sensory flashbacks to Ziggy, to his mouth and his hair and his scent, the feeling of his skin against mine when wet and dry. It was almost like having hallucinations. I tripped out all the way back to the motel, where I got back in bed and went back to sleep almost instantly.
Which meant I didn’t start missing him until I woke up.
Shit, it hurt. Not having him there felt like like a cold ache through my whole body. I had a little flashback to what it had felt like when he was in rehab and I started counting the days until he would come back. (Four, if you want to count along with me.)