980. My Bloody Valentine

(Here’s the Saturday post I owe you guys from last week! -ctan)
It might have been that same night when I couldn’t sleep and got talking to the night clerk at the motel’s front desk about stuff, and he casually asked when Remo was coming back, and I casually asked how much we were spending per night? Per week? I wasn’t sure how he was paying for it.

It was per night and I did the math and it was a bloody fortune when you compared it to local rent prices. Janine had been complaining bitterly about how her place, which was an entire house with three bedrooms, had gone up to $750 a month. $750 a month in 1991 would get you a small one-bedroom apartment in my old neighborhood of Boston.

And it would get you two rooms in a mid-range motel in Tennessee for about a week.

A week.

When I got back to the room, Ziggy was sitting up in bed looking grumpy. I kissed him on the top of the head. “Go back to sleep, love. It’s not time to get up yet.”

“What time is it?”

“Around four, maybe? I couldn’t sleep.”

He frowned at me. “You were talking to that dishy clerk.”

“What does dishy mean? He seems… normal… to me.” Normal felt like a loaded word but I couldn’t come up with a replacement on short notice.

“I can smell his cologne.” He reached up and caught my sleeve before I could walk away.

“I doubt that. That’s probably Claire’s perfume.” Which she had applied rather copiously before she determined that it only made all the biological smells worse, not better. This wasn’t the conversation I was expecting to have in the middle of the night. (Well, of course not, since I wasn’t expecting him to be awake at all.)

He tugged until I was leaning over him again. “You’re being evasive.”

I knew full well that was a trap question. If I denied I was being evasive, it would sound evasive. And if I admitted I was being evasive (which I wasn’t), things would escalate. There had to be a third option. How about snappy comeback? “And you’re being a pain in the ass.” It was the best I could come up with in the middle of the night.

“Name-calling. Nice. I–”

“I’m serious, Zig. Knock it off or tell me why.”

He growled, gripping my shirt by the unbuttoned collar. “Because you and your unrelenting honesty are exhausting and no fun at all.”

I flattened him onto the bed and he mock-struggled. “You are like that cat Lars’s girlfriend left at the house. At night, it would jump on the head of anyone sleeping if it hadn’t gotten enough attention during the day.”

“I’ve barely seen you today,” he snarled, which was his way of agreeing, I guess.

“So is this what you want? A midnight fight? Or is this just a prelude to me fucking you through the mattress? I kind of need to know, Zig.”

Of course it’s a prelude to you fucking me through the mattress.” He sighed.

“Jeez, and I thought I was the one who was bad at expressing my needs.” I worked a hand into the hair at the back of his head. There was just enough to get a grip near the crown, where it was the longest on top. I pulled, gentle but firm, until his neck was tilted back.

Then I bit him.

Yeah, that was a fun night, actually. It was good to blow off steam and I guess we both needed it.

But when we were done and we were lying around post-shower, getting sleepy but not yet asleep, I told him what the clerk had told me. “I gotta wonder if we’d be better off just renting a place for a little while, maybe one closer to the treatment center, instead of racking up nightly charges here.”

“Let’s talk about it tomorrow,” he said.

“Okay, it’s just, you know, for that much money, there are so many things we could be doing with that money instea–”

“Let’s talk about it tomorrow,” he said, more firmly this time.

Ah, yeah. “Okay. Okay, really.” I fell asleep with him curled up against me.


  • steve says:

    Man, I got *feelings* about this post.

    So, I’ve been re-reading DGC all the way from the beginning the last week or so. (I am almost to the end of The Tour of Magnificent Highs and Spectacular Disasters.) And I’ve been thinking a bunch about how I was often the only one on “Team Jonathan.” At the time, I felt like Ziggy made Daron crazy, and Jonathan made him sane. I’m not a person who finds sanity boring. And of course, I’ve also been reading with the benefit of hindsight, and I’ve been telling myself that it’s better now because Ziggy has really grown up a lot and cleaned up his behavior. But it still made me really uncomfortable, and I have been realizing that the root reason is that Ziggy lied. Like, a lot. For personal historical reasons, I have serious problems with lying. That’s one of my deal-breakers.

    So to have Ziggy say, “Because you and your unrelenting honesty are exhausting and no fun at all” is rough. Like, if dishonesty is “fun,” maybe go lie to someone else. Somewhere else.

    • ctan says:

      You were definitely not the only one rooting for Jonathan, though Team Ziggy were more vocal, for sure. I’m not sure Ziggy meant this comment seriously and his making light of their previous conflicts could be seen as a sign of how calibrated to each other they are now. It could also be seen as a way for him to complain without truly complaining. He knows that them each being for 100% disclosure and openness is the healthiest way for them to relate, just like he knows he should eat all his vegetables (and even likes them). That doesn’t mean he won’t make the occasional gripe about there being too much broccoli, though.

      Another way to look at it is, what drives Ziggy to always project a persona? Why is that his “nature”? And why does he find constant exposure (what Daron would term “honesty”) exhausting? He’s realized it’s necessary for maintenance of the relationship, but that doesn’t make it easier to do, it just makes him more motivated to succeed at it.

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