From Ziggy’s I tried calling Flip on the bag phone but all I got was a “subscriber is unavailable or out of range” message. Out of range? Like, what, on another planet? There was no voice mail or anything like that. He had my pager number so I figured there were no emergencies but it was still about time to check in.
Speaking of checking in, there was a voice mail for me on Ziggy’s line, apparently. I listened to it standing in the kitchen area. “Hey, big brother, I’m coming into town tonight. Primary results watch party at J’s. You coming? I’ll page when I get in.”
“Primary results watch party?” I repeated aloud as I hung up the phone.
Ziggy looked at me skeptically. “Primary results from what?”
“Democratic primary, I assume.” I was kind of peripherally aware of it being a presidential election year, mostly from reading the newspapers habitually with Claire when we’d been living in the hotel in Tennessee. But since we’d moved to the woods I really hadn’t heard much.
“Oh, I thought you meant a medical thing. Like you got tests done today.”
I wiggled my fingers. “I got some new X-Rays but that was all. You want to go to this thing at J’s?”
“It’s a political thing?”
“I got the feeling it’s casual, but I guess I could call and find out who else will be there.”
“I didn’t know J was political. Well, except the whole Ivy League crowd thinks they are.” He sniffed.
“Yeah, well.” I can’t say I was particularly optimistic about the upcoming election, having lived through first Reagan’s reelection and then his VP, Bush, being elected president after that. Anti-gay/anti-AIDS, “just say no to drugs” so-called “moral majority” Republicans had been in power the entire latter half of my life, so I can’t say I was particularly optimistic about the Democrats’ chances. Plus don’t get me started on the whole bullshit with Tipper Gore and censoring pop music again. I can rant about that for hours and then I’ll never get around to telling you what happened.
Right then I was more concerned with filling up a bowl with hot water to stick my hand in than I was with politics, anyway. I started the sink running with hot water. Ziggy switched it to cold while he filled up a tea kettle and then back to hot.
He put the kettle on the stove. “If you want me to come with you, I will, but if you mostly just want to catch up with your sister and your ex, if it’s all the same to you, I’ll stay home and read a book.”
I kissed him and found myself smiling. Out there in the wide world I knew there were people who would easily believe that a typical night for him involved, you know, a drug-fueled orgy in the back room of Limelight. There was no way to tell them that was (mostly) only on special occasions.
A sudden longing to see Jordan again lanced through me. I figured the pain meant there was some lesson I hadn’t yet learned and if I had to guess what it was, I’d have to say it was you never know when the people you love are going to be taken from you. So don’t take them for granted.
“Yeah, I better go see Court,” I said.