Ziggy and I went home and fell easily into bed. The only time in my life I’d had this much sex with this little effort or argument about it for this long was while I’d lived in Spain. Well, maybe right at the beginning with Jonathan, too, but as we all know, the easy part didn’t last.
I thought about that while lying there afterward feeling thoroughly good for a while, so why I’d want to ruin that with thinking about how things went wrong, I don’t know, but…maybe because when I felt good about everything it felt safe to go back and think about what had gone wrong.
There had been a moment when it had twisted, remember? A moment when I’d reached a point of such peak vulnerability and intimacy that I’d nearly fallen for him…and then Jonathan himself had yanked me back from the brink by pulling the rug out from under me.
Ziggy, on the other hand, when he yanked the rug out from under me it had meant a headlong tumble into a craggy, dangerous abyss. It had taken a long time to climb out of it so we could stand together, and then I didn’t trust him enough to understand when he was on the brink of falling in himself. Had we both climbed out of the hole far enough that we could actually start building something, now? Or were we just temporarily on a nice ledge that was bound to break off and send us plummeting again?
I don’t care, I thought to myself. It’s a nice ledge and I plan to cling to it for a while because I like it like this.
Besides, I knew perfectly well that once we hit the road all the dynamics would change. Not necessarily for better or worse, but different. That was inevitable. It was almost like I couldn’t be the same person when I was in different places or with different people.
Or in different relationships? Was I a different person with Jonathan than I was with Orlando than I was with Ziggy? Jonathan had expected things to be a certain way. Orlando, on the other hand, didn’t really seem to have expectations–or if he’d had them he hadn’t communicated them.
What were Ziggy’s expectations? I liked the feeling that I knew what he expected even if that feeling was an illusion. I liked it enough that I decided not to ask and potentially shatter the illusion. The fact that it felt like there was a non-zero chance I was correct about what he was thinking was bolstering enough for now. One step at a time.
He was nibbling my upper arm with his teeth. I turned my head to watch him without commenting.
“Just tasting your tattoo,” he said with a grin.
“What does it taste like?”
“Not much.” He shifted and folded his hands on my chest and then put his chin on top of them. “You’re having deep thoughts.”
“I guess. Want to hear them? They’re…not very interesting.”
“Yes and no, because that is a clear hint you don’t want to talk about them, so of course I’m curious… but not so curious as to pick a fight.” His makeup had been reduced by a night of dancing and sweating and sex to shadowy twin nebulas of smoke and dark matter around his eyes.
I realized he looked the opposite of what I’d pictured that time in a dream, with the sparkles and glitter, except the same, too. “Hey, did you ever have that photo shoot?”
“Which one? Oh, the one for the Japanese release? I did. Did you not see it?”
“No, don’t think so.”
“Next time we’re in the office you can see it. That gives me an idea, though.” He climbed out of bed and picked up the phone and left a message for someone that I didn’t really hear because I had started to doze off.
When he came back to bed he said, “What do you want to do with your hair?”
“I don’t know, really. Can we not talk about it now?”
“Sunday morning. I’m having a person come over. We can try something temporary and see if you like it.”
His voice was soothing and so was his tone, like no matter what the words were his underlying meaning was it’s all going to be okay. I went with that. Okay. I drifted to sleep with him beside me.
The next day I don’t remember what we did. Slept in, brunch, hang around the city, something like that? Which was just fine with me. I think it was a workout day for me and Chris? Nothing particularly exciting happened, anyway.
It was the next day that all the excitement happened. Think about it. Why would Ziggy have booked hair and makeup artists to show up early on a Sunday morning at the tail end of June? It was the same reason Courtney had given me a funny look the other night when I’d made a comment about what we were doing that weekend. It was the same reason I saw so many more people who looked like tropical birds than usual the other night when we were out.
Don’t feel bad if you’re clueless about what it was. So was I. To better recreate the experience for all of you, I’ll tell you next time what was so special about the next day.
(Kickstarter wrap up! It’s done! Total raised; $4,032! That means we met the main stretch goal! The new paperbacks should be done and ready to ship by mid-June or so, and we should have all the other rewards ready to go by then, also. Backers: the surveys went out yesterday so if you haven’t responded yet, please do right away so we’ll be ready with all the necessary info. If you didn’t get a survey from Kickstarter, let me know and I’ll point you to where you can find it in your message box on the Kickstarter website. -ctan)
(Please don’t take this song as foreshadowing. It’s funny. I used to think this song was about creepy sexual abuse. Now I think it’s about depression and how your own thoughts can eat you alive. -daron)