Ziggy and I didn’t have sex for like a week. This is significant because I felt I was holding out for something but I wasn’t sure what, and he was obviously holding back, too, because when have you ever known Ziggy not to make a move in an entire week? I think we were both waiting until we felt like it was safe to go back in the water.
After a week, though, I began to feel a little like I owed him something. After all, he was good all week–better than good, he made me do my vocal exercises and didn’t once appear to be jealous about Star*Gaze stuff. Jealous isn’t the right word, except maybe it is. Anyway. Ziggy was on his best behavior for the entire week after the miscommunication/groupie incident, and we were writing a lot late at night and then getting in bed but not grabbing each other. Does that make sense? We were actually sleeping, which was important, and just getting all the other parts of being a working pair working.
But like I said, I started to feel a bit like I should test the water at the end of the week, and that turned out to be the day a phone call came from Janessa. We were having another quiet evening at the apartment and had just finished watching a movie. (I’d be lying if I told you I remembered which one. Let’s say Point Break just to get a Keanu Reeves reference in, but it probably wasn’t that.) Ziggy jumped up to answer the phone while I sat on the floor with a guitar but didn’t actually play it.
“Hey, Janessa, what’s up?” He was on the phone from the kitchen wall but the cord was long and he wandered most of the way back to me. “Oh, really?”
He chewed one thumbnail while she talked.
“Oh, Ness,” he said in sympathy, when she ran down. “I dunno what else to say.”
She went on again for a while.
“That’s really up to you,” he said then. “As you now know, that’s one decision I’ve got no stake in whatsoever.”
And then a little while later: “No idea when I’ll be in LA next, babe. I’ll let you know, though, okay?”
And then he hung up by pressing the button on the handset while looking right at me. “Test results in,” he said. “Not my baby.” And then he had to walk back through the kitchen area to hang the phone up.
When he came back he sat down next to me on the floor and shivered slightly. “Now that she knows it’s not mine, she’s trying to decide whether to keep it or not. I was worrying maybe I was being cold but, man, Janessa is stone cold arctic.”
“Jeez,” I said.
“Yeah. Like, if it was mine she’d keep it so I’d pay support, but since it isn’t, it’s not such a good investment. She didn’t come out and say it exactly like that but that was what she was implying.”
“Does she know who the father is, then?”
“I didn’t ask and she didn’t say.” Ziggy wrapped his arms around his knees. “You know they say people tend to go for partners who are like their parents? Girls want to marry a guy like daddy, guys end up with their mothers, et cetera?”
“Yeah, I guess so.”
“I kind of think Janessa is similar to my mother in a lot of ways.” He rocked back and forth slightly. “Jen, too, now that I think about it.”
His eyes were on the windows, not actually looking at anything, though. A few tears glittered on his lower lashes but did not fall.
I moved my foot until it touched his, my way of telling him I was there, and listening.
“Driven women, driven by the conviction that the burning flame of their essence, their beauty, should be shared with the world. But deep worries and not always good choices about how to do it.”
He sighed and chewed his lip. “It’s weird. I knew it couldn’t be my child but I was kind of psyching myself up for it. In case it couldn’t be proved one way or the other and she tried to make it stick.”
“Do you want kids?” Four little words, simple words. I hadn’t realized how it would sound when I asked, how much it would come out sounding like I was asking something about us, our future, our possible future.
He looked at me, asking me with a wrinkle of his brow what answer I wanted him to give. I just held my breath.
“I’d like to believe that the connection from biological genetic ties would be something magical and eternal and that any child I had would be a joy and boon every day of my life.” He drew a long, slow breath. “But I think that’s probably what my mother wanted to think.”
“Maybe that’s why she had you,” I said, and I didn’t mean it in a sappy way. “As a single parent.”
“I’m so afraid that I broke her heart.” He buried his face in the crook of his arm.
I watched his shoulders rise and fall as he cried silently in to his sleeve and I put my hand on that spot between his shoulderblades where I had put my hand enough times before that it felt familiar now. And I remembered another one of those dreams or visions or whatever it was that I’d had about Ziggy, a vision of a music video to a song that didn’t exist yet, an image of a pair of hands reaching around his back to tear free his white shirt to reveal a tattoo of angel wings. I felt goosebumps as I thought about the fact that Ziggy’s first tattoo was on his back at the top of his spine, as if I’d had a freaky precognition about it.
“You don’t know that you did,” I said, hoping it was consoling. “We’ve been over this, Zig.”
“I know. It’s just hard to get past it,” he said, breathing into his sleeve and then looking at me over his arm. No running eyeliner this time. He wasn’t wearing much and the little bit he had was holding up. His nose was a little runny though and I grabbed him a tissue from the box on the far side of the couch.
“I know why you got psyched up thinking about having to take on Janessa’s baby,” I said. “Because you’re looking for karma to hit you for what you think you did to your mom. But it doesn’t work that way, Zig.”
He blew his nose and barked once in a laugh. “Hah. I should know. I went to India to study all that, didn’t I? I should start chanting again. That was way better for my brain chemistry than any pill, and better for my clarity of thought than any talk therapy.”
“Really. Because it was meditation and singing at the same time, but it’s risk free singing, you don’t even have to think about it, you just go with it like you would if you were just dancing and swaying. Except it’s singing.” He waved his hands in the air. “Singing the names of the gods.”
“Yeah, you told me.” We’d talked about kirtan and hare krishnas and Indian classical music and western improvisational music at various points over the past year.
“If we ever go back into the studio together,” he said, holding my hand as he said it, “we should bring some of that in. Somehow.”
Then we sat there in silence for a while, him slipping into a meditative state–or at least breathing really deeply and regularly–while I ran through set lists in my mind. When enough time had passed, and I don’t know how I knew it was enough but I knew, I tugged on the hand that was still in mine. I pulled him to kiss me and we took the plunge into the deep end together.
(ctan and I are going to a concert tonight. We’re seeing The Cure. It’ll be our first time seeing them in 26 years. Wish us luck. -d)
Well there’s one weight off your shoulders. No baby. And Ziggy seems really reasonable here, not at all like someone who’s off his meds. He seems to know what he needs to keep his head on straight. I’m feeling a little better about him, you know for the next week until the six-week split occurs…
Speaking of, there’s something that’s been niggling the back of my mind since The Talk. I love that you guys have set some boundaries (sort of), but I just can’t help wondering how realistic those boundaries are. There have been multiple occasions where you haven’t connected for days after playing pager-tag, and sex is usually a relatively spontaneous thing for you both. How realistic is it to believe that you can both ask permission to have sex with someone when you are apart? Or does that rule not apply when you’re on opposite ends of the country? Oh, and thanks for letting me be so fucking nosy about your personal life!
We don’t know how it’s going to work at this point exactly — or *if* it’s going to work– but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try. That’s as much as I can tell you without telling you what actually happens, which I’m not allowed to do.
I didn’t expect an answer, it’s just something I’ve been thinking about. I think it’s great in theory but at some point in the very near future one, or both, of you is going to be unable to reach the other and I worry about what will happen then.
I love your reply to G. Being vulnerable with the person that has the power to destroy you is a beautiful thing.
I love the connection here. It’s really just…nice. I don’t know the word I’m looking for, but I was smiling reading this and it wasn’t only because the baby issue is over. The two of you have come such a long way in your ability to read each other and just – be together.
I think maybe the most drastic change is neither of us feels like we have to hide it from the other when we’re hurting or upset anymore. We’re long past that stage where we have to try to impress each other with…anything.
Have fun at the concert! I saw them on 5/22 and they were as brilliant as ever 🙂
Just got back. Mind-blowing. They did four encores. They must pay through the nose for venue and staffing to be able to play so long. Worth it. Worth it.
Four. Encores. I’m not sure I’ve ever done that many in one show…
Yes! They did that at the Hollywood Bowl too! Unbelieveable. Glad it was wind-blowing ;D
Sigh. I meant to type: mind-blowing. My fingers are their own auto-correct.
Wind-blowing could be good too in a whole different way…
I’ve unbanished myself. If you want to rip me a new one because I don’t interpret DGC the way you do, click on my underlined name and send me an email. Comments have become a hostile environment. Please continue to interpret DGC as you wish.
S wrote (post 737) “I love that you guys have set some boundaries (sort of), but I just can’t help wondering how realistic those boundaries are.”
They have boundaries, but they only apply to Daron.
Post 731 Daron asks if he lives there. The upshot is, not really, and Daron is required to ask permission to visit Ziggy’s apartment. That’s a boundary, but it only applies to Daron.
Post 731 Daron asks if there’s more. He gets no answer except that Ziggy feels lonely. Daron is now not allowed to question Ziggy about his sexual and romantic life. That’s another boundary, but it only applies to Daron.
Post 732 Daron recalls the New York discussion about each of them having free access to Colin for sex, and otherwise they should ask permission. It sounded like he agreed (“reasonably responsible”). Ziggy then asked permission for sex with Polly, seeming to concur. Another boundary, but it seems it only applied to Daron.
Post 734 Daron asks Ziggy to agree to ask permission before sex with someone else. Ziggy’s reply is “I can do that.” I suspect Daron thinks (again) Ziggy has agreed. He has not. So, there’s another boundary, but it only applies to Daron.
I like Ziggy, I really do. I root for the two of them. If Daron believes that Ziggy’s non-answers to questions of emotional importance are perfectly fine, that’ his business. If he believes that the boundaries exist only for him and Ziggy can do whatever he wishes with his life, Daron’s heart, and never telling the truth, that’s Daron’s business.
Both boys were damaged in childhood, neither is responsible for that damage. Ziggy has recognized multiple times in the past that he has hurt Daron horribly, that he rarely speaks the whole truth, that he is manipulative and sometimes cruel (see Post 484 in Ziggy’s Diary. Ziggy writes a song about his having manipulated and abused Daron for his own selfish purposes, then never thinks about it again.)
Ziggy has been absolutely honest in the past, but always as a last resort. Daron is working on processing things faster, on trying to see Ziggy’s perspective, and recognizes he can’t control Ziggy. He’s not blameless, but he’s working on it. I still see Ziggy trying to play manipulator, weasel-wording things to his advantage, and hoping that he can always talk Daron into accepting blame. Perhaps Ziggy is so damaged he cannot stop those behaviors. I refuse to believe he is so damaged that he cannot occasionally reply truthfully to an emotionally important question.
In my opinion Ziggy needs to start using the truth as something other than a last resort. But,, that’s my opinion. There is almost certain to be another crisis, almost certainly caused by Ziggy’s lack of honesty and seeming belief that he can always talk Daron into accepting responsibility and talk his way out of anything. Maybe that’ the relationship Daron wants, if so he’s free to accept it.
I asked about their agreement to get permission because it seems good in theory, but not very practical, and I don’t think Daron’s really thought through the possible scenarios. They frequently have trouble connecting when they are apart, and it may take a day or 2 to actually talk to each other, which is not ideal when you have someone interested in you sitting across the bar and you don’t have permission to do anything about it. Beyond that, I worry that if they do connect, and Ziggy does his breathless god-I-missed-you thing, but Daron’s really just calling because he wants to hook up with someone, how are they BOTH going to feel after that conversation? I know I’m looking at it through my mono filter, but it just seems so difficult to make this boundary work, unless they manage to catch each other before they got out hunting and they each say okay?
That being said, I think it’s GREAT that they are at least articulating, to an extent, what it is they think will make them feel better about the situation. They are making an effort to do right by each other, and yes I think Ziggy is included in that. I think he feels like shit for how he made Daron feel when he walked in on him and that woman. I think he will do his best not to do that again, because there’s only so much people can take before they say fuck it, it’s not worth it. Deliberately ignoring this specifically stated request would mean that Ziggy isn’t invested in the relationship, and I just don’t think that’s true. This relationship is complicated as fuck, more complicated than most relationships because you have the so many parts to it. They have to figure it out for themselves, and they both have to be willing to do that or it will never work. Setting this boundary is just the first step for them, and when/if it fails, I think they will be able to talk about how/why it failed and try to figure out what to do next. I’m sure Bart and Michelle didn’t figure their situation out on the first try either. Granted, neither one of them are Ziggy…
I also want to point out that Polly happened a long time ago, back when Daron wasn’t ready to take that step with Ziggy yet. They’d only seen each other a few times at that point. There has been so much that happened since that has changed the way they interact and talk to each other (Ziggy signing the contract that was almost the final nail in the coffin and Janessa being two big things). Polly is really just a point Daron can look back on and say, “I like how that worked out. Can we try it again?”
I agree 100% that Ziggy needs to stop using honesty as a last resort. If he wants this to work with Daron, he’s going to have to be honest with him. But you know, sometimes that’s really hard to do.
FWIW, I don’t think any of us want the comments section to be hostile or to sound judgmental. We all have different backgrounds and viewpoints, and we all have something to add to the discussions.
Agree completely with everything you said in every paragraph except the one re Polly. I specifically agree that testing the agreement will probably happen, and that the subsequent communication will be a critical juncture. Also, I agree that honesty is really hard to do, sometimes impossible. That really doesn’t make dishonesty the default choice in every case. Sometimes impossible, but not always.
On my fourth read-through looking for unilluminated story threads.* I have the time-line well in hand. By the time of Polly they had been together many times over a lengthy period, had just agreed to the “ask permission” that only applied to Daron, and had said “I love you” almost daily for months. In the five-year story line, Polly was maybe six months ago. The contract signing was old news by then, as was the “It’s complicated” response when what Ziggy meant was he would rather be sexually and romanticaly involved with Janessa than Daron at the moment.
*Unilluminated story thread: Ziggy never realy joined M3 until after he had driven Daron into Jonathan’s bed for sex. There is a tectonic shift in Ziggy’s relationship with the band following that incident. I may have the cause wrong, but I’ve documented the chronicle. I’m shocked I hadn’t noticed it before.
Ziggy slept with Polly in chapter 541 because Daron wasn’t ready to go there yet. They saw to each other for the first time in a year at the movie premiere in chapter 529. They spoke for the first time (the blowing a gasket scene) in chapter 532. Polly was way before any of the Moondog Three shit hit the fan.
I stand corrected. I’m only in the early 300s on my read-through. This certainly does change my assessment. Thank you. So much happened in so few chapters following the reunion I lost track of the timeline.
And in 532, the first time they see one another in a year, Ziggy starts a fight blaming Daron for all his problems. In 534 Daron (surprise?) apologizes. Daron confesses he loves Ziggy; they realize that Digger has been manipulating both of them. And in 535 they reconcile, and Ziggy offers to give up manipulative sex for Daron. And, of course you’re right. In 541 Ziggy asks Daron for sex, Daron isn’t ready, so he asks permission for sex with Polly. In 545 he tells Daron what Daron’s priorities are, and in 546 he tells Daron that money is the priority while stoking him for sex (manipulative? Who, Ziggy?) And in 554 Ziggy, having decided for Daron what Daron’s priorities are, and quantified them, buys Daron off with money. Just like mama. M3, already dead while Ziggy was in BF, is buried, and Janessa is still in the future.
Hehe I only knew that because I recently reread the bonus scene from their reunion sex.
That pretty much sums up what happened after. Ziggy has changed, I really believe that, but that doesn’t mean he’ll never screw up again. It’s really hard to change behaviors and stick to it. I still think they are solid right now because I think they are finally starting to understand themselves and each other. Still got a lot of work to do but they’re really trying now. That counts for something with me.
And with me as well.