Remo and I went into the hotel bar for a nightcap. I got my bourbon in soda instead of straight up since we were in Florida and it seemed more appropriate for hot weather, even though it had turned into a pleasantly cool night out. I figured I could use the hydration, anyway.
And the bourbon was soothing to my fatigued emotions. It was tiring to hold them in all the time but then it was exhausting to let them out, too. How is that supposed to work? I pondered that while watching the little bubbles make their way past the ice cubes in my glass.
“You think he’s going to grow up okay?” Remo asked.
No need to ask who he meant by “he.” “He’s going to be fine, Remo. As long as you love him and you tell him so.”
“Yeah, I think, or I wouldn’t have said it.” I was trying to pace myself with this drink but it wasn’t working. I tried to take a sip and ended up with a gulp. Maybe I was kind of thirsty after all. We were at a table, not the bar, though, and this late we were the only people in there and there was no sign of our server.
“I just don’t want him growing up in that environment.”
“You mean in the constant arguing and fighting?”
“Yeah. They were relatively calm today. Everyone on their best behavior. Kind of surprising.”
“They didn’t want to look angry in their photos,” I said, jokingly, but I meant it.
The server appeared then with a large basket of french fries and three little pots of ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise, and I remembered to ask her for a glass of water.
Remo took a few fries with mayo and then pushed the entire basket in my direction. I salted them until my arm was tired and then began speed-eating them one at a time. Craving salt. Hm. “Remind me to remind Flip about the Gatorade,” I said between bites.
“Did I fill you in on the schedule for New York?”
“No, did something change?”
“Hard to believe but every extra show they could add, they did, and they’re all sell-outs.”
“Nice. Isn’t the new album charting now, too?”
“Yeah, but it’s more the tour is spurring album sales than that people who bought the album suddenly woke up to the fact we’re coming around.”
“You sure about that?”
“Well, no, but that’s what the common wisdom says.” He sat back, nursing his bourbon neat. “It’s your doing, I think.”
“Haven’t you been reading the reviews? The critics love you.”
“We play well together, Reem. It’s a good show and it’s different from the same old, same old, so that’s spurring people to come out. That’s a no-brainer.”
I’m not sure why this conversation was turning into an argument when there was nothing to argue about–it wasn’t like we actually disagreed, right?–but maybe it just goes to show we weren’t superior to Melissa’s family.
“Maybe,” he said, but grudgingly. “So we’re playing two nights at Brendan Byrne and two nights at Nassau Coliseum, sandwiched around three nights at Great Woods.”
I felt a little chill go down my spine at the mention of Great Woods. That’s where we were supposed to play our last show of the 1989 tour, our “hometown” show outside of Boston. I felt downright superstitious about the place. “That’s awesome,” I said, but I probably didn’t sound like I meant it, given what I was thinking about. Plus I was busy licking salt off my fingers.
We fell silent for a bit. One more gulp finished my drink and I started on the water.
Remo turned his glass around in his fingers. “We should go in the studio together,” he said offhandedly.
“Yeah,” I said automatically.
He sat up. “What do you mean, ‘yeah’?”
I froze. “I mean…yeah? You said something and I agreed?” Right?
“You didn’t sound very agreeable,” he growled.
“What the fuck, Remo, you’re going to criticize how I agree with you now? How the fuck are you going to react when I disagree?”
“If you don’t want to do it, just say so.”
“Who said I didn’t want to do it?”
“Come on, Daron, you’re as obvious as anyone I know. Wear your heart on your sleeve.”
I don’t remember slipping out of the booth but I was on my feet so I must have.
He was still talking. “I know you’re busy. I hear what’s going on. How many demos did you cut while the rest of us were on vacation? Two? Three? You’d think you’d have a little time for me, then.”
Speaking of obvious and wearing your heart on your sleeve it was obvious to me that Remo was hurt, like really hurt, but that was the last thing I was able to deal with right then, what with the carbonation in my drink having sped the booze directly into my bloodstream, and with my nerves already overtaxed from Disney.
All I heard was the “wear your heart on your sleeve” comment and I took it as the axe I had been waiting to fall ever since the fireworks, waiting for someone to call me a sissy. In hindsight of course that is not what was going on there, but in the moment there was no way to change course or put the powder back in the keg. And I could not get actual sensible words to come out of my mouth because there was no way to make sense of a miscommunication like that. So what I said was something like “what in the fucking hell do you want from me?” and then stormed off before there could be any answer.
Did you know there’s a DGC wiki? The DGC Encyclopedia is currently found at https://daron.ceciliatan.com/encyclopedia/ If you’re interested in helping fill in articles, please drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Another hit from 1991. Been thinking about AC/DC a lot lately. If you didn’t hear, lead singer Brian Johnson was told get off the road IMMEDIATELY or risk going totally deaf. The band pulled in Axl Rose to fulfill those [rescheduled] dates. Meanwhile Malcolm Young [rhythm guitarist] already had to retire because of Alzheimers, and I think their drummer’s in jail on drug charges…? It never gets easier, does it? -d)
(Oh, and I had to add this version, too…)