I called Ziggy when I got upstairs. I got his machine. I left the number of the hotel and my room number. Then I opened the minibar wondering if there was any Gatorade in there.
There wasn’t, but there was Coke. And Jack. Which meant there was Jack and Coke.
By the time Ziggy actually called back I was less upset. I don’t know if “calmer” would be accurate since the Coke made me wired given how fast I drank it, but I was on the downside of the flipout anyway.
“You okay?” were his first words.
“Yeah.” I was at that point sitting in the empty bathtub, naked. Vibrating from caffeine. Don’t ask me why there was a phone in the bathroom.
“Because you sounded really upset on the answering machine.”
“I was. I’m fine now.”
“Are you in the bathroom?”
“In the tub, yeah.”
“You know you can electrocute yourself if you drop the phone in the water.”
“It’s okay, there’s no water.”
“I was worried I might puke so I figured I’d save myself the trip and just come in here.”
“Yeah, but, in the tub?”
“I took my clothes off so they wouldn’t get messed up.” I thought about that for a second. It had all made sense in my mind, I swear. “Um, it makes more sense to get in the tub than sit on the floor. It’s cleaner.”
“I’m fine, though, really.”
“When you’re done saying that are you going to tell me what’s wrong?”
I lay down in the tub and looked at the ceiling. My voice sounded amazingly echoey and hollow from down there. Like an effects box of some kind. “Went to Disney World today. And I’m just raw from flashbacks about my sucky family and shit like that.”
“Ah. Did you go there as a kid?”
“Yeah.” I felt no urge to actually give him details about my childhood traumas. “And then Remo and I had a blowup and I just don’t know what to think anymore.”
“Oh. That’s rough.”
“Yeah, I guess. I’m like… ‘Shit.'”
“I think you’ll figure it out after you both sleep on it,” Ziggy said. “That is, if you deal with it instead of burying it.”
“Wow. That’s really sensible.”
“Wasn’t it you who said I’m always sensible about other people’s relationships?”
“Maybe. I’m having deja vu, in fact. Except I don’t think I was naked and in a bathtub the last time we had a conversation like this.”
I heard the door outside and then Flip come in, calling my name.
“That’s Flip. I gotta go. Love you.”
“Love you, too. Take care of yourself, Daron?”
He said it like it was a question. “I will.”
“Try not to drink too much, okay?”
“Okay.” Okay. That he came right out and said that was a jolt. “Love you,” I said again and then hung up. Or tried to, I missed the hook and dropped the phone on the floor.
The noise brought Flip to investigate what was going on. No, I couldn’t come up with a better explanation for him why I was naked in the empty bathtub either. Flip made the assumption I was on something much stronger than alcohol and treated me accordingly.
I never did puke that night. I may have lost my marbles but I didn’t lose my lunch.
(Those of you who aren’t Patrons might be interested to know that all Patreon Patrons get access to all the bonus scenes and even sometimes get *previews* of new content. They also get all the ebooks free, too! If you can pledge one dollar a week, you can have all the perks. Sign up or find out more here: https://www.patreon.com/ceciliatan -ctan)
(I always felt this band was groomed to be pale [no pun intended] imitators of Van Halen, but I never knew if that was their idea or their management’s. The thing this band will never live down was causing The Station nightclub fire in Rhode Island in 2003, because they used gerbs which ignited the soundproofing material in the ceiling. Remember gerbs? My eye hurts just thinking about them. You can see the gerbs go off at 1:53 in this video. One hundred people died in the Station fire, including the guitarist for the opening act. Makes this cliched hit/video from 1991, when the band’s platinum selling days were over, hard to swallow. But maybe that’s why it fits this chapter. -daron)