I don’t understand arguments. I don’t understand what happens or why. I feel like other people must understand them better. Am I wrong?
“Listen to me, you don’t have to push yourself,” Remo said. We were backstage at the venue, which was another outdoor amphitheater type of place, alone in a production trailer where the airconditioner was working overtime to battle heat and humidity in the mid-nineties. It was a losing battle.
“I’m not pushing myself,” I claimed. It was a complete lie and we both knew it but I couldn’t stop myself from saying it. From insisting, “I’m fine.”
Okay, so I discovered I couldn’t out-and-out lie. Which is good, because it’d make me a hypocrite. “Or, I will be,” I amended. “I’m not making it any worse by playing.” I held up my hand and fluted my fingers like that proved something. “And it’s only two shows to go.”
“I’m more worried about your head than your hand right now,” Remo said.
“My head will be fine, too,” I said. “Flip will make sure I don’t walk into traffic.”
“Don’t joke about that sort of thing.”
“I’m not joking.” I wasn’t. Not really. I knew going on stage unable to tell if my shoelaces were tied–or if I even had shoelaces in the first place–was not ideal, but as long as I stayed in the pocket and could minimally communicate with the band, we could get through it. No, it wasn’t the best situation. But at the end of the tour we weren’t making any big changes. I wasn’t going to pull any surprises. Not intentionally, I mean. “It’s only two shows,” I repeated, like that made all the difference.
He tried a different tack. “If Carynne could see you, she’d have my balls in a sling.”
“Court’s been watching me every night and she’s fine with it.”
“Your sister worships the ground you walk on. And your health isn’t her priority.”
“And it isn’t yours, either.” I know. I was getting downright stubborn about this. But come on, it was Only Two More Shows. “Look. You’re the boss. You don’t want me to play, you tell me to sit out.”
He made an unhappy face.
“Was last night’s show that bad?”
“No,” he admitted. “But last night?”
“I was okay by morning.”
“I thought I was going to have to take you out back and shoot you like Old Yeller to put you out of your misery,” he said with a shake of his head.
Okay yeah, I was miserable, but if I only had to do that twice more, I’d live, and besides, we weren’t going to repeat yesterday’s plan again, but I didn’t want to go into fine detail of my drug regimen with Remo. It felt…weird. Instead I said, “Tonight if I’m really hurting I’ll keep it quiet.”
I wasn’t expecting him to be angry at me then. “Dammit, Daron! That is not what I’m trying to say!”
So I was angry back. “So what do you want, then? For me to give up? Do you want me on that fucking stage or not? I’m here because of you, motherfucker! You, and no one else!”
And then I shied away from him instinctively, but he wasn’t trying to hurt me. He was trying to hug me.
Okay, fine. I hugged back.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
He was silent a moment. His jacket smelled like smoky honky tonks. “For raising my voice,” he eventually said, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t what he was apologizing for.
“Me, too,” I said, and we broke apart. And although a second ago we’d both been clenched-fist angry, now I felt, actually, like this was the best I’d felt about Remo in weeks. Months, maybe.
I still don’t understand it.
(Wow, you guys, you’re on pace to potentially trigger another Saturday post this week. We’re at $56 as I’m getting ready to post this. Remember, anyone who wants the St. Louis scenes from Ziggy’s point of view, plus the “honeymoon night,” drop a donation of at least $1 into the Tip Jar or use this direct link to our Paypal: https://www.paypal.me/daronmoondog. Thank you all for your support! -ctan)