I woke up the next morning with Carynne knocking on the door. My head was still under a pile of pillows and so Ziggy got up first. He answered the door buck naked, which seemed overly Ziggy-like even for him, except maybe he knew who it was.
“Not to rush you but a shuttle’s taking us to the airport in a little over an hour,” she said.
“Not to worry,” Ziggy replied. “I haven’t got much stuff.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks flattening me in the bed that I couldn’t say the same. Didn’t I have a ton of stuff to take care of? It was the end of a tour. I should have made sure I had cleaned by stuff out of the bus, and packed my guitars, and… I forced myself to sit up. There were two guitar cases sitting next to the bed, along with a duffel bag, a backpack, and a shopping bag. I blinked.
Ziggy had returned from his sojourn to the doorway. “Flip dropped those off this morning,” he said, seeing my stare. He nuzzled me like a cat.
My brain tried to work. “I recognize everything but the shopping bag.”
“Maybe you should find out what’s in it.”
He had a point. I crawled off the bed and Ziggy wallowed around in the warm sheets and bed covers, like he was making a snow angel out of them.
Apparently the shopping bag was a collection of things that might have been mine. Some random guitar picks (yes), a leather belt (no), half a pack of triple A batteries (yes), a single green sock (no, but at least it was clean). And a pair of film canisters, which was odd, since I didn’t have a camera. One was marked on the top with a Sharpie “P,” the other one, “V.”
I opened them. Two different kinds of pills were in them, about a half dozen of each. “Huh.”
Ziggy swam over to the edge of the bed and looked down. “Huh. Vikes and percs?”
“You mean Vicodin and Percoset?”
“That’s what they look like, anyway.”
“Huh.” I put the caps back on and wondered what the consequences were for getting caught traveling with prescription drugs without a prescription. I had a vague notion that you had to be carrying more than a certain amount to get in trouble. If so it made sense that Flip had divvied up the stash among us. I put one canister into the Fender case and one into the Ovation case. “Thank god for Flip.”
“He’s a trooper all right,” Ziggy said and settled himself back on the pillows.
“I just better check and make sure he hasn’t pranked my bags with a live snake or anything, though.” Flip was, indeed, great. But he was a roadie through and through. Fortunately my bags seemed to be free of live animals, fake vermin, and excrement.
I stood up and discovered Ziggy, eyes smoky with last night’s eyeliner, staring up at me from his Renaissance-painting-esque pose among the bedsheets. A Ziggy-esque look in his eye. I couldn’t really miss the erection either.
I buried my face under his balls and licked them. He cursed encouragingly and I sucked him off without any fuss.
That was the thing that really was the best thing–but the hardest thing to get used to–except once I was used to it, it was the hardest thing to do without. Sex without fuss. Probably that’s what he had been thinking all along but it took me a while to catch up, okay?
We met Carynne in the lobby. Remo came to see us off, or at least we ran into him while we were waiting for the shuttle.
“Shit,” he said. “I’m going to miss you.”
“Yeah, I get used to having you around, too.” I accepted a Remo shoulder-hug. “Take care of Ford. What age do they start talking?”
“Oh, you’ll see him before then,” Remo said. “Keep in touch.”
“Yeah, right,” I said. “Get email and maybe I will.”
“I have email, I just never use it.” He rattled off an AOL address.
I wrote it down. “Well, start checking it and I’ll start sending you some.”
“Deal.” We shook hands and he hugged me one last time.
We left before we could run into anyone else. I felt a little odd about not saying goodbye to anyone else, but then again it wasn’t that usual for people to simply scatter. I was about to see Flip, Clarice, and Fran anyway and it wasn’t like I had anything to say to everyone else that I hadn’t said yesterday during soundcheck or the party.
The local airport was a dinky little place, a military base and cargo port that also had some commercial flights. We caught a puddle jumper to Atlanta.
We were in first class from Atlanta to Boston, Carynne, me, and Ziggy, anyway, and although we didn’t manage to score an upgrade for Court they let her come into the first class lounge with us–I think because Ziggy autographed something for the lounge concierge. There was food in the lounge, which was good since I’d had Ziggy for breakfast and there hadn’t been much to get in the Gulfport airport. I methodically made my way through a heavily cream-and-sugared mug of coffee and a bowl of granola so crunchy it was essentially just barely crushed granola bars. It wasn’t actually morning anymore, but because I was still tired I was treating it like it was.
Carynne sat down next to me at the table, eyeing some guys in three-piece suits on the other side, but they were pretending to read the free copies of the Wall Street Journal instead of watching the rock stars look out of place in the business lounge. I was too tired to give a fuck what they thought. “What day do we start rehearsal?” I asked her.
“Today is Tuesday. Rehearsal starts Thursday. Tomorrow you’re going for a followup with the doctor, but otherwise you’re free.”
“I would’ve scheduled you more of a break if I thought there was time,” she said.
“I love the idea of a break but the truth is all I do is lie around and ultimately that makes me feel like crap,” I said. “This’ll be fine.”
She patted me on the hand. She got up and Ziggy took her place.
He licked me behind the ear and the suit dudes rustled their newspapers. I wasn’t bold enough to lick him back but it was amusing all the same. I think they felt their businessman bastion was being invaded by weirdo males and women and they really didn’t know how to react to that. So trying to ignore us was the only possible course of action.
That feeling only continued once we were settled in the first class cabin of the plane. Ziggy asked for blankets and a flight attendant gave us two dark blue ones. He settled them across us before we’d even taxied for takeoff.
Then he worked his hand inside my jeans, his palm cupping my junk like a live kitten. I was a lot calmer and more still than a kitten, though. Zig didn’t move, didn’t try to get me off, just stayed curled up beside me and closed his eyes as if he had fallen asleep.
Maybe he had. I dozed myself, my eyes drooping as the giant hand of gravity squished me back into the seat on takeoff, Ziggy’s much smaller hand staying curved around my balls for almost the whole two and a half hour flight.
(Another 1991 hit. Not as huge as one they’d have in 1992, but it charted. -d)