825. The Man With the Child in His Eyes

We stayed until nearly nine that night, which for the dancers was a very long day and for my hand was the longest day yet. At the end of it, though, after the dancers had been sent home, Mickey and I and Ziggy sat down and agreed we didn’t have to cut anything.

That was, of course, because the third segment of the show–the part with just me and Ziggy–was assumed to be an automatic shoe-in. Neither Ziggy nor I clued Mickey in that we really hadn’t rehearsed. (I didn’t count one dead-of-night rendition of “Candlelight” as a rehearsal.) We had a couple more days before a true, full run-through. Assuming we did three songs acoustic, maybe we could work on one each day starting tomorrow and be okay. Maybe.

But there was still the problem of Star*Gaze. Bart and Chris stuck to me like flies as the rest of the band got packed up and called it a night.

And then there was one of the most awkward moments Ziggy and I had to date. When the only people left were me and Bart and Chris and him it felt weird, first of all, because I often felt weird when all four of us were together, I guess the way some people feel weird about sitting next to their ex. It always felt like when it was just the four of us like we might be about to cross over into a parallel universe where Moondog 3 had never broken up. Maybe it was just me.

So it already felt weird. But I figured any second Ziggy would leave and then we could get started.

It wasn’t until after Bart tuned his cello that it became obvious Ziggy didn’t intend to leave.

I had taken my prescribed one ounce of alcohol to prolong the effect of the Vitamin F, so I felt very well insulated from emotional jolts right then. But even still, I could feel this.

I took his hands in mine and pulled them together , cradling them under my chin, on my breastbone. “Ziggy.”

“Daron?” He seemed to sense something was up.

“I don’t know how to say this, but… you have to leave.”

In the next half-second I watched his eyes and face go through a series of arguments and emotions until he just looked like he was hiding how hurt he was.

Shit. I almost opened my mouth to say, “It’s not that I don’t love you…” But that would have been patently ridiculous. So ridiculous it might seem like a farce–or like the relationship was a farce. I tried this instead: “We won’t stay too late, I promise. I’ll be home before midnight.”

His mouth hung open slightly, his tongue touching the edge of his teeth as he contemplated his answer. “You’re kicking me out of my own rehearsal space.”

I got defensive, like I often do when I know I’ve hurt him. When I’m defensive I often sound sarcastic and insincere. “Would it be better if we went somewhere else? Because we can, if that’d make you feel better.”

He made a disgusted sound, because of course that wouldn’t make him feel better. “I guess I…better page Tony.”

“Yeah. I’m sorry, Zig.” I tried to kiss him.

But he was out of my reach. He was already walking away from me, waving a dismissive hand. “I understand. I completely understand.”

But I don’t think he did understand. I knew maybe he felt excluded, but I didn’t feel he had a right to. But truly, I’m sure Ziggy felt he was being excluded because he was Ziggy. Actually, it was that I just knew, deep down, that me and Chris and Bart needed to be alone. I knew we needed no outside ears on what we were about to do, without knowing exactly what we were about to do.


  • G says:

    I understand where you were coming from here, Daron. You three need to connect right now as Star*Gaze, and you need to do that alone. Hopefully after Ziggy thinks about it he will realize that needed to happen, because it did. It had nothing to do with his rehearsal space and really had nothing at all to do with your relationship. Star*Gaze needs to become a thing of its own, and you can’t have others in there to dilute that.

    Please don’t get defensive when you get home. Explain it. I know he’ll get it.

    • daron says:

      I think if I weren’t so insecure about what Star*Gaze is or is supposed to be then I wouldn’t care if he was there. But it’s both because the project is a shambles and because it’s Ziggy.

  • s says:

    I knew we’d had too many chapters with everything going well between you two. Lol. And now you have me mourning M3 again.

    I wanna hug Ziggy. I know it was necessary and you need to practice without him around, but I hate seeing him hurt or upset. Shocking, right?

    • s says:

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this. I don’t think Ziggy wanted to stay to be part of the band or recreate old times. I think he just loves watching you play. When you rehearse for his band he’s performing, too, so he can’t just watch you. Remember his reaction when he heard what you had recorded? I think he just wanted to see you make your magic and being kicked out hurt his feelings.

      Like I said, I understand why you wanted him to leave and I think he will, too. Just please be kind to him when you get home, just in case he’s still feeling hurt.

      • marktreble says:

        I suspect you’re correct. Had Ziggy thought all the way through staying, he might have suggested he just listen from the upstairs room. Unfortunately, because Star*Gaze has nothing right now, that wouldn’t have worked either. Daron is probably embarrassed that he has nothing to show Ziggy – and it’s Ziggy’s show – and the band needs privacy to start fixing that.

        It would be delightful if Daron explained this when he got home; not holding my breath.

      • daron says:

        I know his feelings are hurt. Sometimes a rational explanation helps that. Sometimes it doesn’t. Here’s hoping.

  • marktreble says:

    I hope Ziggy puts his new-found introspection skills to good use before Daron gets home. If he does, he’ll realize that with him there it’s M3; without him it’s Star*Gaze. And Ziggy needs to respect that boundary.

    I also hope Daron doesn’t rise to the bait if Ziggy throws a shit storm. In particular, a shit storm is likely to include a “kick me out of my own rehearsal space.” Daron throwing back that Ziggy kicked him out of his own band will add gallons of gasoline to a fire.

    If Ziggy thinks about Daron’s point of view and gives Daron the benefit of the doubt, that will defuse the situation. It will also be the first time in more than 800 posts that Ziggy will have done that, but we can always hope.

    • daron says:

      I think Ziggy thinks about my point of view a lot, actually. I just can’t predict which things he’s going to grasp right away and which he’s going to miss entirely. He definitely understands me better right now than just about anyone else on the planet.

  • Tim says:

    Ziggy put all Moondog 3-subsequent changes into motion, as much as i love him, he needs to own it. You broke it you bought it.

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