I took a long shower as if that could thaw my frozen brain. It didn’t work. But Ziggy didn’t object and he didn’t rake me over the coals or anything so that was good, I guess?
When I emerged from the water I spent a very long time combing my hair. I had conditioned it the way I had been admonished to, and it was slick and wet as I combed carefully through the strands. This wet the blue was almost invisible but as soon as it dried it would start to show. Comb comb comb comb… I had been combing so long I had made my good hand cramp. The rest of me was dry and chilly by that point. But at least my brain had rebooted somewhat.
I found Ziggy sitting up in bed, reading a book in the light of his bedside table. The whole apartment was a tableau of urban nighttime blue except for the pool of golden light around him. I thought about what I wanted to say so that there would be at least a half a chance that I might say it, and then I crawled into bed.
He set aside the book. “Tonight’s–”
“Our last night alone for a while,” I said hurriedly, trying to make up for how inert I had been in the car. “That’s why I want to do whatever you want to do.”
His smile was cautious and sly. “You know I don’t want to push you into anything.”
“You’re not pushing me.” I’m pushing myself, which is different. “I’m here to be here for you.”
He laughed softly. “Can you…be more specific? That didn’t totally make sense.”
I squished myself into his circle of illumination, one arm across his stomach under the covers. “I mean, we’re together, right? Together-together.”
“Wearing-matching-rings-together, you mean.”
“Exactly.” I took a breath and I could feel him holding his. “And yes, I know, I fully acknowledge we are still figuring out what that means, sorry to sound like a broken record.”
“It’s all right, dear one. I value you saying things more than you keeping silent, you know. For me that’s a big part of what this together-together stuff means. It means I’ll try even harder to listen to you.”
“Okay.” I got stuck for a while looking at his face, though. His eyebrows were perfect. I don’t even think he had them tweezed or whatever. He just had naturally perfect eyebrows. He had on no makeup whatsoever right then which made his eyebrows easier to notice and appreciate. I eventually got to more words, though. “I’m trying to figure out how sex fits with being together-together. I mean, I’ve figured out that sex isn’t the same thing, obviously.”
Ziggy gave a sober nod. “Been there, done that.”
“Do you remember that apocalyptic fight we had in New Orleans in 1989?”
Now he looked at me quizzically. “Yes. Do you?”
“Much of it is seared pretty deep in my brain, yeah,” I admitted. “I don’t know if I hope that the longer we’re together the more faded it’ll get or if I hope I never forget how bad it could be.”
He scooched down in the bed so we were both lying down and pulled the sheet over our heads. It was like we were in a tent. I could still see his face in the light that shone through the fabric. “Both. How about both.”
“Right. Why do I always forget that?”
“Habit,” he said. “But you were saying. About sex and being together not being the same thing.”
“Right. Not the same thing, but the sex is still important, right?”
“Very definitely yes.”
“You said…” I hesitated. I hadn’t planned to say this part. I had only planned as far as offering or negotiating sex tonight if he wanted it and I hadn’t realized I was going open a can of relationship worms. But here I was. “You said you were going to try to put the partnership ahead of your single self.”
“Mm-hmm. And you said you were going to try to keep me informed about what you need and want.”
Right. I had said that. “I guess what I’m trying to say is that I want for us to have sex if you want sex, even though I can’t figure out if I want to or not, and that it’s okay with me that I can’t figure it out.”
“Should I worry about the fact you can’t figure it out, though?”
“No? I mean, I don’t think so? I think I’m just so stressed out about the tour and freaked over all the things that have happened to me that I’m one giant ball of nerves. I can’t even tell if I’m hungry or thirsty, either, but at least, you know, when other people eat I figure that means I should eat.”
“Aha.” That apparently made sense to Ziggy. “And you figure if I’m horny you should be, too?”
Hey, check it out, that actually DID make sense. “Stands to reason, doesn’t it?”
“As you point out, it is the last time we’ll have total privacy for a while.” His fingertips found my thigh, then some other parts of me. “If Flexeril keeps your muscles from contracting does that affect your… oh.”
“I guess it doesn’t stop blood flow, anyway,” I said. The feeling was strange because normally talking with Ziggy about sex for a couple of minutes would have made me pretty hard but this time it wasn’t until he touched me I seemed to suddenly firm up.
His voice was coy in that Ziggy way, though his hand was doing much less innocent sounding things to me. “Does that mean that now you want me?”
“Apparently, yes,” I said. My brain was still stuffed with fog but apparently my dick had a mind of its own. Fine. I let it do the thinking for a while after that and that seemed to work out just fine.
(MEETUP NEWS! Update on the August 20th DGC reader meetup with ctan! Looking like definitely Louisville, KY. The way our travels are shaping up that’s where we’ll end up. If you’re thinking of coming, please RSVP via the google form below! If that doesn’t work, here’s the direct link: https://goo.gl/forms/8LAAkEpyd71SvmA93. Knowing how many to expect will help us figure out where to aim for as a venue and there are a couple of other quick questions there. Even if you’re a “maybe” please do fill it out! -ctan)
Maintaining the full disclosure, open and honest aspect of your relationship with Ziggy is very important. I’m glad that you spent this time doing that. Talking about Colin tonight (which I was terrified might happen, but in a blowup, scary shutdown kind of way) was not as important as keeping the connection. Good on you both.
Maybe s had the right idea about a midflight intervention…
“Talking about Colin tonight (which I was terrified might happen, but in a blowup, scary shutdown kind of way) was not as important as keeping the connection. Good on you both.”
I think this was either the first part of the talk about Colin, or at least a necessary step on the path to it.
Your ability to paint a picture of emotion in so few words is astounding!
Thanks, Bill. Sometimes less is more. 🙂
I’m terrified at every turn that I’ve fucked things up beyond repair or that I’ve missed some major thing I should have handled in this relationship, but somehow this night turned out okay.
Guys… Chris Cornell…
I can’t stop crying…
I saw the news right before I crashed for the night last night around 4am. Now they’re saying “apparent suicide.” I can’t even process this right now tbh. Hugs and more hugs everyone.
If you want to post this as the Thursday fanpost?
For next week I can do a Chris Cornell playlist, if you like. I loved that man.
I’m going to link your post in the post today–I just saw the news, and was trying to figure out what to post today since we had a gap and then how to post something about him. So, yeah, this is perfect and email me at dgcfanworks at gmail dot com with the playlist and I’ll put it up for next week’s post.
I’m with Cecilia in not being able to process this. I just had a good ugly cry in public over Prince, Bowie, George Michael, and Carrie Fisher during a tribute at a concert I was attending, and I thought maybe, maybe I was done crying for a while for the people whose work shaped the culture I value. Then this.
I’ll send you my playlist.