Our next stop was Santiago, Chile. Santiago is another mountainous capital city but at a mere three thousand or so feet, people stopped worrying that Stella and I were going to black out at any moment.
Well, they stopped worrying about Stella anyway.
Ziggy had two full days of publicity appearances scheduled. One of the things that made this tour different from what we were used to was that visiting each country wasn’t like just crossing the States. Coup attempts and embassy assistance aside, Ziggy’s presence was treated like a visit from some kind of head of state. In each country the red carpet was rolled out and various governmental appearances were necessary. That didn’t happen so much in, say, Chicago.
I guess there had been a little bit of that with Remo in Japan, but I’d missed most of it, and he’d been there a lot, whereas this was Ziggy’s first time in each of these places.
Meanwhile, a drummer from Brazil that Marvelle knew came to Chile so we could teach him the drum parts for “Parade,” so he could go back to Brazil and muster up a group. His name was Rogelio but everyone called him Ro-Ro. I’m not sure but that might have been slightly racy in Brazilian slang. Or maybe it was just that Ro-Ro was one of these sex-on-wheels kind of guys who hits on every woman within earshot all the time. He had reddish-brown cornrows and reddish-brown skin, with the posture and build of a scarecrow. He never seemed to be standing up straight.
I didn’t have to be very involved in teaching him the parts, but it was something to keep me busy that didn’t require me to do anything challenging with my hand. Marvelle, Brad, Chris, Ro-Ro, and me got together for a couple of hours two days in a row.
You know who didn’t rehearse during the two offdays in Chile? Star*Gaze. Having played three shows now and having survived all of them, even if I didn’t like how they went, I couldn’t force myself to work on it. I knew I needed to save my hand for the show, and to keep my Vitamin F intake down. Doctors had kept telling me I needed rest. Fine. I rested.
The more I rested my hand, though, the more restless my brain became. Why hadn’t we gotten a deal done for Star*Gaze, yet? Maybe the songs weren’t that good. Maybe the band wasn’t that good.
Or maybe while on tour on the other half of the world wasn’t the time to be getting a deal done. I knew Carynne had her hands full. So I didn’t nag her about it.
I did nag Colin a little. I had dinner with him and Flip and Bradley the first night in Santiago. Brad had barely said a word, as usual, and I was my usual quiet self, which meant Flip had to do most of the talking (which suited Flip just fine). Then at one point he and Brad went to the bathroom at the same time, leaving me and Colin. We were in the hotel’s own restaurant and at least for now fans had not discovered where we were staying.
I took the opportunity while we were alone to ask Colin, “Do I talk in my sleep?”
“Sometimes,” he said.
“Am I twitchy?”
“Not usually, but lately, yeah. I assume it’s a side effect?” He was sitting next to me with his back to the wall. The restaurant was sparsely populated. I can’t remember now if that was because it was early or late. “Your leg twitches sometimes like you’re trying to kick a cat off the bed.”
“I wouldn’t kick a cat.”
“I know you wouldn’t, but that’s the motion you make.” Colin shrugged. He was wearing a couple of layers and he wore them well: a tank top under a T-shirt that the collar had torn out of, under a hoodie, under a fleece vest.
I had a sudden urge to touch Colin’s skin. Shit. Hadn’t I just decided I wasn’t going to do sexual things with him? That reminded me of my half-baked plan to play matchmaker between him and Bradley.
I tried to be all casual about it. “So. Has Brad made a move yet?”
I know. I was not subtle. I couldn’t figure out how to be subtle. “Brad has a huge crush on you.”
“He does? That would explain it.”
“Why I’m seeing so much of him. Are you sure, though? I’d think since we’ve been spending as much time as we have that he’d have, like, said something.”
I’d told Bradley to be direct, but apparently he hadn’t. “Not all of us are as forward as you are, Col’.”
“Plus he’s, you know.” How had Brad put it? “Trying to overcome years of societal programming.” As a girl, I didn’t add.
“Huh.” Colin scanned the restaurant as if looking for them to come back. “You’re sure?”
“I’m sure. He asked my advice how to hook up with you and I said although a kind of indirect approach worked for me, being more up front about it might be better.” I caught sight of Flip and Brad, then. The two of them were talking with a bartender.
“Well, I guess he is my type,” Colin finally said. “I mean, as far as I can be said to have a type.”
“Yeah? What is your type?”
He chuckled. “I meant it as a joke. You know. Just because I have the hots for one undersized, pathologically quiet rock musician doesn’t mean I want to sleep with them all.”
I blushed a little as he ribbed me gently. Yeah, okay.
“But, yeah, I’d do Brad if he was interested,” he went on. “I’ve never slept with a trans guy before. I do love new experiences.” He trailed off as Flip and Brad came back.
Flip proceeded to explain he’d ordered some special tequila–or maybe a mezcal–that could only be gotten in Chile. And now you know why I don’t remember now what time we were there.
When I was mildly tipsy, and the other three had imbibed considerably more than me, Brad got up suddenly and announced, “Wow, my head. I better stop. I’m going up to my room.”
And Colin said, “You want company?”
“Sure.” Brad stepped back from the table so Colin could slide out.
And that was that. Seemed so simple on the surface.
Flip and I went upstairs together, too, about an hour later, but it wasn’t to sleep together. Or, well, you know, what I mean. We actually slept.
(Folks, I feel I should point out we’re only $12 from a Saturday post this week, so if you’ve been thinking about making a donation, you could be the one to put us over the top? Meanwhile, if you’re in a donating mood, Circlet Press, my erotic science fiction/fantasy publishing company is running a Kickstarter that ends in less than two weeks! Details HERE. -ctan)