864. Something Good

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.”

“Explain what?”

“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)


  • G says:

    Daron, you are too slick for me. Your version of subtlety is a sight to behold.

    I must say that I would much rather you feel the urge to touch Ziggy than anyone else, no matter how much I adore Colin. I hope it works out with him and Bradley; I think he deserves someone who wants him without that someone being you. But that’s just me being Team Diggy. Or Team Zaron. Or Team Zigon. Whatever. I’m feeling goofy.

    • daron says:

      Your combinations of our names just made me spit coffee all over my phone. 😛

    • s says:

      I like Zaron best. Somehow I don’t think Ziggy would agree, though. Lol

      • sanders says:

        Zaron and Zigon sound like twin villains in a comic book, one who relies on mad-scientist-built devices to stun, and one who uses the power of their voice to compel people to do their bidding. Think we can convince Amy to draw that one up?

  • Kunama says:

    That sounded like Colin and Daron are still regularly sharing a room (rather than Ziggy and Daron).

    Any chance that Brad and Colin encounter will show up as an erotic aside? (Do you do those, or are they patreons only these days? It has been a while)

    • ctan says:

      Just checking, did you miss a chapter? Daron finally asked Ziggy last chapter to stay with him and Ziggy told him flat-out no, he needs a dark, quiet room to himself so he can get enough sleep.

      You’re right, it has been a while since we had a sexy bonus scene. 🙂 Last one was the “wedding night” from Ziggy’s POV. I do send any bonus scenes I do to Patrons, but they’re always available for regular readers as “a la carte” donations. There just hasn’t been one in a while!

      • s says:

        Second vote for Bradley/Colin bonus scene! Bradley is so adorably shy I can’t help wondering if he’ll come out of his shell in the bedroom. Plus, I’m always a sucker for someone getting a shot with their crush. Hope it’s everything he wants it to be.

  • daron says:

    Oh, hey, thanks to Bill — your donation put us over the top! Hey ctan, get writing!

  • sanders says:

    Oh, Colin. I love you, but if you say something about Brad’s gender being part of a “new experience” to him, I will possibly start rooting for him to kick you in the nuts and leave you high and dry.

    But good on ya for admitting you have the hots for Daron. That says a lot since you’re both averse to using your words about feelings.

    • Bill Heath says:

      That was 1991; the transgender pheneomenon, as old as mankind, had just risen a couple of millimeters above the public radar. It was a “new experience” for practically everybody.

      Colin is the best possible choice for Brad to talk to about his sexuality, IMO. Colin is bright, open, nonjudgmental, sexually fluid and curious. If Colin says something about a “new experience,” and Brad doesn’t react well, the next words out of Colin’s mouth are certainly “OK. Wanna fuck?”

      I became aware of the phenomenon in the 1980s, and accepted that it was as real as grass and trees. I did not understand the phenomenon, but that was far less important than accepting it. In case I had to treat a transgendered patient, I learned what I could, which frankly wasn’t a whole lot. I understood hormone treatments for non-transgendered patients, and learned a bit about hormone maintenance therapy for the transgendered. I never knowingly had a transgendered patient before I left medicine.

      My first witting personal interaction with a transgendered woman was a decade later. I fired her, over the objections of the HR pukes, who were afraid of a discrimination lawsuit. She was a major pain in the ass, a monumental disruptive influence in the workplace, a liar, and was incapable of playing well with the other children. Before firing her I talked with her managers and colleagues from her pre-operative days. They described her exactly the way I did, and had kicked the can down the road for a decade. I would have fired a born female or male for her actions, and saw no reason to discriminate in her favor because she was transgendered.

      • sanders says:

        Okay, let’s don’t call it a phenomenon, first, it’s not some mystical rare occurrence. You wouldn’t refer to being gay that way or being black, so just don’t. You’re better than that.

        Secondly, you also know, or should know by now, gender and sexuality are not the same thing. Brad can talk all day with Colin about his sexuality, and that wouldn’t be an issue. The problem here is Colin potentially treating Brad’s gender like a new sexual quirk to explore, putting it in the same category as never having used a bullwhip or being part of a daisy chain. The same problem would have been present if he’d approached Ziggy with “Well, I’ve never been with a part Latino guy, so new experience.”

        Third, you have no personal experience as far as I can tell with how incredibly insulting and fetishizing it is to have a part of your identity called someone else’s “new experience”, like you’re an exotic adventure for them to tick off. Being bright and curious doesn’t excuse treating someone’s identity like a tourist stop, and if Colin does, I will be severely disappointed in him. More over, I will be very sad for Brad if he feels like he has to accept being treated that way.

        When you hold a marginalized or complex identity, you spend a lot of time listening to ignorant, minimalizing comments about who you are, and then being told you should set aside your own reactions to those things and be grateful someone is willing to try to accept you or find you attractive–the implication of your supposition that Colin will hear Brad’s objections and still ask to fuck is the ultimate expression of that. It’s a degrading experience to be disregarded in that way, and I want better from Colin and better for Brad.

        • Max says:

          I second not calling being trans “a phenomenon”. I also want to put in a vote for not referring to someone as “a born female” or “a born male”.

          I’m feeling relatively optimistic about Colin in this situation – I think I read his “I’ve never slept with a trans guy before” comment as more of an afterthought than a motivating factor. But as a genderqueer person who shares Brad’s crush on Colin, I’ll join Sanders in being severely disappointed if he fucks this up.

          • sanders says:

            I’m optimistic, just… wary. I like Colin so much as a balancing force to the guys around him, and I just don’t want him to let us down. I want my faith to be well-placed in him.

            Agreed on not using “a born female” or “a born male.” I missed that one earlier, and I’m sorry for not including it. “Phenomenon” stuck out to me because it comes with such a strong connotation of being a rare and often passing thing, and that’s just not the reality.

        • Bill Heath says:

          Again, easily and eagerly offended. Please look up the word phenomenon in any dictionary published since the 1890s. I found two reasonable definitions.

          1. a fact or situation that is observed to exist or happen, especially one whose cause or explanation is in question.

          2. the object of a person’s perception; what the senses or the mind notice.

          I used it in the second meaning. Had I used the fist meaning, it still would not be a magical, mystical occurrence. A few quotes:

          “Gravity or gravitation is a natural phenomenon …”

          “A natural phenomenon is an observable event which is not man-made. Examples include: sunrise, weather, fog, thunder, tornadoes; biological processes, decomposition, germination; physical processes, wave propagation, erosion; tidal flow, and natural disasters such as electromagnetic pulses, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.”

          “Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather generally refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity …”

          I know that gender and sexuality are different things. If you’re going to lecture me on word definitions, please first improve your own vocabulary. I would expect Colin to confirm Bradly’s sexual orientation first. He’s a male, with a crush on another male. Not all male-male crushes are sexual. After confirming it’s a sexual crush, I still expect Colin to say, “Wanna fuck?”

          Now you’re criticizing me for what Colin might do, or how he would approach the “new experience” issue with Bradly. His remark was made to Daron, an entirely different context.

          In summary, please get off your high horse. The entire lecture, “When you hold a marginalized or complex identity, you spend a lot of time listening to ignorant, minimalizing comments about who you are, and then being told you should set aside your own reactions to those things and be grateful someone is willing to try to accept you or find you attractive–the implication of your supposition that Colin will hear Brad’s objections and still ask to fuck is the ultimate expression of that. It’s a degrading experience to be disregarded in that way, and I want better from Colin and better for Brad.” has no relevance to my comment. Please point out where I pointed out that Colin would ask for sex if Bradley objected. Please point out where I suggested degrading anyone. Also, please provide an explanation for your entire post that doesn’t involve trying for one-upmanship, or even defining yourself as a victim. You ARE a victim, just not of me.

          • Cecilia Tan says:

            Bill, you’re not going to win this one. *You’re* the one trying for “one-up-manship” here.

            When a marginalized person says a comment is hurtful, you don’t get to try to defend why it wasn’t. Only the person who’s hurt gets to judge if they were hurt or not. If you *intended* no hurt, the proper response is an apology for the wound and a promise to try not to do it again. Anything else is just twisting the knife.

          • sanders says:

            Bill, I’m sorry that you seem to be having a bad day, but I assure you, I am not responsible for it.

            This statement from you is highly problematic: If Colin says something about a “new experience,” and Brad doesn’t react well, the next words out of Colin’s mouth are certainly “OK. Wanna fuck?”

            This is exactly the point where you said Colin would proceed, over Bradley’s reactions, to ask for sex. My response outlined the reasons why and ways in which such a situation would be degrading and unacceptable.

            If you cannot, after my previous response see why this is not acceptable either as a way for Colin to approach the situation or as a general approach to people with complex identities, there is no further explanation I could offer you that you would likely find acceptable.

            I am not anyone’s victim, nor have I ever defined myself as one.

            I would suggest, at this point, if your kneejerk reaction is to continue to dismiss my responses as my being eager to take offense or engage in victimhood, then you should take a step back, reread what I wrote, and spend some time thinking about why that was your reaction. Take a moment and examine your privileges and experiences relative to gender, sexuality, and race; practice empathy, and try to see this from a perspective not your own.

            If you cannot do so, I ask you, respectfully, to please stop engaging with me on this and any subsequent threads.

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