1: A Child Dreams

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Every girl I've ever met wants to fuck my husband. Older, younger, freaks or squares, it doesn't matter. They all want to fuck him.

Some of them try to hide it, smile at me, as if getting friendly will somehow bring him closer. Most don't. They flirt with him right in front of me, lips parted, nipples hard under Italian leather or Indian gauze as their fingers graze his arm. Take me, their eyes say. I'm yours, Johnny. Anytime you want.

He brushes them off adeptly, unthinkingly; so many hairs on his collar, so much dust on his sleeve. Who knows how he acts when I'm not around.

This is our first public scene together since the wedding, and I'm trying to hide my nerves, my changed state bubbling inside me like boiling water under oil. Mrs Fabian, it whispers as I steam.

I can immediately tell the news has preceded us. A perspicacious sprite dances through the crowd as we descend the stairs, tipping off averted glances, whispering around twisted shoulders and between subtly poking fingertips.

The music is loud and The Full Moon is full of faces. It's a real happening, alright. One of those times when the night owns you, but you own everything.

I immediately see Ginger and Jim from The Cobalt Tone, a rarity, with recording in LA they've barely been around since '67 (it was a groovier scene back then, the old timers say, just so they can have something you don't). Their presence had the Moon alive, everybody dancing and getting high and pretending like they haven't seen those guys on telly, because we don't dig that establishment baggage on the underground.

The groove isn't just for Ginger and Jim, but my Johnny, too (my Johnny). After all, Odysseus are just as big as The Cobalt Tone now, their shows always packed. As soon as we walk in I'm digging it, eyes on us, a real down vibe.

Dave is spinning Axe's Child Dreams, and those tripped out chords are wrapping around me, my arms heavy with the Quaaludes, and it's a real sunshine trip.

I can feel Johnny next to me, really feel him, and it's all real, you dig, he's so beautiful, purple and red and blue, lights moving on his skin. I hope Dave will drop an Odysseus track, so I can hear Johnny play, with him there, touching me, every atom of us made of sex, and then this chick pushes me into the bar.

Johnny doesn't notice. His eyes are glazed and the drums are coming in and the smoke is pulsing, and for a moment his hands are on her back, his body lithe and powerful, just like when he's holding his guitar.

There are times when I love Johnny so much, I think it might kill me.

Some of those times: when he's on stage and I watch him from the crowd, like a stranger. Every time I hear the first ascending notes of his solo in Clementine Dream. When he's on a dancefloor, some other woman pressed against him.

How many others have there been?

If I close my eyes, do I even exist at all?

"Alison, baby." Roy Matthews tries to scoop me up, the backs of his fingers hard against my breast as he grabs my arm. "I hear congratulations are in order, Mrs Fabian." Roy looks pointedly from Johnny and the chick to me as he says my new name, his smile mocking under his moustache.

I push him away as soon as I'm standing again. Roy Matthews is a no-one. And yet sometimes I'm scared he sees something everyone else has missed.

Johnny pulls himself off the chick and turns around. I smile. You can't get uptight over shit like that. The possessive vibe isn't cool.

I press myself to his chest instead, so I can check her out over his shoulder. Her hair is okay, thick and long, but frizzy, and she has bad skin and flat tits. Her glitzy top sits awkward on her shoulders, some regular home-sewn trash.

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