58 Putting Out Fire With Gasoline

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Putting Out Fire With Gasoline

 We all went gawking at the usual things, the stars in the sidewalk and landmarks and what have you, and a photographer from the record company came along with the assistant road manager and a driver. When Bart had said “sightseeing” I hadn’t realized he’d meant with an entourage, but okay. And it was funny, I thought I would be really preoccupied by Ziggy being there, but you know, we just posed where they wanted us and goofed around and smiled, and it was easy. I put on my sunglasses and smiled when it seemed right, and the night before seemed far away, like it had happened to someone else.

I half-expected to wake up the next morning and to find it had all been a dream, but that night, after Tread and I had jammed some in the main suite, after I decided to call it a night and was brushing my teeth, there came a knock on my door.

Ziggy was back for more.

He seemed to have forgotten about Carmen, he had only one thing in mind now–me. He wanted to do everything for me, and for me to do everything to him that he could stand. Recall that I could count the number of times I’d actually had sex with another man on my hands. So when my standard tricks were used up in the first hour Ziggy took off on his own, experimenting with my body and his. He begged me to take it slow to see if he could come that way, and when he was sure that he could, he begged me to stop, to draw it out a little longer. I’d never known I could feel like that, desperate myself but holding back and my arms going shaky from holding myself up.

We didn’t get much sleep. In the morning we had to pack up for the bus ride to San Francisco for the next show.

This wasn’t like touring with Nomad, where Remo knew all the details all of the time and had a hand in everything. Here the road managers handled everything and told us where to go and what to do when we were needed. Being pampered that way was kind of fun, but at the same time I could see why Remo didn’t necessarily trust everything to someone else. When we got to San Francisco, they assigned the five of us to a three-bedroom suite with a living room, and I noticed that Carmen wasn’t along anymore.

We weren’t really in San Francisco, we were somewhere a little south, playing a venue called the Cow Palace. That didn’t sound too promising to me, but the show turned out to be pretty cool and the place was a big arena. Ziggy wanted to try to get into the city to party after the show, but after soundcheck Tread asked me if I’d jam with MNB in their encore and I said sure. Going back onstage meant a second performance-high of the night, and after that, lack of sleep was catching up with me. Everyone sacked out fairly early and in the morning we would get into one of those big, muralled tour buses and move on to Portland, a long leg of the trip.

 Everything sounds groovy, I know, except for little things like the dream I had that night.

In the dream, I’m wandering the concrete back hallways of a massive civic center. The screams of adoring fans echo off the walls and I have a terrible headache from the din.

 My own heart is beating too loud, too, and I try to scream myself for it to stop, but the sound is so loud I can’t even be heard.

Ziggy is ahead of me in the corridor, walking in slow motion as I near.

I am drawn to him like a bee to a poppy.

I am seized with the urge to drink him in.

As I reach for him, I feel as if I am encased in glass or ice, frozen in time.

 He turns, his teeth gleaming in a feral smile.

 For an instant there is a knife in his hand, but then, no, he is reaching for me.

 It takes an eternity for his hand to travel across the gulf between us.

I realize then that we are on the stage, in front of everyone in the world.

 And he is reaching for me, and his fingertips curve to meet my cheek, as if he would pull me to him for a kiss… his fingers come closer and closer, and as they are about to make contact, the ice shatters, I jerk violently away with a scream that tears my throat, “Don’t touch me!” and I fall back clutching my gut as if I’ve been stabbed.

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