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I spent most of our day off in bed. Tread came to see me and I asked him to play through Windfall with me while I worked out some lyrics that meshed with the fragment Ziggy had left me.

The song was coming out sweet, that much I knew.

Room service, and this time I was awake for it.

Of Ziggy all I saw was that at some point during the night/morning he’d come in, showered and changed his clothes. I didn’t ask anyone else if they’d seen him.

A brief interruption of a nap for maid service. Bart and Christian checked up on me in the middle of the afternoon. My throat was swollen and I felt tired. They went off to a museum. More room service. I stood in a hot shower for a long time, not thinking about anything. When I got out, I wrote in the steam on the mirror: Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Miami. The four cities we had left to go. I’d gotten the itinerary from Tread. Tomorrow we’d drive to Philly and play a show. The following morning, drive to DC and play a show, then into the buses and drive all night to Atlanta, get there the next day and play a show that night. We got to sleep there that night, spend the next day traveling, and then sleep in Miami one night before the closing date.

There was a knock on the bathroom door. “Daron?” Ziggy’s voice.


“Just seeing if it was you.”

No, it’s Speed Racer, I almost said. But my throat hurt and I wasn’t sure how he’d take it. I sat on the john and wondered if he’d be gone when I came out. I took my time shaving the three (four?) days sparse growth off my chin, brushed my teeth, wrung out my hair. When I ran out of things to do, I wrapped a towel around my waist and resolved to get back in bed.

He was still there, lounging on top of the covers on the other bed, eyes shadowed as he looked up at me. “How are you feeling?”

I put on a clean T-shirt and got into my bed. “Tired. Sore throat. But I’ll live.” I tossed the damp towel on the floor. “Thanks for, you know, getting me away from that reporter before I fell over, literally.”

He made a little shrug, like I embarrassed him by mentioning it. His eyes tracked back to the television and he didn’t say anything more.

We watched several minutes of an action movie, a rather compelling car and motorcycle chase that ended in explosions. I forgot for a while that there was any weirdness between us.

Then he said, “Do you want me?”

I stared at him. “What? Do you mean, now?”

He sat self-consciously still. “I mean, do-you-want-me.”

“Why are you asking me?”

He shook his head. “Because I want to know.”

You know already, I thought. You know damn well how much I want you, because if I didn’t you couldn’t play these games. My heart was beating faster. “I think you know.”

He slid onto the rug by the side of my bed. “Then I want to hear the answer from you. Do you want me?”

“Ziggy, I’m sick…”

“Do you?”

“No. No, I don’t…” I made myself say, but my voice sounded false even to my ears.

He smiled as he crawled over me and lay down next to me. “Why do you say that?”

“Because I don’t want you… toying with me. Because I don’t like it when we don’t get along.”

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