147 ZIGGY

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Ziggy: This is My Story (And I’m Sticking to It)

He has no idea.

He really doesn’t.

He’s so used to fading into the background that he has no clue how beautiful he is. Daron, I mean. He had no concept of himself as attractive.

This puzzles me. At first I thought it was an act, false modesty. But as I got to know him I began to realize, he not only doesn’t think of himself as attractive, he doesn’t even really have a good sense of what he looks like to others. This is a guy who will walk around all day with his shirt buttoned wrong and never look in a mirror to figure out he’s still got stage glitter in his hair from the show the night before.

This really hits home when are in Arizona to film the “Why the Sky” video. We’re in the make-up trailer, and he’s getting his face done while I’m getting my hair done, in adjacent chairs. And he is arguing with the stylist.

I come to the poor woman’s rescue. “Dar’, just let her do her job.”

“But I don’t want to look done up for this.”

“That’s the point. She’s going to put make-up on you so that no one can tell it’s there.”

“Then what’s the point of it?”

The stylist and I exchange looks, and I think of what to say. “That’s the thing. Because of the lights and the way the camera works, you’ll look all washed out and weird if they don’t put something on you.”

He looks at me like he thinks I’m kidding, and I see him go through a thought process. I am seeing this all too often, weighing whether to believe me or not.

He decides to believe me this time. “Okay.”

The guy trimming my hair pokes me with his thumb. “What about you? Want me to change anything?”

“Yes,” I say. “Change everything.”

* * * *

I’ve been trying to figure out when I started to lose him or if maybe I never had him at all. Thinking back, it’s more likely the latter. He doesn’t even remember the first time we met.

It was a party on the Cape, with a bonfire on the beach, and he was sitting on a log playing guitar with Bart, but Bart was only playing half the time, and chatting up some girl the other half of the time.

OK, I’ll admit, I was chatting up a girl myself, a different girl from the one who’d brought me to the party in the first place, who had gone off with some preppie guy supposedly to try to score more drugs. I wasn’t much interested in drugs then and I was pretty sure it wasn’t drugs they were scoring anyway. It ended up with a bunch of couples all making out around the fire, except for him, just playing the guitar and sometimes singing softly to himself.

In case you’ve never tried it, sex on the beach is actually pretty hazardous unless you like abrasion and sand in places it really shouldn’t go. So I didn’t stay down there long. The girl and I went up to the house and found an unoccupied bed, but in my ears it was like I could still hear him.

I figured I’d never see him again. I forgot the girl’s name immediately, but I didn’t forget his.

Sometimes I want him so much, I think maybe it’s more than I’ve ever wanted anyone in my entire life.

* * * *

He’s standing on a butte in Arizona, with a hot dry wind blowing his hair back and the sunset painting the whole landscape with umber and gold, staring at his shoe. He has no idea how much the camera loves him. He isn’t even aware that the camera is on. He’s in his own little world and I really wonder what he’s thinking about.

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