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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Please consider donating to this month’s artist campaign! All donations received this month will be passed through to graphic artists we support, to commission art of Daron & crew. Click for more details.)

The route Carynne had mapped took us east to the Interstate, then north into Wyoming to hook up with I-80. Colin drove the truck first and Kevin had been planning to drive the van, but I wanted to drive while I was up and awake. I put in a tape of a Yes live concert which was too full of tempo changes and dynamic shifts to lull anyone into sleep. Just before midnight we passed through Cheyenne, and about a half hour later came to a truck stop on the outskirts of Laramie where we switched drivers and did the usual pit stop type things. Kevin took over from me and Chris drove the truck. Ziggy went to sleep in the very back of the van, and I kind of spaced out looking into the dark of the side of the road.

If there was something bothering me, it wasn’t specific enough to give me a lump in my stomach or a flutter in my chest. Wyoming went by in a dark blur and I wondered if there was something more constructive I could be doing with myself than sitting there and staring. Go on, Daron, solve the problems of the world in your spare time.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Please consider donating to this month’s artist campaign! All donations received this month will be passed through to graphic artists we support, to commission art of Daron & crew. Click for more details.)

So we got to see more of Boulder than we otherwise would have. That afternoon Bart and Chris and I had lunch and wandered around the pedestrian mall in the center of town, poking around stores selling nifty Western minerals and kites and mountaineering gear. In a bookstore we saw our publicity photo was on the cover of Rocker, what do you know. I didn’t buy it. We hung out for a little while in the mainstream record shop where Jason worked, shooting the shit. He was looking forward to tonight, and I guess I was, too. The mountains stood like a curtain on one side of us and I found myself kind of orienting to them as we walked around, like knowing where downtown was in New York by the World Trade Center.

We went back to the hotel to change clothes and pick up the guitars before heading over to the hall. I was sorting through T-shirts when Ziggy came to the door of my room. “Hey,” he said, and sat on the bed where I was laying shirts out.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Today’s the last day to try to earn bonus posts for the whole next month! The tally stands at 50, with 50 points to go by midnight tonight. Ever dollar donated is a point, as is every retweet, and every new follower on Facebook or Twitter. And it’s 5 points for any review left for the DGC ebook on Amazon.com, Goodreads, or Smashwords. Post the same review all three places and that’s 15 points right there…! More details: http://daron.ceciliatan.com/archives/922 If we don’t get to 100 points, we’ll drop back to two posts a week except in weeks where donations top $25.)

Of all the parts of the country I’d been in, Texas was the strangest-feeling yet. We were due to stay three nights in a motel on the edge of Austin, the first night to sleep off the drive, the second night after the Spring Weekend concert at University of Texas, and the third night after the show in San Antonio which was maybe two hours drive from there.

My whole feeling about Texas was that beady-eyed, big-hatted men were watching me through binoculars with shotguns in their laps.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Details on how to earn bonus posts for February! Click here). Short version: all comments, retweets, new followers/likes, and donations get counted as 1pt, plus 5 pts for reviews on blogs or left on Amazon, Goodreads, or Smashwords! You have until Feb 3rd!)

Our Kevin clapped me on the shoulder as I went one way and he went the other. I came around the back of the stage to the stairs that led up to the backstage kitchenette, and stopped short.

Ziggy was sitting on the steps, his hands hanging between his knees and his lower lip hidden in his teeth. He blinked heavily-lined eyes at me and stared. I stared back. Bart and Chris, who had been behind me at some point, were as disappeared as mafia informers.

“Hey,” he finally said.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

I had just hung up the phone and was exploring the extra-large bathtub in the suite’s bathroom–it had some kind of jets–when I heard the door open. Ziggy came in and threw himself down on the king-size bed.

“Tired?” I asked as I paused in the doorway from the bathroom, my voice neutral.

He threw his arm over his eyes. “Yeah. But kind of wired, too. It’s this place. Talk about a party town.”

I sat next to him on the bed and crossed my legs. “I just got off the phone with Bizzy.”

“Oh, yeah?” His eyes were still hidden under his arm.

“Yeah. I told her I wanted her to come back.”

“I thought she had some kind of family emergency…”

I pulled his arm down and looked into his eyes, anger sudden and rough in my veins. “Don’t give me that bullshit. You know she left because of you.”

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

In the morning Christian woke me up banging on the door and hollering. The clock on the night table read 10:00 AM and I sat up with my heart pounding, wondering what had gone wrong. I opened the door. “Jeezus, what happened?”

“Aren’t we supposed to be on the road? It’s eleven hours to New Orleans without stopping.” He looked at his wrist where there was no watch but the meaning of the gesture was not lost on me. He was fully dressed, hair blown dry and wearing a black T-shirt and jeans.

I rubbed my eyes. “Shit, I guess I’m supposed to be in charge now, aren’t I.”

“That’s right, boss.”

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

[Thanks to everyone who donated, making this bonus story free for everyone to read!]

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.

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The Cutter

Jul. 8th, 2010 10:00 am
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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

We played until about one in the morning when Colin came down and said he had to get up for a temp job at 8am. Bart and Michelle went home and Christian and I watched half of a late night movie before he fell unconscious on the couch. Of our other two housemates, there was no sign of Lars, and Mike was currently driving a van across the country with Miracle doing small dates. I shut the TV off, took a shower but didn’t bother to shave, and went up to my room.

I was only aware of having fallen asleep after I woke up–I opened my eyes to find the overhead light still on and my hair still damp. I got up from my mattress to shut the light off. Something tapped against the window like rain. My fogged brain had some recollection of that sound–the sound that woke me. I went to the window.

Now that I was listening for it, the noise was clearly driveway gravel hitting the glass. I turned off the light so I could see outside and there was Ziggy, about to lob another handful at me.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

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.

“What?”

“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.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

The press conference was over but I was thirsty and jittery and my face still felt hot, like I’d gotten sunburned from the bright TV camera lights. I went into the men’s room and splashed my face with water. I slid the elastic out of my hair and let the uncut strands fall over my face. My hands were shaking. “God I hate this,” I said to no one in particular.

“Hate what?” Ziggy was behind me.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

At midnight Christian and I returned to the hotel, wired on espresso-latte-bombs, and everyone else seemed to be conked out. Except Ziggy, who was nowhere to be found.

I spent an hour trying to read the contract and decided, yeah, I would definitely have to get a lawyer to read it. Maybe Watt could recommend someone. Good thing we were going home tomorrow.

I spent another hour tweaking the strings on the Ovation, playing around with that thing Tread and I had started. I was starting to call it “Windfall” even though it had no lyrics yet. When I got tired of that I stood in the hot shower until my fingers turned soft. At 2:30am Pacific Time, I got into bed and wished for a book to read other than the Gideon Bible; one of Matthew’s mysteries would have been perfect. I lay still in the dark and felt the caffeine wearing off, but I couldn’t sleep.

At three Ziggy still hadn’t come in. The more I tried not to think about where he might be, the more my stomach churned.

He’s not yours, I told myself. He likes to fuck you and you like to fuck him and it’s damn convenient when that works out, but you don’t own him. I thought about how, the past few nights, he’d been there, and this morning… was it only a week ago he’d begged me to show him what it was like? What happens when he gets tired of you? When he wants to go back to women? Then, what? Shut up. Just don’t think about it.

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Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Tread and I seemed to be hitting it off and he asked me to ride in the bus with him part of the way north. He played guitar, too, and we spent a couple hours of the trip jamming back and forth with blues and other stuff, until our fingers were sore. He had long straight black hair and at one point I asked him how he kept it from getting caught under his shoulder strap all the time. He handed me a loop of elastic.

“Ponytails,” he said, “they’re not just for yuppies, anymore.”

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