Beautiful Hysterical

There are things that putting out a cigarette can do for me that nothing else can do. Like, I like watching the embers scatter, and I love pressing them out one by one, smoothing them into a dry puddle of black ash.

It's the little things, it really is. They sort of suck me up at times, each one doing something different. Putting out a cigarette does its own special thing, just like the first cup of god-awful coffee in the morning does something entirely new.

Just like watching Oz tune his guitar before a show takes everything else and tosses it out the window for a few minutes. His fingers twisting the keys and playing over the strings, testing and re-testing, and then he just sort of sits back when he gets it right. Laid-back. That's my Oz.

My Oz. Fuck, I'm such a bitch sometimes. But when I see him, and he's getting ready for one of

our does something to me. What can I say but that?

I wonder what he's thinking, times like those. I know he gets in this space, like inside his head, where it's just him and the guitar. I know that, and I've known it for awhile. It's hard not to notice, 'cause of the look he gets in his eyes. It's his space. His. But sometimes I want to know what's going on in there.

Maybe know if I'm just a little part of it, I guess. 'Cause it's hard to tell, it really is. Little dude has the impassive facial thing down pat. Like, we were in this crowded club, and it was noisy and smelly and just an all-around crazy atmosphere...and he just took it all in. Just sat there and worked on his guitar.

Fuckin' weird, and I wish he'd teach me a thing or two about how he does it. I mean, Oz may be fucking weird, but at least he's not a weird fuck. That's my job. Oz has it together, somehow, and I'm the one who does crazy shit.

Like I did tonight. At the end of our show, during the last song, I just lost it. Like, there I was singing, and all wrapped up in it like always, and then I was suddenly thinking about Oz, and how he was so fucking close, right behind me.

I don't know what exactly was in my head right then. Just that I was turning, whirling on him, falling to my knees and he was so fucking there.

Like, as soon as I got in his space, I could smell him. Sweating, from the lights and the dank, musty air of the crowded club, so that it was his normal smell, but magnified about a thousand times, with something bitter and solid added in. It's like, the only way Oz can really be pushy and obtrusive; he's usually just kind of there, and now he's just there.

He sort of grinned when he saw what I was doing. He totally gets in my head and understands me sometimes. So he was all sorts of meeting me halfway, taking these little steps and looking all amused and shit, and his feet kept getting further and further apart, spreading around me. As soon as my mouth pressed against his guitar he was surging forward, bending me sort of back and still forcing his hand down to play, and every time his fingers brushed against my cheek I kept getting yanked back, away from the satisfying roar of the crowd and back to just him, and his skin, and slickness of the guitar under my tongue.

There was sweat running down my forehead; I could feel it, and I just didn't care. And I knew I had to start singing again soon, but I didnŐt give a fuck about that, either. Because suddenly, it was like, my hands were gripping the backs of Oz's legs, holding him there, and I was wishing like crazy that guitar weren't in the way.

Which is just fucking strange, I swear. I don't think about Oz like that. I don't. I was just kidding around, giving the fans a thrill...but his fingers are so cool against my cheek, and his legs are so hot under my hands...I squeezed a little tighter and dragged my lower lip over the surface, and I swear he fucking thrust at me, 'cause my teeth knocked the wood and then he was stepping back, cocking an eyebrow at me and nodding towards the microphone.

It took me way too long to realize I still needed to breathe, that nothing mystical had happened and I really fucking needed to breathe. The air was heavy in my lungs, settling in and dragging me down with its weight, and it was all I could do to haul myself off my knees and get back to the center of the stage in time to belt out the next lyrics. And I looked out at everyone, this big mass of flesh probably every bit as sweaty as I was, with random faces popping out at me so unpredictably I got dizzy, and I had to cling to the microphone hard and fast just to stay on my feet.

I stumbled backwards as soon as the song was over, turning slowly and finally making my way over to an amp, which I fell onto to just close my eyes and breathe. Shallow, deep, shallow, deeper, deep, deep, deeper and deeper until my head fell into my hands and I almost felt normal again.

I sure as hell wasn't acting normal, though; Oz had to actually grip my shoulder and shake to get me to look up and realize that we needed to be clearing our equipment away. And he sort of shrugged at me, real light and casual, and I had to grin at that.

Oz is like, contagious or something. He just makes shit better, quick and easy.

And I don't even know if he knows he's doing it. He just doesn't know what the fuck he can do to me.

But to hell with it, anyway. I like it like this. It's a little thing, but it's a thing.

A good thing.