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One For The Road

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Yitzak wiped the sweat of his face , leaving a trail of make-up on the towel. Even backstage, he could still hear the crowd cheering. The Angry Inch had been very successful, and he felt a little guilty at riding the wave of Hedwig's success - but only a little. This was all they ever wanted, after all - the money, the fame, the venues. He wasn't going to say no to it.

It's just that everything reminded him of Hedwig - starting with the blonde wig that he removed after every performance. He kicked off his high heels, but kept on the pink glitter dress as he sank into the comfy armchair and put his feet up.

Phyllis had joined the band again and left a newspaper backstage after every performance, per his request. If someone, somewhere had seen Hedwig it would be in there. She was a celebrity now, and the press loves celebrity scandals. But no-one had heard from her in months, and he was getting worried- because, let's face it, Hedwig wasn't quite known for making great life choices.

The rest of the band was out drinking, and he'd be passing on that. The last time he was drunk he'd called Tommy Gnosis' manager asking about Hedwig's whereabouts and made somewhat of an idiot of himself. Tommy, to his credit, had personally called him the day after to say that he had not spoken to Hedwig since he apologized to her, and then continued to apologize some more to him. It was awkward, but at least it freed him from the thought that Hedwig might have been in Tommy's bed all this time.

"Still no news, Honey?" he could hear Phyllis ask and he merely shook his head. She floated into his field of vision and put a reassuring hand on his shoulder.

"I'm sure she'll be fine," she continued, "you know I hate to say it but people like Hedwig are hard to kill. Too stubborn, you see."

"Let's hope," he replied.

"I'm going to head off, see you at the hotel, maybe?"

"Yeah, sure."

He gathered his things, not even bothering to change clothes. He didn't even have to see her at the hotel. They all had their own rooms now. A lifestyle of luxury.

The sheets where white and soft, and he sank into them, bordering on sleep already.

It was then that he heard a knock. First he thought he was imagining it, but it was soon followed by another.

When he opened the door, he had did a double take on the sight in front of him. It seemed to be an inconspicuous guy - blue jeans, a black t-shirt, sneakers. His first though was that a fan had somehow made it up here, and was looking for an autograph - but he knew that face.

"Holy crap," he breathed.

The person leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.


"In the flesh, but without the dress," she replied, as she invaded the hotel room and unceremoniously dropped down to the bed.

His demeanor changed.

"I'm not signing those divorce papers."

Hedwig waved a hand, like if she could swat away the comment like a fly.

"I didn't come for that."

He sat down next to her.

"So what did you come for?"

She shrugged. "Heard you were playing here, and I was in town. Thought I'd come say hi. You know I've always been overly sentimental."

He sat down next to her. She - was "she" even still appropriate, he wondered - looked pretty even like this. More so, perhaps, because there was a peacefulness in her expression he had not often seen during the years of their marriage.

She reached for his mouth and wiped off the leftover lipstick. There was a sad smile on her face.

"We've come full circle, you and I. Opposite sides of a coin."

He didn't always understand when she started to talk like this. It was a bit like when she told stories of heroes and myths and Gods. He liked listening to her telling those tales, but he had to admit he often didn't get what she was on about.

"I've missed you," he finally said.

She put his head on his shoulder.

"That's because I'm a bit like fungus...I grow on you."

It was a terrible pun, but they both laughed.

As the laughter subsided, he touched her face. He tentatively leaned in to kiss her and she reciprocated, pulling him close, her soft lips on his.

"I wanted to say I'm sorry," she finally said, "I was terrible to you sometimes and you didn't deserve that."

Of all the things he had expected her to say when she came back, this was not one of them. The Hedwig he knew rarely made apologies.

" I don't know what to say."

She held up her hand like in a defensive posture.

"Don't, really. I'm just trying this out. See if this is the new me."

"Hey, come here." He pulled her close, and they curled up together on the bed, her head on his chest. He stroked her hair.

"So, who is this new you then?"

"I don't know. It's part of the adventure. I'm not Hansel...but, I don't think I'm Hedwig anymore either. I mean really, Hedwig was my mother. Talk about mommy issues."

He kissed her again and she smiled.

"Well, let me know when this new you arrives. I'd love to meet her. Or him. Or you know, whatever you decide."

"I'll let you know."

They stayed liked that for the longest time, looking up at the hotel room ceiling like if it was the night sky. He remembered why he had married her - that she was soft underneath all that pain, underneath all those defense mechanisms.

Finally she fell asleep on his arm, a smile on her lips. Perhaps she dreamt of the origin of love, he thought. He wondered who she imagined her other half to be now - someone new, or could she see him in a different light after all this?

When he woke the next morning, she was gone. The room still smelled of her; the bed still had the impression of her body. He curled against the sheets and mourned the loss of her body heat against him.

As he boarded the tour bus later that day, though, he felt optimistic. He looked at the horizon with anticipation. Beyond, there were new adventures. Hedwig, or whoever she was now, was out there. One day their paths would cross again, he was sure of it. And those divorce papers were still not getting signed.

That night, he thought he saw a glimpse of a familiar face during his performance - and he played the best show of his life.