it's useless to call it love, at this point. it is large, and gray, and beneath everything we do, like a continuous foundation, a mat footing that supports everything.
don't you know, my love, that i cannot imagine a time before us? i cannot imagine ever being lonely, or tired, or angry, or annoyed, or despised, or unhappy, or rejected, or in any way unsatisfied, or undersexed.
don't you know, my love, that it has always been like this, that we've done this a hundred times before? i hear these words day in and day out, and i'm not even sure who i heard them from. knowing me, i probably read it somewhere. or wrote it.
and yet despite the forgetfulness, some habits die hard, like a jacket you cannot bear to throw away, even though you cannot recall acquiring it. because you love it:
"you know, i am a different kind of architect than most. you are getting my own peculiar way of processing these architectural things."
"i already know you have your own peculiar way of processing these things. that's why i'm with you, chad."
as if i cannot remember that our relationship is not an abstraction, but is its own thing entirely. a peculiar. a fantastic. a grotesque. a baroque. ours.
we both think you're a really special guy, and you deserve the best. you deserve to be the king, with a really long name.
i'm sitting here eating soup with my corduroy jacket on and thinking about how i love how you help people and how much i love autumn and how much i love being warm with you and how i love you.
i wish i could re-live my summer, but with you in it.
at the foot of his stairs, he stopped. he crouched a little, and waited. i knew what to do, the way i knew what to do when i was in first grade, knowing that someone else would be taking over for a little while, knowing that i would be receiving his gift and liking it. i jumped on his back while he carried me, piggyback, up the dirty stairs.
on the way up i convinced myself that he was both correct and incorrect. things don't always happen twice. but the often do happen twice, and this very moment, being carried up the stairs, was a sure example of that. chris had carried me up his stairs, too. i was shaking from the double. or it might have been the booze. oops.
yet i had also constructed a different story about our little walk, our little talk. it was a possibility i was uncomfortable with, yet one i could not stop thinking about. everything about him was correct: the right level of unexpectedness. the dirty mind. the animal dick. the brilliant wit. the intersecting imagination, which, like two geometric lines, define an infinite plane. it was the possibility that i would fall in love on the first night with him, that he would realize this was happening, and would admonish my resistance to this idea with words. how do you know we haven't done this a hundred times before? that you haven't decided long ago how this would turn out?
or was i telling him that? i was drunk.
i made this mistake, that of falling in love the first night, long ago. it was my first mistake, the very first night i had sex with a man: that chris loved me because he spoke well when we met. my favorite delusion is to believe that i do not make this mistake over, over, and over again, because as far as i can tell, there is no reason to believe that there's any different criteria. all of my friends avoid my questions when i ask about it.
my mind was rolling around, drunk, comfortable being carried. i was in love and would not admit it. in love and completely drunk.
we went up four flights. fourth floor. didn't drop me. he put me down gently, and i attempted to stay upright while he unlocked his door. i reached to a belt loop and held on again.
his apartment was dark, and cool, like the outdoors. it smelled like the apartments of all my tricks: like another man, someone not-me, someone masculine, someone who sweats in their sleep and loves it. someone who enjoys their own scent. i had recently grown to appreciate this apartment scent, and even looked forward to inhaling it. i was rewarded to a musky smell, as if his clothing consisted mostly of gym clothing and assorted athletic shoes. he flipped on the light, and there was a set of workout shorts and tank top drying on a chair.
he didn't let me look around long. he grabbed my arm, spun me to face him, and we began to neck like animals. i closed my eyes and the room began to melt away, my senses of direction and depth perception began to dissipate, and i was enveloped by his lips, tongue, and muscular, warm, arms.
this happened for some time. i think. suddenly, he pulled away.
"you may think i'm crazy--"
"you are crazy" i interrupted.
"--but talking to you tonight" he was looking over my face, brushing my hair with his hairy hand, the way one brushes a horse's mane, firmly, "made me feel like i've known you for a long time. the longer we talked, the more years i knew you. just before you kissed me in the bar, i felt like we were teenagers together, in the woods behind your house. i'm a little older than you." he started to grin again, and began to move closer, as if to push me back. he was walking through me the way he had approached that guy at the bar, as if he was ready to push me away. "and so i'm bigger than you. you're thirteen and little, and i'm almost sixteen and much bigger. we were running around the creek, chopping apple weeds with sticks, and throwing the fruit at each other. you always miss me, and so you start running, until i stopped chasing you and peed in the creek."
during this little story, he had put his hands on my chest. i was gently being pushed against the wall. his eyes looked down, his mouth stayed open. he wasn't going to hit me. he was looking at what he thought i was looking at, his chest. or perhaps he was directing my attention to something he knew i admired, while positioning me for something entirely different.
i felt like the words, the cascade of images, were being pulled from me, from my past. none of this ever happened, but the setting was correct. the older guys. i loved hanging out with the older kids: they had bodies and experiences that i did not possess, yet i knew that any of them could be me in a few years, that i was looking at myself as i would be. that they would happen twice, and i would be the second incarnation of them.
yet i also knew that the outcome was not certain, that i was different than these older kids, in education and intelligence, in disposition, in familial support, in what i could make with my hands. and so which of them would i become? what composite, or collage, of these kids would make up the future me? in an attempt to influence the outcome, i did my sole best to be near the ones i wanted to be. the bigger ones, the ones also most popular, or least popular, or leading the group, or inspiring despair. that their invisible aura might be transferred to me. aaron had so many things right, there was a woods, and weeds to cut, and running, and older kids. and i had loved to watch them pee.
i interrupted him again. "and i ran back to you, so i would watch you piss." again i demonstrated that the ability to surprise one with one's own thoughts was something we both possessed. the cascade worked both directions.
he registered a slight surprise, then grabbed my sides very firmly, and pressed his mouth against mine. we kissed very hard, lips mashing together, and he was squeezing my ass. my hands ran over his head, neck, back, and arms. he put both hands under my butt and lifted me against the wall, causing a picture to be thrown off and clatter on the floor. he put my legs around his hips and carried me to the middle of the room, all while our lips were locked. he was turing me on, the way chris had, the way so many other men have, holding me aloft while necking, and i began to lose track of time itself. gravity was happily switched off. my only center, my only mass, my only concern, was his body, his smooth and warm lips, and the bristle of his head, the hair on his neck.
he pulled his mouth away. we were panting. he squeezed me with his arms. "stay here tonight". please, his eyes pleaded.
i nodded, lightly, barely containing my silliest grin. instead i curled part of my lip. he was play-begging me and i really liked it.
ps all work in this domain is copyright chad the minx.