We head outside to smoke and once we leave the turret we both go for our own pockets for the cigarettes and the lighters and in a joke we light each other’s with a light laugh, it’s funny, because Julian knows the truth and at the same time, it’s ok for me to be gay for once, because in the eyes of society I’m the bait, without knowing that the bait is more than willing to have sex with men. I fucking enjoy it.
Jules still tries to lure me in, to make sure that the conversation isn’t lost, so we go futher from the turrets on the deck, even if we’re not isolated from everyone, I can still pretty much see who would approach us and when we need to change topic. But in the end we just keep smoking our cigarettes, Juju even plays with his lighter and it’s funny how everything seems idle, but we still wait for news on Poland from the speaker, but nothing really comes and it’s bizarre because on this side, everything is getting invaded, but something more dramatic would be reported, people who die don’t get reported unless we’ve heard their names.
I guess what stings is the fact that today was the first day of school in Poland and frankly even if school was hell, nothing can be compared to war and it’s still weird, even if jobs sometimes are like school, I still can be more prepared and I know that if something happens when I’m on a boat, I was trained to do it and all I have to do is yell at Carlos, really. I mean if he’s that bad I can load the damn thing myself.
I wonder how Cookie is, how the fuck will he face that girl of his, telling that he had indeed slept with another man, even if it was a casual encounter. I think his eyes will always haunt me and if I were to go insane, I think that would be from thinking of his eyes alone. They would drive me insane, I try to think of Miles and I see him taking my face and kissing me.
“So... do you like anyone?” It seems like an awfully simple question and regardless of your age or I guess rather with being homosexual, it always screws you up, because nearly always it has to come out as a lie. I just shake my head, lying and deciding on the option of chain smoking and I light another cigarette, while Juju still has his unfinished. It feels weird it’s like that time when you’re still young and everyone spins a bottle and even a kiss on the cheek doesn’t seem so innocent.
When the hat is taken off and I know I won’t be judged, it’s different but I still recall the salty taste of fear for being gay, I still do and I still will, but I feel like I fit in the roll, the pretty boy to catch the homosexuals. Before Julian can ask me again, I fire the question back at him, glancing at him in the eye, slowly breathing out the smoke.
Maybe I shouldn’t care.
Maybe it’s just statistics.
Maybe I shouldn’t care about Cookie either even if I’d chop my own arm off to get him out of there, it’s all in theory and in theory Hitler wouldn’t have attacked Poland and in theory he will never attack us, but if he gets enough might, the fucker will.
“Oh, um, no, not at the moment.” Julian now joins the chain smoking club and flicks his lighter a few times before the cigarette is lit and I keep glancing to make sure there is no one coming out, even if I’ve seen Pete and Carl walk into a turret. If they’re fucking, that’s a damn daft place.
“Shit, then we can’t gossip, obviously, if we don’t start hooking up people. But hooking people with your ex is fucking awkward.” Jules smirks and my attention is shifted towards him.
“You dated someone here?” I ask him, wondering when had Pete and Carl hooked up or maybe they had taken it slow, something unusual, because you just grab the first man who says he’s gay, you fuck, get your need out and then you really struggle to keep together even if doesn’t last, because even the worst man will be better than the best woman, it just doesn’t fit in my hands. But then you can just remain single. And that’s what I’ve been and frankly it was getting annoying with Matt juggling through women, saying which one was not good enough and that one too and in the end he’d end up with someone nice to just leave them again.
I mocked him, saying that I was the only constant in his life a few hours, when I had kissed him. The kiss sometimes haunts me, because it was different with his lips on my own and when we had departed. It’s as if all had been thrown to get our tension away, we had tried and it was gone. We’d still talk about it, but never too much and Matt really prefers women and he’s never even went close to a man before and if it hadn’t been for me, he wouldn’t have.
“Oh yeah.” Jules smiles a bit sadly. He takes off his hat and fiddles with it for a bit before putting it back on. I keep watching him, he looks a bit sad, but not too much.
“Sorry, if you don’t want to talk about it, it’s fine, Juju.” I say and I put my arm around his shoulders, hugging him lightly and Jules laughs.
“Oh, no no, nothing tragic. It’s not even that we grew apart, we just... stopped feeling like lovers. There was kind of no love. I guess love just goes away, you know. Like I still love Miles, of course. But it’s a different kind of love, I’d take a bullet for him, but for a lover I’d take it in a more dramatic sense to make sure the gesture is seen.” Jules laughs at his joke and I feel the blood drain from my cheek. Miles. Now the image of Miles’ lips upon Jules’ is plastered in my head and I feel a bit dizzy. I look behind me at the waves, which seem pretty lukewarm and I wonder how would it feel with them against me. I keep watching the waves, wondering and hoping that I’m not too obvious, but Jules is caught up with himself as well.
“I don’t know, like it just happened, we had fucked and then I looked at Miles and asked him if he felt that we were doing the right thing, because the feeling that there is someone else out there remained. It was... bizarre.” Jules turns around and also faces the sea. “It was like, I wouldn’t mind him being with someone else and frankly I wanted someone else. Sure, we fucked again, but it was disastrous and we both ended up masturbating, not even looking at each other, asking what the fuck were we doing with our lives.”
I ease a bit and I look back to see Miles who nods at me and I just smile, feeling a bit embarrassed so I look back at the sea and I’m guessing he’s heading to one of the turrets or just walking. Then Juju glances back and waves at Miles and I look at them, because they don’t look like ex-lovers or ex-boyfriends. They’ve managed to move on, but then maybe it’s because there wasn’t anything between them before and Miles eventually approaches us and takes a cigarette from his own pocket. I watch him as he lights his cigarette and our eyes meet and I feel myself captivated by him.
He exhales and breaks it off, glancing at Julian.
“Carlos said he thinks a drag show would be lovely, since frankly Poland’s getting attacked, no one gives a damn so far and Europe is still juggling what the fuck should they do and we, the navy are stuck waiting for Roosevelt to decide if he wants to play in this or not.” Miles takes a long drag, softening his gaze and looking at me. “I mean, it can be fun, indeed, there’s nothing to do anyway, frankly at this state I’ll even start firing myself at a damned seagull if it looks like a nazi.
I don’t think it’s good to keep us here, waiting for news while Hince decided to re-read War and Peace, get his... lovely head around the concept of war. He’s postponed the training until tomorrow, wants to sit near the damn radio. So, frankly, I’m bored, so why not?” Miles asks and tries to avoid me, concentrating on Julian, but I keep looking at him, his hair which looks like needs some light trimming and I wonder if I could do it myself with a pair of scissors and touching his cheeks in the procedure until I tilt his face to kiss him.
“Um, a drag show?” I ask and I do get his eyes on me, which ease up and have the sparkle I crave for, but yeah, drag shows happen, Paul would always be the one who did them, I tried once, I could try again and I’m sure God Hince would love it. But then I retrace Miles’ words. “Carlos?”
“Yeah, apparently he... does drag shows. I mean, I thought he was an idiot, but frankly that will at least keep our hands occupied. He thinks all of us gunners would be a good show. He even asked Hince, the moron, and Hince agreed, he said he was a bit dazed, but agreed. So... I congratulate both of you, you’re both Queens for the evening.” Miles smirks, keeping it a bit formal and it of course not directed openly at Juju, more like still showing some distance between both of us.
“Where the fuck are we supposed to get... the stuff?” Julian asks confused and I can see Hince barely lifting his eyes of the book, until he realizes that drag shows would attract men, maybe with a few seconds of hesitation and when he realizes what a good trap it would be, he’d raise his eyes and praise Carlos.
“Oh, Carlos said he had some make up but everything else... is our problem.” Miles widens his eyes, smirking at the new distraction as me and Julian glance at each other. But I guess I don’t see Hince’s concern either, drag shows had to side, entertaiment and well, finding gay men for gay men, so it seemed understandable on all senses.
“I’m not sure anyone... brought anything else on, well, as far as I’m aware of. I could ask around, though.” Miles sighs and I imagine him knocking on each door and asking if they are drag performers. I wonder why don’t we grab some actors or whatever, if Hince’s worried about us fucking them, we’ll still be fucking someone anyway.
“We’ve got some old bed covers and stuff, no?” I jump in, which causes both of them to direct their attention from confusion and towards me. Paul had the same issue on the other ship, only he had gotten bored of what he had and I had watched him tear bedcovers apart, rip them and then ask me to sew, to make it faster. Sewing ended up being pretty relaxing. It was weird and an oddly relaxing activity, by the end of it, Paul had noticed me enjoying it and I’d keep sewing and on shore I’d even buy fabric and sew for Paul. I haven’t sewed in a while, I had dropped it and it’s only use was when I had done things for Paul.
“Why?” Julian asks.
“Coz I can sew some bras and everything.” I smirk, imagining Julian tripping on his long hem and I wonder what the fuck would he look good in, which would make him a proper Queen. “I can make some sequins if you steal some from Hince. Those medals he has sure look shiny.”
Miles burst out laughing first, as Julian picks it up and I glance at the tower, wondering if the man behind the face of Russian Literature knows what we think of him. I end up getting caught up in their laugh and I imagine Juju dancing with the medals, I wonder if we will all get medals
and it dawns on me
just like it had everyone else on this ship, slowly, fear comes in waves
then there’s anger
on why would people hate. It’s funny that I’d be hated on both sides, I just happen not to be Jewish, just like I happen to be gay, I just happen to be male, I just happen to be white
and yet that one roll of the dice is deciding everything
maybe that’s why rolling dice, getting the right cards, it’s playing with fate, it’s a small trial to feel the stakes hit you.
We’ll all be in war.
We are in war.
But I keep laughing.
“Do you sew then, Alex?” Miles asks me as he throws what’s left of the cigarette into the sea and I just quickly see it float, before nodding to Miles.
“Yeah. I used to like back when I was on a carrier. We had like one drag performer and frankly, he got bored of his outfits and wanted more, so he taught me how to sew more complicated things by hand so that he’d have a new outfit by the night.” I recall Paul smoking with the cigarette in his mouth as he’d rip the fabric manually until he’d realize that scissors were a better idea. And he was good. I didn’t really get the taste and frankly, I don’t feel comfortable on stage, I’d rather watch or be behind the scenes, I guess see the dresses I’ve done get praised was something I enjoyed more than yelling in a comedy sketch at the top of my lungs.
“You guys sound pretty bored.” Julian notes sarcastically, now throwing his own cigarette overboard.
“And here we have so much excitement.” I smirk.
Nano is always horribly stressful, so if you could pop in a comment even one word, that would be lovely, really, as I've been nervous about this, because I really enjoy it and I've been researching a lot, making sure and everything, so yeah
I've been thinking a lot ahead and the good news is that it's going to be a bit longer than planned, the said character who will be killed off's death has been moved a bit further and there will be a sort of other plot, making the death much more dramatic and frankly, I've been dropping hints all over the story and I've finally confronted those thoughts and the full plot was decided xD
It's going to ache and frankly, I'm even a bit conflicted how will the ending be, so yeah
Jules and Miles dating was decided so so early, that it's weird that I'm unveiling it now, only the cause of the break up was the thing stopping me and I had even googled why do people break up, because frankly I don't see either of them cheating or being complete assholes, so I'm quite happy where it headed off to:)
Alex's sewing I guess, is something which I enjoy and have an on and off relationship with xD so yeah :)
The idea of putting Miles' crew as the chosen ones as drags was my partner's idea, so yeah xD
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did and I guess writing it made me realize how much I had grown to fall in love with all of them xD
Please feel free to request and please leave some feedback, anon or not:)
To Miles 9
To Miles 9