I always found it terrifying how you could simply erase gay people, that in some cultures they are so frowned upon, that some go on in their lives never meeting someone open about it and it's not hard to just consume media which never mentions gay people as well. When I was told that I wouldn't be accepted because my parents stated they knew little to none, I kind of started shying away from media which just depicts a straight cis life, because I understand what crime those shows end up doing. It's drastic, but I've got far too many wounds. And I looked at Alex, wondering if he had grown up in the same way as we all have. But in the end I just pat him on the head, smiling lightly. It was all for show, because we all try to be a better person when it comes to meeting someone else for the first time, we get scared that we're not attractive enough and then once the time comes where you can either tell the truth or lie, we lie, wishing we were that lie.
I feel like I'm somewhat younger and more romantic for thinking of a reply among the lines of it's about the person you have sex with, but then you can easily have good sex from a hookup, even if my luck had been rotten recently, but Alex was a hookup. I try to remind myself that.
I never understood why the love stories were always built on hookups, I wondered if that somehow would degrade us gay men to being whores, but in the end that just becomes a cliché we have. Just like some go from friends to lovers. Some things in life are predictable so that they seem secure and it's easier not to ponder about it to the point of exhaustion. I wonder if this would be my love story as well.
I just stretch my hand to go through his gelled hair, which is in his usual neat quiff and I can imagine him building it right after brushing his teeth and then look at himself, not blinking, to make sure it stands still and proper. Out of politeness, I don't go much through it.
Touching him makes me want some more. It's always like that with Alex, the hunger becomes animalistic. He looks back up and stares at me and neither of us say anything. I can only believe that there is something going on between us.
“What about you?” Alex asks. “I won't be the only one talking then. Even if you want to hear me talk.”
I realize that it's just something Alex is, terribly cautious and some qualities which don't get under my skin just rub me off the wrong way in the beginning, keeping me aware that I haven't fallen into some abyss just yet which I can't get out of. It's all because it's a question which I myself wouldn't want to answer, as so many years have passed that all the things just intertwine and I happen not to know which ones were really the ones happening. I look out of the window, but Alex doesn't change the subject.
“I always... kind of knew. I've tried women.” I pause. “Because that's what you're supposed to find sexy.”
I tap the table, looking back at the window with the opposite building slowly turning it's last lights off. Not everyone has a free schedule.
“Jamie came out as gay much before than I did.” I see that our friendship would always raise a few eyebrows, especially if I say that Jamie had allowed me to live with him after his parents kicked him out. I keep looking at the window, never wanting to see anyone's face who would expect some sexual resolution between my best friend and myself. “That got me thinking. If someone who I was so close to... came out as gay-”
“You liked him.” Alex blurts out and takes a sip of his tea and I look back to look into his brown puppy eyes. I just shrug, feeling myself get cold and even start shaking a bit from all the weights of the memories.
“That's what my parents thought as well. Before I could even fully comprehend that I liked him. They knew I was gay because I hung out with him, his parents kicked him out for being gay. I guess it was too obvious.” I pause. “He's a great guy. I just couldn't understand what was wrong with him... because it was something in me as well.”
I look at him.
“There is no grand finale, Alex, we never dated.” Alex just looks at me confused.
“Don't, like, you guys fuck your friends?” Is his even more at loss question, as I shake my head. I seem to be handing him more and more confusion. He just looks confused at the present, unaware of what else can come, but I want to close the subject. Then Alex decides to be cheeky. “We're fucking.”
I don't want us to be just fucking. But I don't say that aloud.
I want to somehow fall in love. I want to utterly be destroyed by it, I want to be obsessed and I want the vulnerability and infinity of protection and laughter that comes with it even if it means laying drunken on the floor heartbroken by the end of it.
I want to see how Alex would taste, how would it taste to be fully immersed in him even if I enjoy the sarcasm he shares, I want him fully laying in front of me, I want to forget all the love I've felt and dabbled in before, I want to completely be dissected myself and know that no ghost would look back in the winter's window.
“That's because you want it to be so.” I say swiftly, showing how much I belong to him, because when you're tired you let the beloved take the steering wheel.
“Miles, this is a two player game. You're cheating just as much as I am.” He taps the cup and somehow, all the desire to listen to him talk goes stale and I look outside, all lights gone and the upcoming winter sounds far more hollow than it should be. I wonder if he had wanted to tell me this all along, but I shall always be one to blame as well.
“I completely know.” I admit. I'm not sure that had registered within my mind entirely though. Because I still shift the blame onto Alex, even if I had waltzed into this with barely to much regret. I don't even know how to convey how lonely I feel. I don't know even how to speak properly on the despair I feel even riding the subway, not even getting pleasure from people spotting because all the mind drifts off to is the fact that someone is dating that one or maybe someone in the restaurant called in for a neutral territory but the drink will still be spilled at least on the floor after reaching the face of the former lover.
I would tell myself that I'd prefer it if I had someone else even for a brief while, that's why I had gone to the said party in the first place. I didn't know that the someone whom I'd be dancing with would be with the lights off so that his girlfriend wouldn't see it.
“I still want you to talk.” I confess, looking directly at him as he just seemed a bit uncomfortable for the sudden brush of breach of the NSA. I'm tired of rethinking loves that will never happen again.
“Well, what do you want to talk about?” Alex asks me, stretching out his hands on the table so that they nearly reach my sides, it's a small table in a small place after all. Nothing too fancy, unlike Alex's house which I still wonder how he had managed to score with the current market ranking, but it could be Arielle's and there's just some backstory I am not aware of.
I just stare at my lover, not even knowing how to open up about one's struggles or how to make them speak of their own.
“I don't know.” I confess, confused to the bone where I am even going with this, but I feel as if I'm drinking and I'm about to open a pandora box, but maybe it's best to ask difficult questions at first since we are doing this. “I don't know. Are you engaged?”
Alex quickly shakes his head. I don't even know how this is supposed to be a sigh of relief, but I do it anyway.
“I do have a friend though, older than both of us and he's been engaged four times. Now he's married, but it took him four engagements...” Alex pauses. “Is that the sort of gibberish you wanted?”
Not to feel lonely, I want to add, but I just rest my head against my arms on the table. I motion for him to keep talking, because I'd rather have him on the steering wheel of talking. Have I fallen so low to ask a hookup which is cheating on his girlfriend to give me company? Have I sunk so low? I look into his dark eyes, which only reflect interest and a bit of confusion on where am I going with this. How lonely am I to tell myself this is okay and even drag Jamie's judgement along with mine?
How long will it take for me to tip over and end up in an even bigger mess? How much does he have to talk until then? And if everything does end how long will it take for me to forget? It all just started and unravelled, where is some guarantee that I will remain the constant hook up?
I don't know.
It's like he's engraved in my mind and I understand that it's better to think of him than some suicidal thoughts and he had yanked me out of some turmoil, where I'm just stuck pondering where else does my life go. Where does it lead and how come is everything so bleak? It wasn't a good place where I pondered too much about religion and how come I start working from bed and eat in bed. It's not something I would like to reveal either. It's probably not the best to reveal to your hookup that somehow, they had saved you.
Supposedly we get love when we don't look, but from what I see is when we need it the most. That made me think of fate and religion a lot. But I was too depressed to even think of it clearly, that there was some silver lining, all I could care about was the fact that I would somehow manage to the next day. Jamie had Brian at the time. I had no one, I even wished for something with turmoil, because I felt that it would wake me up from my depressive slumber. And yet the more I get from Alex the hungrier I get for him.
“Anything.” I sigh, looking at him, wishing for him to speak and I ponder if I really force it too much upon him, but the question remains, why do I want him to speak so badly? Why do I force it? Why do I get such a trembling fear of losing him? I look at the table with our hands far too close, but I'm not his girlfriend to touch hands and the intimacy, the dynamics are awfully different. I'm just a hookup with issues that I want to be loved somehow.
“How come you never made a move on Jamie?” Alex asks me and I can only wish he's just probing the water with some jealousy, but I'm more than convinced that it's his straight curiosity on what the hell happened between us.
“I mean, there was always Brian-” I start.
“No, it's not about the boyfriend. What stopped you exactly? Like... that's an excuse you would give yourself, but there was surely something deep down holding you back.” Alex says and moves his hand, possibly wanting to point at me but decided otherwise last minute. Instead our hands get even closer and I want to stroke his hand, but that would really shatter the 'no-strings-attached' thing we are sort of aiming for.
I tilt my head in confusion at first, but the thing is... it's not really something I even thought about before, not something I had thought I would have to dig deep.
“I guess... rejection?” I say, a bit confused, but Alex seems to ponder on my answer, just looking at me, scanning me, as if to see if I'm actually spilling the truth. “I obviously never thought about it. I just always assumed that why would Jamie even look twice at me.”
“He took you in. You guys lived together for a fair while.” Alex shrugs. “It's not something I believe in a lot. Friendship, that is. Long lasting one. Like you always shuffle friends unless they're co-workers because then they can't really go anywhere so you're forced to be friends with.”
He clearly doesn't think of me twice, why do I bother thinking and struggling so much to keep some sort of relation with him? How much does it even take to make one fall in love with you? And why do I label something as love anyway? It's all because Jamie had asked me so. I know that he doesn't feel the same way and it should be a tape that I should play on repeat in my head until my head explodes and only then I'll stop thinking about it.
How long has it been that I've actually started falling for someone who seemed to at least agree to my partner in a dance and had gotten through with it?
I knew that even opening my gob about it, to come clean would be possibly be the world's worst idea. I knew that crying to Jamie that I wanted something messy and exciting was a bad idea. It was all my fault, because I was stupid enough not to realize how much does something one sided ache. It's not like I've never been on that side, because I have, but it's stupid of me to wish something like this and now I'm stuck, asking that somehow he would feel the same way.
It feels like trailing nails on a board. I'm the one screwing my life up. It's my own nails.
I can't possibly tell him that one more thing and I'll be tipped over and drowning. Drowning isn't good, I was drowning with my love for Jamie. I was never saved in the end I had to swim from underwater myself. I know what I'm getting into.
“I guess.” I say, I am much asocial as they can be with frankly Jamie and a couple of other friends. But by the end of the day I always feel lonely and like a loser. I realize that I should say more to keep the conversation going and Alex looks at me, nodding at me to fucking continue. “I'm not one to have many friends. I kind of get entangled in more relationships and everything. Look at me and Jamie, that's the sort of thing I end up with. I end up developing feelings far too much.”
I know I'm talking to much but if I could I would stroke his goddamn face.
I would become productive if I could, but instead I just call Jamie and talk of Alex. I overanalyze everything and I barely manage work. I don't even know where to go from here.
“Alright.” Alex says.
“But I think there's that point where you decide whether you become friends or lovers.” I ponder out loud, knowing that I've said it to Jamie before. I feel like I'm just frantically repeating myself. “Like... with you and Arielle, I guess. You decided to go ahead and have a relationship.”
I don't dare to say us. I don't even want to know what we are and I know that I'm always flirting with him in this odd way I do, which is talking a lot and praying that he would get it. I'm surprised we never met over Grindr, because this could be a success story somehow.
“Because you could have remained friends.” I say, nearly shrugging. Alex drinks his tea and I'm guessing it's pretty much lukewarm by now. I want to ask him, what would being lovers mean to you. What's the recipe? What is it that tips from friends to lovers? And how can I get the right ingredients because I would really love to have something with you?
“I love Arielle, but being friends with her... Just friends.” He ponders on it. “Yeah, I guess it could work.”
Fuck. I don't even know why I'm sad anymore. I don't even know how many more paranoia thoughts will lurk behind me during the night.
“But we'll surely not remain friends, if something were to happen.” Alex puts the mug down and bites his lip, looking at me. I feel my heart sink, but I really know that it all means nothing and we're just hooking up, because I initiated it and Alex wanted to see how did it really feel to be with a fellow man.
“What makes you say that?” I ask him and I wonder how the fuck does this even aid me in any way. If I would be able to get together with him, I wouldn't really care about his exes. Instead here I am sulking, because he doesn't feel the same way and he's pretty stuck with his girlfriend.
“She's not one to remain friends with exes and can't say I keep too close to exes either. There's a reason things didn't work out and sacrificing friendship isn't really one of them.” Alex keeps his eyes focused on me and I can't help but look back at his brown eyes, feeling some warmth even if it's not really coated in love or anything. Just some sort of understanding and curiosity, some sympathetic feelings maybe? “You, Miles?”
“Neither, frankly. I'm surprised me and Jamie keep in touch after all the feelings I had hidden.” I laugh a bit darkly. “But then he doesn't know and I would really rather keep it that way.”
We both sit in silence, Alex probably thinking too much about Jamie and I can only pray that there is some jealousy, because when you're desperate you'd rather have any feelings which could resemble any love.
Well, this story started to hit home ridiculously for the time being. With the fact that I had started it years ago and now I can finally hug Miles and say some words of encouragement, without knowing what to tell myself. But it's still very different, but of course it matched my mood so I binged the last 900 words or so. I've been slowly writing it and ever since I ended up tangled up I've been writing it slowly with a line here and there.
I should be posting To Miles and Offside, but since I finished the chapter, I figured, why not? And then the backstory will be fresh to tell in my mind. It's weird because backstories are like my diary really where I just end up venting... to people. Like we all do these days.
I was in a terribly lonely place when I started writing this, so my mindset was all... How do you possibly get to talk to people who you like and now I'm like, shit, how do I still get them talking though? Since I'm kind of used to a conversation rather than the start of it. Of course I panic when I see that the topic is running out, because I'm a paranoid thing.
Now onwards to the story, rather than overall.
I was actually told that because none were known that was a reason not to accept me. Because in our society gays and trans doesn't exist. It's pretty bad, so I just vented on that.
Yeah, I was always confused and pondered if things really escalated from hookups, so it's quite ironic now.
I kind of went on the topic of friends and fucking in depth and I have been discussing it overall with a few people, so kind of some thoughts really crawled into this chapter.
While I was really struggling with being with only partner, Callie was a sweetheart to me and would spend all the time with me which they still do. I still felt terribly lonely and all, but Callie would tell me all these stories, digging out from memory and the engagement story just felt like something I could add. Usually when I just start liking or loving someone I really dip our conversations into stories or whatever is happening, which I still do, but because frankly I've been inspired by Callie for over 6 years now, sometimes it's harder to get fresher inspiration since love becomes blood. I really struggled with it because I tried to be mono, but it's really not for me.
There's a lot of reaccuring thoughts, because well, that's what happens when you're screwed or at least when I am.
I'm terribly daft when it comes to seeing other people's feelings and realizing that they are into me. I'm awful at it, so I gave Miles that gift of mine.
When I dated my ex girlfriend I did a lot of drowning from love metaphors, so kind of having a one sided thing in Miles' case kind of reminded me of that. So I included that in.
I kind of spoke a lot through out the story, which was very personal, like the jealousy last bit, so yeah.
I hope you enjoyed it and hopefully my inspiration will last long and I'll have the mental health to write everything down and whatnot.
I hope you enjoyed it and if you did, please tell me so