Friday, December 28, 2007
He sits cross-legged on the futon, the crumbs from last night’s pizza crusts harassing his thighs. Stares out the window as the boy sleeps in the other room with noises emitted from his nose indicating that his pulmonary system is enduring some ancient torture. A car drives by. It’s 2:28am on a Friday morning. There is only one explanation for being on the road right now, he thinks: a night of debauchery has just ended. With each passing car, he tries to guess what form the debauchery took. He sees the sports bar Sunfire, the coked-out Chrysler, the booty call Buick. He wonders why we reserve these activities for night time, as though we still feel residual shame from before the revolution. Night shields and protects from admitting the dirty, pretty things we lust after; they don’t have a place in reality. Not yet. We haven’t evolved that far and even so, far less than we think we have. This is that awful refractory period between explosion and recovery, when we understand what we’ve done but are unable to move forward. The marijuana Mitsubishi. His mind wanders back to the boy, barely legal, sleeping in his bed. From this angle, all he can see is a corner of the white bed, an athletic foot leading up to a peach-fuzzed calve. He’s nice enough. Not bad to look at either. Certainly enough to get hard over. Still, despite that stiffness at the memory, it’s clear the boy won’t be treading deeply in his path of life. For each other, they are merely momentary distractions, hedonistic and appropriately shallow. When one is waiting for the intensity of a butane flame, these small Bic lighters are necessary along the way, otherwise one would go insane from the anticipation. The hook-up Honda. Despite his daylight convictions, at times like this he debates whether this freedom is actually weakness, the antithesis to the nobility of chastity. Vows to the latter have been made in the past. They never last long. It’s all too attainable these days. It’s not as though these adult recesses distract him from his goals. He’s ensured that they’re completely unobtrusive, like mistresses that go down back stairs to avoid wives, never to meet. He’s heard this makes for better husbands. He hopes it’s true, that this metaphor will hold true. The groping Grand Am. He thinks about the date he went on last week, how the guy wasn’t all that special and yet within the first five minutes of drinking their tea, he just wanted to crawl into bed and hold him. Fuck the foreplay; let’s cuddle. And the next day, the amount of energy it took to limit his painfully cute and impossibly endearing text message to less than 150 characters, the panic when there wasn’t an instant reply, the relief at awakening to one, and for what? Someone he wasn’t even really into. Time to reassess. This should be easier for him. And yet, despite the encouragement of friends that “you haven’t met someone good enough for you yet,” and that he feels his standards have been sufficiently lowered, there’s been nothing for years. He’s slipping, beginning the all-too-familiar descent into pity and doubt. The hummer Hummer; an internal smile at his joke. Nope. Not doing this. He shakes his head and squeezes his eyes shut, trying to make diamonds out of coal. He opens them, takes a deep breath as his vision readjusts and walks to the bedroom doorway. The boy, demonstrably awake, gives him a smile of unmistakable intent. He closes the door.