This is Part 3 of Chapter 42 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue -- Part 2" , the previous section.
At the terminal Brian checks in at Trans-Con and is directed to the VIP lounge.
"Let's stop there and then we can look around. Maybe find a bar. I could use a drink."
"How about some food first, and then a drink?"
We find the Trans-Con VIP area. It's called the Continent Club. Brian shows his ticket and a card and we're in. It looks like a fancy waiting room, but with nicer furniture and a special attendant just for exclusive passengers.
"Wait here a minute."
Brian hones in on the attendant. He's not a VOQ like the guy on Liberty Air, but the look he gives Brian leaves no doubt at all that he's gay. Brian is leaning on him, almost as if giving him 'the line' at Babylon. But instead, Brian is asking him for something. Some special treatment. Favors. Whatever. The guy is mesmerized. No way he'd ever say 'no.'
Finally, Brian motions me over.
"Justin, this is Philip. After I leave, Philip is going to make certain you get back to the Liberty Air terminal and your flight to Pittsburgh."
"I can find my own way back!" Now I feel like a child.
Brian's hand grips my arm. "Justin, JFK is a big, busy, confusing airport. Philip is simply going to facilitate your return. Right, Philip?"
It is a command, not a request.
"Yes, of course, Mr. Kinney. Of course." This guy would do anything. Literally.
"Good. Now, if you'll be so kind as to watch our things, we're going to stretch our legs a bit."
Brian leaves his carry-on bag and his cashmere coat in the care of the captivated Philip and we go wandering around the terminal. I am looking for food, Brian for a drink.
As we walk, I take notice of how many people -- male and female -- are taking notice of Brian. He is dressed to kill in that dark green Armani suit that shimmers in the changing light and reflects the green and gold in his eyes. I note his hair. His eyes. His nose. His lips. His height. I can't stop noticing that everyone seems to be watching him. Some actually stop and turn around to stare. I'm used to seeing this on Liberty Avenue or at Babylon, where Brian is a certified legend. But here no one knows him. But they know he's someone. Someone NOT ordinary. I've always known it. Soon everyone will know it. And that scares me again.
I feel like a little dog, allowed to trot along at his heels. To follow the big parade. People look at him -- and then smile at me, condescendingly. I start to feel a little panicky.
But it's as if Brian senses this. He puts his arm around my shoulders as we pass a crowd waiting at a gate. He whispers, "All these people make me fucking nervous." And we veer off down another concourse.
We pass some stores. A newsstand. Brian pauses to check out the magazines.
"Remind me to stock up before we get back to the lounge. I'll need plenty of magazines to get me across the fucking continent on this trip. Or else a major sedative."
"Hey, look at this!"
It's a branch of one of those electronic stores they have in the high-end malls. All kinds of upscale contraptions and toys for businessmen. We walk in and the salesman powers right over. He's straight -- he's looking at Brian's expensive suit and NOT at Brian -- but he attaches himself on us like a leech anyway. Since we have a lot of time to kill, Brian lets him trot out all the costly gadgets for me to play with. It's fun.
"Now, this is PERFECT for the traveler." That's his introduction to everything he shows us. But one thing really is cool. It's thin and shiny and I reach for it immediately.
"This portable DVD player has an 9-inch widescreen LCD, with two and a half hour playback time. Built-in stereo speakers. Runs on battery or direct current...."
"AC/DC, huh? How -- versatile." Brian glances at me and I crack up.
"And 9 inches, too," I add.
"Right," the man says. "Here is the 5-inch widescreen model -- but you can obviously see how the 9-inch is clearly better."
"I've always thought the 9-inch was preferable. Haven't I always said so, Justin?"
The clueless salesman takes the player and slips a CD in. A picture comes up on the screen. It's 'The Matrix.'
"Wow! This is awesome, Brian! If you get it for yourself then you won't need all those magazines."
"They already have movies on the plane. They have a fucking screen on every seat!"
"But you can watch what YOU want to watch, not what THEY decide to show. Or you can watch while you're waiting for the plane. Or in the cab. Or...."
"Okay, okay! It just seems like a really expensive Walkman -- with movies instead of cassettes."
"Yes, sir, in a way. But the boy is right -- you can have the film you want, when you want it, right at your fingertips."
Brian winces. "Who writes your copy? It's terrible."
The guy looks mystified.
"It IS totally cool, Brian."
"It better be for...," he looks at the price. "$899.99? Before New York State sales tax? Ouch! That's a lot of dough for a toy."
"But you are SO worth it! It's a long flight, treat yourself." Then I pause. "If you'd had one from the beginning, you wouldn't have had to drag me along to keep you occupied."
"Well, in that case, I have to have one, right?"
"Right, sir. Your...," the salesman looks at me and fumbles a bit. He looks at Brian. Not son. Then -- what? You can almost hear him thinking. Trying to figure it out so he won't lose the sale by fucking it up.
"Your... nephew certainly is correct about that long flight. This is the perfect entertainment."
"I can think of the perfect entertainment for a long flight and it doesn't involve a DVD," Brian mumbles. Then he looks him in the eye. "Not nephew. Try again." He's playing with the man, like a cat.
"Huh?" The guy is completely perplexed.
"Forget it. I'll take the fucking thing. And some DVDs to go with it."
"Of course, sir! Over here." The guy is smiling like crazy.
"Justin -- pick out whatever looks decent to you."
I pull out 'The Matrix' -- Keanu, of course -- and 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Citizen Kane.'
"This one, too," says Brian, and puts 'Strangers on a Train' on the pile. "Hitchcock. And totally queer."
Brian hands over his Platinum card. They always perk right up when they see it. Like magic. "And make sure the battery is recharged or whatever. I want it ready to go NOW."
"Of course, sir! Certainly, sir!"
I could get used to this kind of constant ass-kissing. But it makes Brian squirm. He prefers a different kind of ass-kissing, even in public. But he sure knows how to get service. Our salesman and the one at the cash register are bowing and scraping, while Brian glowers at them like a French aristocrat. Before the Revolution, of course.
"Take the bag, Justin," he says when they finish the transaction. "And make certain everything is in there."
I check for the player and the DVDs and the rechargeable battery. "Everything's here."
"You want me to carry it until we get back to the lounge?"
"No, you carry it all the way. It's for you, anyway. I'm going to get those magazines to read on the plane."
He's stunned me again. Twice in one day. "But, Brian! This is for you -- on your flight to L.A.!"
"What the fuck will I do with the thing? I'll never use it. You take it and watch it on your trip home."
I can't stop myself from throwing myself at him and kissing him right there. In two seconds we are in full make-out mode in the middle of the electronics store.
Finally Brian breaks it off -- but not immediately. He turns to the salesman and the register guy, who are watching, open-mouthed. "Obviously NOT my nephew."
But the salesman smiles. "Thank YOU, sir! Come again!"
"Probably sooner than you think."
We get something to eat. Or, rather, we both order food, but I eat most of it. Brian is picking listlessly at his sandwich and salad. That worries me. He's been eating well, especially during the last week. And he does look so much better now. I don't want to think that he's going back into an anorexia phase the minute he leaves town.
The only good thing is that he decides to skip looking for the bar.
"There will be plenty of booze on the plane," he explains. "They drown you with it in First Class."
After lunch he picks up his magazines and we stroll back to the lounge, looking at the airlines at the different gates, watching the people coming and going. He seems to be slipping into one of those blue moods again. I try to joke around, but it isn't working very well.
Back at the Continent Club, Philip greets us and offers us coffee and soda. Use of the phone. The fax machine. Anything.
"No thanks," says Brian. And the disappointed Philip retreats.
I decide that this is the perfect time for my little surprise.
"I have something for you, too." I'm sitting next to him on the couch, facing the large window that looks out on the jets taking off and landing.
I reach into my jacket and hand him the little package. The one I've been keeping on the shelf since December. The red and green paper looks kind of odd on the First of June, but I don't care. I've been waiting for the right moment and now has to be it. Now -- or never.
"I saw you grab this before we left the loft. What is it?"
"Your Christmas present."
He sighs. "Justin, I don't think...."
"Just open it. I don't need to hear one of your long speeches right now. Save it for the Golden Globes."
He smirks. "The Golden fucking Globes? Not the Oscars?"
"Don't aim too high on your first film."
"I'll remember that."
He slides his long fingers along the sides, opening up the wrapping without tearing it, and unfolding it from the little box. When I wrapped it, I pictured him opening it just like that. Sometimes when I get dressed I imagine him reversing the same process and pulling off each item of clothing that I'm putting on.
He grimaces when he sees the name of the store. One of those places in the mall where kids hang out and buy blacklights and tee-shirts that say 'Pussy Patrol.' But Emmett said it isn't the 'where,' it is the 'what' that matters. He helped me pick it out.
"This is an awfully small box to hold the lava lamp I've been hoping for."
I shove him. "Open the thing already."
"Why? Does it have an expiration date?" he laughs.
Seeing that it's already almost six months past Christmas I'd think that answer was obvious. So I look at him, seriously. "No. It will never expire. Ever. Open it and see."
He takes the top off the box and then the pad of cotton. He pulls out a thin gold chain with a small heart-shaped red charm dangling from it.
"It's supposed to be for a charm bracelet, but even Emmett thought THAT was too nelly. So I got the chain instead. It's 14 karat gold. And the heart is red enamel over gold. I thought about silver, but I didn't want it to tarnish."
He looks at the heart and then at me. It's impossible to read what he's thinking. This is one of those moments with Brian that could be a revelation -- or the world's biggest fucking mistake. And I'm not sure yet which it is.
"One night -- not long after Ted got out of the hospital for his coma -- I heard him ragging on you at the bar at Babylon. I was standing there with Michael and Emmett. You were probably... busy somewhere...."
"The story of my life, it seems -- busy in the backroom while everything important is happening up front." He stares at the heart on the chain.
I tug at his sleeve. "Listen -- Ted told me to forget about you because you were a heartless prick. I always remembered what he said."
"Thanks -- I guess."
"So, when I was shopping with Emmett -- Christmas shopping -- I saw the charm. And I bought it for you. So now Ted and everybody else can NEVER say that you are 'heartless' again. Because you'll always have THIS. You know, like the Tin Man. All he needed was something to remind him of what was there the whole time. His heart. It's, like, symbolic."
"Yes," he says. "I recognize symbolism when I see it. I'm just wondering why you didn't toss this in the trash after I... took off so abruptly and -- dare I say it -- heartlessly? You would have had every reason to."
"I bought this AFTER you'd already gone, Brian. I was simply saving it until you came back. Which I knew you would. Saving it until the right moment."
He doesn't throw a fit or get all sulky, so I know this must have been that right moment. Instead, he considers the gift, holding it out and looking at it.
"I don't usually like to GET presents, but this is probably the most useful thing I've ever been given. Something I really DO need. Something I'll always need, whether I know it or not. So I won't forget again...." He opens the chain and starts to put it around his neck.
"Brian -- you don't really have to wear it. Like I said -- it's just symbolic."
"All the more reason."
He loosens his tie and drops it inside his shirt collar. He gives me his 'okay' face, then fixes up his tie. He folds the wrapping paper and puts it and the little box in his carry-on. Then he sort of smiles and settles back on the couch, with me next to him. We pretend to be watching the planes, but our eyes are all closed.
I'm playing around with my portable DVD player, waiting for Brian to come back, when I feel a tap on my shoulder. It's Philip, the VIP attendant.
"Your friend is in the lounge men's room. I think he... isn't feeling well."
"What do you mean?" I shove the player inside my jacket and stand up.
"You better go in there."
I fly to the restroom, thinking that there's something wrong with Brian. And he's standing at the sink, his tie loosened and his jacket off and slung over the towel dispenser. He's splashing water on his face.
"Are you all right?"
"I think I'm having a fucking panic attack."
"Maybe you should sit down?"
"I just took a Xanax. That should help. Jesus." His face is all flushed.
The door opens and Philip comes in, carrying a large glass of ice water. "This should help."
"Thanks." Brian drinks the cold water and sits down in a chair that Philip pulls out from the corner.
"Should I call a physician?"
"No, that won't be necessary. I should be okay -- if I could have a few minutes of privacy. Just to get myself together? Maybe, say, 20 minutes?"
Philip nods. "Of course. Certainly. I'll make sure no one comes in. If you need any help, just call -- I'll be right outside the door."
"Thank you, Philip."
"Anything." The attendant beams like he just won a prize and then goes out.
"What was that...?"
"Lock the door."
"Never mind." Brian gets up and bolts the restroom door. Then he grabs me by the front of my cargo pants and pulls me around to the chair. He sits down and moves me to stand between his legs.
"What the fuck are you doing?"
"Just that -- we have 20 minutes and that's IT."
He has my pants down before I can even say 'Vice Squad.'
I've done it in public places before, even in men's rooms, which -- of course -- is a queer cliche. But the combination of this VIP john, the sound of the jets taking off only yards away, and Philip lurking right outside, probably listening and getting hard himself, causes me to shoot in minutes. I'm careful not to get anything on Brian's beautiful suit -- or he's careful, rather. Plus, he's also the expert in that department. He's probably blown guys in a thousand restrooms, but I bet never with so much anticipation.
I can't believe that he's also planning to fuck me right there, but he definitely is. Even the Armani suit has a place for condoms and lube, it seems. I wonder if that's built-in feature, or a special part of personalized Brian Kinney tailoring?
He lowers me onto his cock while he's sitting in the chair, but it's hard to get up a lot of momentum. Finally, he stands me up and has me lean over, holding onto the sink, and he then takes me from behind, driving slowly at first, but then with more and more force, until I'm practically touching my face to the mirror. Then bouncing my head against the mirror.
I start to make a little noise. Okay, a lot of noise. What I really want to do is scream my head off with joy. Brian turns on the water in the adjoining sink full blast, but it isn't enough to mask the sound. So he reaches around and covers my mouth with his hand. "Do you want Philip to break down the fucking door? If he hears you yelling, he'll want to come in here and join us!"
"Fuck.... no!" We don't need any extra participants! No more of that shit! No way!
"Fuck... YES!" He batters against me convulsively in a way that I know he's cumming. And cumming. And cumming! God! He can't seem to stop. And then he sort of drops down against me on top of the sink, his mouth at my neck.
"I think we just made our 20 minute time limit."
"Good. I don't want Philip to call the Transit Authority cops."
A few minutes later, while I'm still fanning myself and trying to get my pants zipped back up, he's completely put back together -- tie knotted, jacket back on, hair smoothed down. That takes cool. That takes real panache.
"That was better than a dozen Xanax any day. I wonder what my campaign would be for 'Taylor in a Bottle'?"
"I don't think I would fit into a bottle -- even a large, economy-size."
"Not with that ass."
"Maybe it was the heart that did it?"
"Maybe you're right. I think I put plenty of heart into that one." He looks at me. "It's going to have to last a while, I'm afraid."
We stroll out of the men's room and sit back in our seats with great nonchalance. But I notice that Philip is standing close by, leering.
But now the time is going. The lounge is a lot more crowded now. As we get closer to boarding, he's getting nervous all over again.
Finally, another attendant appears and opens a door that leads out to a corridor -- and the Trans-Con jet.
Brian gathers up his coat and his bag. He's standing there, fidgeting.
"Don't make any plans for this summer," he says, suddenly.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, don't sign up for any classes or start any new projects with Mikey or anything like that."
"Just trust me... Shit! Do you have a valid passport? I should have asked sooner -- Fuck!"
"I don't think so."
"Check with your mother. You'll need your birth certificate and some other papers. Some photographs, too. First thing on Monday go down and apply. Ask Debbie or Vic where you need to go. They had to get new passports to go to Italy, so they'll direct you. Maybe Vic can go down with you."
"What about class?"
"Skip it if you have to -- or go afterwards, but do it Monday! Do NOT wait!"
"I will! I won't wait."
Philip comes over. "Boarding First Class passengers, please." He smiles at Brian and looks at me coolly.
"Okay." Brian starts to move toward the passageway, but then he stops. He looks at me and then takes me in his arms. People are walking around us on their way to the airplane, looking with interest, with annoyance, or just looking. Because he is kissing me right there. Kissing me until I feel my ankles getting numb and my knees getting flimsy. Until everything else is blanking out -- the lounge, the faces of the passengers, the jet revving up its engines. Everything else is just so much white noise.
And then he's gone.
I stand there until the lounge is empty and the gate attendant closes the passageway door. I can hear the jet taxiing away from the gate, but I can't move my legs well enough to walk over to the window and watch it leave.
Finally, Philip walks over. He's promised to get me back to the Liberty Air terminal and Pittsburgh. He puts his hand on my shoulder.
"Wow," is all he says.
Continue on to "La La Land", the next chapter.
©Gaedhal, July 2002
Picture of Randy Harrison and Gale Harold from Showtime.
Here is the link to the lyrics to "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" from Bob Dylan's album Bringing It All Back Home.
Send Gaedhal any comments, critiques, suggestions.
Updated July 5, 2002