This is Part 2 of Chapter 116 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Inside Out -- Part 1", the previous section.
This is Part 2 of Chapter 116 in the "Queer Theories" series.
The narrator is Justin Taylor, and features Brian Kinney, Jimmy Hardy, Tess Hardy, Ron Rosenblum, Dorian Folco, Others.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: Brian and Justin arrive in London for the premiere of 'The Olympian' -- and are met with a surprise. London, December, 2002.
Disclaimer: This is for fun, not profit. Watch Queer As Folk on Showtime, buy the DVDs, videos, and CDs. Read the stories and enjoy.
"But Brian -- it IS important!" says a voice cutting through my deep sleep.
"What, Jimmy? To 'play the game'? That's what's so important?"
"Yes, Bri, it is. Because awards season is beginning and you got a BIG one right out of the box. 'The National Board of Review Breakthrough Performance of the Year.' THAT is a big thing, Brian, whether you acknowledge it or not."
"The National Board of Review? What the fuck is THAT, Jim? Two guys sitting in a room somewhere with a bowl of popcorn?"
"I don't know and I don't care, Bri. You may not give a shit, but it IS important. The other critics and award voters pay attention to stuff like that. It gets your name on nomination lists. I would have maimed, mutilated, and murdered to get an honor like that with my first film. Instead it took me eight years to get my first crummy nomination -- and then five more to get an actual award -- and I was busting my ass the whole time!"
"You try too hard and care too much what other people think, Jimmy."
"You're right. I do care. Because that's what this business is about. Hype. Jesus, Brian! You were in advertising. You know how it works!"
"Yes, Jimmy. And because I was in advertising I know it's all bullshit and empty images and making people THINK something is great, whether it is or not. See, I don't have any illusions that I have talent. None whatsoever."
I hear Jimmy sigh. "Let's not start THAT again, Bri. You might not believe in your own talent, but a lot of other people do -- including ME! But if you won't think of your own career, then think of the boost an award gives the picture. Think about how 'The Olympian' NEEDS to be seen by a lot of people and recognized as an important film. Can't you look at it that way?"
Now Brian sighs, too. "Maybe, Jimmy," he says. "Maybe."
Now I'm not really hearing this conversation because I'm still half asleep. With my head in Brian's lap as we relax on a big sofa in the main salon section of the airplane that Terra Nova Studio has chartered to take Brian and Jimmy and Ron to London for 'The Olympian' premiere. I thought First Class on Trans-Con Airways when we flew to England was amazing, but this makes THAT seem like riding a city bus! Jimmy says this airplane used to belong to a management company that specialized in rock bands during the 1980s and then in corporate executive travel in the 1990s, so it has every luxury, from a fully stocked bar, to a widescreen television and a huge selection of films, to a complete bedroom suite with a queen-sized bed in the rear of the plane.
Brian and I have already been back in the bedroom, as you can well imagine. And the Mile High Club gained a new member -- three times over! The first time Brian was fucking me from behind on the bed and the airplane hit a patch of turbulence. Jesus! Brian slammed into me and the whole plane shook and I thought the top of my head was going to blow off! Then, the second time I had my legs up around my ears and, once again, Brian was fucking me furiously, and just before he came he yelled, "We could use a little of that turbulence right now! Okay, captain?" And I started laughing so hard that I practically knocked us both off the bed! So we had to do it again, of course!
Ron went into the suite and slept for an hour in between a couple of our sessions, and now Tess is back there, resting before we arrive in London. I was so tired I fell asleep in Brian's lap right away and I know he must be exhausted, too. It really has been a long, long haul all the way from Los Angeles.
As much as I want to listen to Brian and Jimmy debating -- for the millionth time -- Brian's apathy about going out and hustling award nominations, I really have to go to the bathroom. So I rustle around on Brian's lap, stretch, and sit up, yawning. I feel Brian's hard-on reacting to my movement and I wonder if we can get back in that bedroom one more time before we land.
"Hey there, Baby Blue," smirks Jimmy. "Get enough beauty sleep?"
"Luckily," says Brian before I have a chance to respond. "He doesn't need any extra sleep to stay beautiful. Unlike US." And I have to smile to hear Brian calling me beautiful, especially to Jimmy.
Jimmy sniffs. "Yeah, you need a LOT of help in THAT department, Glamour Boy." Then Jimmy snickers gleefully. "Wait until that 'Vanity Fair' cover comes out, Bri! It'll be great! ALL the other boys were SO pissed off. It was wonderful!"
"You fucking planned that, didn't you, Jim? To make me look like some kind of pretty boy prima donna?" Brian strokes my arm as I snuggle up next to him.
"No," replies Jimmy. "To make certain YOU are on the COVER cover -- where you belong -- and not on the inside fold next to some nonentity!"
Brian snorts at that idea. "I'd hardly call Ewan McGregor a nonentity, Jim. I didn't even want to BE at that shoot in the first place, but you had to throw your weight around. And no one wants to argue with 'Jimmy Hardy, Superstar'! You are just pressing your luck sometimes."
"I'm promoting YOU, Bri -- and don't you forget it," Jimmy snaps. "I have some slight interest in your career, in case you haven't noticed."
"I'm so glad you discovered me while I was selling matches in the snow and saved me from starving, Mr. Hardy, sir!" Brian snarks.
"You're a bitch, Bri," says Jimmy. "A real bitch."
I stand up. "I have to use the bathroom."
"You might as well get cleaned up while you're in there, Sunshine," says Brian. "Because we're landing at Heathrow in about a half hour."
"That soon?" I say. I guess I slept longer than I thought. No time for another Mile High workout.
"Yup, so if you want to change or anything, do it now."
"No, there's no reason to change," I say. I'm wearing my tan cargo pants and a black FCUK tee shirt. I also have a sweater in my leather carry-all and a duffle coat with me because although the weather was warm in Los Angeles it's still December and I know it's going to be cold and damp in London. Brian has his suede fringed jacket and a green Perry Ellis sweater piled on top of my coat on one of the spare seats.
"Tell that to Tess," Jimmy laughs. "She's probably in the bedroom trying on 10 different outfits."
"Why would she do that?" I ask.
"For the photographers at Heathrow when we land, of course! There are always a couple hanging around when you get out of Customs," Jimmy says. "So you two need to watch out."
Brian raises an eyebrow. "I promise that I won't fuck Justin until we get OUT of the terminal and into the car, okay, Jim?" And he smacks my ass with his hand.
But Jimmy isn't smiling. "Don't joke around, Bri. There WILL be press out there, so cool it!"
Brian rolls his eyes at Jimmy and then gets up and goes into the galley to get something to drink while I head for the bathroom. On my way there I pass Ron, who is curled up in a seat at the far end of the cabin, brooding and ignoring the rest of us. He's barely spoken to anyone on the plane, not even the two flight attendants. No, not even to Tess, who went out of her way to go over and talk to him. She had heard all about the hustler and Armani and the missing Carmel and Maria from Jimmy, who got the entire story from Brian, of course. Tess says that Ron must be really losing it and that maybe he needs some help. Jimmy agrees, but he doesn't seem too anxious to 'help' his supposed best friend of 10 years. I think it's obvious that in this little feud between Brian and Ron, Jimmy has made the choice about who he's staying 'pals' with -- and it isn't Ron.
I can see Ron watching me as I go into the bathroom. He's always watching Brian -- or me -- out of the corners of his eyes. It gives me the creeps, especially after being at his place and seeing the poolhouse all trashed and that greasy hustler lounging by the pool like he owned the place. It makes me wonder what kind of other weird guys he's had up there since Brian left and what he's been doing with them. Ron warned me last June when he showed me those videos that you have to take responsibility for your own actions and that all actions have consequences. I shiver remembering those words and I wonder if Ron ever thinks of that conversation now. I wonder what the consequences will be for him -- and for all of us.
Continue on to Page 2 of "Inside Out -- Part 2".