This is Chapter 33 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Reality Check", the previous chapter.
The narrator is Brian Kinney, with Justin Taylor.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: The counterpoint to Chapter 26, "Sooner." Pittsburgh, May 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.
I'm still having these dreams that I'm back in Pittsburgh.
In the loft. Under those blue neon lights.
The sun is now coming through the blinds.
It's that same scenario -- once again.
I roll over, waking up suddenly, and I find him there.
I'm surprised. I'm happy. And I'm not afraid. That's the part that gets me -- the lack of fear. I wonder what deep, dark part of my psyche that is coming from. A place where I'm not afraid? I haven't visited there in a long, long time.
I reach out and feel him come into my arms. My hands roam over his body in the blue light. Everything is perfect -- that's how I know it's a dream.
He leans down to taste me at the same place I've tasted him. We mirror each other. He's taught me everything he knows, but I've taught him everything I had already learned.
I open up my mouth to take him in. He sighs, cries out.... I gasp. There's darkness. There's light. I feel as if I've falling through a bright light. It blinds me to everything else.
This falling. They say that means fucking. Is that so, doc?
Or does it mean freedom?
Or nothing at all?
That's the trouble with symbolism -- one man's phallic symbol is another man's Washington Monument. My problem has never been finding the symbolic, but believing in the tangible.
That's the trouble with dreams. You can't live in them full time. I know. I've tried.
I had another dream where the handsome prince came and saved me from a horrible dragon in a desolate, cold landscape. But then the prince began to change -- don't they always change? -- and became a dragon himself. He became cold and soulless -- like me. We mirror each other, too, but in such a different way. So different.
But wait -- I'm the one who is supposed to save someone -- is it... him? Is it... myself?
This dream is getting to me. I don't know what they are giving me now. Nothing ever gave me these images. I can't find the path out of here. Instead, the neon lights are everywhere.
I try to open my eyes, but I can't. They are already open.
I try to wake myself.
Except, I don't wake up.
I'm already awake.
I'm not waking to my heart hammering in my chest, the anxiety paralyzing me, another day that I dread having to live through.
Instead. I see the sun, shining through the blinds. I never saw the sun before in one of my dreams. That was what I was trying to figure out....
"Well, what the fuck are you doing here?" He says. He has every right to say it.
I sit up, disoriented. "You told me I could stay."
"Well, are you coming or going? Or coming and staying?"
I put my hand to my head. "I don't know anymore."
"But definitely cumming?"
He rolls closer to me.
"Bad dream? You were making some funny noises."
"There are always funny noises coming out of this room. It's never bothered you before."
He's quiet as he puts his arms around me and squeezes me like a tube of toothpaste.
"Ow. I didn't know you were into rough stuff now."
"I'm not. Although I like it rough now and then."
"But not this early in the morning."
He says something very low.
"I said, I'm worried about you."
"Worried? You should be fucking terrified!"
He looks alarmed.
"No. For yourself. I'm like your worst nightmare, present in the flesh."
"Don't say that. Don't ever fucking say that!" He buries his face in my shoulder and something inside me starts breaking apart.
"Hey, don't do that. Don't."
"I can't help it." He looks up. "I'm sorry I was a pain last night. At Babylon. I guess I was a little full of myself."
I laugh. He smiles when he hears me laugh. "'Full of myself' is my middle name. Don't stew about it."
"I didn't mind apologizing to Ted. He just makes me so angry sometimes -- and I lose control of my... emotions. I think it's... because of... I'm not able to...." He can't continue.
"No need to explain. I've been losing it more and more myself lately. But things seems a bit back to normal. I mean, as back to normal as they can be in these circumstances." I'm trying to find a positive spin here.
"What about Michael?"
"I'll have to fix that all by myself. Cause and effect. I'm the cause. Michael's anger is the effect." My head begins to throb. "Christ! Who haven't I fucked up in this whole mess?"
Justin says nothing. But my guilt is sitting in this room, this bed, like a fucking elephant between us. I know he thought about walking out, running away when he realized I was back here. That he didn't is both his curse and my undeserved reward for my fucking stupid behavior.
"I used to dream that I'd wake up like this. I mean, with you back. Right here."
"I was going to say the same thing. Even in the hospital, when they had be on some kind of sedative, I kept having it."
He's staring at me. "You were in the hospital? When?" His voice begins rising. "When?"
Think fast. "It was nothing." What the fuck did they tell everyone? Right. "It was food poisoning. I was sick as a dog."
He's frowning. He's not buying this at all. Would I buy it? Neither of us is as dense as that.
"The papers didn't say you were in the hospital."
"The papers? You read about that in the papers?"
"Well, some online gossip group Vic is on. That's what they said. Did they really stop filming the movie?"
"Just until I stopped puking." Shit. Now there's another lie that I have to run around, propagating.
The concern on his face is almost more than I can deal with. I consider getting up and taking a shower -- a real Pittsburgh shower, with real Pittsburgh water pressure, but I can't make myself get up just yet. I've waited to be here too long. And it will be over too soon. That's something I can't think about right now.
At the diner I told Deb -- with much bravado -- that the one thing that I could still do, the one thing I could always count on -- was that I could still fuck. That was an exaggeration. Shit, it was a downright lie.
The turth is that I've been... on hiatus ever since my moronic attempt to off myself. Yes, face it, Kinney, that's what you did and that's how you got repaid. The longest I've gone without fucking since... Shit. Could it be since that Kensington place? The cuckoo's nest? That was weeks and weeks. It must be. I can't think of a time since then. How fucking appropriate.
And, to tell the truth, I almost thought it would never come back. My dick, I mean. But it did. Like Lassie. It always comes home, I guess.
Or did it take HIM to get it back.
I think of poor Ron, trying his best. All for nothing. Saying, it doesn't matter. Get some rest. Get some sleep. Eat some food. See the shrink. I know a place where they have herbal Viagra. Fuck no! Just leave it.
Maybe that WAS the rest I needed.
And I didn't die without it. Unbelievable. I could still walk and talk and run and fall down and be an asshole -- all without recourse to my cock. Brian Kinney NOT defined by his sexual organ and its bionic abilities. Who would ever have thought? Not me!
But here it is again. It's brushing against his leg and rising to the occasion even more. A little tentatively, perhaps. A little questioningly. But back from the fucking dead. If that's not enough to make you a believer in something, then I don't know what.
I should be glad that I haven't managed to kill myself or let them kill me.
Because he's killing me with kindness.
It's almost too much for me to deal with. Cruelty. Disgust. Cynicism. Baldfaced evil. Those things I can face.
It's the other things I can't handle. Love. Trust. Kindness. Pure goodness.
I guess I think those words have nothing to do with me. I was ejected from that garden long, long ago.
Won't it take more than a boy to get me back in?
Continue on to Chapter 34 "The Culture of Desire".
©Gaedhal, June 2002
Pictures of Gale Harold and Randy Harrison from Showtime.
Updated June 21, 2002