This is Part 2 of Chapter 30 in the "Queer Theories" series.
Go back to "Love Minus Zero -- Part 1" , the previous section.
I stepped up onto the platform and pushed open the door panel.
His big suitcase was lying on the floor at the foot of the bed, open and spilling odds and ends of clothing out onto the floor. A couple of CDs and some loosely wrapped little packages -- probably presents for Gus -- sat on top of the jumble. Once again I had the overpowering urge to snoop -- to paw through the little clues to what he had been doing, thinking, feeling in all those weeks he was gone.
But I also knew that there was only one surefire way to find out anything about Brian. Anything and everything. And nothing. All at the same time. If I had felt like running away before, I knew that fleeing would only postpone the inevitable. Even if I felt like murdering him sometimes, I also wanted to fuck him. And these desires were usually simultaneous. Brian always says that everyone has to deal with their own personal kinds of insanity. I sure that those are mine. What HIS are would take a team of headshrinkers to unravel.
I went into the bathroom as quietly as I could -- he was still snoring lightly and I didn't want him to wake up just yet. I took off my clothes, which were still a little damp from the rain, and put them in the bin. Then I washed and fussed with myself. I couldn't believe how nervous I felt. I kept patting down my hair where the rain had caught it and made it stick up at a funny angle. But why was I worrying? God knows Brian has the silliest looking bed-head ever -- sometimes I have to stop myself from laughing out loud at it. Plus, if he's paying attention to how my hair looks -- well, the battle is already lost, let's face it.
I crept back into the room and climbed into bed. I could hear my heart so loudly it sounded like a big clock filling the room with its beats. I pulled the duvet up around me and lay still.
That part I hadn't figured out yet. I suppose I could try to fall asleep and then wait for Brian to wake up and let nature take it's course. But who knows how long he would sleep? He must have already been in bed for a couple of hours. He must really be exhausted.
And he looked exhausted. His face was tanner than usual, as you'd expect from someone who just came back from Los Angeles, but he was thinner, too. Stripped down, like all that was left of him were the essentials and that didn't leave any room on his face for softness or slackness. The little line between his eyebrows looked deeper, especially as he glowered restlessly. I wanted to reach out and trace it with my finger, but I was afraid he'd wake up unexpectedly and bite me, like a bear disturbed from hibernation. Being around Brian is a little like living in the same cage with a wild animal -- the first rule is always: make no sudden movements.
But it was too late -- as he reached out and seized my arm, his eyes snapping open.
We stared at each other for almost a full minute before he spoke the words I'd been waiting for five months to hear him say:
"I suppose you didn't leave any of that food for me?"
I just gaped at him.
"Well? Did you? Fucking little glutton!"
"What do you have? ESP? I was totally quiet! And you were sound asleep! You couldn't have heard me!"
"Don't you know me by now? I'm never really asleep. And you make more noise than a herd of fucking elephants."
"There's more than half a sandwich AND a lemon square still in the box. The sandwich is a little -- nibbled at. But it's still good. It's only been in MY mouth, after all. No place you yourself haven't already been a million times."
He was lying back on the pillow, his eyes closed. "Well, I just wanted something there in case I feel like eating anything later." He opened one eye. "But if you're really hungry... you might as well eat it." He closed it again and looked like he was falling back to sleep.
"I don't want to eat your food, Brian! We can always order more food if we need to. I'll go out to the diner and get you FIVE sandwiches! I just can't believe we are having this stupid discussion about food!"
"Why not? You started it by eating my dinner."
"That's really ALL you have to say? I mean, after... everything?"
"What do you want me to say?"
"I don't know -- how about... Hey, Justin, how have you been doing since I walked out of here in December without a word?"
"I know how you are," he said, almost too softly. "Fine. Right?"
"You don't know I'm fine! How do you know I'm fucking fine?"
"You look fine. You're still in school. The loft looks okay. I assume the Jeep is in good order -- I haven't seen any bills that tell me differently. You supervised the renovation of the loft downstairs into your studio like a pro -- the contractors sent me all the reports on the work. Cynthia says everything around here is taken care of just the way I would do it -- better, probably. That sounds pretty fine to me."
"So, I'm 'fine' because your fucking utility bill gets paid on time? That's what it means to be fine?"
"Well... other things might have led me to believe things were going well for you. I know you have a new job. I know about what happened with Ted at the diner...."
"How could you? I never said anything about...!"
"Shit! Of course! You might drop off the fucking face of the Earth -- but you'd never lose contact with your son!" I should have realized that all along! And Lindsay would never have betrayed Brian by saying a word about it -- not even to me. Melanie probably didn't even know they were communicating.
"And... I just know you're okay. You're a survivor in every way. You don't need me to validate anything you do." Now both of his eyes were wide open. "And any of the choices you make in your life are all right with me. I understand. It's the way things are and the way they should be."
I just looked at him. "I wish to fuck I knew what you were talking about."
He closed his eyes again. "I think I better go back to sleep for a while."
"Sleep! You've already slept all day as far as I can figure out."
"I'm just a little tired. I'm supposed to be here to rest up. And that's what I'm doing." He sighed. "This is the first really uninterrupted sleep I've had in weeks." He closed his eyes again.
"Well, you've had enough 'uninterrupted'! Because I plan to do a lot of interrupting in the next few hours!"
"Maybe we could put this off until another time. I'm jet-lagged. Plus, I should go and check in at my hotel...."
"Hotel? Why would you go to a hotel? This is YOUR place!"
"I didn't want to inconvenience you."
I knocked on his forehead with my knuckles. "Hello? Is that really Brian in there? Or an alien life form? 'Inconvenience'? Fuck! I've NEVER heard that word come out of your mouth in my whole life! I thought that the world only lives to serve your needs."
"Yeah, sure." He was smiling slightly.
"Well, here's something that won't 'inconvenience' me one bit." I reached down under the duvet. He tried to grab my hand, but I was quicker -- my motor skills are improving all the time and this was the evidence.
I had my hand on his cock, which, as I'd assumed -- it being Brian and he being alive -- was as hard as a steel rod. His eyes were plenty open now, as I gripped it.
"I don't think this is a good idea right now...."
"Oh, no? You don't want to be a part of my long-term physical therapy? Just because I don't have to go to the Center a couple times a week doesn't mean that I don't have to practice my hand-to-eye coordination? Or my hand-to-mouth coordination, which is even better!"
He didn't even attempt to stop me as I moved the covers away and brought my mouth down on his cock, while I stroked the shaft up and down, first gently, and then much more firmly. A LOT more firmly!
"Justin. Don't," he said. But then he gasped. "Fuck. Don't...."
I paused. "If you think I'm going to stop now, you really ARE nuts! Because I've been waiting fucking MONTHS to get you in this place. In this bed. So I could do just this! Because if this is the only thing YOU understand and the only way that I can get anything through to that stupid Irish head -- well, I'm not going to waste what might be my last opportunity. Now don't fucking interrupt me again!"
And he didn't.
He lay back on those blue pillows and let me run through everything I could think of. Every move I'd been dreaming of during those nights when I spoke to an empty phone, my hand on my dick. I had assumed his hand was on his dick, as well, but who the hell really knows with Brian?
So far, I had done everything -- literally. He lay there completely passive, just watching me, like he was watching a play or a film. Not detached, exactly, because his body was responding in every way. It was weird. It was kind of exciting, too, because I felt like I was in charge -- like he knew nothing and I knew everything and he was just following my lead, while I was making all the rules, inventing everything I was doing from scratch. I was so fucking horny and so hungry that I could have gone on for hours, moving up and down and all over him with my hands and my mouth, like a tourist set loose in Kinneyland. I didn't touch myself at all. And neither did he. He just kept watching.
I noticed that his body was so lean, more so than I had even imagined from looking at his face. It was also covered with little scratches and abrasions, especially on his legs and body. Places where the skin had been scoured away by something rough. Or as if he'd been pulled along a sidewalk or rough ground by a pack of wild horses. Some of the scrapes were scabbed over, but others were still fresh and red-looking. I ran my fingers over them, then my lips, looking up at him. But his face was impassive. All I could think was -- what the fuck had they been doing to him out in L.A.? Or what had he been doing to himself? Was it part of the movie? Or something else? I thought about that round-trip ticket in his coat. I desperately didn't want him to go back there.
The moment finally came when I opened up the condom and put it on him. I lowered myself slowly onto his cock, carefully, because it had been all those months and I was nervous and too tight. Suddenly, he sat up, almost pitching me over onto the floor. But without breaking our link he pushed me backwards on the bed. I just hung on for dear life, wrapping my legs around him. He thrust into me like a fucking bull and now I was the one gasping. He had me hanging off the end of the bed and my head was upside down and spinning. Then he picked me up like I was nothing at all and moved me crossways on the bed. Pulling my legs from around his waist, he pushed them up over my head and threw himself down on top of me, thrusting again and again until I was practically ready to yell, 'I give! I give!" But instead I heard myself yelling, "Don't stop! Don't fucking stop!"
And then he fell forward, collapsing on top of me, as he couldn't hold himself up any longer. He put his cheek up against mine, his face against mine, and pressed it hard as I knew he was cumming. I remember how quietly he had done it the last time we were together -- how could I forget? But now he was loud, the sounds as incoherent as usual, so you could almost make up whatever you wanted to think he was saying -- whatever you HAD to believe he was saying. And as he caught his breath, he pushed his mouth against mine and swallowed up my cries as I came two seconds later, my dick pressed tightly between us.
"Fuck! That was such a mistake! Why is everything I do always such a mistake? What the fuck am I doing?"
He tried to pull away from me, but I had him in a hold like a vise. "What is a mistake? How can you say THAT was a mistake? It's the only right thing that's happened to me since you left!"
He tried to disentangle himself from me again, but I wasn't having it. "Why are you trying to run away from me again? Why are you always running away?" I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes and I fought to push them back down. But sometimes I just can't stop them. "Do you want to get away from me that badly? Then why did you come back here? Why?"
Something was tapping at the loft windows. I realized it was the rain.
Continue on to "Love Minus Zero/No Limit -- Part 3", the next section.
©Gaedhal, May 2002
Picture of Randy Harrison and Gale Harold from Showcase and Showtime.
Here is the link to the lyrics to "Love Minus Zero/No Limit" from Bob Dylan's album Bringing It All Back Home.
Updated June 17, 2002