This is Chapter 13 of the "Queer Identities" series.
The narrators are Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor.
Rated R and contains no warnings or spoilers.
Summary: The Big Dipper really is big. Arizona, May 2003.
Disclaimer: You know the drill. This is for fun, not profit. Enjoy.
"No time, no place to talk about the weather,
The promise of love is hard to ignore.
You said the chance wasn't getting any better,
Labor of love is ours to endure.
The highest branch on the apple tree,
It was my favorite place to be.
I could hear them breaking free,
But they could not see me.
I will run for shelter,
Endless summer lift the curse.
It feels like nothing matters
In our private universe.
I have all I want, is that simple enough?
There's a whole lot more I'm thinking of.
Every night about six o'clock
The birds come back to the palm to talk.
They talk to me, birds talk to me,
If I go down on my knees.
And I will run for shelter,
Endless summer lift the curse.
It feels like nothing matters
In our private universe..."
"Look at those stars. They look so close. Why do you think they look so close?"
"I don't know. Optical illusion. Or maybe you're just high."
"Shut up! I'm not high! I only took one toke! That's all!"
"No skin off my ass. You could have smoked the whole joint if you wanted to. That is, if you were able to wrestle it away from Paco."
"I wasn't into wrestling Paco. At least not tonight. But he's definitely into you. I can tell by the way he looks at you."
"Yeah, he's hot. And he was a good fuck. But that was then, as they say, and this is now. I think he's better as a colleague than a fuck buddy."
"Paco doesn't think so."
"Why? What did he say to you?"
"He asked me if I was interested in a threeway."
"That fucker! Well, are you?"
"I don't know. Not really. Not yet, anyway. I think we need to get the two of us on track before we drag anyone else into this thing."
"You've really been thinking this through, haven't you?"
"A little. Don't you ever think about it?"
"About what? A threeway? All the fucking time!"
"No! Asshole! Our relationship!"
"Oh, we have a relationship?"
"Okay, so maybe we do. Some kind of undefined, unconventional relationship."
"That's still a relationship."
"Whatever the fuck. Look at that big star over there."
"I think that's a planet."
"How can you tell? It looks like a star to me."
"Planets are bigger. Rounder. And they don't twinkle."
"Oh, is that how you know? Twinks know about twinkling, huh?"
"Shut up! I learned that at St. James'. I took an Astronomy class there. It was interesting. See that constellation? Right there? That's Ursa Major, the Big Dipper."
"Duh, Sunshine. I'm not an idiot. Even I can recognize the Big fucking Dipper!"
"No problem. A fucking star is just a fucking star -- unless it's a planet. That doesn't twinkle."
"You could have taken a hit on Paco's joint, you know."
"I know, but I didn't feel like it. I will -- when I'm ready. I'll smoke a joint and I'll have a drink if I want one. I may even trip if I want to. When it's time."
"I didn't say anything."
"I know you didn't. And I'm not waiting for you to say anything or not say anything. It's not for anyone else to say. Not Gorowitz. Not even you. It's something I have to decide for myself."
"It was never the dope, really. Or the booze. I was never in love with any of those things the way some addicts are. It was never about doing shit just for the sake of doing it. It was about something else."
"Bingo! Give that boy a cigar!"
"But if you aren't in pain, then you don't need pain management."
"That's the theory."
"Theory until it gets tested. Until I have to face some new fucking crisis. Then we'll see. And until then...."
"But you won't be facing it alone. Not anymore."
"What do you mean, maybe?"
"Neither of us knows what's in the future. That's why it's never a good idea to make promises. You can't know if you can keep them. You can never really know."
"Too late. I've already made a promise. And so have you. Remember? I'm not going anywhere and you're not going to shut me out or push me away? Sound familiar?"
"Yeah, it sounds familiar."
"I meant it. Did you?"
"Did you? I need to know the answer."
"I meant it."
"Good. I thought you did or else I wouldn't be here."
"I thought you were here for a free luxury vacation?"
"Some luxury vacation! I'm in a smelly sleeping bag with an equally smelly guy, lying on dirt and rocks, under a cactus, with snakes out there in the dark, waiting to bite me!"
"Then stay in the sleeping bag and don't go wandering around in the desert in the dark."
"I'll remember that the next time I have to piss. I'll just go right here in the bag."
"Like fuck you will! And I'm not smelly. I don't stink any worse than you -- or any other guy on this camp out!"
"Actually, you don't stink at all. You smell a little... ripe. But it's not bad. It's... manly."
"Yeah, like the Orgy Room of the Everhard Baths on No Towels Night!"
"No! Not like that at all! Like something earthy. Sweaty, but fundamental. Something honest."
"Are you saying that I should stop showering completely?"
"No, not that. I'm just saying that I like the way you smell. The way a MAN smells. That basic, human, masculine smell. When you were in Springhurst I used to put on one of the tee shirts that you'd left in the hamper. I didn't wash it, I saved it to wear at night. Because it smelled like you. And eventually it smelled like me, too. Like both of us, together."
"Jesus. You really do think like that, don't you?"
"Think like what?"
"Like a fucking romantic."
"So? Maybe I am a romantic. But so are you. That's the secret you don't want anyone to know."
"I'm a romantic like I'm a lesbian!"
"Then start eating pussy, because you're busted!"
"Pussy! Hey... what's this? Something's come up! Something interesting!"
"Stop that. Wait a minute."
"Why? Everyone's asleep. Or drunk."
"I thought we agreed that we were going to wait until tomorrow night when we got back to the trailer?"
"Are you rejecting me? That's not like you! I thought you were the guy who lives life on the edge?"
"Life on the edge? Isn't that how I ended up in rehab? And, no, I'm not fucking rejecting you. I just don't want to piss off the fucking cowboys!"
"It isn't as if they don't know about us. Anyone who has ever read a tabloid newspaper knows about us!"
"But that doesn't mean they want to hear us fucking. This isn't the backroom at Babylon. No straight guy wants that going on in front of him."
"In front of? We're behind a big rock, a couple of huge cactuses -- cacti -- whatever! -- and all these bushes. And since when do you give a shit what straight guys think?"
"Since I have to work with them, that's since when. And also since we had to eat those fucking horrible calf balls in order to be accepted as part of the gang. You want to have to go through that 'initiation' again? Knowing Swayze, next time he'll make us eat a live rattlesnake!"
"Ick. I hadn't thought of that."
"Well, think of it."
"Rule Number 1 -- no fucking apologies."
"What did you say?"
"I said that's bullshit. That 'no apologies, no excuses' stuff."
"Let's not go there."
"Because if you begin to enumerate all the times when I've actually had to apologize or make an excuse or some other example of me breaking my own ridiculous philosophy, then I'll have to point out all the times you broke those stupid fucking 'Rules' that YOU made. And where does that get us? Into a fucking argument!"
"Please, no arguments!"
"I agree. No arguments."
"You're still hard."
"I know. What else is new? I'm always fucking hard!"
"I know. You tell me something about yourself that I don't know. Make it something that almost no one knows, not even Michael. And then I'll tell you something about myself that you don't know."
"I hate this."
"I know. That's why you should do it."
"Why the fuck?"
"Because it's good to share."
"I hate sharing. I hate confiding. I hate trading secrets. It's like a fucking pajama party and we're a couple of giggling 13 year old girls!"
"Come on! It's fun. Couples share things."
"Forget it. Undefined, unconventional couples don't do shit!"
"Sure they do."
"My life is an open book. I don't have any secrets."
"Well, maybe a couple. But that doesn't mean I should tell you. You have a big fucking mouth!"
"The better to swallow your big fucking cock!"
"Hardy har har."
"Please? Just one thing. It doesn't have to be big. What about someone you fucked that you never told anyone else about?"
"How much time do you have?"
"Plenty. I'm not going anywhere."
"You only want me to tell something so that YOU can tell something, don't you? I know you too well! All right, I'll bite. But you can't tell Michael. Especially not Michael. Because he'd fucking freak out!"
"Do you mean Vic? Because I already know about that."
"How the fuck do you know about that?"
"How do you think? Your body language when you're around him. The meaningful glances you two exchange when you think no one else is looking. The way he's always so interested in all the details of your life, like an old lover would be. The fact that he was a hot, horny guy when you were just coming out. And besides, he told me all about it one night when the two of us were sitting at the kitchen table at Deb's after she'd gone to bed!"
"Shit! Vic's got a big fucking mouth, too!"
"I think it's kind of sweet."
"It wasn't sweet, believe me. Vic is a fucking power bottom! Or at least he was. He fucking wore me out!"
"I'm trying to picture it."
"Don't bother. And, for your information, I wasn't going to tell you about Vic. It's someone else."
"Someone we both know?"
"Well, I already know you fucked Emmett. And you sort of almost fucked Ted..."
"Almost. Don't forget that part. Almost. Sort of. It's not official."
"Okay. And you fucked Lindsay."
"Don't remind me!"
"It can't be Mel."
"Don't make me gag!"
"Sorry. And I know you and Ben fucked at the White Party in Miami."
"Jesus. I can't think of anyone else. Unless you and Debbie had a fling no one is aware of?"
"I won't even dignify that with a response. But you're forgetting someone else."
"Someone you don't want Michael to know about? I can't think of anyone... Wait! No! No fucking way!"
"You didn't! Not... David?"
"Shit! Where? When? How?"
"Remember right before that fixed King of Babylon contest you supposedly won?"
"It wasn't fixed. I won fair and square!"
"Yeah. Sure. Anyway, I think you'd just been accepted at fucking Dartmouth. Right around then. I went to the baths, as was my wont. To the Apollo, specifically. God, what a troll magnet that place was! The fucking floors were so thick with old come that it was like a sperm donor museum!"
"Um, stick to the main narrative, okay?"
"I'm just saying! Anyway, it was a slow night. A really slow night. I was about ready to go home when I decided to take one last tour through the Steam Room. Talk about the Last Circle of Hell! I saw a group of semi-decent-looking guys at one end of the room and I went over and pulled the towel off one of them... and..."
"It was David? Holy shit!"
"Yup, the Good Doc himself. He'd told Mikey he was at some meeting or something. Some fucking pathetic lie. He looked at me like I was the devil himself, come to reveal him in all his cheating glory!"
"But you didn't."
"Of course not! I don't do that shit. If David wants to get his fucking rocks off, then he should do it. But then don't lie about it. Especially not to Michael, who trusts him. I knew he was a creep before that, but seeing him at the baths confirmed it. It didn't help that I was also stoned out of my head. Some guy was jerking him off, so I just reached out and took over from there. You know that no one knows how to stroke a guy's dick like I do."
"No one would know better."
"So David was fucking swooning, of course. And when he came, he came in buckets. For an old guy he sure had a lot of come in him. Then he swayed a little, like he was dizzy. So I pushed him to his knees -- and he sucked me off right there. After I came in his mouth, I wiped my dick off on his towel and walked away. When I woke up the next morning I thought, 'Christ! That was fucked up!' Later on I saw him and Michael at the diner and I knew Dave thought I'd say something. But I didn't. What could I say? 'Hey, Mikey -- your lover blew me at the baths last night! It was awesome!' Eventually Michael found out that he'd been to the Apollo, but I never told him that anything happened. I could have, but it was one of those situations where it's better to lie than open a fucking can of worms. Besides, I figured that Michael and Dave were already on the road to a breakup, so what was the point?"
"And now they're back together."
"Yeah. For as long as it lasts. I wonder which bathhouse David is going to now? So, what's your story, Sunshine?"
"Nothing as good as that one. But it's something I've never told anyone else. Except Daphne. Because she was in on it. It was Halloween during my sophomore year at St. James'."
"Sophomore year? How old were you?"
"Let's see. I was 15, just about to turn 16."
"You must have looked like a fucking fetus then! Since when you were 17 you looked 12!"
"I did NOT look 12!"
"Okay, then --11."
"What does that say about you, Mr. Chicken Hawk? You picked up a guy who looked 11?"
"I'm not a chicken hawk! I was high and didn't know what I was doing."
"That's always your excuse. Can I finish my story now?"
"Sure. It's about Daphne dressing you in drag and taking you to a straight bar where you pretended to be a girl, right?"
"What! How the hell do you know about that? I never told you that!"
"You forget that Daphne has a mouth even bigger than Vic's -- or yours!"
"Shit! Nothing is a secret!"
"Not when your resident fag hag is also totally in love with me and will tell me anything. So tell me, after this little experiment in cross-dressing, what made you think that Daphne still didn't think you were a complete queer?"
"Because it was Halloween! It was a costume! It was for fun!"
"Yeah, every straight 15 year old boy dresses in drag just for a fun of it!"
"Halloween! It was Halloween!"
"Then how come you two went to some bar on the other side of town so no one would recognize you? And how come you didn't tell the guys who were coming on to you that you were really a guy and it was all in fun? How come, Justine?"
"I refuse to answer on the grounds that it's none of your fucking business!"
"That Big Dipper... it's really big."
"Yeah. I guess."
"So is this. Feel it, Sunshine."
"I thought we weren't going to do anything out here."
"Well, it's pretty late. And there's no one else here. Just us. In this smelly sleeping bag."
"No one else. Us and the desert."
"And the Big Dipper."
"Maybe a few rattlesnakes."
"Shut the fuck up."
"Come over here."
"I can't get much closer! We're already jammed together like sardines in here!"
"I mean on top of me. Just for a minute. Yeah, like that."
"This sleeping bag wasn't meant for two people."
"Fuck the sleeping bag! I'll unzip it a little. How's that?"
"Better. Much better. Um. That feels nice."
"Are you asleep?"
"No. How can I sleep? I'm lying on top of you and you're hard as a rock!"
"Tomorrow we'll be back in the trailer. You better find a big can of Crisco because your ass is going to need all the help it can get!"
"Crisco? Who the fuck uses Crisco when there's premium Astroglide?"
"I don't mean Crisco literally! It's a fucking metaphor!"
"Stop talking in metaphors and fuck me. Literally. Right now."
"Okay, but quietly."
"As quiet as possible. If anyone hears anything, we'll tell them it was a coyote. Or one of the Longhorns."
"I've got a Longhorn right here for you!"
"Ever the romantic!"
"You want romance, Sunshine? Then kiss me. And no one else. Ever. Those are YOUR fucking 'Rules.'"
"That's easy. Because there is no one else, right? Just us. No one else in the whole universe."
"Except the stars. But I'll tell them to look the other way."
"I don't care. Let them watch. Maybe they'll learn something."
"Maybe they just will."
"And it's a pleasure that I have known,
And it's a treasure that I have gained,
And it's a pleasure that I have known.
It's a tight squeeze but I won't let go.
Time is on the table and the dinner's cold.
And I will run for shelter,
Endless summer lift the curse.
It feels like nothing matters
In our private universe."
©Gaedhal, September 2007.
Continue on to "Icing".
Posted September 3, 2007.