I REALLY need gay opinion on this story!!?
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hear it; I just wasn’t ready for it. Sunday nights were out times, we’d sit, smoke and talk, it was all outs, nothing held back. He was the one who would speak up first. It was always crap. We’d get that **** out of the way first, that way we could end on a high. But highs aren’t always what count sometimes, sometimes it’s the lows that stick. Sometimes it’s the lows that scream out to you. It’s the lows that scream out with the intense subtly of the moment. And it’s from the lows that sometimes a few selected joys can and do flower.
It was one of those outdoor hookah bars. Cheap, comfortable, friendly, and authentic. The owner Ghani had been weaving his way through low comfortable couches and fire pits freshening up the coals. It was fairly cool, but on each side of the patio there were windbreaker walls, only the end was open facing Main Street.
He started out shaky. His voice trembled, his face and eyes diverted. This wasn’t how things normally started; normally without fuss we’d sit down, Jason would order our drinks, maybe a bite to eat and then came our smokes. It was quiet that night. The lights were low. The Arabic music was playing something mysteriously familiar. His eyes, they normally looked right at you, but now, now they seemed to be desperately searching for an escape. Then he begged for my attention. “I need to say something.” He had leaned in very close. The low makeshift table we were sitting at shifted with one of those rude scrapes. You know, the kind that ruins moments. And then the couple across the way looked over. Right on queue.
The tea was green. Normally it was dark, black and worked like a ******* diuretic. The last time I remember I personally made four trips to that disgusting bathroom, but when nature calls in public, a bush just won’t do.
My heart started to pound, what was it? What was the big news?
I had been at work all day; I was wearing my favorite pink floral shirt with a tan sweater-vest over light grey pants. Stressed, tired and looking only to vent I wasn’t ready for it. Whatever it was though, I’d let him belt it out. I’d let him say it. Till then I was perfectly fine just letting the strawberry scented smoke fill each of our respectively polluted lungs and leave it at that.
Deep down though, I knew what it was. He’d told me last week where he’d been spending his Saturday nights. I knew, hell I was just lucky he hadn’t caught me there. I mean, I’m there one two times out of the month.
I knew but never said it. It wasn’t my place, and it wasn’t time. He’d told me it was for the music, that they had very similar taste. Did he think I didn’t know why? I looked over at his face, tried to catch his eye. After all, he’d started to say something anyways; it wasn’t like I was trying to stop him. The couple next to us had presently been ignoring us, they had moved on about ten minutes ago to the oh-so-interesting topic of venereal diseases and who had them. Note to self: don’t hook up with Ron.
Jason had on a salmon pink silk shirt with black pants. It wasn’t a secret at either of our offices that we had “questionable” fashion sense. But hey, is it my fault fuchsia works great with my skin tone? That was his line. He knew that half of the guys on his floor didn’t even know the difference. It was our inside joke. It’s not pink. It’s fuchsia. I think he ripped that one off of some gay indie flick, but one can never really be sure.
Then he stopped. He reached out with his right hand and grabbed the pot of tea. He’d drunk his already. As he poured his fill, he caught my eye. Finally. They were brown, light brown, his eyes. He put the pot back down and took a deep breath. The background noise coming from the patio seemed to get if not a little louder, then fuzzier. I couldn’t catch what Stephanie had, was it gonorrhea or syphilis? “Chris’, he said. ‘Chris I’ve got to tell you something.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to hear it; I just wasn’t ready for it. Some things are just too much. I could deal with anything when all I did was suspect. When my little brother went off to high school only to become the biggest pothead in its history, all I did was suspect. That was enough. Suspecting was enough. I liked not knowing what and who he was doing on Saturdays. My heart felt very uncomfortable. Something short of being sick and dying, it wasn’t exactly heaven. But then again this wasn’t exactly the most perfect of oases.
I had often daydreamed of redecorating the place. It’s so utilitarian, it really need a gay touch. I mean, there’s this big tree in the middle, bare, half dead, extremely attractive. Not only that though, there is this fountain off to the side, two of them actually, always empty! I’ve tried to talk to Ghani about it, but his mother designed it, and no up and coming gay man from West LA could talk her out of it. The place could use some Middle Eastern art as well, some wall hangings, artistically crafted poetry. Something, anything other than the blandness of the current state would suffice.
He glanced to either side, and subsequently started to tap his foot, one of his nervous habits. “What was it?” I asked. I let out what I’d never thought I’d do. I asked. He looked at me again, apparently plucked up the courage needed, and let it out.
“Don’t get freaked out Chris,” He said.
I started looking for my ever-handy cigarettes in my coat pocket. One of my nervous habits.
“Chris, I think. No, I’m pretty sure. Chris, I’m gay.”
That was it. It wasn’t that bad. No, it wasn’t that bad. Everything got quiet. Tiffany had who the hell knows what, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to care. I looked up, took a deep breath, and watched the perfect smoke rings being made by one of the other regulars.
****, did I tell him I’d known all along? Did I tell him I didn’t care? Damn it, did I tell him I was glad? I did however finally feel my heart calm, I finally did let it out. After all, he’d done it.
I looked at him, looked him in the eyes, and said it. Said what I never thought I’d say. “I don’t give a ****.”
I felt like throwing up. Right then and there, no qualms, just puke. Maybe I could aim for the venereal disease couple. That might make things a little more interesting. Like the moment needed it.
“Look, Jason,’ deep breath, ‘I really don’t care whether you’re into guys, as long as you’re happy, as long as its you.”
“I made out with a guy at Pride last week.”
No, he wasn’t working very hard at making this less uncomfortable, although I couldn’t help but smile.
“So you’re just coming out, and you’re already hitting up man meat at Pride?”
He didn’t think it was quite as funny as I had, but still, I mean come on! It was mildly entertaining. I just never really pictured him as the “making out on the dance floor” type. It shocked me.
“He had a tongue ring, it was kind of weird.” It was his turn to laugh.
We sat there laughing our skinny white asses off, not caring what the venereal people thought, not caring that the other was as gay as a three dollar bill. It was really something, something worth something.
It was around eleven thirty when we left that night; our boots rhythmically crunched the loose gravel of the parking lot. Slowly keeping time with the other.
We parked right next to each other, my silver Jetta just to the left of his white Civic hybrid. We stood there under the soft flickering light of the streetlights for a few minutes, not really knowing what one does after a coming-out smoke. What does one do? We hugged, I lingered, and oh what the ****, I went for it.
I don’t know, I just suddenly found my left arm hugging the small of his back while my right went searching for his shoulders. I would never have thought that something so seemingly odd could ever feel so natural. I never imagined it could feel so right. But then he was the one who let our bodies touch. He was the one; thank God, who pulled me in closer.
It was his second spontaneous kiss with a man; it was my fourth. After all, life’s not always what you’d think, sometimes it’s what you’d wish. Sometimes it’s the lows that bring out the most highs, and sometimes nothing held back really is nothing held back.
Props to all who actually read it!!!!!