Alex just shakes his head.
“Sorry, I had a horrible hookup.” He pauses. And I just stare at him, confused on what is going on and all of the courage I've once had is long gone. I feel regretful that the topic is changed even from my mind and now that I must be compassionate and that is what is wrong with me. I shift from one man to another in hope of finding some fulfilment and love. But Alex is going on in his wave and I don't interrupt him further. “Basically it was my first proper hookup, y'know...”
He doesn't flinch as he takes a sip of the hot tea, looking right past me on his round table, standing tall.
“Grindr and all such finesse. I even had to go quite a fair number of stations away, because I figured that he was worth it. He seemed nice and all I did was trust him in that. Basically it all lasted rather little, he came in me twice and that was it. He didn't bother to make me come. He just... showered, went out in his underwear and said he was done for the day. That was fucking it.” Alex cringes, closing his eyes. He opens his brown eyes, still bewildered from the whole action which was happening on him. “Basically I'm talking about it to everyone, I really feel used and uncomfortable... So you came in time.”
He speaks in long pauses.
“I'm happy it was you, not Jamie. He would've judged me. Not to mention I got a call from my mother.” He quickly scans me, as if trying to find whether to reveal much more information but I see that he's really tired, so Alex closes his eyes again. “I've forgiven her.”
He doesn't state why.
“So... she asks me, how are you Alexander, and all I can say is that I'm fine. I can't really tell my mother no matter how stained the relationship is that a bad hookup had managed to really ruin me for a good while.” I let him speak. I listen. “I'm so sorry. I just really feel horrible.”
“I'm sorry.” I pause. Maybe he isn't the man of my dreams and neither am I of his? “It's not your fault that he came within minutes. He was just a really bad fuck. I've never... had hookups. I'm trans, I think there aren't too many men who would sleep with me.”
“Jamie sleeps with you.” Alex says gingerly, more at the fact that I am fucking his ex and I just feel taken back and a bit protective of my sand watch boyfriend, which I seem to be tilting over whenever the time runs out for my patience. I don't notice as I drum my fingers on the table. I feel annoyed and I know that he's hurt. I know that he's hurt. I stand up, looking at my tea.
“But I dream of you.” It's dramatic and we lock eyes. “I expected Jamie to be transphobic, since he's Brazilian. I stereotyped him.”
Alex just crooks his head to the side, looking at me.
“What do you mean, that you dream of me?” The words are so simple but he takes time to choose them and speaks in pauses.
I really feel like leaving even if he feels like crap from his actually shitty hookup. But this seems to be the best slap in the face and wake up call. We stand with the round table between us.
“I've always dreamt of you.” I clutch the table. “I always have. Ever since I was a child. You in your One for the Road jacket. I always wanted to meet you and I did. That's why I talked to you. That's why I became friends with Jamie. That's not why I slept with him. That's why I made you my friend. I wanted to know why you stalked my dreams. I wanted to know you.”
Alex looks at me like a madman. He looks around, as if there could be another clone of him. Instead he stares at me, deeply deeply confused. I don't know what else to say, so I just excuse myself, from what I understand like his hookup made him leave. I just want to go back to the sleeping Jamie and feel some regret, as if it were my hookup and I had decided to come back to my loving boyfriend which would make me come every damn time and never feel used again.
I take too long to find the keys and Jamie opens the door, glancing jealously at Alex's unlocked door but doesn't say anything, just lets me in to my apartment. I briefly think how thankful I am to have found an apartment in Stockholm with the ongoing crisis. It's weird to see the world fall and somehow find a safe haven. I just glance at Jamie, who decides to go barefoot to Alex's, most likely to ask him if I were over, which ends up with Alex going to close the door and the two previous lovers meet.
“I had the worst hookup ever.” I think I would be complaining as well, but not as straightforwardly. Jamie just looks rather confused, glancing back at me and shrugging, as if telling Alex to go on and we all stand outside Alex's apartment as he tells the tale once more, of the guy not touching him and how now he is just driving himself up the wall with frustration that he even decided to have a hookup which ended so badly, with a guy he mocked as awkward in his head before they got to the bedroom. I feel so innocent, compared to both of them and how shyly Jamie slips that he regrets sleeping with Jack, which causes Alex to state that at least it wasn't a bad hookup and Jack had made him come, to which Jamie just agreed.
“But we all have our sex regrets. It's like sex tapes, they're all nearly filled with regret.” I felt a bit uncomfortable, wondering if I were a regret, but at that moment Jamie put his arm around my shoulder and rubbed it. I wondered what else did he mean and would I eventually end up wrapped up in that pile, I wondered. I couldn't help but think, is a regretful hookup worse than a bad relationship? At least the person didn't deceive you, so the question was what was the worse by the end of the day? But I didn't ask that aloud, instead I heard Alex slap his face and say how during any sort of one time flings he would compare the boys to different things, one had a fox face and this one had a stingray dick, the tip was far too big compared to the rest. Jamie couldn't help but laugh and say that he would never even utter that aloud, I said that I would.
“What if I should leak the nudes I sent, because self-leaking is better, right?” Jamie slapped his face, as Alex asked it, causing me to be a bit lost between the two men. At the same time I felt sad that Alex spoke about his hookup instead of asking what were the dreams between me and him, but I could see that he kept looking at me, holding his soft brown gaze every time he'd decide to glance any way near my way.
“No, Alex, no one is going to leak anything. Specifically stingray dick.” And Jamie burst into laughter, causing Alex to go red, watching Jamie cover his eyes and keep laughing a bit too long, as if he was hiding something. Maybe he was far too curious why did I go to Alex's after us bonding so well.
I couldn't help but wonder or rather if I knew a couple, I would always picture them fucking, just to know how it was, how it looked like and for some reason it would give me some sort of insight, so I glanced at both my lover and his previous lover, picturing them groaning against each other. It was even something close to a sexual fantasy of mine, but far too sinful to fully branch out in mind.
I look at both of them and the problem is that I've still got bad days, days when I wonder what if I am doing the wrong thing. I feel as if I'll never be a man by looking at them. These thoughts specifically followed me as I would think deeply about coming out to my parents and I would lay in bed, tucked in and asking myself why would I just give up everything and the desires seemed short-sighted.
Sometimes I feel like what if it is not my story to tell when it happens between two men because I get so insecure about who I am, whenever I paint, I just understand that the discrimination I face is different, but is it really when I had my parents yell that if I were to have children I shouldn't because gay men should never have children since there is no mother?
And what is the role of a mother?
Why is it so crucial?
It reminds me of silence, a blank canvas and a ticking clock. It just happens.
Same goes for the father and never will I deny my love for them or the memories I've shared, but the questions drag on as the relationship is odd just with the fact that I am living my life as who I am rather than someone who they would prefer.
I think again of gay men and I happen to be one. Is it because of the discrimination? Is that all it takes for me to be a man?
Is hatred the thing which defines us?
I knew that if I were to ask Jamie that question he would just soothe me, depending on where we were, taking my hand and rubbing his thumb against the back of my palm. It's odd to see how quick he picked up on my dysphoria and how he would pay attention to see what to say, even if he was lost at it in the beginning and it never occurred to me that it could turn out to be so small as if it were an insecurity, even if it feels as big as the world to me.
I don't know where the desire to experience someone else or something else comes from, it becomes something which consumes you and it's always a matter of time before I'll give in. I keep thinking of Alex and his jacket and how he's no longer wearing it because winter is upon us and he's got this cute coat with anchor buttons which I don't know where he got from and everyone seems so nicely coated and I tell myself that I'm thankful that puffy jackets are gone until I go out on the street and I regret so many people's fashion choices.
I happen to deal with so much regret on Jamie's behalf, feeling that sooner or later I'll taste Alex.
But then he's the one on the cards.
What happens to Jamie? Is he the lost card?
Eventually Jamie and Alex come to a conclusion that the guilt will soon vanish, so Alex waves it off, even if he doesn't feel any better.
Sometimes I wonder if I could go back and retell all my story, at least to myself, to hear myself speak it and see myself with longer hair, trying on makeup, enjoying dolls and ask myself was I really happy or was it because I hadn't known better? I ended up spending my teenage years watching superhero movies because I had missed on them, watching them and confusing my parents. Pulling my hair into ponytails until I had the courage to cut it, feeling too annoyed at the feeling of hair against my neck.
I rub my eyes, way too sad to wake Jamie up even if he suffers from insomnia as well, so when I turn around I see him staring at me, even if he's clearly trying to sleep. So we talk a bit and both agree that tea would be beneficial for both of us. I make passionflower tea for both, as Jamie seems to be in a listening mode. I wonder if Alex would ever fit as well, but I keep such thoughts to myself.
I should be the one wary of the guilt.
I'm in love with another man and it doesn't seem like a love triangle which will ever resolve properly in two men in love with me.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll just fall into a nightmare which will take me away, as I hold the hot tea in my hands, never leaving my gaze off Jamie's dark green eyes. It makes me think of how common green eyes should be there, making mine look so plain and I guess his look plain where he comes from.
I always feel like crying but the testosterone had made it impossible for me to cry and I think of that every time I inject it, hearing my mom's words of disapproval and wondering how much happier would I had been as a straight woman. But I wouldn't. I'd be lost and the sex scared me always.
Jamie keeps looking at me and I don't know where has my love gone, how come it was wrapped up and now the wrapper is empty.
The problem is that humans are never satisfied, that's why we go on and every day can never pause, that's why we get so many problems to resolve and so many misfortunes.
We never confessed, we played with affection and attraction.
If I never try, I will never know.
I've talked to myself.
I take the cup of tea and invite Jamie to the balcony as he smokes.
Maybe he's the one I love.
I kiss him and I feel too much, but as soon as it ends Alex crawls on the borders. I'm like youth, I feel like a teenager again eager and scared of marriage because it should be so far away.
“I'm sorry I'm too estranged by my own thoughts.” I tell Jamie, watching and as if searching for a sunrise but the world is too dark and we are engulfed in black. I don't know what else to tell him as I feel like I've kissed the cigarette as well, as Jamie just drops the ashes off the rails, leaning against the rails. I know that he's got his own thoughts, his own doubts and his own love for Alex which was terminated so abruptly and I wonder if I will be the one to commit the same thing and I can only imagine being on top of Alex, him with his eyes closed, mouth open and I want him.
I even start thinking of Nick, wondering how he looks and recalling when I just moved in how I would look at photos of him. I wondered about everyone else, how would they react knowing that who they had kissed is actually a trans man?
After Nick I had felt that I would never even have a gay man look at me, but I guess it varies from country to country. I would miss him so much that I would try to find him in strangers or I felt if I could go to the airport that I would find him there and we spoke briefly when I moved to Sweden but soon enough we stopped and it just made my heart ache. What if we had continued talking? Because I had known so many secrets from him. Maybe somehow he would realize that I was just as much of a man as anyone else was?
“Sorry.” And Jamie is watching me as he's about to finish smoking and I try to collect all my thoughts in order to properly speak to him, but I don't even know where to start. My mind just keeps shattering itself and it's as if I can't even trust myself, which is desperately true.
But what if it's just because I can't talk to anyone at all? Would I manage to speak to Alex about it? Would I manage to talk to myself about it?
I don't like to think of talking to myself because I always imagine myself sitting opposite and I don't like the look of myself.
I feel as if the only solution is to reintroduce myself and start talking about everything I've ever gone through. I keep looking at Jamie, as the only movement is his dragging his cigarette. What if it will be Jamie all along?
“What's bothering you, Miles?” He asks me finally and I don't really drop his gaze. I try to at least organize my thoughts and try to understand what can I even speak of, but nothing comes out of my mouth at first and I feel desperately tired.
What's wrong with being a woman?
Was asked by my mother and I could see her lips uttering those words.
“Memories.” And I wish I could somehow end with this, both of talking and everything, but nothing ever ends, life goes on with it's twists and turns. “I just... remembered how my mom went ballistic that I didn't want to be a woman anymore.”
“I've always been a man. I just didn't know how to tell it.” I shrug. “I was way too scared. I thought that I would be sent to a psychiatrist to be told that everything I think is wrong, that it's a phase just like mom is saying.”
I know he's listening and it's odd not to be talking to a wall anymore.
“It's not even just mom, it's as if everything has an issue with me... Besides you, Alex and Jack. Maybe some other people.” I shrug. “But it's as if everyone has an issue with trans people, it's so bad that no one flinches when there is a bad transphobic joke on television, no one bats an eyelash if it's directed at trans men.
I don't know.”
He just pulls me closer to him. I try to listen but instead feeling his thin shirt under my fingertips becomes far more soothing than words of how ignorant people are and how I shouldn't pay attention and by the end of the day fight for my rights, just like we all gay men do. It makes me feel together again.
I wrote the remaining 1.6 k of this chapter in one sitting, so please understand that I am awfully tired from it, since I really wanted to update today. I know the updates are quite unpredictable, I'd recommend following my tumblr since that's where I update it or just keep checking the blog really x) and if there's a story you're dying for an update just nudge me, no matter how long it has been since it's been updated.
I will whine until the end of time, but I'm actually done whining about it, so I'll just keep going on in other parts of the backstory.
The story is coming closer to it's final arc and frankly it's a rather big story which I am awfully proud of, so I'm quite happy about that so it was only a matter of time until Miles would tell Alex and they're in this lovely odd dance, so I'm good x) I'm happy about how it turned out.
Miles speaking of sex tapes was a reference to the Kills' Blood Pressures being called Sex Tapes at first.
I picked up Blue/Jacket today because I kept thinking about my own parents and their refusal to accept me, so I kept going over and over it in my head and decided that I should pour it out into the story and that's what I did. So I guess thanks to transphobia, it made me write xD No seriously, no one should ever deal with this bullshit ever.
Shout out to Radiohead's new album which is frankly their worst album for sure, but it was a great listen and inspired this chapter. Quite bittersweet of me to say, but it's true.
I hope you enjoyed it and thank you