(damaged boys) 17

(damaged boys) 17: into the wonder
There were five of them in the row of townhouses, and underneath the sheen of public normalcy and personal success lived the gaping damage within.
Into the wonder
Ben was tired of feeling emotionally injured. Things never seemed to work out. If there was hope, it always seemed dashed in the end, usually with some bizarre twist. Like an episode of The Twilight Zone, complete with Rod Serling narration, Ben watched his life unfold with a sense of fascination and horror.

Why were simple things so difficult? Why was it nearly impossible to achieve some degree of normalcy and serenity? He’d watched Marcus become more and more closed off from the world, obsessing, no doubt, over his past with Michael. Why did he all but disappear every time he became sullen and swollen with nostalgia, grasping pathetically at some idealized vision of the past…completely unclouded by reason and sanity?
That’s partly why he was so excited to visit Tuck and to hang out…gossiping about friends, dishing about men and catching-up on the latest from the bar scene…something he had long since abandoned. The weekend party would be just what he needed to get his mind off of his everything and his nothing.
Tuck’s new place was only ten minutes from Ben, located right off Shore Road and nestled between some old-growth trees and the endless rocky coast of Lake Erie. It was the sort of high-rise condo that looked like it didn’t quite belong – nothing over three stories did. Tuck was one of those new money fags who had the best of everything…at least it was stuff that looked pretty. Including whomever he happened to be bedding at the time. His life was like some glorified combination of Martha Stewart Living and the best of Crate and Barrel…only the colors were more muted and subdued, which seemed ironic to Ben, since Tuck was neither of those things.
“Benjamin, darling, we’ve been waiting for you. I want you to meet Indio, I told you about Indio last week, remember?”
Indio was exactly the club twink Ben had imagined, complete with a boxed blonde dye-job, multiple piercings, tattoos and bad vocabulary. He gave them two weeks, max.
“Nice to meet you. Tuck’s told me a lot about you.”
“I hope he wasn’t telling you too much…I like to keep my ten inch cock size to myself.”
“Right, well, I’m going to get something to drink.” Ben darted through the kitchen on his way to find the bar, or anywhere else that was far away from Indio and his ten-incher.
Ben surveyed the room with raptor-like eyes, sharply scanning everyone in the room, looking for exes and potentially embarrassing encounters. So far, so good. With a keen awareness of the attendees, Ben meandered through the comfortable, over-decorated rooms, noting with some delight, the apparent absence of any real taste.
That is when he spotted Sean, making his way down the hallway toward him. Sean smiled to brightly, with such familiarity, that Ben thought he might already be acquainted. As he moved closer, he was relieved to see that he was, indeed, a total stranger…something very unique and very intriguing given the relatively small size of the gay community. Sean didn’t walk so much as he ambled. He was comfortable and confident and smiling at Ben. Looking directly in his eyes, sparkling with possibilities. Not even a hint of psycho drama queen anywhere. This was good.
“Hi. I’m Sean.”
“Nice to meet you, Ben. I was just about to leave, but seeing as you’re here and willing to talk to me, I’d love to buy you a drink.”
Ben smiled and said, “they’re free.”
“I know, I’m kidding.”
Ben laughed and relaxed a little, enjoying the unexpected encounter with this dark and handsome stranger. Someone new, he thought. A totally blank slate…the best place to start.
“How do you know Tuck?”
Ben told Sean the abridged version of their friendship, conveniently skipping over some of the very early, very sexual adventures he’d shared with Tuck and their travels to the islands…stories Tuck liked to tell and retell new friends and acquaintances…stories that were long ago and far away as far as Ben was concerned.
And it struck him, was Sean one of the guys Tuck met through his active social sex life? He put it out of his head immediately…no need to sabotage a nice conversation. There would be time for truth later, if at all.
They chatted eagerly for nearly an hour until Sean announced that he would be leaving with the friends who drove him, but could they please keep in touch? A proper date, perhaps?
As they exchanged numbers, things looked a little different to Ben, which is not to say better, exactly, but interesting…fascinating and intriguing.
“I’m sorry I have to bolt, but they are my ride. I wish I could stay.”
“Well, we’ll have to grab dinner or a drinks or something.”
“That would be perfect! I’ll look forward to hearing from you…I will hear from you?”
There was an awkward and burning moment where there might have been a kiss, and then the odd, sinking resolution of a polite handshake.
“Yes, I promise.”
“Good.” Sean smiled and disappeared into the sea of well-dressed and over-cologned men.
Ben had stared right into the face of new possibilities…finally, there was something other than Marcus.

Aug 07, 2006 By Todd 8 Comments