I Got What You Need
Justin walks back into my apartment, and plops down on my sofa.
"You didn't ask me if you could `hang out' a little longer," I said.
"Oh, I'm sorry. I just thought that it would be cool."
"I didn't say it wasn't. I'm just saying..." It's so easy just to fuck with Justin.
"Oh, I'm sorry"
"Stop apologizing, man," I said. "So, do you want some peach cobbler, or what?"
"Yes. I love peach cobbler," he said, as he rose and walked over to the casserole dish on the kitchen counter. "My granny makes the best peach cobbler, but I'm sure yours is good too."
After helping himself to a generous helping of cobbler, Justin sat down in the chair next to mine, stared at me for a second, and started on the mound of peaches and crust.
"Mmmm... I like."
"I thought so."
I watched Justin eat his cobbler as though his stomach forgot about the plate of chicken, two helpings of macaroni, and the ½ pitcher of kool-aid he consumed thirty minutes ago. Right now, Justin is tying with JC as the *NSYNC piggy. But, even while pigging out, he's still adorable. He reminds me of a cute little kid in a 20-year-old body.
"What," Justin said, as he put down his spoon.
"Yeah. You were starting to stare. Do I have something on my face?"
Oops, my bad. "No, I was just watching you assault that peach cobbler."
"It was good, T. Almost as good..."
"As your granny's peach cobbler," I finished.
"Oh, I must've mentioned it already."
"Yeah, about twenty times tonight."
"Yeah, the guys say that I do that a lot -- talk about stuff compulsively."
"From what I've seen, you do. You talked about your grandmother's cobbler; you raved about "Haterade" for about 20 minutes. But," I added, "it's cute. It's shows enthusiasm."
"Enthusiasm... I like the sound of that. Next time the guys complain about it, I'll use that word. Cool."
"You're all right, Justin."
"You're pretty all right, too. You cook, you write hit songs -- you're something else."
"Ha ha ha," my fake laugh. "If you say so, Justin."
"Anyway, how did you get into music?"
"Oh, I've been involved with music since I was a little kid. My grandmother made me sing in the church choir when I was five..."
"I sang in church, too!"
"I'm not done, Justin."
"Oops, there's that enthusiasm again."
"Back to music... I started singing in the church choir at the age of five. But, I hated singing when I was young. During lunchtime at school, I would rap with all the other kids -- I mostly did the beatbox, but I'd spit a rhyme here and there.
"Then, grandma felt that I should learn an instrument, so I picked the drums. So, I swept the church on Saturday evenings in exchange for lessons from Brother Mel, the church drummer. I still sang in the choir, but I'd substitute sometimes, when Mel wasn't around.
"When I got to high school, I had a music class where we had to play an instrument. The teacher wouldn't let me pick drums, since I already knew how to play, so I picked a guitar. I don't know how a guitar ended up in my high school, but it was there, and I learned to play."
"Why were you `shocked' to find a guitar at your school."
"I went to an inner-city high school. We didn't even have enough instruments for everyone for about four months. And, it was band class -- ain't no guitars in a marching band."
"So, I was the only kid in band class who didn't play a band instrument. And, we didn't have an orchestra, so I stuck. But, Mr. Johnston worked with me, and I picked it up pretty quickly. That got me interested in piano, so I stayed around the music room after school, and taught myself how to play piano."
"Wow. That's cool -- you taught yourself."
"And," I continued, "I started to write songs at about this time. I wrote poetry since I was 13, but never thought to write lyrics until I heard this weak-ass song on the radio and thought that I could do better."
"What song did you hear on the radio that made you want to write?"
"Ummm... I don't remember. I doubt they're around anymore anyway."
I continued. "So, by the time I graduate high school, I'm singing, rapping, and I'm playing three instruments. I made up my mind senior year to pursue music as a career once I graduated from college."
"When I got out of college, I lived and worked in Chicago for a year as a Webmaster for an insurance company. I also shopped around my demo to different A&R people and artists that I came across."
"Did you come across R. Kelly? He's from Chicago, right?"
"He is, but I've never met him." Because I would've let him know that he ain't all that. He has some nice lyrics, but he can't sing better than me.
"Then, I get a call from one of my fraternity brothers who's in town for business, so we get together for drinks and whatnot. Turns out, he's working for Platinum Plus. Well, I took him over to my apartment and played him a couple of songs that I wrote. Two months later, I'm in New York recording with 702..."
"Wait," Justin interrupts. "You didn't do "It's My Thing", did you?
"No. Actually, the song I did wasn't released as a single. But, Mary J. Blige heard the song I did for them, and next thing I know, "My Man" is number 10 on the Pop charts."
"And that," I said, "Is the short version of my musical life. It isn't too complicated -- just a young ghetto child who, through hard work and determination, is getting to live his dream."
"That's cool. But I was wondering if you're glad you went to college and stuff before going into the industry?"
"I am. I got to get a Music degree to show that I'm trained, and a Systems Analysis degree to fall back on if something doesn't work out. I knew since 12th grade that I would pursue music, but I chose to be realistic while I pursued this dream come true."
Justin sat there and listened to me intently. He wasn't like the others guys. He instantly seemed to take an interest in me as a person, and not just a beatmaker. Even though he's about as big a fan of mine as I am his, he sees past that, and looks at the person behind the hit songs. Don't get me wrong -- the other guys are cool, but Justin isn't as hesitant to open up as the others.
"So, do you want to know how I started out," Justin said.
"You can tell me if you want, but I know that story -- I am something of a ... fan."
"Why, is that a surprise?"
"It's just that... well, I didn't think brothas listened to us."
"Well, young curly-haired pop star, some of us do."
"Do you listen to any other pop?"
"Yeah. I listen to all the big pop stars. Even your thick-ass baby mama."
He blushes at my comment. Oops, my bad. I guess I shouldn't have commented on Britney's big butt. Even though it's true -- she has a big butt, and I do own all three of her albums -- perhaps I should have kept my comment to myself. After all, we've only known each other for about eight hours.
"My thick-ass baby mama..."
"I hope I didn't say something wrong."
"No. Actually, we're not that
serious. We're more like really, really good friends."
"Well, Justin, tell that to the tabloids."
Justin looks me square in the eye. "Can you keep a secret?"
Ooh. I'm about to learn something juicy. I sure hope I can keep this under wraps. "Yeah."
"Britney and I are using this relationship as a cover."
A cover. Why would they need a ... OH SHIT - Justin's a member of our little family! Justin is...
"What most people don't know is..."
He's coming out to me in my kitchen!
"You looked as shocked as I was when she told me. Actually, it's funny. People suspect that I'm the gay one, but it's her that walking to the beat of a different drummer."
"Huh?" I can't say anything else. I don't know if I'm shocked or disappointed. Well, I guess I'm shocked -- why would I be disappointed?
"Yeah," Justin said.
"So, I don't have any chance with her."
"Nope. You're chances are about as good as mine. But, I don't think you're interested in women that much, anyway."
"I would think you'd have a bigger vocabulary than that. I mean, didn't you go to college? But, anyway, Joey and I noticed you watching JC like a preying mantis; and you kept sneaking peeks at Lance throughout dinner. So I kinda assumed that you're... you know."
"Well, since you guessed it, I am."
"Plus, anyone who can cook as good as you and who is a fan of ours -- well, you have to wonder. So, are you out about it?"
"No way. I'm a black man trying to enter the music business. I'm not about to openly admit my sexuality. I'm not in denial, but I keep it under wraps -- you know how the music industry is."
"Yeah. It could kill your career. There are lots of gay people in the entertainment industry, but most of them hide it for that same reason. Like Britney, Christina..."
"Yeah, man. Well, she's bisexual."
"I never would've guessed that one."
"Yep, her and Howie, and JC..."
"There's a bunch of you guys in the music business. There's more."
"One of the members of *NSYNC is gay?"
"At least one. He came out to us last year, after Lance walked in on him sucking some groupie's dick."
I'm floored. Britney's a lesbian. Christina's bi. Howie -- well, I've always suspected him, so I'm not so shocked. But JC??? Mr. Debonair likes the beef? I don't know what to say.
"You don't know what to say, do you?"
Get out of my head, Justin.
"It's was a shocker for me, too.
I've known JC for years and never suspected a thing. All those times
we showered together, slept together even."
"But, you promised not to say anything, so you can't," Justin reminded me.
"Hey, I'm one of the last people to say anything. If I tell, then you could tell on me, remember?"
"Yeah, I forgot."
So maybe sneaking a peek at JC
cute ass wasn't in vain...
To Be Continued...
I suspect that it might have been a bit much to read the first two parts without something juicy, so I gave a little something this time. So... let's break it down -- Thomas is gay, JC is gay, Howie is gay... who's going to hook up with who? Continue to read and you'll find out, stupid.