And keep an eye out for my new eBook stories at the COMICALITY EBOOK SECTION link!!! More ebooks being posted every month!
(How do you give and receive simultaneously? Donate to Nifty at http://donate.nifty.org/donate.html, and help to keep the Nifty Archives free.)
I was so thankful to see Joey leave. I don't think that I ever realized just how quickly he got bored with just laying there next to me, not saying anything. Funny. I always thought that it was ME that was desperately calling on the stars to get this half witted, brain-dead, boy out of my bed once my semen had found its chosen method of release. Deep down, I think Joey was beginning to feel the same way. I can't explain why, but I found a great deal of comfort in that somehow. Just knowing that his involvement with me was just as superficial and temporary in his mind as it was in mine. This wasn't love. It wasn't affection. It was barely even sex, if I had to be honest. I mean, Joey wasn't physically doing anything for me that I couldn't do for myself with a few dirty thoughts and five minutes worth of privacy. It felt better to have another person involved, sure...but only slightly. His whole appeal could easily be replaced with a particularly hot clip of free internet porn. So how did I get myself involved in this strange relationship in the first place?
I guess when you're alone...anything is better than nothing, right? But who says that anything has changed? It's not like Joey is really my 'boyfriend' or anything. And neither is Colin. So why does the very thought of being with someone so untouchable make me feel so much less alone in the world?
It's times like this that I wish adolescence wasn't so damn confusing. It's such a difficult period in your life. Because it's a time when you're forced to choose between what you feel and what you know. What you feel is SO powerful, because you're feeling it for the first time. And what you 'know', while highly logical and rooted deeply into the reality that you've come to trust and depend on....is extremely limited at best. I wish things were more black and white at this age. Heads or tails. Instead, I feel as though I'm stuck in this perpetual grey area, where both sides of any choice seem equally terrifying, equally beneficial, and equally depressing. And right at the nexus, the center of the grey fog surrounding me 24 hours a day...that's where the angst lies. In that frustrating place where I can't help but to find myself stuck in an indecisive loop of near desperation...trying to pick the prize behind curtain numbers one and two...worried that there might be a whammy of epic proportions behind either one.
I don't know. I just...I want Colin. I want him. NOBODY else. And I just want it to be as easy as letting him know how I feel about him, you know? Something simple...where I could just say the words out loud and get the whole thing over with so I could breath easy again.
I used to think that it would be an easy pick up, once I found someone that I really wanted to be my boyfriend. I just kind of expected him to say 'yes' the second I asked him to be mine. Maybe my good looks have spoiled me a lot more than I would ever want to admit, because this was a totally foreign experience for me. If it's one thing that I've never had trouble doing, it was getting someone's attention. Getting them to look at me in some kind of sensual way. Colin seemed to be immune to my every sideways approach, and I was quickly running out of excuses to just...be in his presence for any length of time. Because, that was all I wanted, you know? Just to be 'with' him. And he just keeps turning me away. It hurt. It hurt each and every single time that he did it. I don't understand. What the hell was I doing wrong?
It was an emotional burden that simply wouldn't leave me alone over the next two or three days, leading up to the weekend. I found myself becoming really bashful about talking to Colin at all when our eyes would meet in the hallway. He was friendly and all, but something about him scared the living shit out of me. I would instantly get the shakes, and the 'casual conversation' side of my brain would suddenly shut down on me to the point where I felt unnaturally awkward just waving to Colin from a distance, much less engaging him with the talk of the day. Is THIS what I wanted??? Is THIS the feeling I had been asking for? Funny...but it seemed a lot more cute and cuddly when the idea of an actual relationship was just floating around as a surreal fantasy in the back of my mind.
Arrrgh!!! I couldn't understand what the fuck was WRONG with me! He's JUST a boy! Another random boy! There are HUNDREDS of boys at this school! So why HIM, huh? Why the ONE boy who doesn't seem to be interested? Is this a self loathing, psychological, thing? Because that would make a lot more sense than me just being afraid of some cute boy for no good reason at all.
I don't know...
Whatever it was that got me so riled up and totally obsessed with Colin in the first place had, somehow, reversed polarities on me. In the beginning, it was that very manic fixation that gave me the courage and the drive to pursue Colin and show some interest. But something had changed. When did that heated chase of mine suddenly burn out and turn cold on me? Because it feels as though that same fire in my belly is making it harder and harder to approach Colin by the second. It transformed the very sight of him and his innocent beauty into the most uncomfortable and intimidating parts of my average school day. And...dammit...I JUST couldn't figure out why!
Is this love, or just a lethal cocktail of panic and confusion? Because I don't think I've ever felt anything like this before...and I'm not sure which emotion is which anymore.
Joey made it a point to stick closely to my side since our last afternoon together. Annoyingly close! Clingy on award winning levels, I'm sure. I think he could somehow sense my growing dissatisfaction with each random sexual encounter...each rehearsed moan and whisper and sweet kiss goodbye. Deep down, Joey knew something was wrong. He could feel it. So he crowded himself under my wing to protect his personal investment in me and our...sighhh...'love'.
Did he really want me? Really? NOT just a hot blond boy to kiss and cuddle and roll around naked with. Did he want ME? Me, specifically? Did I provide him with anything other than a few shared orgasms a week? Does he truly value me for any other reason than he finds me attractive and I allow him to get off whenever he tells me he needs it? Does he treasure me for who I really am inside? And if so...did he even know why?
Because if he did, he'd have a huge advantage over me for sure. Outside of his obvious, physical, beauty...I couldn't find anything of any deeper value at all. In fact, I think that lack of a true personal spark began to taint the gorgeous beauty on the outside that I once took so much pleasure in appreciating before. That 'pretty' vision of him just didn't matter much anymore. It was like having a master chef put an immaculate, decoratively thin layer, of creamy vanilla cake frosting on a steaming fresh coil of dog shit. It was just...ugh...so wasted....
I know that Joey had everything going for him in the looks department. He was exceptional, even, when it came to the skin deep allure of him. The eyes and the body and the youth and the skin and the voice and a decent sized package to boot. But what did it all really mean at the end of the day? What was it, other than the smooth and warm presentation of symmetrical groupings of teen flesh? He could be anybody. Anybody at all. Hell...he could be a random picture in a magazine, or the nude model on the outside of a gay porn DVD...and it wouldn't make a difference. Joey is Joey, and he doesn't have even the slightest potential to be anything more.
But Colin? Colin was special. There was no one else like him in all of existence. No one with that laugh. No one with that smile. No one with that sense of humor or that spontaneous wit...who could wear a boyish blush like a five thousand dollar designer suit, and could poke fun at himself...even while covered with the ice cold contents of a freshly wasted vanilla milkshake. All my fault, and yet he would never once feel so insecure as to get mad or express his humiliation over the situation in a way that would cause him to lose a moment's grace. Colin was a miracle in my eyes. A truly baffling anomaly in a high school full of half-brained wannabes and ego driven dreamers with nothing more intelligent than the dangling meat between their legs to drive them towards something real. Colin was different. So different.
The fact that I was clever enough to realize that...made me feel good inside. It just...it just did.
Saturday afternoon rolled around, and my Mom was sort of bugging me to take my books back to the local library today instead of waiting around until the last minute. I mean, if I was a day late, it probably would have cost me a quarter, total. But the sun was out and I wasn't doing anything anyway. Might as well get out of the house and go do something. It beats listening to her grind on my nerves for the next few hours anyway.
I still feel it sometimes, you know? That weird sensation of having people, like...look at me. Don't get me wrong, on some really basic level I suppose it could be seen as really flattering. But, more than that, it just makes me self conscious. About everything. Like I'm on 'display'. Similar to some animal in a zoo. Once you feel the pressure of people watching...suddenly, everything you do and say just feels awkward and clumsy. Are my clothes ok? Is my hair ok? Is my walk a little bit off? What if I trip? What if I sneeze? Do I have any tissue on me in case I sneeze? Are my shoes tied? I don't know...I just feel like a million eyes are on me all at once, absorbing and mentally recording every move I make. And it's not like I'm some big narcissist or anything. If anything, my looks have made me more of a bashful klutz than an arrogant beauty. But I'm willing to bet that the people staring at me don't think so. It's hard to make eye contact sometimes. I'm afraid that it'll come off as me trying to silently show some level of 'interest' when I'm not. Other times, I imagine them violating me with their stare, and even that makes me uncomfortable. What do they see when they see me? Because I don't think they actually see 'me' at all. Some days it just sucks. Most days, though? I feel like a jerk for feeling like I have the right to complain.
Yeah, like I said, it's a weird feeling no matter which way you look at it. I just try to keep my head down, walk fast and steady, and concentrate hard enough to ignore the infatuated gazes as much as possible. If only I could look in the mirror and see the same fascination, you know? I just...don't.
I was lost in my thoughts as I made it to the main street of our little downtown area, and weaved through a small crowd of college students coming and going through the front door. I was just going to drop my books off and leave, but then I figured that would pretty much be a waste of the bus fare it took to get me here. Maybe I'd wander around for a bit. Hey, if nothing else, the sunlight will give me my daily dose of Vitamin D, right? So...um...yeah. There's that.
Turns out...sticking around for a few extra seconds became the highlight of my day.
I could have sworn that I felt an actual shove on the back of my shoulders from my own personal guardian angel when I was in a position to see him. He was so far away, but I had studied his gentle beauty so intensely over the past few weeks that he was easy to spot no matter the distance.
I was dropping my books into the deposit bin at the front desk when I noticed Colin sitting at a rather large table by himself in the next room. His nose was buried deeply in the two open books in front of him, and he had a pencil and notebook open to scribble in every few seconds as he slowly turned the pages. All hunched over, eyes darting back and forth...his tongue slightly sticking out to the side. Something I'm sure he was doing subconsciously, but didn't really feel the need to put any energy into monitoring or hiding it from anybody. Hehehe, it was sooooo adorable. What the heck was he doing, anyway?
There it was again...
That nervous flutter of involuntary stomach muscles that occurred whenever Colin even crossed my troubled mind. Now wiggling to the point where I was forced to smile to myself just to let some of that bubbly energy escape. Like letting the excess helium out of a balloon ready to pop.
My mouth went dry, but I made an effort to swallow as much spit as possible to get it back in working order. Should I talk to him? Would I be 'bothering' him if I did? Does it even matter? I'm going to go over there and talk to him anyway. Yeah, I'm just going to do it. I was already in motion before my brain had even bothered to weigh the pros and cons of my decision. The bait had been displayed, the trap had been set...and I'm more than willing to make a fool out of myself right now, just to have him turn those bright emerald green eyes up at me and maybe bless me by complimenting the sight of him with a smile. Just one smile. That's all I need. I'd dance all the way home, no matter who was watching, just for that one smile.
God...he's totally going to think I'm stalking him...
My heartbeat began to speed up as I approached his table, but I kept going, regardless. Just ten more steps, Russ. Just ten more. I mean nine. Er um...eight. S-S-Seven and a half....
"Hey, bookworm!" I said, trying to give a smile that was somewhat 'cool', but probably made me look more like an escaped mental patient more than anything else.
I don't know if Colin was startled or what, but the second he heard my voice, his thin little body jumped and jerked and he slammed his notebook closed so fast that the wind from it nearly blew my hair back. "RUSS! Dude...uhh, hey...hi. What the heck are you...doing here?"
I'm bothering him, aren't I? This was a dumb idea. I said, "I was just...well, my mom was kind of nagging me about bringing my library books back today before I forgot. So...you know..." Suddenly feeling an intense pressure building up in the back of my throat, I tried to start thinking of effective ways to cut this conversation short and just say goodbye before I made a pest of myself. I've obviously interrupted something here. "I just happened to see you over here from the dropbox. That's all. If you're busy or something....?"
Colin didn't say anything at first. He didn't seem scared or anything, but from the look in his eyes he was definitely distracted. I suppose this was a bit of an unexpected visit. It made me wonder if he would have ditched me and ran out of the side door had he seen me before I saw him first.
Then, with a slight gasp, he said, "Oh...well...no. No, not really." He stumbled for words for a moment, then said, "I'm not, like...doing homework or anything. I was just here for...you know...for fun."
I smiled, and asked, "It's a Saturday afternoon. The Sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky, and you decided to come to the public library to find some action?"
Without missing a beat, Colin shrugged just one shoulder...the left one...and he said, "Well, you know, my cherry red Ferrari is getting detailed this weekend. And I'm so bored with embarrassing everybody on the basketball courts around here. So I figured I'd try the braniac thing on for a change of pace."
"Har dee har. Whatever, Playboy." I smirked. Then I looked down at the books he had splayed out in front of him. "Say, aren't these the same books we were looking at the last time we were here?"
Nervously, Colin began quickly scrambling to get all of the books together and stack them on top of each other. Almost as if to hide the covers from me. I couldn't understand why. It was just comic book stuff. "Are they?" He said. "I hadn't noticed. Oh yeah...maybe this one. And a few others. Like you said, they're hard to find in most places."
Looking closer, I said, "Some of these look new. Are these new?"
His blush deepened, and with a sigh and a tiny little whine, he winced and said, "Ummm...I dunno. Maybe?" Then his shoulders fell and he grunted, "Ok...so maybe I asked at the desk if they could get...some other hard to find books. You know? Artwork and history and stuff. They sent me a little postcard thingy in the mail, and I wanted to come in and see them for myself." He peeked back up at me, and he said, "I know you think it's stupid, but..."
"Whoah, who said anything about being stupid? I think that's great." I told him.
He seemed confused, but after giving me a bit of a crooked look out of the corner of his eye, he said, "Really?"
"Yeah. Totally. You like comic books. What's wrong with diving in, head first, when it comes to something you like?" It gave me a warm feeling inside to see the expression on his face. I think I had somehow impressed him. It's strange, but everything about Colin made me want to skip through streets, tossing out daisies on either side of me while singing showtunes. Hehehe! I don't know how he does it, but I'm starting to realize that it doesn't take much effort on his part to get me giggling anyway. So maybe he's not doing anything at all. Maybe I'm just...easy to please, or something.
Who knows at this point?
Forgetting about the process of forming a non-humiliating escape plan from Colin's presence, I found myself actually taking a seat next to him at the library table. Even without looking, I could feel his eyes on me, a certain level of surprise and amazement at my...accessibility. He paused for a second as I reached for one of the books on the top of his secret stack and opened it up to a few random pages to look through it. I looked back at him, and his blush gave away the cutest little hint of temporary terror at being caught. Hehehe, I swear, being with Colin for just a few minutes was like having a pet chipmunk in your pocket. He was such a gentle beauty sometimes.
He avoided the exposed moment by forcing his attention to the book in front of him instead, and that kept him from having to look me in the eye. It was nice...not being ogled and stared at like a piece of meat. I don't know...his shyness kind of turned me on.
"I really love some of the late 80's and early 90's era stuff. The art was so dramatic, you know? Pencilers broke the barrier of the comic book squares, and they did a lot of really dynamic poses and had a ton of action packed into every page. I mean...just look at some of these! Every single panel could be...like...a poster or a t-shirt or a work of art on its own. And you get four or five panels a page, with 30 pages...it's an entire art gallery in one flimsy book." I could see Colin getting involved in one of his favorite pastimes, and the aura of joy and enthusiasm that radiated from just a hint of his eager grin was enough to have me swooning from the effect. "Imagine how much time somebody had to spend, JUST putting the individual curls into Superman's hair! Or the complexity of getting Spiderman's webs to look like this! I mean, somebody had to think this up, you know? They had to get the vision in their heads, find the angle, build the structure, add the minute details down to the hair and the fingers and the costumes and the facial expressions...and they had to do it over and over again in a cohesive way in order to tell a story. A real story. That's beyond awesome."
"Yeah..." I sighed. I don't think I meant to be so far lost in my infatuation at that particular moment. But Colin had this really empathic ability to just broadcast this sincere wave of honest emotion and feeling that would force you to be swept right up with him. His eager charm would pelt you like a storm of shrapnel whether you were ready for it or not, and the overall effect was hypnotic at times.
"Ooh! See, here? 'Fantastic Four', the very first issue! This is the book that started it all for Stan Lee. I'll bet he never thought it would get this big." Colin said. He turned his head, and realized that I was more focused on his soft lips and the creamy, blemish free, skin on his cheeks than I was to my duty of trying to act normal. "Oh...right. Stan Lee? He's like, the godfather of comics in a lot of ways. He..."
"Hehehe...I know who Stan Lee is, Colin. I'm not THAT out of touch." I said, causing him to grin bashfully.
"Well...did you know that he was working on so many projects and had created so many characters that he couldn't keep their names straight?" He smiled.
"Wait, what do you mean?"
Colin shifted in his seat a bit more to face me, and I suddenly found myself staring into those green eyes and trying not to be knocked over by their brilliance. "When he was working and writing and editing and all that, he had trouble keeping all of the names in order. So most of his characters' first and last names had to all start with the same letter. It was sort of his way of keeping them straight in his head all at once. So if he could get one name, he'd automatically remember the other."
I scrunched up my forehead slightly. "I still don't think I'm following you..."
He turned the book around a bit more, and I was practically cheek to cheek with him as we shared the reading space. I have to admit...being this close made me nervous. But in the best way possible. "Like...look. See? First name, last name...same letter. Reed Richards. Peter Parker. Matt Murdock. Stephen Strange. Scott Summers..."
"What about Thor?"
"Well, Thor is just..he's just...umm...Thor." He snickered.
"Ok, so what about the Hulk. David Banner?"
"Actually, his name didn't become David Banner until the TV show. The producers made Stan Lee change it from Bruce Banner because they thought the name 'Bruce' was too...." Colin cut his sentence short and held his breath for a moment. He turned his head slightly and gave me an awkward expression.
"It was too what?" I asked.
He swallowed briefly, and said, "...The producers of the show thought the name Bruce was a little bit too...gay. They thought, it was...um...well...whatever. Um...let me find another page here..." He was avoiding me again. But it only made me crave more contact. Nothing overly romantic...just an opportunity to be a part of his world. He fascinated me in ways that I had never experienced. Even if the unthinkable were to happen and he turned out to like girls...I'd still get down on my knees and beg him to just 'include' me in whatever it was he was feeling. It energized me somehow. Nobody else has ever had that effect on me before. "Anyway, so, that was his way of remembering everything and keeping it all together."
"What about Batman? Superman? That was Bruce Wayne and Clark..."
Colin cut me off. "Dude...NO! What the...? What are you doing? That's not Marvel, that's DC. That's a completely different universe. How can you not know that?"
"Wait...hehehe, what are you...?"
"There's a DC universe, and a Marvel Universe. They're not the same thing. Dude, are you serious right now?"
I giggled out loud and had to remind myself that I had to keep my voice down in that place. "Ok. Alright. Geez..."
"Don't 'geez' me, Russ." He smiled. "How can you not know that? NON-comic book fans know that. You're totally trying to shove an XBOX game into a Playstation right now. You should be embarrassed. Seriously."
"Hehehe, alright! I'm embarrassed."
"You should be." He grinned, going back to the book but not before playfully rolling his eyes at me. "You know, you come over here acting like you wanna talk comic books, and you just...ugh...you ruined it now. Hehehe!"
Having him play up his disappointment in me to such a dramatic level kept me laughing. I had to cover my mouth with my hand to keep from letting it burst out right there in the library. It took a moment to get myself back together, and I asked, "If you want to read these books so bad and get all of the little details and stuff, why don't you just check them out and take them home with you?"
"I can't. Remember? My dad wants me to read what he calls a 'higher class' of literature."
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know." Colin said. "I don't think he does either. Hehehe, either way, I'm stuck going to the library for stuff like this. At least for now."
While he was talking, and a bit more comfortable than he was when I first showed up at his table, I noticed that he wasn't clutching his notebook as tightly as he was before. I didn't see any harm in asking, "So what's in the notebook?"
Colin's eyes widened for a 'deer in headlights' moment, then he said, "Nothing. It's just...really, it's nothing."
"Really? You looked like you were pretty into your notes and stuff when I came over."
"Yeah, well...it was just me having a geek moment. That's all."
He hid his eyes from me, but they were so beautiful that I managed to follow them wherever they went. "What geek moment? Can I see? Were you writing?"
Again, a pained look came over Colin's face. And he said, "I wasn't exactly...writing..."
"Ok. So what were you doing?"
"Just some doodling. That's all. It's no big deal. Sometimes I get wrapped up in this stuff and it makes me want to goof around with a pen..." He said.
"Dude...you were drawing this stuff? Cool! Let me see it!"
"NO!" He snapped, and then hushed his voice again. "C'mon Russ, it's not very good. I was just scribbling..."
"So what's the big deal then?" I smirked. "Come on...give me a peek. I promise to tell you if it sucks ass."
"Hehehe, quit stalling. Gimmee an eyeful. Come on." I said.
Colin seemed a bit frustrated, but not in a bad way. I watched his thin fingers tap lightly on the cover of his notebook for a few seconds before he gave in and slid it over to me...opening it to the page he had been working on when I invaded his little fortress of solitude over here. I didn't expect anything above average or anything. He DID say that he was just doodling, after all. But when he opened up his notebook, what I saw wasn't much less dynamic and exciting than what we had just been looking at in the library book! I mean, I saw masks and muscles and costumes and armor and weapons...really detailed stuff! Black and white, just a pen, but shaded and outlined into a well defined, almost 3-Dimensional, image. Now it was my turn to widen my eyes.
Colin never took his fingers off of the edge of the notebook, and he was clearly looking at my face for a reaction. Then he was quick to slam it shut again. "See? I TOLD you it was just scribbles."
I was like, "Colin, are you kidding me??? Those drawings are AMAZING!"
"No! I'm SERIOUS!" I insisted. "Colin...wow! I thought you told me that you couldn't draw?"
"No. I said I couldn't draw like that. I'm still trying to figure things out and..." He stopped himself, and he looked into my eyes again. I saw a hesitation there. A nervousness. And, without thinking, he asked, "Are you being for real right now? Or is this...like...?"
"I'm being honest, Colin. Your artwork is phenomenal. Is this what you want to do for a living? I think you'd be great at it." I was telling him the truth when I said his artwork was incredible. I even flipped back a few pages to look at more, and they were all extremely well done. I could tell that he put a lot of time into each one, and yet, they carried that effortless quality that easily separated 'skill' from 'talent'. 'Ability' from 'art'. His work had that hidden extra something that really touched you when you looked at it. Then again, after spending so much time getting to know Colin and his natural personality...should I have expected anything less? He let me in, and I LOVED what I saw. But...once I recognized a rather uncomfortable silence between us, I looked up from his notebook and saw the most suspicious glare in his eyes.
Then he suddenly seemed to become really fidgety and weird as he grabbed the books up in his arms and stood up from the table. "I should go. I was only going to stay for a little bit anyway. So...I need to leave. I have to..." What happened? What did I do? We were having fun. We were talking. Sharing. Being open with one another. Why is he running away?? What did I say? Did I say something BAD???
"Wait! Colin, dude...I mean, I was just saying..." I would have taken it back in an instant if I knew what the FUCK I did that was so offensive all of a sudden! But I didn't. All I knew was that Colin was collecting his stuff and practically retreating at light speed to get the hell away from me. The wall came down again. That impenetrable force field. And he totally kicked me out of his focus. Brushed me off of his shoulder like lint off of an old sweater.
"It's ok. I'll see you later. K? I just lost track of time. Bye..." And with that, he literally started to walk away from the table and head towards the front door!
What the HELL???
No! You know what? Enough is enough. What did I do to deserve this? What did I do or say to make Colin sooooo scared of me that he can't even carry on a simple conversation without suddenly vanishing on me like some kind of drug induced hallucination. I'm not going to let him get away this time. Not without an explanation. And I swear to God...if I have to physically tackle that little son of a bitch to the ground, pin his arms back, and FORCE him to tell me why he's being like this...I will!
It's time for a full blown intervention now! And I plan to give him one!!!