Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Monday, November 26, 2012

OT and me being lazy about the blog...

Jake is talking with his stepmother, Mira, between planes at Charles de Gaulle Airport, and she's asked him why he stays with Antony.
“He is an attractive young man,” she kept on. “But there are too many of his type so I know this is not the reason. I think perhaps -- perhaps you wish to rescue him. But this denotes weakness on your part, and you do not strike me as a weak man. Is it only that the sex is so good? Are you a man like that, Iacof?”

I chuckled at that one; she only used the Persian version of my name when she wanted to indicate she and I were closer than we really were. Thing is, it had been good between me and Tone, in Copenhagen...before all hell tore loose. But for the last year, ever since he was raped and nearly killed in that jail cell, Tone’d freak out if I didn’t follow this one little playbook of foreplay he had in his head – I shower, let him watch and join me, kiss and fool around, towel off and lay on the bed, then I could do whatever I wanted. It was nice the first few times we’d done that, but one day when I’d slipped up behind him in his folks’ kitchen and put my arms around him and played with his tits through his t-shirt, he’d frozen up and started gasping and shaking and it took me half an hour to calm him down.

His counselor took me aside after his next meeting and told me it’d probably happened because the way we usually had sex reminded him of a pleasant time, before all the shit came down on us, and deviating from that took him out of his comfort area and the reality of it all became too...well, real. As we were driving away after the session, he looked at me and said, “I asked him to talk to you. Sorry.”

“Why’re you sorry?”

“I’m acting like a kid. I should’ve told you myself. You wouldn’t’ve had somebody else be your messenger and -- .”

I cut him off by putting my right hand on his neck to massage it, and he leaned forward like a cat and let me stroke his hair, then after his probation meeting we doubled up on the chips and salsa and Margaritas.

And the next day I rented us our own apartment.

So here I was now, and Mira was waiting for an answer, nibbling at her salad as I chowed on the best damn quiche I’d ever eaten in an airport. All I could do is shrug.

“What you want me to say?”

“That it is not merely from pity?”

“I don’t pity Tone, Mira. He’d never let me.” It’s funny, but she was the only other person in the world I felt like I could be completely open and honest with and know it wouldn’t get back to somebody. So I didn’t censor anything I said, in honor of that feeling. “I might get pissed off. I might get hurt. And sometimes I’ll get happier than I’ve ever been when he does somethin' that...that just lets me know he cares about me. Like this one time, when I was having problems with this graphic novel I’m workin' on. I stood out on a balcony in the freezin' cold for I dunno how long tryin' to figure it out and finally just came inside, still lost, and...and Tone had -- he’d made me some hot cocoa with marshmallows and a dark chocolate bar melted in, just like I like it. And I sipped some. And he leaned over and wiped the chocolate off my moustache and licked his fingers, his eyes dancin' like a happy puppy’s, and I -- I ached for him. I knew right then I’d kill anybody who tried to hurt him. I almost did.”


“When I caught this guy named Rattler stabbin' Tone. In that cell. I plowed into him and grabbed the knife away and would’ve cut that bastard’s throat if Matt hadn’t stopped me.”


“Wollitz. A friend of Tone and me. Lives with us. He...he yelled at me not to mess up the knife with somebody else’s blood. That’d hurt it as evidence. That gave the deputies time to pull me away was good I didn’t do it. But I still feel that way.”

She nodded and said, “In some ways you are so much like your father, and in others you are so completely different.”

“I don’t wanna talk about him.”

“Very well.” And she dug deeper into her salad.

“What’s this really about, Mira?”

She finished chewing and sipped some wine. “He’s let his therapist share his notes. Has he told you everything he’s done?”

“Probably not. I think I got most of it, but he’s so unsure about himself, he thinks he needs to be unsure about me. He’s healin', Mira, and I’m stayin’ with him. Even once he’s better.”

“Is that wise?”

“What do you mean?”

“Your work is in Copenhagen. You are now a citizen of Denmark.”

“You don’t abandon somebody who’s got cancer or AIDS or heart disease, not if you love ‘em. This is the same thing. You still haven’t told me why you’re askin'. Is it Uncle Ari? Have you been talkin' to him?”

“I’ve been listening. He likes your work. His clients like your work. He wants you to become a partner in his business. It is an excellent idea, but you will have to return to Copenhagen to live. Antony cannot leave until next year, at the earliest.”

I just nodded. Didn’t say a thing about next week’s hearing or even mention that I figured she was feeding me a line of bullshit. Uncle Ari hadn’t even hinted about anything more than meeting this client and sending more art assignments my way. And while he and my dad may have been brothers, they were cut from different DNA, because he was open and gregarious and never met anyone he couldn’t like...and couldn’t keep a secret to save his life. So I knew there was something else going on and she didn’t have the nerve to mention it to me. Which brought her down a notch in my eyes. Because if she can’t tell by now that I can be trusted, she never will be able to. And that hurt.

And it also pissed me off enough to be blunt. “This is bullshit, Mira. What’re you really gettin’ at? And don’t hand me any more shit about Uncle Ari. You know me better’n that.”

She stopped in mid-chew and nodded and swallowed then took another sip of her wine. Burgundy with a salad; there’s something wrong about that.

Then she finally said, “Your mother has contacted your father.”


No comments: