Michael C. Reed
First of all, she kissed me. Her lips were moist, she must have licked them first. Mine were dry, they always are. She pressed her lips against mine, froze, and released, pulling away. I was taken completely by surprise at six years old. She was seven. Being only a mild acquaintance, she was a small part of my quickly growing world, but a friend none the less. We were in the midst of building a fort when my mattress fell on us. Laughing at how strange we must have looked, we threw it high into the air gleefully. Then she kissed me. My first kiss. A new thing had entered my world. I knew what a kiss was, of course, but I had never considered having one of my own. I stood there baffled, trying to figure out what to do when her mother called -- they were leaving. She giggled at my confusion, hugged my limp form briefly, gave a cheerful, "Bye!" and walked out. I saw her twice after that. And she never kissed me again.
I didn't know I was a Fag until he told me. I had always known that I was attracted to my best friend. I knew that I had never been attracted to a girl -- not even one from the magazines he showed me that were "hot." That didn't register as important to me. I was twelve. So was he. Soon, he had discovered my attraction and took every opportunity to tell me how terrible Fags were. He was even kind enough to point them out in public, so we could noticeably avoid them. Shortly thereafter, I started sleeping with him, following the separation of my parents. My best friend became my boyfriend. He still pointed out Fags. He still slept with me. Never once did we do anything I had seen other "couples" do. I had never seen a couple where one hit the other, but he hit me. I had never seen a couple that didn't kiss, but he never wanted to -- he pushed me away. I would walk from his house to mine with tears in my shirt, bruises on my back, and his taste in my mouth -- humiliated, but returning every day. I wasn't going to do to him what my father had done to my mother; I was going to stay no matter what. One night, while he lay exhausted on his bed, I kissed him. He didn't have the energy to refuse and was helpless while I pressed my lips against his, froze, and released, pulling away. Eventually, he gave up struggling and slept. I kept his weary frame against mine all night. Sleeping in my arms, all the hate was gone from his face, all the anger left. He became again the beautiful boy I had fallen in love with. I cried; it was the best moment of our relationship which ended a month later, when I moved away. That kiss was my second. My last.
That was not the last time I had sex. I got into a number of purely sexual relationships -- no kissing. Kissing meant love. I barely loved anyone, not even myself -- no kissing. I hated everyone and everything. I wanted to die, and dreamed about it constantly. Or about my ex. Or about how much I wanted to change; how much I wanted to be straight. I didn't want to be a Fag. God didn't want me to be a Fag, at least according to everything I had heard about it. But I was. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't change it; I couldn't fix it. Soon I began to see images, flashes of how easy it would be to set things right: a knife on the table, an upstairs window, a car going by. I told a psychologist, and she put me in a hospital. I was there for twenty days. It was the best time in my life.
It took a few years to finally accept myself and absorb everything I learned in the hospital. Since then I have come to a realization about those two non-familial kisses. Both were meaningless, because both lacked love. A kiss may happen in fervent, amorous passion; it may happen in fervent, passionate hate. A kiss may be between any two people on this Earth as an act of beauty, or of ugliness, even of torture. The only difference is love. Love is an integral part of everything between two people -- two strangers, two friends, or two lovers. Love is an expression of personal joy, and the will to share it with another to bring joy. That expression is a choice of the individual. It's possible to carry out actions reserved for lovers with anyone. It's just as possible to be in a loving relationship and not take part in those actions.
He was angelic. Beautiful blond hair, rose colored lips and pale white skin: delicate features carried happily. Always smiling, his eyes seemed half closed and tranquil. A "crack addict," he had been brought to the hospital to overcome his addiction. Loners but lonely, the two of us latched on to each other. Friends from then on. She was sensuous. Younger than he and I, but with the taste of sex in her eyes, in her voice, with her walk. Dark hair and blood lips, tall and thin, her gossamer body seemed to roll past our eyes like a spider. As if reveling in the pain it caused him, she tried unendingly to seduce my angel friend. Once, while with us, she spread her hands across his muscles while he pumped towards the floor, doing a set of his five-hundred daily push-ups. Shocked, he collapsed his body and rolled over. Reaching down, she grabbed his head and locked onto his mouth. She doubled over, moaning while he tried desperately to suppress his arousal and pull away. I separated them calmly. Trembling, he ran to his room. She laughed and smiled at me. I chased after him. Her kissing of him was the first I saw in the hospital. The girl was released that afternoon, and never kissed him again.
The angel and I greeted the newest patient a day afterward. Nervous and afraid, she spent most of her time looking towards the spotless linoleum. From the very first time he laid his eyes on hers he was entranced, and tried unendingly to gain her attention -- to see the green in her eyes sparkle. A week later, I found the two of them staring, fixated together in a side room. I had never before seen such a look of rapture on a face. She wept. Bringing a finger to her cheek, he took a tear and placed it in her lips. Holding her wiry hair back, he pulled her to him and they joined mouths, mixing their tears between them. When we spoke the next morning, he told me that she was the only person he'd ever wanted and didn't feel the need to sleep with. He said that he felt so close to her that he didn't even need her touch to know they shared one heart. They loved, loved simply, and loved completely. It was a slow and binding love that he said went so far beyond the wild, hard breathed dances of his previous experiences that he knew he would never love the same again. He told me that whatever happened to the two of them, his heart would still be open to see the sparkle in every eye he came across. And I looked into his, and I loved him. And he knew, smiling. He left that afternoon. I've yet to see either since that day, but they are together if there is any justice in this world.
The kisses of my friend the angel were a world apart, and yet the same act. What but love could separate the two?
My second story was about a boy. About a girl. About their love. Here it stands; I will not change my account to suit my orientation. I have told the truth of these things exactly as they occurred. Love transcends gender and orientation and all the categories we'd like to put it in. Love is bigger than that. Love is better than that. I am gay. As such I am attracted only to men; I will form a relationship with a man; I will share my spirit with a man, as a man. This does not mean that I will never love a woman, as love is not gender specific, but it does mean that one will never have my heart as a lover. Love, as I have said, goes beyond this; beyond passion; beyond even romance. I have used heterosexual love as an example because if you allow your view to be limited by category, it diminishes the value, and the universal nature of love. It's important to see that all love is beautiful, regardless of our own personal take on it. Love is love -- wherever it may be.
I have wanted not only to show love as it is, but also to help define the nature of actions taken on love. I simplified by speaking of kisses, but it's not difficult to see that the focus is sex. My ex-boyfriend did not love me and so we were never lovers. Our relationship was painful for both of us. In all likelihood, he was gay and hated himself. And it was a very long time before I got over being treated that way. Our sex was worthless, and we were both too young for it. My angel and his girl loved and did not need sex neither to validate, nor even compliment their loving. Sex has, is, and always will be a gift that you give to your lover, whomever that might be. It is a thing of beauty. Of power. Of joy. Sex can cause as much anguish as it does ecstasy. It should not be abused. To throw it around or begin too early in life is disrespectful not only to yourself and God, but also your lover. However you feel about yourself, whatever beliefs you hold, I cannot imagine that you would want to disrespect a lover. Love is far more than an excuse to screw someone.
Dedicated to a friend who's love has given me strength -- who's wisdom has graced my writing. Thanks.
Untitled (Dialogue from one of my short stories)
"He enfolds the man he calls his love
in trembling arms of scarlet red,
Holding close a man whoin his heart erects a love once dead
among the singing of their heart's desire made,
making in their joining: feeling that will never fade.
They are loving lovers spoken
speaking soft of tears unbroken.
Love where once was nothing found;
a silent calm where once was violent sound.
They, who loved alone together,
joyful need fulfilled forever;
lost in passion,willfully imprisoned by desire.
Coming forth the boundless rapture,
loving giving getting they as only two 'come one can capture;
moving pleasure gave and gotten yet,
an art of two intertwined in graceful dancing love.
And now the pace of two hearts' pulse increases,
Time that never slows ceases,
Four lungs' rate of breathing heighten,
Grasping lover's arms tighten,
They who love as men as one,
and live lives of love in love undone.
Never ending passion ending lust whichin ending sends a
motivating loving passion yet again another time.
my lover true and dearest partner on this Earth,
they that love as none but loving lover's do,
So do I, my lover true and dearest partner on this Earth,
So do I love.
In this way and many more,
I love you.
my loving lover loved and dearest partner on this Earth."