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Simon Thibault

January 1999

I'm old.

Or at least I feel that way sometimes.

And then there are times when I feel that I have the mind of a child and the mouth of an adult. They fight constantly, like father/mother and son/daughter. I would rather not assign a gender to my inner child or inner parent.

One of my good friends, Monelle, is still in high school. She is a wonderfully gifted artist, and incredibly gifted. I often find it hard to believe that she is only seventeen. I'm sure she often finds it hard to believe that I am 22. Monelle is also one of my models, and I photograph her regularly. I came home for the holidays with an itch for taking some pictures out by an old cove I love.

We took an other friend of ours there, A. A is a sweet kid. The first time I saw him was when he came to a showing of Monelle and my work in a gallery. I saw him and recognized an old look in his eyes that I used to have. A scared, confused look. Turns out I was right. A has told me that he's not sure where he stands He knows he likes girls, but sometimes, boys kind of look nice too. I try to help him make sense of it, despite his being pestered by his friends and family for hanging out with me. He says he doesn't care, but I would be led to believe that he does care.

I wanted to photograph him. He agreed, and A, Monelle and I headed out to our little location. He hesitated at first when we arrived and Monelle started to remove her clothes. He knew that Monelle and I dealt with nudes, but still, his hands kind of strayed around his belt. He soon saw how comfortable Monelle and I were, and became quite comfortable on his own.

The photos are wonderful. You don't see his face, as I had promised him, but I didn't want his face on the photos. I didn't want to see his face, I wanted his pictures to show someone still a little scared. a little reticent, in the face of someone else who would hold him and hide him. That person was Monelle, and I, who also posed with him.

***

Just a few minutes ago, he dropped me off, having borrowed my copy of John Water's "Pink Flamingoes", having raved about it to his friends. I optioned out, not really wanting to hang out with a bunch of high school kids. A, fine, Monelle, sure, and a few others, but being in a room with a bunch of teenagers gossiping and talking about high school gossip does leave something to be desired. I never thought I would say that.

Just before, we were out at a small diner and a bunch of his friends showed up, and one of them started egging him on, saying how he wanted me, and asking him how many guys he'd given head to. I told her, flat out, to shut up and leave him alone. I knew the girl, and the tone of our conversation was quite free, so she wasn't offended. I just remembered what it was like when I was in high school and someone talked about how I like to take it up the ass, and ask me how many times I had done it, or if I wanted to do it with them, all in front of a group of hormone filled hockey players.

I'd rather not re-live that moment, not even through A.

So A, this is for you.

It doesn't matter who you kiss, or how. Just don't be scared of it.

Those who think they know who you're kissing are wrong.

Only you need to know.

I just hope you can remember that.

Simon
jupitersboy@hotmail.com


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