Simon Thibault

April 1999

It's amazing how one can remember the oddest sensations, in the most particular moments.

Like someone planting their fingers upon the edges of your mouth.

I decided to go out. I went off to my little corner of the disco, peeled off my sweater and began to dance. I really couldn't tell you what hit me, but I lost it. I danced, with the most sheer and utter joy, more than I have experienced in the longest time. I was euphoric. I lost myself completely for a small amount of time.

Then I bumped into him.

I took off my hat and he looked at me and asked me why I had shaved my head. « Bad day? », he asked. I smiled sheepishly and nodded. « Why? », he pestered. I answered, « I did it as a sign of protest. A protest to what or whom, I'm not sure of yet. »

He nodded and went on his merry way. I didn't think of it twice.

At the end of the night, I sat down and watched the people congregate, listening to the answers to the question, « Looking for company tonight? ». My mood had flipped. If anything I wanted to go home and fall into bed and not get up for another twelve hours. Someone came up to me and asked me if I wanted some company. I smiled and politely told him no. No one had really asked me that, so bluntly in a long time. One of my friends keeps harping how he finds it disgusting that gay men go up to other men and ask them, point blank, to go home with them. I find it to be... endearing and unnerving.

Then he came up to me and started touching my face, his eyes concentrating on my mouth. He pressed his fingers to my lips and tried to open my lips.

I let him.

He took both his hands and began to touch my face, his fingers always trying to open my mouth. I took them away and held them while he looked away.

I spent an hour that night looking for him. I had been told that he had left with someone else, and he had been found before, wandering the streets, if not by his friends, then by the police. The first night I met him, it took me an hour to find him in the din of the downtown core. He had stolen my hat. We often played that game when I saw him. He would take off my hat and look at me.

I don't know what happened to him that night. I don't know why I went looking for him. Most of all, I don't know why I often find myself wanting to write about him when I see him.




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