L.A. Story #3: Where’s Your Voice?

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Him: It’s steep. I told you not to wear Converse, Michael.

Me: Eh. I’ve hiked the Adirondack trail in Converse. I bet I’ll be fine.

Him: I forgot to tell you how steep it is. Where’s my car?

Me: I don’t know?

Him: I took a photo of the street signs. It’s okay. I know how to find it. Don’t worry so much?

Me: I wasn’t – Fischer –

Him: I’ve been here for 6 weeks, Michael I know how to get around.

Me: Okay.

Him: Don’t walk over there! It’s really steep! What if someone came up and pushed you?

Me: I’m four feet away from the edge. Also, if someone pushed me that person would be a murderous sociopath. I prefer the company of narcissistic sociopaths, personally.

Him: This is way deeper than it needs to be. Look at the canyon!

Me: I’m looking. It’s beautiful.

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Him: Look around – do you see any recognizable faces?

Me: Yeah. Everyone sort of looks like everyone else. Part of that is conformity, probably. Part of that is surgery, probably.

Him: Do you know that to be true?

Me: I’ve been in town four days, three of which I was sequestered by Network.

Him: So you’re just making blind assumptions.

Me: I’m just making jokes.

Him: Well, people could be listening.

Me: Good. I think my jokes are funny, sometimes.  Maybe they’ll give me a dollar? You’ve only been here three weeks, by the way.

Him: Doesn’t mean I’m not careful what I say and when.

Me: Let’s yell really loud into the canyon and listen for the echo.

Him: OMG no! Is that Aubrey Plaza?

Me: No. Aubrey is prettier than her. Also, she’s gabbing away. Aubrey listens and judges.

Him: How do you know?

Me: I might’ve been on an improv team with her, once upon a time.

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Him: REALLY?

Me: Who can remember? Ancient history.

Him: Introduce me to her!

Me: She’s not here! But that’s Gus Van Sant.

Him: Let’s get a photo with him.

Me: I’m joking. That’s not him. He lives in Williamsburg. That’s a Pilates instructor that takes screenwriting classes on Thursday afternoons.

Him: Michael, people could be listening to you!

Me: They should be listening to you. Are you singing?

Him: I don’t sing anymore. I want to write television and that’s the only thing I care about.

Me: You have a lovely voice. Frank and I had our eye on you. You probably would have made a team.

Him: You’re not my teacher anymore, Michael. This is Los Angeles.

Me: Yes.

(pause)

Me: It certainly is, Fischer.

(pause)

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Me: Even at Peg’s apartment you wouldn’t sing. Even just in front of the dogs.

Him: I don’t know about my voice. It has problems.

Me: It’s a legit musical theater voice. You have a great voice. I want to hear you sing my songs.

Him: Could we make money selling songs?

Me: We certainly could.

Him: How’s that done?

Me: I imagine you go over to Gaga’s house and sing her a song you wrote on your uke.

Him: That’s too twee. Also she writes her own.

Me: That’s true. Gaga has actual writing talent. But quite a few pop stars don’t.

Him: People could be listening.

Me: Fischer.

Him: What?

Me: You’re my friend.

Him: So?

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Me: So, I know this is L.A. but let’s just pretend this is New York, for a sec? Let’s just pretend, Fischer, that it’s totally okay to just talk without getting incredibly paranoid Stephen Spielberg might be listening to us. He has bigger problems than two homos talking philosophy. Trust me.

Him: It’s not the type of conversation you have on Runyon Canyon.  I think that’s Omarosa.

Me: It’s not. It’s Michelle Obama.

Him: Really?!

Me: Who cares?!

(pause)

Me: I think it’s Serena. No – Beyonce. No – Miley. It’s Miley.

Him: Don’t walk so close to the edge!

Me: Why did you stop singing? Where’s your lovely voice, Fischer?

Him: I don’t. I don’t want to perform.

Me: If you want to sell a song, you gotta sing a song.

Him: I just want to write.

Me: All the best comedy writers I know perform all the time.

Him: I don’t have to. Don’t walk so close to the edge!

Me: You’re right. I’m going to run the rest of the way.

Him: What? Why?!

Me: We have to remind ourselves to do brave things, sometimes, Fischer. Otherwise we wind up moving to Hollywood with a beautiful voice – and then become too shy to even sing.

Him: What? Stop! Don’t!

Me: See you at the bottom of the canyonnnnnnnnn!

(I run away, singing, and flailing my arms. Fischer looks mortified. Paris Hilton is amused, then annoyed. Also, she wasn’t there at all.)

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L.A. Story #2: Take Your Time

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Hand Made Whipped Marshmallow Ganache with Graham Cracker Crust – by Jocelyn Guest

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Me: Tao Yan! Thanks for answering! You sound so pretty.

Him: Oh, brother.

Me: You do!

Him: People don’t sound pretty.

Me: You do. I love your voice. I can picture you in my head, now. I was forgetting what your face looked like – scary. Now it’s so clear in my mind. You’re the prettiest guy I ever…

Him: Michael. Please don’t –

Me:  See, now, see – thing is, I’ve had a lot of time to think, and I think we should just think about that fight as an accident, right? Like an emotional accident. Forgive and forget, right?

(long pause)

Him: I can’t do that.

Me: Stop. I forgave you the next day. It’s not the first time a boyfriend has Sherlock Holmes’ed my phone.

Him: Sherlock Holmes’ed?

Me: When you look through someone’s phone. Because Sherlock Holmes is always looking for clues and schmausing around where he wasn’t invited.

(long pause.)

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Me: I already forgave you for that. We’ve all read Anne Frank’s diary, after all. It’s the modern equivalent.

(long pause)

Him: …….. yay….   you made a joke…..

(long pause)

Me: Come home?

Him: You’re not even home. You ran away to L.A.

Me: It was a job interview! They had me sequestered in a hotel for three days and wouldn’t let me talk to other people. It was bizarre and kind of scary. I missed you the whole time.

Him: You fucked that guy, and you told me you didn’t.

Me: No. I didn’t.

Him: Yes you did.

Me: I didn’t.

Him: Yesyoufuckingdid!

Me: NO. I forgot to mention the awkward-grope-of-a-non-fuck we had. It was late, and we’d both been socializing a lot that night. Boners were hard to come by. It was more like rolling around.

Him: The rule was you have to tell me everything.

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Me: Untrue. Stop grandstanding. I love you. Please, just let it go and love me back?

Him: You were supposed to tell me everything!

Me: According to what conversation? We talked about this a million times and set forth a million ways for it to work! You said you’d want to know every single detail, and I thought a kiss-and-tell model would be un-weildy.

Him: And look what happened. You’re gone, and I’m dealing with your mess.

Me: Stop it. We had an STD scare. Stop making it a huge thing. Seriously. I’ve been a fag for 20 years. This is level 3 panic mode. You’re giving me a 9.

Him: You hurt me!

Me: You don’t know this, because I was busy calling you a thief, and a liar, and just generally awful the night I found out you betrayed my trust – but me and Kyle didn’t even have sex.

(pause)

Me: Sorry. The word ‘betray’ sounds biblical. You just had a lapse of judgement, probs.

(long pause)

Me: You read what you read, Sherlock. You think you know what went down? Judge, jury, executioner?

(pause)

Me: I didn’t fuck him.

(long pause)

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Me: We were tipsy. We could barely even get our clothes off. It was a mistake.

Him: I told you about Skinny Guy, and you told me about Montreal Jimmy.

Me: And we had a threesome with Art World Guy, don’t forget.

Him: Exactly. Things were getting out of control.

Me: Stop. That’s your fear talking. That’s not so much indiscretion. I fucked up cause I didn’t tell you about one thing that was ultimately a debacle. You’re using this as an excuse to try to leave me because you feel abandoned. I’m coming back in a week, whether I book this gig or not.

Him: This won’t work for me. You don’t believe in monogamy.

Me: Maybe I don’t, but I believe in you and me.

Him: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: It means I’d be monogamous for you, if you wanted to settle down. Pay a mortgage. Grab a foster kid and see if we’re good dads? Start a business?

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(long pause)

Me: We have a few weeks until March 1st. Will you think about it?

(long pause)

Me: You’re the first person I’ve been able to give my heart to in a long time. This is awful, being away from you, having you break my heart when I’m trying to book the best gig of my life. Just come home.

(long pause)

Me: Will you think about it at least? I need you on my side. I love you so hard. All this bickering lately will settle down once we live together. I’ve been through this phase of a relationship before.

(long pause)

Me: Think about it?

(long pause)

Him: Okay.

Me: Take your time. I’ll be home soon.

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No Straight Potential

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I was feeling lonely in LA.

Some blog followers and former students pointed me to these guys.

They were very sweet to me, and we played cards all night long.

Gays helping gays. The most beautiful thing in the world.

That, and the Asian kid from Walking Dead. He’s also beautiful.

If you’re feeling lonely, I suggest you invest in your community.

Maybe that’s starting a gay poker game.

Maybe that’s joining a gay improv theater.

Maybe that’s auditioning for a community theater play, or doing a stand up open mic.

Point is, once you start saying yes to yourself, and other people, the world opens right on up.

Invest in yourself. Invest in your community. Side by side. All together. In harmony.

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Datingadvice.com

IMG_1268eryc perez de tagle

Datingadvice.com  asked me to write a piece for them.

I wanted to talk about Grindr and Gay Dating.

I’ll post more about this in a few days, or you can click the link above.

I think we could all relax a little bit about Grindr. It’s just social networking.

I have met really great friends and lovers on social media.

Calm down a little, fags.

Winky-smile emoticon.

Grindr profile

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The Ficus is Dead – Part Two

(a very long pause. we stare across the bar and survey the crowd. we don’t make eye contact)

Me: The ficus died.

Him: What? Why didn’t you tell me? What’s wrong with you?

Me: I didn’t think you deserved to know.

Him: What the. You’re so passive aggressive. Of course I wanted to know about that, Michael. I gave you that tree on our first anniversary. I always thought of it as a metaphor for our relationship.

Me: That’s exactly why I didn’t tell you when it died. I didn’t think you deserved to know.

Him: Explain.

Me: It died last winter, dumbass. It was horrible and I was unemployed and the landlord wouldn’t turn on the heat so it was freezing.

Him: Did you forget to water it?

Me: No, I water the plants once a week and the apartment is always clean now. It was a bad time, though, you know how I get in the winter, very sad.

Him: Yeah.

Me: It went completely bald in the space of three days. I freaked out but I couldn’t save it, Carson. I tried. It wouldn’t take water anymore and even after it was dead I kept watering it hoping that it would come back.

Him: That’s not how things work. You taught me that.

Me: There’s that narrator’s contempt I mentioned.

Him: Did you throw it out?

Me: I kept it, dead and brittle. For like 3 more months. I was angry about it dying and I was angry at you and eventually I snapped it in half and set it out on the curb.

Him: I’m sorry, but I’m getting a little pissed off. Why didn’t you tell me about this?

Me: Do you remember our last conversation?

Him: No? When was it? I always mean to check on you but I get busy sweetie.

Me: It was a year ago, Carson. A whole damn year went by and you didn’t even so much as txt me on my birthday.

Him: You know I’m forgetful.

Me: Well I’m not. The last significant correspondence we had was a year ago, when you invited me to Thanksgiving, and then took it back, because you were so fucking worried that it would make Jason feel weird. It didn’t matter to you that it was Thanksgiving and I had nowhere to go, just that your squirrely boyfriend wouldn’t have to feel slightly jealous once or twice in the evening.

Him: I’m sorry…  I was just trying to have a nice Thanksgiving.

Me: Yeah. And the definition of a nice Thanksgiving is one where I don’t show up and ruin things. So yeah, I didn’t speak to you after that, because you proved to me that you don’t care about me anymore. I decided right then that I wasn’t going to reach out to you again, until you reached out first. Ha. I guess you called my bluff! Cause a year has gone by and you didn’t even know I was hurting over it. But it doesn’t matter anymore because the ficus is dead. It’s dead and it’s not ever, ever coming back and you don’t get to know about that.

The Ficus is Dead

drawings by lex millena

Him: Oh hey.

Me: What? Shit. Hey! Happy Thanksgiving.

Him: Happy Thanksgiving sweetie. Are you here alone?

Me: Yeah. I went to a few friends. Now I’m here. I don’t know why. Where’s Jason?

Him: He went to get cigarettes, he’ll be back in 20 minutes or so.

Me: Ugh. You guys are still smoking? I thought you almost kicked that when we were together…

Him: I never really stopped. I just only had 2 or 3 a week.

Me: I know. I smelled it on you, from time to time. I didn’t always mention it.

Him: I knew you knew.

Me: I knew you knew I knew.

Him: I knew that too.

Me: We were very passive aggressive towards each other.

Him: We were. You are.

Me: Okay, okay. Thanks for saying hi!

(pause)

Me: I understand you and Jason bought a car and a house together.

Him: I guess word travels fast.

Me: I hear things. We’re both in comedy. People talk.

Him: It’s funny, I’d never think to say that. “I’m in comedy.”

Me: You are. The bulk of your money comes from comedy.

Him: I think of myself more as a writer.

Me: Yes. You’ve gotten very good.

Him: Oh, have you read?

Me: Yes. I follow you online, here and there, when I can stomach it.

Him: Ouch.

Me: Oh stop. I’m sure you don’t read my blog.

Him: That’s correct – I don’t.

Me: Okay so, fine. Well I read your stuff sometimes. You’ve gotten quite good.

Him: I’m glad you think so.

Me: I mean, I’m not nuts about reading about myself, but it’s very good writing, so that’s flattering, I guess.

Him: I don’t write about you. I write fiction.

Me: But some things are based on me.

Him: Some elements of some of my characters share parts of your behavior patterns or point of view. But I wouldn’t say I’m writing about you.

Me: No, of course you wouldn’t. But even so, it’s funny that as soon as I start recognizing myself in your writing, the very next thing I notice is an attitude of contempt from the narrator toward the ‘me’ character. It’s not my favorite thing in the world.

Him: You’ll never believe this, but I don’t write about you.

Me: I don’t write about you often, either. It’s good writing, Carson. Congrats on getting published. That’s huge. And I heard about the grant too.

Him: It’s political. I’m good at politics.

Me: You’re a good writer.

Him: Well thank you.

Me: You’re welcome. And you’re right. I’ll never believe that you’re not writing about me. We lived together for 8 years. I worked you through grad school.

Him: Let’s not start down this path again.

Me: Of course not. It’s a holiday, and in any case I have no regrets.

Him: I’m glad to hear that. Neither do I.

Me: How big of us.

(a very long pause. we stare across the bar and survey the crowd. we don’t make eye contact)

To Be Continued…

Showtime

Her: But he always does that. Haven’t you noticed?

Me: Does what?

Her: Won’t say yes to your idea. His is always better. You haven’t noticed that? He has NO RESPECT for the work.  We’re trying to improvise a show here! Doesn’t he? I mean… Fucker. I know he hates me.

Me: Of course he hates you.

(long pause)

Her: What?

(long pause)

Me: Nothing.

(long pause)

Her: What’s that supposed to mean?

Me: Nothing.  He’s Kyle’s best friend. He thinks you’re the devil. You can see that, right?

(pause)

Me: Let’s just get ready for this show. Huh? He’s funny. You’re funny. No bigs, right? Let’s change the subject.

Her: Let’s go into this grocery store.

Me: Why? Do you need something?

Her: I’m a little hungry. We’ve got 20 minutes to kill before we warm up. Come on.

(we enter the store)

Her: Ooh! Look at this. Marshmallows! Yummy right? Pretty. Don’t you want to eat them?

Me: I’m full, but you should get some if you’re hungry.

Her: No. They’re made of cow hooves. I just remembered. Don’t you think he’s a little bit of a steamroller? I mean, he just powers through scenes. There’s no subtlety.

Me: He’s a big player. He plays big. What do you want? He’s fucking hilarious.

Her: See. That’s what bugs me. He gets rewarded for doing bad improv. He doesn’t support. Oooh! Look at this melon.

Me: It’s a watermelon.

Her: But doesn’t it look great? He’s a dick.

Me: He’s not a dick. You can’t buy a whole watermelon right before we do a show.

Her: Why not?

Me: You won’t be able to cut it open. He’s just super aggressive with his moves and so are you. It can cause friction.

Her: I’m not aggressive!

Me: You are. It’s a good thing, remember?

Her: I’m not aggressive like he is.

Me: I mean…

Her: I’m not! Am I?

Me: Yes. You’re aggressive. We all have our shows where we’re barreling through. I have to remind myself to slow down. What about a granola bar?

Her: I don’t want a granola bar – ooooh, look at these pickles! They look so good!

Me: When did pickles become 11 dollars?

Her: They’re artesianal.

Me: They’re cucumbers.  Are you hungry or what?

Her: Whydoyouask?

Me: Jeez. I dunno, Ellen. I guess because every time you’re stressed out over a show you take me to a grocery store and look at food items you don’t purchase.

Her: Is that weird?

Me: A little. I mean, especially knowing you had an issue with anorexia.

Her: I usually eat some bread and cheese in the morning to make sure I have some protein inside me.

Me: That’s not reassuring. I’m sorry to tell you this, but yes, we’re all aggressive sometimes. And yes, Carl hates you. You broke his best friend’s heart. You had an affair with one actor in the show, and then you had an affair with another, and you expect everyone to just get along, when both men loved you.

Her: I LOVED THEM TOO. I’m not a monster in all this!

Me: I’m not saying you’re a monster. I’m saying, people can’t always put their feelings aside and do the show.

Her: I can.

Me: Can you?

Her: YES. I’m a professional. He’s not. I’m only aggressive in scenes with him!

Me: That’s not true, but even if it was – how is that you putting your feelings aside?!

Her: He hates women! He doesn’t do that with you, does he? He can’t stand an assertive woman improviser, that’s what it is.

Me: That might be part of it. You’re aggressive onstage.

Her: Assertive.

Me: AGGRESSIVE. And yes. Comedy is full of immature boys that condescend to women. Please don’t start crying. We have to do a show in ten minutes. Come on. Let’s go.

Her: (still crying) Why does everyone hate me?

Me: They don’t… because they’re jealous of you. You have a big talent and it’s intimidating to them. They probably don’t even know they’re jealous of you. You’re a force to be reckoned with. Look, we all love each other, even when we get jealous. We all love being here, and respect each other.

Her: How do I know you’re not just saying that because we’re going onstage right now?

Me: You don’t. You just – we have to trust each other. I’m on your side. Okay?

Her: I guess.

Me: I’m sorry I brought this up at the wrong time. I was a jerk for doing that. Will you eat something?

Her: No.

Me: Okay. Let’s go. It’s showtime.

Chasing Waterfalls

eryc perez de tagle

Him: Hey. Come in. Sorry it’s so sparse.

Me: Wow. This apartment is amazing.

Him: It’s sparse. Furniture is coming next week.

Me: It’s still amazing. What a great place!

Him: I dunno. I liked my last apartment better. It was bigger.

Me: It’s a good size for one person – there’s a bedroom over here, right? And you have a waterfall in your lobby! That’s my measure of whether or not someone lives in a nice apartment building.

Him: What? I don’t get it?

Me: You don’t live in a nice apartment building unless you have a waterfall in your lobby.

(long pause)

Him: I’m sorry, I don’t think that’s true.

Me: It isn’t. I was just joking. Nice place.

Him: Ugh. I drank so much scotch last night.

Me: Oh no! That’s awful.

Him: It’s okay. Let’s have a drink. That will fix my hangover.

Me: I dunno – I gotta do a late night comedy set later.

Him: It’s just one drink. Don’t act like it’s the end of the world. Do you want a drink or not? Have one.

Me: I…

Him: You’re having one.

Me: I’m having one.

(long pause)

Him: Yeah so…  This is my place…

Me: It’s very nice.

Him: Yeah. My last place was bigger, but I’m only here on the weekends, so…

Me: Where are you during the week?

Him: I work in California.

Me: Really?

Him: Yeah. I usually fly out on Tuesdays and work a four day week, and fly back on Fridays.

Me: That sounds exhausting.

Him: It’s just an airplane ride. I take my laptop and get work done.

Me: What do you do? For work?

Him: I consult with hospitals on how to get their operations to run more efficiently.

Me: That sounds fascinating.

Him: It’s boring.

Me: You’re right, that sounds boring.

Him: Come lay on this rug with me.

Me: What?

Him: I don’t have a couch and I just bought this rug. Come on. Do it.

Me: Okay…

Him: Let’s make out.

Me: Okay?

(we make out. it is awkward.)

Him: Wow. You’re really making me horny. We better stop this. What are you trying to pull?

Me: Nothing. You wanted to…

Him: I should have jerked off. Should we have sex? That would solve the horny problem.

Me: It said on your profile that you wait for 6 dates or more before you have sex.

Him: Yeah, that’s why we shouldn’t be doing this. You’re making it hard for me.

Me: I’m…  sorry?

Him: What are you anyway?

Me: What?

Him: Sexually. Which position are you?

Me: Oh… Wow. I’m versatile. I do both.

Him: Okay. Good to know.

Me: What about you?

Him: What about me what?

Me: Are you a top or a bottom?

(he shoots me a disdainful look)

Him: Well if you must know… I’m a top.

Me: Haha!

Him: What’s so funny?

Me: You just asked me out of the blue if I was a top or bottom, and when I answered and then posed the same question to you, you acted like I was violating some sort of etiquette. That’s kind of funny, right?

(long pause)

Him: What else do you do. Besides comedy. What do you do for money?

Me: I do comedy gigs and teach improv classes.

Him: What do you do for a living?

Me: I do comedy gigs and teach improv classes.

Him: What about that site? I went there. I looked at the pics.

Me: Did you read it?

Him: No, why?

Me: Just curious. I do that too, but that’s not for money. That’s just for me to record awkward dates.

Him: What?

Me: I post anonymous dialogues from really awkward dates on that site.

Him: I think it’s time for you to leave.

Me: Seriously? I told you to check out my site before we met. It’s listed on my OkCupid profile.

Him: I really need to get some laundry done, and didn’t you say you have a gig to go to?

Me: In a few hours, but I can meet up with friends beforehand.

Him: Okay. I’ll walk you out. You should walk in front of me. I don’t want you walking behind me.

Me: What? Why?

Him: I don’t want you checking out my ass. It should be the other way around. I believe I told you I’m a top.

Me: Oh that’s right! I believe I DO remember you mentioning something like that.

(long pause)

Me: Well. It was lovely to meet you. You have a lovely apartment, and there’s a waterfall in your lobby.

Him: My other place was bigger. We should hang out again.

Me: What should we do, go to the park?

Him: Yeah. Or I could top you.

(long pause)

Me: You’re a very charming man. I’ll walk out in front of you, so you don’t get ass raped by my eyeballs.

Him: Okay. Let’s try and hang out again. Shoot for next week?

Me: Definitely! This was amazing and not at all horrible!

Him: I feel the same way. Text me.

Me: Count on it!

(surprise ending – i did not text him the next week)

Thanks Old Faggot – Part Three

photos by jack slomovits

Him: So can I ask you one more question?

Me: Sure.

Him: Why are you still so sad?

Me: What?

Him: You said that you broke up with this guy a few years ago…

Me: Right.

Him: Why are you still so sad about it?

Me: I’m not. It was the right thing to do. We were starting to inhibit each others personal growth.

Him: That seems like a broad reason.

Me: There were other reasons.

Him: What?

Me: We hadn’t had sex in over a year.

Him: Ouch.

Me: I knew you’d balk at that one.

Him: I’m a Dirty Old Faggot. Sex is important.

Me: Well we had gotten to the point where sex wasn’t important.

Him: Then I see why you ended it. Do you still think about him a lot?

Me: What? I dunno. Maybe. I guess so…

Him: Haha. So, yes.

Me: I still live in the apartment we shared together for seven years. I feel like I’m living with his ghost sometimes. I find myself talking to him, saying things in this baby-talk couple’s gibberish we used to speak to one another. Sometimes I literally ask him questions, even though he hasn’t lived there for three years.

Him: Like what?

Me: Uh…  Lemme think.

(pause)

Me: Well… The other day I was washing my hair in the shower.

Him: Mmm. You in the shower. Good visual.

Me: Gross. Anyway I was washing my hair and my eyes were closed and I guess he popped into my head. Some memory of some previous happy moment – and all the sudden, out loud, I said ‘When you coming home buddy? I’m lonely.’

(pause)

Me: And then I said ‘Oh. Right. You’re never coming back. Ever.’ But that part was quieter. More of a self admonishment… Like, as if to say, stop talking to yourself, stupid.

(pause)

Him: Michael… Can I hug you?

Me: Sure.

(pause)

Me: Get your hand off my ass. And thank  you. For the gesture. The hug was creepy but the gesture was nice…

Him: But. But. Hey.

Me: What?

Him: What if he did come back? You wouldn’t want that, right?

Me: No. Yes. I don’t know. We were really miserable toward the end of things, which was heartbreaking because we were so  kind to one another for such a long time.

Him: If you think you want him back…

Me: I don’t. I’m not sure there’s a ‘him’ to want back. We’re both so different now. The person I’m speaking to in the shower is literally his ghost.

Him: Oh, Michael.

Me: You know what’s really funny? Is how small everything gets…

Him: What do you mean?

Me: I used to have big fantasies about him. About buying a place together. Maybe owning a small business. Adopting a child. Big fantasies. About the life we would have together.

Him: Okay…

Me: And I still have them. But they keep getting smaller. Like, when we broke up, I would fantasize about me growing and changing and about him turning things around. Maybe he’d clean up his act and so would I…

Him: Go on.

Me: The fantasy gets smaller and smaller.

Him: What does it look like nowadays?

Me: I…  uh…

Him: You don’t have to say.

Me: I have a fantasy about him. We’re in the park. And we’re sitting on a bench next to each other. And I’m not even looking at him, because that’s how fragile things have gotten. Even in my fantasy. It’s so fragile that if I look at him and see him, reality might seep back in and destroy everything.

Him: Like that scene in The Hours where the room fills up with water.

Me: Yes! But the exact opposite, because it would be reality destroying the fantasy.

Him: Right. So you’re in the park?

Me: Yes. We’re in the park. Quiet. Sitting next to each other.

Him: And?

Me: And nothing. That’s the fantasy. We watch a little league kid’s soccer game and sit next to each other. And we’re quiet. And it’s peaceful. And perfect. That’s my fantasy about him, now. Just to spend a quiet moment with him in the park.

Him: Michael. May I say something?

Me: Okay.

Him: Maybe you’re not perfect, okay? But you’re not to blame for all of this.

Me: I did break his heart, pretty thoroughly.

Him: Right, but he must’ve had a hand in things.

Me: He certainly did.

Him: And just by saying what you said, just now, you’ve sort of proved that you’re a being that’s capable and deserving of great love. So listen to an Old Faggot, okay?

Me: Okay…

Him: Let that love find you. You deserve it.

(pause)

Him: I have to go masturbate now. Those internet twinks aren’t going to objectify themselves…

Me: Okay. Bye…  Oh. Hey.

Him: What?

Me: Thanks, Old Faggot.

Him: You’re welcome…

(pause)

Him: Jerk.