Friday, March 08, 2013

New Beginning 993


When I turned into Steve's street, I tried to walk more slowly. Tried to look less like you do when you're meeting the man you love.

Nobody would mind if I was a girl.

He opened his door the moment I reached it, and pulled me inside. He'd barely got the door shut again before he started kissing me.

My weight clicked the lock home.

"Thought you weren't coming," he said, when he paused for breath.

"Rachmaninoff."

"Again?"

"All the time." I drew him to me and then we were kissing again. Everything else faded to the periphery: the ache in my fingers, the smell of polish, even the door cold and hard against my back. All that mattered was to hold Steve close and share kisses.

Then we had to breathe again. I tucked my head under his chin and he began stroking my hair.

"All dressed up," I said.

"Some friends invited me over for dinner. Invited us, rather. They want to meet you."

"Wish I'd known."

He cupped my chin in one hand so he could raise my head. "Well, I would've come round and picked you up, but you've never actually told me where you live."

"Down by the canal."
 
"The canal?"

"It's easier if I'm close to the water."
 

"Ah, of course. Anyway, I can lend you something suitable."

"Rachmaninoff."


"Why don't--"

"I'll just go home," I told him, turning to leave. "Some other--"

Steve's hand was warm on my shoulder. "Slow down. I didn't spend half my life searching for you to let you get away so easily. We've got to get used to each other, that's all."

I smiled. Steve was right. This wouldn't be easy. Then again, being the only walrus-headed man in existence never had been. And, when his lips found mine again, I realized the difficulty would be worth it.



Opening: BuffySquirrel.....Continuation: Veronica Rundell

13 comments:

Evil Editor said...

Unchosen continuations:


I shuddered -- at the thought of him in my apartment, or maybe because he started to kiss me again.

"Really: It's getting late; time to get ready for work."

Steve sighed, and turned toward the voice. "Yes, dear..."

I didn't much like Steve's wife.

--anon.


He finally nodded. I liked Steve, maybe even loved him, but there were times when he was so dense. I mean, where did he expect a fish-man to live?

--Khazar-khum


I wrinkled my nose. "But you know I don't like you to pick me up. It makes me feel inferior."

He laughed. "Inferior? You know I'm nothing without out."

He was right. Second rate Steve the Magician had been a failure. But Steve and the Amazing Talking Rat...

--anon.

Evil Editor said...

It isn't clear enough what the narrator means by "Nobody would mind if I was a girl." Dump it and find the next convenient place to show he's a guy.


"Well, I would've come round and picked you up, but you've never actually told me where you live." isn't a natural response to "Wish I'd known." He needed to be told that they were going to a dress-up dinner, not to be picked up. And accepting a dinner invitation for a time when you already have plans with your lover, and not consulting your lover until he shows up could be considered discourteous. Perhaps a better response would be, "Well, I would have phoned, but I was afraid you wouldn't come."


If your lover's never told you where he lives, you might ask him. And hope he gives a more specific answer than Down by the canal.

BuffySquirrel said...

Walrus-headed! I can totally use that! XD

Talking Rat...even better!

EE, would it better if I started the novel with the scene where he gets hunted down and nearly murdered for being gay...? then that line would make more sense.

Evil Editor said...

The problem for me is I'm not sure what it is nobody would mind. With a little work I get that no one would mind if a girl went to Steve's place looking like you do when you're meeting the man you love.

And I'm not certain it conveys that he isn't a girl anyway. For instance,

Edna: You can't go in there! That's the men's room.

Ann: It's okay, no one will mind if I'm a girl.


Perhaps it's a bit overboard to say: I walked toward Steve's house trying to look like his macho hunting buddy, and not his lover.

But if you can work out something along those lines, you've shown his feelings and we can guess why he has them.


Veronica Rundell said...

Honestly, I wanted to have Aqualad in there, but it didn't work. Walrus-headed was all EE.

I liked the tone of the piece.
I wondered how Steve didn't know where his lover lived.

I also didn't get the "Rachmaninoff" line. I couldn't tell if he was kissed 'senseless' and it slipped out inadvertently, or if that was the lover's name.

If there's anti-gay violence in the backdrop, I didn't sense that tension from this exchange.
Still, I'd read on.

Evil Editor said...

He's been practicing Rachmaninoff, thus the sore fingers. (And thus the removal of your flippers line). (And thus the walrus-headed man rather than walrus.)

BuffySquirrel said...

Thanks, EE :) That's a big help. And thanks of course to the continuation authors, and commenters.

I shall be sad to see the New Beginnings end.

Dave Fragments said...

I took piano and organ lessons for 12 years and I didn't pick up the hint that he played Piano.

Now it you said "Rachmaninoff's 2nd" or scales or Czerny exercises, the Piano Light would have gone off over my head.

I also didn't pick up the hint he was a man going to another man's house. I was left trying to figure this out with the image of a man and a woman.

Not that I would have stopped reading. I would have read on to see what was happening. I hate mysteries.

Chelsea Pitcher said...

What about:

"Nobody would've minded if I were a girl."

I think that could work. Otherwise, no issues. I enjoyed this opening. Nice writing :)

Veronica Rundell said...

Aha. *lightbulb* missed the sore fingers...
It's clear I'm only at the 'intern stage' as a minion.

Evil Editor said...

"Nobody would've minded if I were a girl."

That's no better. Impossible to tell if he means no one would have minded that he was meeting the man he loves or nobody would have minded that he looked like he was meeting the man he loves or nobody would have minded that he was trying not to look like he was meeting the man he loves.

Mister Furkles said...

Thanks, Buffy, for submitting this.

I have three comments; two are rather negative. And I’m trying to be helpful.

A rather minor thing: “... if I was a girl.” Works better in subjunctive mood if your narrator is a male. If he is over 17 it works better as “… if I were a woman.” If he is under 18 then, “… if I were a girl.” By the end of the fifth paragraph, I thought the narrator was an older woman and Steve was a teen boy. At “Some friends …” I was jerked back to the narrator being a gay teen and the voice being off.

As far as “Nobody would’ve minded …”, I thought it was an age thing. An adult having sex with a teen. People do mind that. Almost nobody cares that much about gay men together. The concern has always been gay men enticing boys or young men into sex.

My other problem is that it is obvious to me whether an author of fiction is a woman or a man. Thus far, all fiction where the author wrote in first person for the opposite sex has the voice wrong -- for me -- as it is here. But this might not be a problem for anybody else.

The flamboyant young gays I’ve known at school or work thought and talked more like straight men than women. It’s just that they are attracted to men rather than women. We never talked sex but often enough relationships – not just partners but coworkers and family. It seems that flamboyant gays are more concerned with relationships than sex.

So, Buffy, you may be better off to go to third person. Or it may be I’m the only person in the world who finds first person for the opposite sex to be awkward.

The troubled flamboyant gay teen has been done a thousand times. A fresh story that you might consider would be a woman teacher or coach in her late twenties or early thirties who has an affair with a sixteen-year-old boy. The MC would be doing a bad bad thing but that doesn't make it a bad story.

BuffySquirrel said...

Flamboyant? *blinks* No idea where that came from :).