海邊

Conor他們已經上了客運要從海邊回到城市。雖然曬傷了,不過身體還沒感覺,只是全身疲憊,終於可以坐下來了很舒服。因為整晚都在眾多篝火之間跳舞、玩水,所以除了體味,J跟K兩個人身上還有一股煙味,混著海水留下的那種腥味。客運坐滿了跟他們一樣過完了篝火節要回城市的人,因此,他們不能跟平常一樣坐在前後兩排的雙人座,隔著椅背講話,只能並坐在同一張椅子上。雖然空間有限,J還是照常地把雙腿張開。K感到J的腿輕輕地貼著自已的腿,臉稍微熱了起來。車離開車站的時候,J已經睡著了,但K還沒有睡意,一直看著窗外。海平線那兒,晨光剛開始流過海面,覺得很美。

K不知道他女生朋友L昨晚什麼時候就不見了。她晚上很直接地跟J調情,接下來一起消失了一陣子,令K遍尋不著。K本來以為他們應該是去上床了,但他們回來後氣氛就變的怪怪的,J在K耳邊說了什麼不配,就婉拒了,但細節K不是很清楚。從那之後,L的表情就一直很臭,大概是生氣了,不過K也不知道他們消失的那段時間到底發生了甚麼事情。他問J,J也只是聳了一下肩膀,就不想理她了。接著他伸出手臂,摟住K的肩膀,把他拉到另外一群圍繞著篝火坐的人那邊,他們便又開始喝了,也沒再談到這件事。那夜沒再看到L,K也沒有特別不開心。

車上,J的頭漸漸地往K的肩膀那邊垂落,隨著J睡得越來越沉,他每次把頭收回去的動作就弱了一些,到最後直接貼著K的肩膀,就停在那裡了。引擎的轉動漸漸騷動K的大腿,讓他開始隱隱有了感覺,他不由自主地瞄了J肌肉發達的小腿,腿毛濃密,再往上看就是短褲的界線,隱約露出那條一邊黧黑、一邊白嫩的曬痕。K心虛地往四周看了一下,就把目光移到J裸裎的上身:結實的胸肌線條、粉紅的奶頭、肚子下方那一條繼續往短褲內奔走的毛,短褲內也可以隱隱看見一個輪廓。K感覺到自己的下體也被叫醒似的,還來不及想到別的事情,就有動靜了。假設J現在醒來,他一定會看到,也會看穿K。但K沒有立刻反應,決定要冒這個險,所幸過了一陣子,J還是睡得很熟,K就把依然腫脹的陰莖勉強塞到他短褲的鬆緊帶下面。

一直照著K的太陽應該對J產生了同一個效果。K發現J的下面也微微有了勃動,J醒了一下,K趕緊閉上眼睛裝睡。J從背包裡拿出一件T恤,蓋住下身,繼續入睡。就這樣子他們回了城市,但K的心還在海邊。

Drowning – Out the World

The music came again, reaching a crescendo as I saw the therapist’s lips moving – I could have guessed what she was saying if I’d had the motivation to try, even though the music made it impossible to hear her words. In her clinically jovial tone she was telling me I had relapsed, that I had disconnected again. We had traced a familiar route through the hospital, that, if not for the music getting in the way, would almost been a nostalgic trip down – as Myles na Gopaleen would have put it – that cliche of a tourist trap that is memory lane, but we found no trace of the familiar waiting room at the end of the emotionally-vacant journey, and only then was it that my mother must have fumbled hurriedly for the letter as I watched on indifferently. The clinic had moved to the other side of the hospital, it transpired. My mother’s apologies would have been met with an ever-cheerful facade of small talk and smiles, masking the therapist’s minor irritation at our late-coming. I tried responding to her, resisting for a moment against the pull, but it was hard to talk over the music, which surged every time I opened my mouth – it was easier to comply. It had been ever-present over recent months, and I had lost the will to overcome it – lectures, television, headlines, documentaries, deadlines, a friend’s painful break-up, the death of a family friend – it all sank into meaninglessness beneath the powerful beat – that limbo-like grip that the music held over me. Had I been able to think over the music, I might have remembered again with bitterness the way the therapist had once poked at a tightly held secret of mine, suggesting that others who heard the music tended to be feel more effeminate, asking me if I identified more with women than with men, if I had ever had feelings for other boys. This had not been out of concern for me, but rather she had simply been helping out a student conducting a study on the effects of the music on gender identity – to me as a patient who had always performed like an eager circus animal for all the doctors, the disinterest and scrutiny in an area out of my comfort zone had left me feeling betrayed and had simply buried my secret deeper – her lack of praise for my answers had stung, and belied her previous lip-service praise of my progress. When I had gone into recovery, I sometimes believed her apparent hypothesis – as it had been around puberty that the music had first contained me – although it didn’t feel like containment… or rather it only felt like containment when one struggled against it, like the background music turned up too loud in the pub, so that it drowned out the voice of the person talking to you across the table. So that their concerns, their joy, their character became simply a few snippets of different sentences from an amusingly animated face, the snippets that could be understood were mostly pronouns and those that could be guessed by the shape of the mouth – that was when the disinterest had started to accompany the music. People no longer kept my attention with their “He… it… and… he…. “, “What… me… the…” – and the music became stronger when I tried to concentrate, weakening my resolve to attempt to understand. Without the music, I might have questioned this again now, as I had come out and had lived happily with my identity for a long time before the music’s return – but as it was I would have found it hard to have any thoughts, let alone these ones. The things I had been so concerned with now inspired nothing in me, my mother’s concern, a need to please the people around me, the need to argue, the need to please both strangers and friends, political indignation, lust – all things were now drowned  – leaving me out of the world.