Posts I guess


My new bottle opener

“Hey,” I said in a soft voice. I pulled up a bar stool.
He glanced at me sideways. “What do you want?”
“You’re showing a little in the back. The predators over by the pool table are eyeing you.”
The young man glanced over his shoulder, then down at his own butt. He hastily covered himself. His cheeks turned red and he took a deep shot of whiskey. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” I said. “I mean, I like the view, but I don’t think you came here to advertise.”
“What makes you think that?” He asked.
“Either you have bad allergies or someone hurt you, because you keep wiping your cheeks.”
His bottom lip trembled.
“It’s ok.” I signaled the bartender and ordered double of what the young man was having – one for each of us. “What’s your name? Mine’s Elliot.”
“Funny. We both have E names.”
“Yeah,” Evan said. He sniffled.
“Can I put a hand on your back?”
Evan thought. He nodded. I scooted the stool forward and rubbed his back. Evan blew his nose in a bar napkin.
“What’s wrong honey?”
Evan emptied the whiskey. “My boyfriend’s cheating.”
I clicked my tongue. “Oh honey I’m so sorry. Did you find out tonight?”
“Yes.” Evan’s voice sounds tight.
“Did you fight?”
“Earlier,” Evan responded. “Things have been rough lately. He’s working too much, I’m not working enough. The intimacy has been lacking. We were both kind of waiting for the other to notice how miserable the other was, you know?”
I nodded. “We’re all the protagonist in our own story.”
Evan gives me a soulful look. His eyes welled up with tears again. “Shit.” He reached for the new whiskey.
I sip mine.
“How did you find out?”
“I had been suspecting it for a while… he used to get so frustrated, since we weren’t intimate as often as he wanted you know? But I stopped seeing tissues in the trash. And he came home smelling like shampoo that wasn’t his one night when he thought I was asleep. We had a fight tonight, after he came home late.” Evan sighed.
“Go on,” I said.
“Well… I mean, we both agreed we had been unfair to each-other and we needed to work on our relationship if we wanted to save it. He went to bed. I decided to you know, take some initiative. I wrote him a note to put in his briefcase, telling him I’d bring him lunch at work tomorrow.”
Evan sniffled. “I was going to put the note inside the briefcase, but in it I found a heart shaped candy box.”
“It wasn’t for you?”
Evan shook his head. “It was unopened. Receipt said he bought it when he was supposed to be at a ‘meeting’ tonight. Plus, there were almonds in it. I’m allergic to nuts.” His shoulders trembled. “He’s cheating on me.”
I exhaled. “The poor thing. Come here, you need a hug.”
Evan was starved for attention. He leaned into me and I embraced him. He was shaking.
“I am so sorry this happened to you.”
“Me too. But how can I go home? I left as soon as I found the chocolate. He’s going to wake up tomorrow and I’m not there.”
“There’s more important things to concern yourself about. If he was intimate with you at all while he was with this other person, then he could have you know… you need to get tested.”
Evan looked shocked. “For what?”
“STIs, babe. Routine. You got to protect yourself.”
“Oh god,” Evan groaned, resting his face in his palms. “And then what if there is something? I mean, how I can even face him again? Is one of us going to have to move out? What about rent? Our furniture we bought together?”
“Shh shh one thing at a time. One thing. Finish your whiskey. Let’s take you to urgent care, get you tested. Then I’ll put you in a hotel for the night, ok?”
Evan stared at me. “You’d…pay for a hotel room? for me?”
“I have ridiculous credit card points. Let me, ok? Please? You need a place to rest safely tonight.”
Evan sipped his whiskey. “Ok,” he agreed. He sounded tired. Defeated. “Thank you.”
“And no strings attached.”
Evan nodded. “I couldn’t get it up now if I wanted to.”
I chuckled. “You can worry about that later. Come on, now. Finish up, boy.”
Evan nodded with a blank look on his face. I could see the pain, the hurt, deep in his eyes. I had just met him, but the urge to protect him was fierce and deep. How could anyone take this sweet, sensitive man and just take advantage of him like that? I was not going to stand for it. I would do everything I could to get him back on his feet.


Two days later, Evan came back into the bar to have a drink after work and do some reflecting. A lot had happened in 24 hours. He tested positive for –ugh, gross!- pubic lice. He’d kicked Andrew out, and put in an application for a studio apartment in the same building. Less furniture would be needed for a smaller space. Evan had been a force to be reckoned with these last few days, but now that he stopped moving he felt tired and alone. That Elliot guy had been such a huge help, but he couldn’t mooch off his good graces forever. Evan wondered what his motivations were though, and if he just had the word ‘victim’ plastered on his own forehead.

Someone came up next to him at the bar and sat down. A rather handsome guy with broad shoulders and dark skin.
“Hey,” he said.
“Hi,” Evan replied.
“Hey uh,” he guy said. “I saw you here the other night. You were pretty upset. Are you ok now?”
“Oh,” Evan replied. “Yes. Sorry. Didn’t mean to make a scene. My boyfriend cheated on me.”
The guy groaned. “Dude it happened to me too.”
“Yeah, I walked in on them humping like bunnies.”
Evan winced. “Yikes.”
“Indeed, indeed. Is uh, Elliot helping you out?”
Evan blinked. “You know him?”
“Oh we all do. He’s kind of a figure around here. Helps lost boys.”
“He helped you too?” Evan asked.
The man nodded. “He did.”
“Did he ask for anything in return?”
“Nope. Not at all. Just has a lot of money and likes to play dad.”
“Oh, that’s a relief. I was wondering if he was trying to get me to sleep with him,” Evan admitted.
The guy scoffed and shook his head. “No. Not Elliot. You know his story right?”
Evan shook his head.
“Elliot cheated on his husband. He was drunk, it was a weakness. The boy committed suicide when he found out.”
Evan gasped. “Oh my god.”
“I looked up the case once. There were some underlying issues… the boy had a history of bipolar disorder, Elliot had an issue with drinking. Regardless of what happened, Elliot never forgave himself. I think he’s just trying to atone.”
“By being our guardian angels?”
The man smiled. “Yeah. I think so.”
“Well, I needed one the other night. I was so upset.”
The man nodded. “I feel you. I got into a fight at the bar when it happened to me. Hey uh, you wanna go get something to eat? My name’s Mechad by the way.”
“Evan.” They shook hands. “Food sounds great but…I’m not really looking to jump into a relationship right away.”
Mechad held up his his hands. “No no. I understand. But it never hurts to have a friend right?”
Evan smiled. “I could use a friend.”
“So could I. I just moved here. Too many memories back in Portland.”

Elliot had come in the back at some point and had been watching from a back table. He smiled as the two boys left together, chatting. The lost lambs had found their way.
Elliot let the deep satisfacation wash over him, but also relief for the hundredth time that humans couldn’t see his halo and thought he was just a regular man. He had shot himself after watching Tom jump off that balcony, but something had went awry. Elliot didn’t go to heaven, or hell. Elliot went to a black place. A voice told him, he wanted to go to heaven, he had to atone. He had, and that was a hundred boys ago. Now, he just working. Elliot glanced at his watch. Three hours until the next one. New York kept one oh so busy.

Captions are fictional.
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