Tim and I stopped at the supermarket before I took him home. Get me some chips, he said from the passenger window. Okay. Love you, he calls. Love you, too, I smile back. I entered the market. Casually amble the aisles. I saw him at midnight. It’s in the back, he says. Do I go straight for it? No. I skip his aisle. Walk casual. He’s restocking. The store is cold. Practically empty. I pull over my sweater. I grab what I grab and walk back. Still cold. Through his aisle. He tells me to stop. Need help? Nah I’m good, I stutter. He continues to work. I stop. Look at his back. His hair. His ears. He turns and looks at me. I stare. His eyes. His lips. His eyebrows. That style. He continues to work. I take off my sweater. Hey, I stutter. Swallow my spit. He turns. I just wanted to say. He raises a brow. I hope you don’t find this offensive. He blinks. I think you’re handsome. My aorta spills. Do I look at him? No. I go straight. Straight for the register.
I’m never doing that again, is what I tell myself. He’s perfect, is why I object. I adore his type. Should I do that again? I don’t know. I can. But it’s not right. This is where the story gets confusing. And I apologize. I’m not normal, you see. I’m not supposed to do that. It’s wrong. But I can’t help it. My heart goes cold when I don’t. It goes numb when I do. I can’t accept it. I’m tired. A kind of tired that medication can’t cure. A kind of tired that sleep can’t fix. I’m normal. A normal son. A normal brother. But please god, can I be a normal boy.
Back at the car, Tim smiles, You get my chips. Ah, nah...sorry. Forgot. I start the car and as we pull out of the lot, he places his hand on my leg. Love you, babe. Yeah, I know. Love you, too.