Life and Liquor


onewayWe’ve just returned from a night at the bar. The sidewalks are slick with ice and the Columbus air chills us to the bone, but together we make it to the warmth and safety of Chris’s home.

Chris is a frame of lean muscle. His face features a Western jawline with Eastern eyes and his once wispy hair has been trimmed short.

I’m sitting on the floor and leaning against the front of his couch. Chris is sitting on the couch, a leg on each side of me, his knees resting against my shoulders. He digs his hands into my shoulders and attempts to knead and pull the anxiety out of them.

“You’re pretty tense for a drunk guy,” he says, “Quiet for a drunk guy, too.”

“Sorry,” I say. I close my eyes as he massages my neck, “Would you believe me if I told you I just had a massage last weekend?”

He says no, citing that I’m cheap and don’t let people touch me. I laugh.

realbrosChris starts prying with questions. My fingers fumble in the dark for a remote so I can drown out his voice and flush out the questioning darkness with television. He’s annoyed, but allows me to avoid his curiosity.

As his fingers tweak the muscles in my back I turn on his TV, scrolling through potential options. Something on his DVR catches my eye.

“Shut the fuck up…” I say, turning to him, “You DVR Adventure Time?”

He asks me if I’m serious, and reminds me that he’s been telling me to watch this show for years.

I tell him I should have listened and that I had just recently discovered it.

tumblr_m4pdcmBEW51qk7s5eo1_500We fall into our old pattern, cuddling on his couch. We watch the silly-but-smart show, laughing together and forgetting the hostile cold outside his walls.

His hand squeezes my shoulder and I feel a kiss on my cheek.

“I’m sleepy,” he whispers. He leaves his head on my shoulder.

It’s the first time Chris’s lips have ever touched me, but it feels right in that comfortable, platonic way things always feel with him. Some people want more. They want the panting and the sweating and the attempted romance. Neither of us will try to go in for a full kiss or pull at a zipper. All we want is warmth, and tonight less is more than enough.



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