Two Twenty Something Boys, On the L, Possibly In Love.
You're riding home on the L train, minutes before a possible transit strike, after some wine at a friend's party, and two twenty something boys get on. One of them is irresistibly cute in that way that doesn't have anything to do with television advertisements. You just look at him from a certain angle and you just know that he is beautiful in a way that hasn't been defined for you before.
They stand near each other, chatting amiably, holding the ceiling mounted bar to keep from falling into each other. Somehow, you can tell that they are interested in each other in a way that means that if all goes well for the rest of the evening, they will end up in each other's arms, in bed, naked, disbelieving their luck.
And then you think of the terrible, terrible people who would condemn them for feeling what they are feeling. People who would condemn them for feeling the inexplicable things they cannot seem to feel in themselves.
Neither one of the twenty something boys is particularly beautiful. They would never make it past the preliminary auditions for your run-of-the-mill Calvin Klein ad. And yet, glimpsed from the right angle, you see the beauty in the shave they neglected to grab earlier in the day. You see it in the blue eyes that are not the classically striking blue of mythology. They are a kind of gray-blue. A bit pedestrian, in a way. And yet a kind of blue that clearly appeals to the other. For no reason, really. It's just a blue in the eyes that suits the fellow standing opposite him on the train. It makes you want to be in love with him.
It's astonishing how much we can feel for each other, with no justification whatsoever.
Yes, things can eventually go wrong. Yes, we can eventually bitterly disappoint each other. But there is that moment when the fulfillment of every hope and dream you ever had seems possible. And, unbelievably, there are people who will stand around and tell you you don't have the right to feel the things you feel. There are people who somehow feel that it matters in some moral sense whether later on this evening the dick of one of these inexplicably beautiful twenty something boys will, to his delighted astonishment, end up in the ass of the other boy. There are people who would shrink from this thing.
Even though they have no right to be there to witness such a thing, they feel they have the right to behave as if they do, and to pass judgment on it.
It is a constant amazement to me that there are people who think they have the right to project their own disappointment with their fellow human beings on others. Jealousy is a thing I have often felt but never understood. The older I get, and the more of my loved ones who die, the more I begin to feel that I have no right ever, absolutely never, to question the joy other people might take in each other.
I always thought I would get smarter about people the older I got. I realize now, the older you get, the more you have the obligation to let people have whatever joy they can find in each other. In other words, the stupider you have to admit to yourself you are about other people and what they see in each other.
I have no right to an opinion about what should make other people happy. I can't believe I was ever so stupid as to think I did.
I hope these two unclassically beautiful boys go home to Williamsburg tonight and fuck each other's brains out.
I don't hope that for their sakes. I hope for it for the sake of the world.