Friday, July 2, 2010

Music and Love

I watched him lean over the pool table.

I think my tongue was licking the backside of my teeth in anticipation of that glimmer of lower back that would occasionally show as his shirt gently lifted above his pant.

Disappointment. He didn't need to lean over all that far for this shot.

"I listen to Metal."

Oh. You must be the only one in town. - He has decent muscles on his forearms. Through his shirt his biceps are just barely noticeable; he doesn't have man boobs. Hell, could it be that this man has pectorals? This man is in good shape.

His name is Peter.

"Pretty much."

I don't imagine there are many metal shows in town that you make it out to. - My turn. I miss my shot. I'm really not good at this game, but its pretty much the only time you get to watch straight men bend over. See their asses fill the fullness of their pant.

I'm getting good at playing the straight game again these days. I can even play pool with some degree of ability. Wait a minute - did that thought just come to my mind? What have I allowed my world to turn me into; somebody who only keeps myself in a box? Damnit, I'm a mess...

"Nope. But I lived a couple of years in Edmonton. That was a good place." - He sipped his rum and coke. Me, my beer. He shot. Missed - told me something about metal music. Apparently he chooses not to listen to heavy metal music, something about how its not good enough - impossible to hear the lyrics, bad intentions focused on making lots of noise rather than making music. He sounds very particular.

Finger Eleven came on the radio.

"I've seen these guys live. They are really good." Oh, really? In this moment I decided he knew nothing about metal music. Maybe in this country-dominated town this is metal music, but this isn't metal music. He is very fortunate that he looks good - I judge harshly on music.

I'm very fortunate that I can keep my gaze quite well guarded. I pass him the cue. I think it is his turn again. We talk about how Canada Day tired both of us out.

He wears those jeans that you don't see out here very often. They aren't Wranglers. More like a baggy jean - but not so baggy to fall below the waste-line. There is a calculated utility to these jeans - he can wear them to work comfortably, without feeling the pressure to show off the full beauty of his leg as a rancher. I wonder what he does.

Does this man have some image problem? Wearing jeans like that - a t-shirt. He just doesn't quite fit in here. He even trims his beard. He leans over the pool table. Xbox underwear. I don't see much of a farmer's tan.

I can't allow myself to judge him by his undergarment fashion. Its frugal clothing - bought at WalMart. A money saver - no reason to be concerned with spending when buying work clothes for Val Marie. Who is going to see you other than the locals?

The way these pants fall of his body makes it seem like he has a really big dick. Not fair, and a total fib. I've seen pants like this before. I could wear my pants like that. Stop.

I turn to my team partner and we start talking about tattoo plans. I've got some ideas. She does too. Somebody probably thinks we're flirting. She probably thinks we're flirting - she is guarded. She has a boyfriend. I'm pretty damn sure I'm not flirting.

I'm starting to hope that she doesn't think I'm flirting, but that others in the bar do. There is a lot of pressure to be in a relationship in this town, even as a summer student. A lot of pressure to be straight in this town too. I'm not going to do either, but I'm very good at putting on a poker face. Years of training that has started to crumble back; a physical and mental landslide that makes every movement ache.

The conversation in the bar has shifted. I overhear something.

"Oh yeah! Brock has never had a girlfriend!"

My ears perk up. Stop. Don't imagine this. Stop.

This man's name is Peter. No doubt, he is a man. And, despite his pants, his gait is more attractive than that of a rancher who has had his legs spread around the shoulders of a horse for most of his life.



  1. Cute piece, Neal. The constant back and forth about your fellow pool player and how you're turned on to him makes for some interesting tension. Nicely done.
    Do you have any interest in being a writer? Just wondering.

  2. Oh my! This blog has been taking very interesting tones over the past few weeks. Had you been my best friend and had I had my secret queen persona on, I'd have reacted by saying: "Sweetheart, you're horny!" followed by a *wink*!!

    This post (and the couple of others that were painted with the same brush) leaves me divided: on the one hand, I suddenly feel like I'm not the only freak who builds those scenarios by paying attention to details that normally go unnoticed (the farmer's tan, the underwear brand, the trimmed beard etc.) and on the other hand, I know that's the side of me that I'll never acknowledge in public (well maybe a blog is not-so-public anyway!)

  3. Hey Rick and Amak! Thank you both for commenting - it helps me remember that I am not entirely alone. I hope you both realize that this is more valuable than the English vocabulary can convey.

    Rick - I've never really seriously considered becoming a writer. But I feel like I am right now caught in some fictitious scenario that is building up to something. These blog posts get written in my head as the events they outline unravel... I'm already reading some Cormac McCarthy right now; it makes it easier to write with this kind of voice.

    Amak - I wouldn't say that your assessment of my sexual drive is wrong at all. Hopefully once I get through this whole small-town thing, I can run back to Regina and meet somebody. Spend time with them so that the horny tramp and the devoted romantic in me can be released.


    Once again, thank you both.