After Francesco by Brian Malloy

After Francesco by Brian Malloy

Author:Brian Malloy [Malloy, Brian]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Kensington Books
Published: 2021-02-11T00:00:00+00:00

Chapter 8


Aunt Nora asked if there was alcohol at Live Eddie’s apartment, but I assured her that his mother probably scoured the place dry before his father even asked me to stay with their son. She’s not sure it’s a good idea for me to go back to New York, but I’ve been in Minnesota for five long months now, and all I have to show for it is sobriety, volunteering, and astounding sex.

So it’s time for New York.

Dave wanted to squeeze in a conjugal visit before my flight back East and I considered it, but I decided to spend the night with Francesco’s black leather jacket next to me on the bed.

We’re at a Northwest Airline gate for my third flight ever, and it’s the same gate where I confronted Suzanne Huntington-Conti. We sit next to each other as we wait for boarding to begin. Other couples embrace, hold hands, cling to each other at the prospect of having to part ways, even if only for a little while.

We don’t.

First of all, public displays of gay affection are the unsafest sex you can have, and second of all, we’re not a couple. So it’s not gay love, and it certainly isn’t brother love, and just the word “love” is something we’ve both sworn off of.

Still, I’m going to miss him and Minnie the Moocher.

The gate agent announces that boarding will begin in a few minutes. People stand around by the door to the Jetway, dragging what appears to be everything they own behind them. Dave says, “I’m sorry about your friend Eddie.”

He’s wearing shorts, so I’m distracted. His legs are golden brown and his vastus medialis is distracting. “Thanks.”

He says, “How . . . how long do you think . . .”

“I dunno. Eddie tells me nothing, and his parents might be panicking prematurely.”

“I’m going to miss . . . you know.”

I look at his legs, sigh. I imagine running a hand up a thigh. “Me too.”

Across from us a young man, wearing a Kangol hat, and a young woman poured into acid-washed jeans are playfully touching each other, occasionally kissing. It’s sweet as ginger root dipped in mud.

And then, this: The man, tall and skinny and in chino shorts, gets down on one bare knee.

I say—out loud, I think—“You gotta be fucking kidding me.”

Dave folds his arms, shakes his head.

A small crowd gathers as the man produces a ring. Women put their hands over their mouths; men grin and nod.

The woman looks like the girl with the husky voice in St. Elmo’s Fire, but with taller hair. She covers her mouth like she just belched up garlic butter, and nods, eyes watering, YES! YES! YES!

Everyone at our gate applauds, save the two bitter homosexuals sitting directly across from them. Passengers walk up to congratulate them, shake their hands. The man in the Kangol hat is beaming at the well-wishers, but when he looks in our direction, all he can see is Chernobyl about to blow.

Dave sighs, says, “After this, I’m taking Aaron out to dinner.


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