|Queen Anne's Lace|
Jason was saddened by Luigi's life. He'd never really understood what it must be like to be such an outsider, to believe that a casual pick up was better than being lonely. He'd never felt that. There'd always been friends, and he'd never done the random pick-up routine. Not if you didn't count guys he'd met at parties. He'd met Brent at a drink-up after cricket one blessed Saturday summer afternoon. Brent had been a star bowler in the other team, a demon with a cricket ball, with a devilish spin. The other side had won mostly because of his aggressive bowling skill. The memory of that afternoon would stay with Jason always: the sleepy heat, the smell of beer and sweaty men, the scent of the wisteria over the pavilion, Queen Anne's Lace a creamy froth of white and apple-green choking the lanes, the click of ball against willow, and Brent watching him, his eyes full of expectation.
|Wisteria (on left), Flame honeysuckle (on right)|
He didn't know what to say to Luigi. He hadn't known what to say to Brent, either. So he said, “You're beautiful.” He didn't smile when he said it. He was too shy to look directly at him, so he looked at his perfectly flat stomach instead.
“More beautiful than your girlfriend?” Luigi's tone was mocking but when Jason looked at him his eyes were watchful. And sad. Very sad.
“Yes.” Jason didn't waver. “You're incredibly sexy, you know that?” This time he did smile. And it was true. Already he was starting to get a bit of a stiffie thinking about doing it again.
The watchfulness of Luigi's eyes lessened but the sadness remained.
“So,” Jason said, throwing caution to the winds, “can I see you again?”
[The second photo comes from this lovely blog about Saltaire, a model village built by a Victorian capitalist. Would that the current crop of parasitical plutocrats also produce something at once as useful and as beautiful]