Brian lay in bed as Justin collected his things. He knew the blonde was planning something. They had made love for hours, but Justin had kept his distance. Brian recognized this from the “Ethan period.” Justin would join him in bed, but they were never really together. There was a wall between them. Brian thought they had conquered the wall, but what he experienced tonight told him they hadn’t.

Close my door

Close my eyes

Press my fingers to the glass

Why does November drag its heels when October never seems to last?

Things were supposed to be different this time. They were supposed to understand each other. Justin had promised. Wait … Justin only promised no more violin music, that was all he promised. What had he said? He knew what he could expect of Brian. What did he mean? Brian thought he knew. He thought Justin understood. Justin was always “onto him.” Had that changed?

The television tells us love can make a mute man speak or

make a closed man walk outside

But time sheds its light on all that I wanted to hide

Justin was supposed to understand. Brian would give him everything he could. Justin had silently promised that would be enough. He never thought about what would happen if that wasn’t true. He believed Justin had given up the illusion of physical monogamy. What if he hadn’t? He had continued tricking, and the numbers had increased recently. The pressure of starting his life over had pushed Brian over the edge.

I get off the train I stumble 'round the Square

I look for the poems at my feet

You and I come home

And there we bitch and moan

'bout all the perfect lovers that we never seem to meet

You'd better let someone love you instead of pushing us all away

Until time rolls right over all that you wanted to say

Justin had held his tongue. He never complained about Brian’s sexual infidelities. What if he had been lying? Is it possible Justin had lied to him again? They were supposed to understand each other this time around. Had Justin forgotten the rules … again? But this time they had set no rules. He felt Justin beginning to expect more, because Brian was giving more. Then suddenly he pulled away. Relationships were bullshit. They didn’t mean anything. But they meant something to Justin.

I know you are hurting

I see you tied up in knots over there

But these are the days we are given

They are precious we must live them I swear

This could be the last warm day in a cold and ugly November

When it's all over, what are you going to remember?

You take life one day at a time. Each day brings a new, and when you look over your life you have your memories. What did Brian want to remember? Were all those trips to the backroom so memorable? Truth be told he couldn’t even remember the trick from last night. The memories of his tricks were black. He never remembered them. Each anonymous encounter was a faceless blur. The only one he could remember was the blonde with the “sunshine” smile.

Hey old one up there

Where's the snow where are the lighted windows of our passing age?

You know you never told us of the bitter cold

Trying to find the heart inside each well-built cage

Still I forgive you

I would not have it any other way

I can say it only once more, I love you




Brian’s heart felt like concrete in his chest. He sat up in bed, and saw Justin struggling with the loft door. He silently crossed the floor. While Justin struggled with the door, Brian grabbed his arm. “I love you … Stay.”

“November” words and music by Peter Mulvey.

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