De ce que Votre Coeur Desire: Chapter Fifteen

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De ce que Votre Coeur Desire: Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Fifteen
The Art of Being an Artist: Part Two

I did not dwell on the subject; I didn’t feel like asking questions because I knew Gerard didn’t feel like giving answers. I walked around his apartment cleaning up all the empty cans and bottles. I was surprised to see Gerard wasn’t suffering from a hangover, he wasn’t even acting drunk. It seemed he had drank much more now than he did at the bar that first night we met. Maybe it wasn’t so much the amount he was drinking, it was the reason he was drinking. It was quite clear that my actions along with his own had caused him to go haywire. He broke and let himself go with the indulgence of drink. I wasn’t going to let that happen again. I promised myself I would do everything in my power to make sure I helped him, too. To make sure, he would be saved.
As I went around the apartment cleaning Gerard talked to me about random stories. Going into detail. Some of the tales I didn’t really need or want to know the specifics for. They would be either too riskay or pointless. He was a free soul, no doubt about that so he did whatever he pleased. I enjoyed listening in on his rambling, though. At times I would zone out and forget he was talking to me and not just himself. When I first met him he was never this talkative. Now, it seemed like he didn’t want to shut up, himself! I laughed at a few parts of his stories I shouldn’t have laughed at. He looked at me funny every time but just kept on talking. I was having a good time, and I was glad I came back. I think Gerard was, too. He didn’t say it but I could see it.
I wish I would have gotten there sooner, though. Not haven been such a baby and waited it out until the next day. Part of his slip-up was my fault. I was the one who ran out of the room; I was the one who was creeped out of their fucking mind. It was all my fault. I stopped Gerard while he was in the middle of telling me another story about his mom’s friend who owned a pony and said, “Gerard, it’s my fault ya know.” I waited for a ‘yeah, I know’ but didn’t get one. I looked up from my cleaning and saw that his face was blank. He didn’t want to talk about any of that. That’s why he was telling me random stories so our conversations wouldn’t slip back into the heinous crime I caught him in. I brought my gaze away from him in utter embarrassment. Jesus Christ, Frank. Will you ever learn?
He leaned forward. I saw a faint smile out of the corner of my eye. It made me a bit confused but I “ignored” it. “You really think that?” Gerard said with a twist of his tongue. I paused for a moment then looked back up at him. “Yeah, I do.”
“Well, okay then.” He sat back against the couch and started talking again. “Wait! You think it was my fault?” I asked with a harsh tone. “That is what you said isn’t it? You think it’s your fault. Okay, may I get back to my story now?” I scoffed and stood tall on my two knees. “No! Do you think it was really my fault?” Gerard sighed, turned away, and then turned back. “No, Frank, I don’t – I don’t want to fight with you either.” I shrugged. “Sorry,” I took in a deep breath hoping this didn’t ruin the bonding mood we had going on. “You didn’t know, Frank. It’s okay.” His voice was so soft and gentile, like it had been before. I wondered what was between us now. Friendship? Or something more? Did he still feel the same way? Or was he backing out now that he discovered my true sexuality? Part of me wanted to believe Gerard back away, knowing being friends was the best we could do, but then another part of me wanted him to still want to kiss me and to hold me. I didn’t know what the fuck I was feeling. I had so many questions. I thought of asking Gerard a few of them, but after saying it was my fault – I knew it wouldn’t be the best move.
After I finished picking up everything, all the carcasses of bottles and cans and the cardboard boxes they came in something hit me that I had totally forgotten about. I threw all the trash away then walked back over to Gerard who was sitting stone cold on the couch. I sat in one of his garden chairs, sunk into it. “What is the art of being an artist?” I asked with a curious nature and bounce to my voice. I felt flamboyant asking such a question, sitting in such a bright and whimsical chair, talking to a gay creator of art. All I needed was a boa and a cup of coffee and we were good! “Oh, I never said?” I shook my head. “You didn’t get it, either?” I shook my head again, feeling a bit foolish. “Well, what do you think the art of being an artist is, Frank?” I stared out into space. “Doing what ever you want, and creating whatever you feel.” My stared was directed back at Gerard, his eyes were bright with happiness. If I didn’t know any better I swear he was holding back some tears. I had made him proud. I had said the answer I thought was true. I believed in what I was saying. Confidence gushed back at me, it glimmered in my soul as Gerard’s smile grew bigger and bigger. I hadn’t ever seen someone so happy. He was speechless, though. I could tell by the way he stuttered and fumbled. I on the other hand wanted to say so much, but didn’t know where to start. I was holding back so many things that I just wanted to spurt out.
“The art of begin an artist is doing the art that strives you to look at the world in a different light.” He finally said with a quick breath after. I was glad he was back to talking. I liked hearing his voice, especially because it tended to drown out everything else. His words were like a song that never ended. It would have to take a break sometimes but no, never ending, and I hoped it would never come to a close. It was all too beautiful.
I nodded at his statement. He glowed ever brighter when I did.
I pushed back some of my hair but it barley went anywhere. It was too short and stubbly to do anything Gerard was able to do. His was like a fucking lion’s mane! His black straight locks getting in the way of his face as he bent over himself to draw on whatever paper he could find. It was interesting to watch him in his creative mode. He was actually in it now, hunched over, using a drawing pad and fine tipped pencil for his tools. We had been sitting in silence for about an hour after me cleaning. Thoughts of art and being able to just go were still running through my head, the whole time I watched Gerard scribble lines down on the page. I wasn’t able to see what he was drawing, but I knew it had to be good, it was going to be good. He always had something up his sleeve and that wasn’t just referring to his life lessons. His art that was displayed around the room changed from scenic views to careful, perfect creations of food paintings such as rolls of bread, wine bottles, tomatoes, anything of everything Gerard seemed to paint. I liked the transitions that were up on his walls. A fine country landscape and then a beautiful city looking skyline with bright glowing windows and buildings soaring high like a bird – this picture caught my eye. It looked different from all the rest and I was determined to get a story about it out of him. To distract myself until Gerard was finished with his drawing I tried looking at some of his other pieces, but I failed, my eyes were attracted to that one painting. It was so amazing. “Gerard?” I hoped I wasn’t interrupting too badly, but by the look on his face my worries were rested. He looked perky and light all of a sudden. He had some type of airy calmness to him that I craved. “What is it like to be you?” He raised his eyebrows at this.
He chucked after an eternity of thinking. “Frank,” He paused, looked down in a bashful manner then back up me. “I can’t answer that.”
“Well, why not?” I wasn’t getting defensive. Call it – a heated conversation. “If I ask you what it is like being you, would you be able to answer?” I took a minute to think. If he asked me what if felt like being myself, what would I say? I pondered, and pondered but nothing came to me. I perked up, my eyes wide and open. “It’s impossible.” Gerard concluded after he saw my epiphany. I though to myself: it can’t be. But Gerard was right yet again. I waited for him to continue his explanation, but he decided not to. I pushed him on, asking him myself to. “Why is it impossible?” It was like he wanted me to ask because after that he came back to life. His hands moving as he prepared for his speech.
“Asking me what it is like to be me is like asking a cat what it’s like without fur.” I raised my eye brows, a weird comparison but I went with it. “The cast has never known anything but the fur on it’s body. Asking it what it is like not to have fur is useless because the cat simply doesn’t know. It has come to used to it that it never gave any thought. The same goes for asking someone what it is like to be themselves. It’s impossible for them the answer because their whole life they have only been themselves there for they have nothing to compare their experience to.”
My mouth was slightly open, my jaw hanging there as I tried to concentrate. Something about a cat; I caught that much, and then he started talking about actually people and that’s when I began to understand. “Wow.” I said, adding a little more pride to Gerard. “Do you understand now why I can’t answer that?” I nodded. I needed to come up with better questions. That was for sure.
“How do you know to talk to me!?” I spat out without thinking. Gerard, among all other things, was shocked and surprised by the question. It was a unique one that I wasn’t able to ask many people. Correction: I wasn’t able to ask anyone else.
He cleared his throat and stroked his hairless chin. “How do you think I know?” He asked with poise in his eyes. “I don’t know. That’s why I’m asking you.” This made Gerard laugh, but not for long once he caught the serious look that I had planted on my face. “Frank, you’re my age. How could I not know what’re you’re thinking? How could I not know how to talk you –?”
“You’re four years older.”
“Yeah, but – age doesn’t matter. Forget I even said anything about that.”
“Why me, Gerard?” He sighed a heavy sigh, “Because you need help.”
“So you’re not doing thing because you like me and we’re friends? You’re doing this as a pity gift?” His expression went placid. “You will never understand, Frank, even if I told you right now you would get up and leave. Just let it be.” I threw up my arms. “I can’t just let it be! You were a stranger who took me in like a stranded animal!”
“Because that’s what you –…”
“No, Gerard! Don’t beat around the fucking bush! Tell me! Just tell me!”
“Because I needed you! I still. Need you.” I felt my face flush. “I told you, you were a miracle. Did you think I was lying? No, you just didn’t understand.” I closed my eyes, I wanted this to end. “Why do you need me?” I was curious, and I really didn’t know the answer. Gerard didn’t say anything back; he simply went to his drawing and seemed to block me out. He was in his own little world now, and I was no allowed in.
“Gerard, please?” His eyes glided from the sketch pad to my face and then back down. What was he drawing? “Gerard, I really just want to know. I need to know.” This time he looked up and his eyes stayed there. “I’ve seen you so many times before, Frank. But you’ve never seen me.” I furrowed my brow. He wasn’t a stalker, was he!? No, there was something more to him than that. Gerard was far from a stalker, a creeper! It just didn’t fit him. I removed that thought from my mind. I had no idea what he meant. He was right, I had never seen him before in my life, not before the day he first came to the bar. But he had seen me? When and how? Where? For how long? I sat there staring at him as he continued to draw. I still couldn’t see the masterpiece he was probably making. I believed I was taking this information better than Gerard had expected. I was a bit proud but wasn’t about to show it. “Why have I never seen you?” One again, surprised by my question, Gerard took another break from his drawing and put his entire focus on me. “Because you weren’t looking.” I shook my head slightly. I was dazed, it all felt like some messed up dream. I let the conversation go. I let it slip through both our fingers into the invisible air. I don’t know if we’ll ever find it again, but if we do…but if we do.
I played with a string of fabric lose from my jacket. “Oh!” I almost shouted through the apartment. Gerard’s swift movements with the graphite pencil in his hand went jagged and gross. “I’m sorry!” I said just as loudly. He looked up at me from under his black bangs. “Do you have my bag? I left it here yesterday. That’s why I came in the first place.” He rose without saying a word; his feet skidded against the paint and wood floor. He led us into his bedroom. I saw my satchel lying on his bed to the right, where no one sleeps. I noticed not wrinkles and indentations on the left side which is where I figured Gerard slept. He picked it up and handed the bag to me. “I kept it safe.” He stated with a little boy grin. I smiled back, “You have no idea how thankful I am.”
“Ooh, I think I do.” I cocked my head. “Your father’s, right?”
“Uh, yeah, it was my dad’s.” Gerard let a smile slip through his pink lips. “How’d you know?”
“The initials.” Gerard pointed to the craved in the gold plate. “You’re a junior.”
“How do you know those aren’t my own initials?”
“I just know.” I looked at him and into his deep eyes filled with meaning. “Thank you, Gerard.”
“Any time, Frank.
We both walked back into the living room. It was nice to have the bag back with me. I felt so naked without it. It kept my side warm and covered my shoulder from the outside world. It was like it had become a part of me and without it, I was alone. I felt the sudden need to hug Gerard. I rushed over to him and wrapped my arms around his middle. He laughed and hugged me back, his hand trailed up the back oh my neck and stroked my hair.