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  NIGHTSPOTS

BEING CONTINUED
No cake needed, no candles necessary
by AK Miller
2012-07-04

This article shared 1664 times since Wed Jul 4, 2012
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It was 102 degrees on my 22nd birthday. I worked an eight-hour shift at the cafe, brewing coffee and dumping it over ice for unappreciative college students who didn't have to work. I walked to the beach as soon as I was done, coffee grounds caked under my nails, steam rising from my chest and throbbing in my feet. Tired, lonely and without any of the typical beach accoutrements, I laid my shirt out towel-style and rolled my shorts up as high as I could before jumping into the lake's healing, cool water. With the sweat washed off, I collapsed and dried in the grueling sun. I used my birthday wish for the humidity to give over to some rain. I was almost asleep—or passed out—when a voice said, "Hey! Hey you. You want to play catch with me?" I looked up and saw a beautiful guy around my age with big, brown eyes, cauliflower ear, and a smile stretched wide across his face. A football was clutched in the crook of his arm. Having never touched a football in my young, gay life I answered, "Sorry. I don't know how." He offered his hand to pull me up from the sand and chirped, "C'mon, I'll show you." I consented, knowing that it would allow me to continue looking at him. I hoped that I didn't look like much of a fool. I'm sure I did, but it was worth it to have his body close to mine, showing me the proper way to cock my shoulder, or elbow, or whatever. It was nice. He smelled like sunblock and athlete. He told me he was Brett from Iowa and he was in Chicago on a wrestling scholarship. We tossed the ball back and forth and shared our stories of escape from our small, midwestern towns. I saved money and ran; he wrestled until he won a way out. It turned out that with some practice, I was actually pretty good at the whole playing catch deal. After an hour or two maybe, we were drenched and out of breath. My shoulder was killing me, but I didn't care. We set off for the water. The unrelenting sun was finally starting to set. Once submerged to our necks, he put one arm around my waist an another around my shoulders. He said, "The color of your eyes is a cross between the water and the sky." At the time, it was the closest thing to "I love you" that I had ever heard. I kissed him and it started to rain. He said, "It looks like a storm is coming. We should probably find some shelter." As far as I was concerned, I finally had.

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