Time for Us
John spoke with his back to Danny, but met his eyes in the mirror. “I don’t want to play the hits, I want to play what I want to play. Jesus it’s been nearly ten years since Time for Us was released and I still can’t fucking escape it.”
“You’ll never escape that shitty fucking song,” Danny took a long drag of his cigarette, “None of us will.” His smile was all stains and holes, but the tension in John’s face melted away at the sight of it.
Turning towards Danny, John puckered his lips in an exaggerated pout and batted his eyelashes, “Kiss me you old cunt.” Danny tossed the butt of his cigarette on the floor, stepping on it as he leaned in and did as he was told.
A sharp breeze startled the two men, breaking their embrace. “Fuck. You two.” Peggy’s weasely face poked through the door. She screwed up her nose and sneered at nothing for a moment before shutting the door too hard. They heard her click clacking down the hall in her hideous trademark kitten heels.
John ran his hand through his hair, exhaling with puffed cheeks into Danny’s face. “We have to do something about this. I can’t live like this anymore. Fuck the record company, let’s just tell them.”
Danny ran the back of his hand along John’s jawline and shook his head. “You’d lose everything. You’ve worked so hard to make this happen and you can’t go back now. Besides how would that look? I’m the one that discovered you, it would be a scandal.”
“The thing is, Danny, you and I both know I haven’t worked hard. Being on Look, I’m Talented is not exactly working my way through the clubs for years to get a break.” He pushed his chair out behind him and rested his elbows on his knees. “I waited in line for five hours, I sang for you, Peggy and the others and then I went on TV and won. It’s all bullshit anyway and it was fucking years ago, you think anyone cares how we met?” John took Danny’s hand in his and kissed it. “I just want to finally be able to be myself.”
“Being yourself is overrated. Trust me, I’ve been only myself for years and everyone thinks I’m a fucking asshole. Be a fraud and be loved or be who you are and be despised? I know what I’d rather. Besides,” Danny pulled John’s head to his chest, “If you finish this tour, we’ll be able to buy that little villa we wanted in Spain. You come out as bent and that dream’s over. It’s all over.”
John pushed Danny away and crossed his arms over his chest in a huff. “You really fucking date yourself when you use words like that. No one says ‘bent’ anymore. Haven’t for years. It’s not what it used to be. The world is behind us, we can get married if we want…”
“The world is not behind us. It may be behind the rest of the gays, but you’ve been defrauding the public for almost a decade, selling yourself as every housewifes’ wet dream. Saying things like ‘I just haven’t found the right girl’ on fucking daytime TV since 2006. You haven’t found the right bloody girl because none of them have fucking cocks!” Danny placed another Malboro in his mouth, lit it and inhaled deeply. “Well, you even turned your nose up at the ones that did.” Smoke pealed out from behind Danny’s smile.
John couldn’t hold in his laughter and the both of them cackled at the memory of the 2007 Thailand tour where Danny had gifted John a beautiful ladyboy only to get a slap in the face.
John grabbed Danny’s hand again and squeezed, “You’ve always been the only one for me, Danny. You’re all I know and I like it that way. I like us, but I think they would like us too.”
Peggy knocked on the door before opening it this time, “Five minutes, John. Let’s go.”
John took a last look in the mirror before standing up and facing Danny. “I could end this tonight. I could go out there right now and just say it. I could just let it come out of my mouth and see what happens.” John searched Danny’s eyes for approval, but Danny looked away. He reached behind him and held the door open and watched as John, being dragged by Peggy, headed towards the stage door.
For a moment Danny lingered with his back holding the door ajar. He shut his eyes and waited for the familiar music. His breath caught in his throat momentarily as the first few muffled bars of Time for Us reached his ears and then his lover’s voice.
more LEE ANNE HILL
photograph by Cameron Kirby