Powered By Props! Part Two!

When I'm in his room I stare at every corner, scan every wall; I try and memorize the colors and size and shape, intent on remembering exactly what it looks like. I would like to think that this behavior will afford me the ability to remember what it feels like to lay in his bed, and so to remember what it's like to lay and stare at the midnight greyscale contours of his back and shoulders. The nape of his neck. The slope of his arm that leads to his bass-string calloused fingers.  The way how, in the morning, he will look me full in the face with these bright blue eyes and his cheeks will dimple when he smiles.

Things here are not going as planned.

It was the week I left Brooklyn, I think, when I first began to wonder how this place, this country that I had dreamed of visiting for so long, would actually measure up to all of my expectations. I feared finally arriving and having to feign delight on the internet, that I may just have to push through these few weeks and return home accomplished, but glad to be home. Unfortunately, that's not what happened at all. It's much, much worse.

My friends here, Ben and Thao, grew up together; they've known each other since they were children and have a huge circle of friends who have all known each other since high school. And it's weird, because I've seen them, I feel like I already know them. I have watched their photos populate on the internet for years, I've seen the results of all of their parties, seen them hold their birthday gifts to their faces while posing for photos that I have seen all the way in San Francisco or Seattle or Brooklyn. Now I'm here, and I've met them, and they are all twice as wonderful as I ever thought they might be, and I never anticipated that they would welcome me so warmly and I definitely never thought I'd end up in one of their beds.

"Bang an Australian for me," Acacia messaged me before I left. My girlfriends back home are all so concerned with my heart these days, of it's fragility and how I will fare like this, and Acacia is one of those, like me, that believes in taking an active hand in such recoveries. "Yes, I will, tenfold," I told her, and that first morning, my first Sunday here when I woke up in his bed, I assumed it would be the first and last time, that I would move quickly on to the other nine.

We didn't part until early Tuesday morning.

Things here are definitely not going as planned.

"You're amazing," he tells me, often actually. I say 'he' like I still live under this weird requirement of secrecy surrounding who I'm sleeping with, but I don't these days. Not anymore. So I can tell you that he, Ryan, or Raz as he is colloquially called in his circle of friends, tends to purse his lips after he says this, tilts his chin down just a bit, and then stares right through me in this way that fucking kills me every time. I think it was about a week ago, last Friday night, when I countered with a long, drawn out "Fuck."

"What's wrong?" He asked, his brow a bit furrowed with concern.

"It just occurred to me that I actually like you. I really like you. And I don't live here."

The next morning when he dropped me off at home he mentioned how weird it was that we had only known each other a week. He meant it kind of jokingly, just to note this crazy turn of events.

It was incredibly sobering.

This isn't what I wanted, this is too hard. I didn't plan on meeting some perfect boy, I planned on meeting many seemingly perfect boys, boys with Australian accents and no last names and no consequences and who gives a fuck. I wanted to drink beers with my friends and then rifle through some unaffiliated locals, and now, instead, I flew back from Sydney eight days early to lay the long night next to this slight bassist and pretend that I never have to leave.

And it's not fucking fair, you guys. You know how you're always telling yourself that you're going to turn a new leaf, you're going to fall for better men, that you are no longer willing to settle, but then you inevitably do it again? What if you found that man that ticks all of those boxes for you--that one who is kind and gentle, who knows what he wants, who looks out for his own future, is creative and complimentary and dynamite in bed--what if you found that man and you were two different nationalities? And what if you knew full well that this might not even be real, that maybe it's just some manifestation of this foreign city and everyone in it; what if it's just his accent, or his beautiful house, or the way that he leans back lazily in his bed and aimlessly picks out an AC/DC song on his guitar? But what the fuck you guys, how am I supposed to tell the difference when this feels identical to the real thing, but I wont have enough time to find out for sure?

Things here have not fucking gone as planned, this wasn't supposed to happen. I just did this, I just left another boy in Brooklyn and cried all the way to Shanghai, and I can't handle this again. I just can't. And I think about returning to China and I can't handle it, and I can see New York in my minds eye and I want to cry, and the only place I can even imagine being other than right here in Melbourne is down south, in Atlanta, in my sister's spare room in the basement, where there's no chance that I would meet anyone new and have, again, to leave them.

I can imagine that room, the room where I stay when I'm down in Atlanta. I can see it exactly as it likely sits right now in my minds eye, and no, this isn't what I had planned. But I can remember what it feels like to be under my sister's watchful eye, under her roof, in her care. The way that, in the morning over breakfast, she will look me full in the face and smile.

We've decided were not going to talk about it, Ryan and I. Not until 16 hours before I leave. 16 exactly.

Things here are not fucking going as planned.

So my only plan now is to trade his room for hers.

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