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It was a very quiet Friday night. The kind of evening that allows you to reconnect with yourself and ask yourself existential questions like: Who am I? What do I know? Where am I going?
In other words, I was bored out of my wits.
I was lying on the sofa in my living room, staring at the rain through the patio door overlooking the backyard. There was something soothing about the sound of raindrops splashing on the spiral staircase.
OK, it wasn’t the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, but it was entertaining enough for me to forget about the damned bar jammed in my back (if you have an “L” sofa, you know exactly what I’m talking about.)
I began to think about what I could do with the rest of my evening. In the end, I decided to watch Felicity… for the seventh time. The series created quite a buzz when it was first released in 1998, and it was more recently uploaded to Crave.
It’s the story of a girl (Felicity) who decides to go study in New York to follow some guy she barely knows (Ben). She then finds herself in a love triangle between Ben (the tortured bad boy) and Noel (the endearing nerd).
In short, the dream.
My dog, Brutus, was vegetating by my side. I startled him when I jumped up to get myself something to eat before watching my favourite show. My level of excitement was comparable to Brutus’ when I serve him the same dry food three times a day.
I then put my family-sized snack on the coffee table, connected Crave to my TV, and turned on the white Christmas lights in my living room to set the mood. It was October, but everyone knows that if your lights are white, you have the right to keep them on all year round.
When I settled comfortably under the afghan (I could have said “blanket”, but it’s not as fancy), I received a call from my best friend Myriam.
The odds of her calling me at an inconvenient time were pretty high, considering she called me at least four times a day to say, “I want a boyfriiiieeeend!” I want one too, Myriam, but I don’t hijack my friends’ time 24/7 for that!
“Charles, would you mind if I came to your house later? We could spoon and chat about anything and everything.”
“Okay, around what time?”
“I don’t know. Later. I’ll text you before I leave.”
That gave me at least two hours to watch a few episodes.
Je venais tout
I had just pressed “play” when I heard Grindr’s very distinctive notification sound…
Twang! (That’s me unsuccessfully trying to mimic Grindr’s notification sound.)
It was the guy I had been chatting with for a week now.
Yep, just like in Felicity.
Good evening, Charles, how are you? What are you up to on this fine, rainy Friday?
You know you’ve found a special guy on Grindr when he starts a conversation with “Good evening,” uses proper punctuation, and ends his sentences with expressions like “on this fine, rainy Friday.” Sometimes, I felt like I was talking to Jean-Paul Sartre, but oddly, it turned me on.
Hi, Ben! I’m making the most of it by reading a book. You?
Ben was studying political sociology part-time. I couldn’t very well tell him that I was watching a bad series from the 90s for the seventh time. I had to up my game a bit.
Oh, which one?
I almost replied with Madame Bovary, but I changed my mind, telling myself that I shouldn’t push my luck either.
The Life Before Us by Romain Gary.
It was a book I had read when I was a teen, but I thought it would make me look both smart and credible.
We exchanged messages like this for about twenty minutes. He told me about being stressed out about his upcoming move to his new apartment, his insecurities… and his passion for pottery. He was taking courses in Rosemont.
If you’d like to try it out, I could see if there are any places left in next week’s workshop.
I hadn’t met Ben yet. We talked a lot on Grindr, but neither of us had made a move.
But now, he had just invited me to do pottery with him.
I was FLIPPING. OUT. I was already imagining us naked, with him behind me, teaching me to do pottery with a wheel, his large hands covered in clay. I know… I’m cheesy as fuck.
I would really like that: to try pottery… And meet you. 🙂
As I wrote these words, I felt my heart jumping and dancing to a mix of tap dancing and bachata.
The inanimate couch potato that I embodied less than an hour ago was a thing of the past. I had turned into a 200-volt boosted potato, like the ones we shocked with electricity back in high school science class.
Now that we had a date, the mood felt more relaxed. We started messing around and teasing each other. The conversation was flowing, and the yellow and blue bubbles now numbered in the hundreds.
I looked at the time. 10:07 p.m. I had completely lost track of time. We had been talking for almost two hours.
Felicity could wait. I, too, had a Ben in my thoughts. As for Myriam, she still hadn’t texted me, so I figured she wouldn’t come.
As the discussion progressed, Ben and I went into total flirtation mode. Jean-Paul Sartre had changed into Ryan Gosling. Fuck “Good evenings” and punctuation. We didn’t have time for that.
Charles would you send me a few sexy pics? No pressure though 🙂
Okay but you first 😛
He then sent me three photos. One of him sitting at his desk at work (fully dressed), another where you could see his bare shoulders and his face up close, and a third, stark naked.
I already knew he was handsome from his profile picture, but I didn’t know I was dealing with someone who could be a world-class model.
His shoulders were so cut, I could have drawn them with a ruler.
His blue eyes had an insane depth. It was as though I could see all the layers of his personality in them: cerebral, vulnerable, tormented, playful, rebellious.
I knew then that I was in trouble.
Your turn 😛
Shit, I had forgotten that my “sexy” photos were in my old phone, which died.
I’ll take some new ones right now, especially for you, and I’ll get back to you in a few minutes. I promise!
As I stood up, Brutus cast me a sideways glance without turning his head, as though he was judging me. He always tended to be judgmental.
I headed for the bathroom. I couldn’t take nude pictures in my living room, because anyone in the building across the alley could see what was going on in my house, especially at night with the lights on.
At first, I was only thinking of taking a few quick pictures, but I got a little carried away. I, the one who had always been anti-app and anti-nudes, was now embarking on a photoshoot to please a handsome stranger.
I don’t know how many pictures I took. I’ve honestly lost count. I had a sizable collection worthy of Shutterstock!
From above, from below (?), in selfie mode, in front of the mirror, funny, serious, sensual, near, far, half-naked, completely naked. You name it.
Charles? Are you still there?
Ben was getting impatient. It was time for me to wrap it up. Literally.
I put the cell phone on the bathroom counter and did one last photo sprint. I set my phone to take a picture every second for two minutes as I struck poses that would make Madonna jealous.
I thought they were missing a little je ne sais quoi, so I put some lube on my chest to create a “wet” look and took out the stepladder so I could play with height.
When the two minutes were up, I checked out the photos. I didn’t recognize myself. Who was this person?!
I remained still. I thought I heard a noise, but I wasn’t sure.
I hadn’t hallucinated. Someone was knocking on my door.
I put my pants back on and went back into the living room to see Myriam’s face stuck in the patio door window.
She had the annoying habit of going through the backyard instead of the front door like everyone else.
As I walked over to let her in, I noticed she had a huge grin plastered on her face.
Myriam is the kind of girl who always has a smile on her face, but this one was closer to laughter. I thought maybe she had some good news.
“Hi Myriam! I didn’t think you were coming. You didn’t text me. What’s up?”
Ok, clearly, something was up. I felt like I was watching a Crest ad.
“I’m good! You? So, what were you up to?”
She quickly glanced at the TV with a teasing, mischievous look.
I looked at my television… And, what did I see?
My bathroom was on my TV screen.
My 55 inch HDTV.
The one I connected my cell to to watch Felicity.
The one directly facing the patio door where Myriam had been waiting for me for goodness knows how long.
Fuck, fuck, fuck.
Myriam just had a private show. She saw my body from EVERY angle—including nooks and crannies I didn’t even know existed.
That’s when I realized that my relationship with Myriam had just climbed to a whole new level.
I was no longer just her friend.
I had become the Friday night porn star.
The TV celebrity perched on a ladder with a lubricated chest.
And I knew I was going to hear about it for a long time. A very long time.
I had to say something. Anything.
“Uhhh… I was just…”
Myriam and I turned toward the TV at the same time.
“You have 3 unread messages on Grindr.”