The Way God Made Us

by Evelyn Floyd

It felt wrong what we were doing, but I didn't ask him to stop. I'd told him I wanted to give it a try, and he'd seemed so pleased at my willingness. There was a sharp stinging sensation as he pushed himself against me from behind. His finger was in my mouth, which he'd put there so I could warn him when it was too much to bear. I thought about biting down, as he said I should do if I wanted him to pause, to give me time to get used to it, but I didn't want him to think I was weak. I had told him I was ready, and so we were giving it a try. It was my first time.

I grunted to let him know I was not comfortable with it, and he murmured in my ear to be patient, that it would stop being uncomfortable soon. I nodded but I was not feeling good. I didn't want to disappoint him; I wanted him to be proud of me, so I tried to ignore my distress and I stopped complaining even though I wanted him to stop, because it just seemed wrong to do this thing. I felt queasy and afraid. There was a sharp pain, and I bit down on his finger. He tried to soothe me with reassuring words, but they were empty hollow things, they meant nothing to me at the moment and I found myself hating him all of a sudden.

"You said we could stop if I didn't like it," I pleaded with him, "Well I don't want to do it anymore, so take it out." He told me just a little more, and then it would be over. A minute or so later he stopped, pausing and breathing hard, saying that he was in halfway. "Just finish so I can go home." I half-sobbed, no longer wanting to participate in this unnatural act. He tried to console me, reaching up to caress my hair, but I was angry and snapped at him, "Go ahead and screw me if you want, and be done with it already, I just want to go home." I turned my head to glare at him, to show him I wasn't happy being under him like that. He stopped, and the look on his face was one of anger and disgust, as if I had failed him somehow.

He pulled away from me, and I heard him sigh. He was quitting, and as he wiped the towel against my butt and my balls, I asked him what was wrong. I wanted to know why he was stopping, because I knew he'd really wanted to do it with me. He sighed heavily and replied, "I don't want you like this, not if you can't enjoy it. I'm not a monster, I am not going to force you. If you really don't want to do it, then we won't. I was just hoping that you'd like it once we got started."

He turned away, wiping himself off now. It wasn't a trick; he wasn't pretending to stop so that he could convince me to try some more. He was truly upset that I wasn't as ready as I'd said I was, and he didn't want to force me. I said I was sorry and that I couldn't help that it felt wrong. It was then he told me something I had never heard him say before.

"Of course it feels wrong, because it is wrong, in the eyes of everybody, including God. God made us queer, but he didn't give us a way to express our love that wouldn't feel wrong. I think God made gay people as some sort of sick cosmic joke, and He finds it hilarious that we have to express our love like this, by putting our dicks into each other's asses. I think it is wrong too, but what can we do, what can any homosexual person do? We have hands and mouths, and we can do that, but how can we be coupled together like straight people do? How can we share our souls and ourselves with each other? Just because queers don't have babies, that doesn't mean that queers can't love each other. I love you so bad it hurts my heart that we can't be a perfect union together, and I want to show you that I love you, but how can I do it? I want to be one with you, like the straight dudes are with women, but the only way is to put my dick up your butt, because God made us have to do it that way. It is the most terrible thing in the world to be gay, and yet, we can't change it; no more than we can change our eye color or what race we are. We are who we are, and God must be laughing His stupid ass off at the trouble He has forced us to endure. We can't even make love, because we are denied that simple pleasure by our fouled up biology. It must be true, God must really hate fags." He was screaming now, angry at everything and everyone, and more importantly, I think he was mad at God. It was the first time I'd ever heard speak of God as a real thing; I'd always assumed that he was a non-believer.

I reached for him, to hold him, to try and calm his madness, and he struggled to pull away from me, but then, he saw I was trying to help; not trying to hurt him, and he let himself sink into my arms. It felt strange, for he was twelve years older than me, and yet, I was the one offering him comfort. He began to cry, and that scared me even worse than the attempt at sex had scared me. He was like a lost child, trapped inside a full grown man, and I felt my heart breaking for him. We both sobbed for a long time, both of us crying to each other and for each other, and then I think I must have dozed off for awhile.

When I awoke, I was alone on the bed, and the house was dark. I sat up and looked around the room. He wasn't here. Where was he? Surely he didn't leave? This was his house, I was the guest here. So where was he? I didn't know, and that frightened me. Seeing him break down earlier had been a shock, he'd always seemed so assertive and sure of himself.

I climbed out of his bed and pulled on my shorts. As I got dressed, I looked around the room. There were mementos on all four walls; things he'd brought back from his travels around the world. He'd been in the Navy for a six year tour, traveling around the world on the government's dime; as he called it, until he finished his duty to the service. Then he spent another seven years traveling around Europe and visiting all the places he'd heard about. Now he lived here, in this house on the beach. Every item in that room had a story behind it, and I'd heard many of his stories. He always told good stories, that was one of the things that made me so fond of him. As I got to know him, I had learned that he was gay and he helped me to understand that I was, too. I'd always known I was different than other guys, and he helped me to learn to love myself despite what I'd been told. I padded barefoot through his house, looking for my friend, but the house was dark, empty, and silent. I felt my heart begin to beat fast again. I had a thought that he might have done something terrible to himself. Not that I'd ever seen him show any inclination towards suicide, but it was possible. Anything was possible when you were gay and couldn't find anyone to love you. Being gay was the loneliest thing in the whole world. Even just having one friend who understood you could save you from dark thoughts. I knew about dark thoughts; I'd had them ever since I figured out why I didn't think about girls like my school mates did. Before I found him, my days and nights had been so lonely.

I heard a snap; it was a familiar sound and it was coming from outside. I went to the sliding door that led out onto the deck and I saw it was open wide, the breeze off the water blowing the curtains into the house. I went onto the deck and saw the chairs where we'd been sitting earlier, our empty wine glasses still on the table. I heard the snapping sound again and I looked towards the beach. There was a fire down there, and as I watched it, there was a sudden dimming of its' light as something passed in front of it. I knew that something had to be him.

I walked down the wooden steps and onto the sand, which was still warm from the sun, and I moved towards him. I spoke his name while I was still twenty feet away. He spoke my name in return, as if he wasn't surprised I was there; as if he'd been expecting me. I went towards the fire as he stood on the other side of it, and I saw that he was naked. I knew that he liked to be nude; it was a habit he picked up while living in the French Riviera. Nudism was one of his regular habits, but he only practiced it at home. There was a nude beach a few miles away from his house, but he never expressed a desire to go there.

His beach was private; he'd paid a lot of money for this house and this private beach, and yet, he was only nude in his house or outside after dark. Watching the way the fire light glinted off of his muscular body was fascinating. I was aroused by it, but not just in a sexual way. I found him to be a fascinating person; and it was the whole package, not just his body, but his mind as well. He was perfect, it seemed, in every way to me. I not only liked him, I wished to be just like him, instead of the gawky teenage boy I was. Well, I wouldn't be nineteen forever, I thought. Someday I'd be a man, and my clumsy ways would be behind me.

As I stared at him, watching the fire light glinting off the different planes and curves of his body, he seemed to be lost in his own thoughts, as if I wasn't there. I felt like I was intruding and turned to go. "I guess I'll see you later." I said as I began walking back towards the house. I'd gone about five steps when he called out, "Wait." I stopped and turned back around. He came over to me and put his arm around my shoulders, and he said, "I'm sorry for earlier."

I frowned. What was he apologizing for? Was it the botched attempt at sex? The screaming and crying? The botched sex was my fault, not his. He had no reason to apologize, everything he had said was true. I felt it as strongly as he did, but I was unable to express myself as well as he did. I put my arm around his waist tentatively and I felt him relax against me. I enjoyed being near him and I liked how his skin felt warm from being near the fire. I looked up at him and replied, "You don't need to apologize, you didn't do anything wrong." He smiled at me in the darkness, I knew he was smiling even though I could barely see his face in the gloom of night. He smiled a lot, and that was another thing that attracted me to him. His smile seemed to make all the dark thoughts go away, and I liked to see him smile at me. It made me feel normal. It made me feel loved. It was an awesome feeling.

"Do you want to sit by the fire with me?" he asked. I reached down to put my hand in his and said yes. He gripped my hand firmly and led me back to the fire where we sat side by side on the sand, facing out towards the ocean where the waves lapped softly at the beach. We sat together with our backs to the darkened house. We didn't speak; there was no need to and we sat there, staring into the flames and occasionally tossing another piece of wood in, watching the sparks of the disturbed coals fly upwards into the clear and empty sky. The sparks went up and up and disappeared in the blackness to join with the stars. Just being together, our bodies barely touching as we sat together on the sand, holding hands; that was all we needed. After a long time, he began to speak. I knew that he needed to talk, so I just sat and listened, and only answered when he asked me a question.

"I've been all over the world, and I've seen things I would have never imagined I'd ever see. I've seen places so wonderful that the sight of them took my breath away, and all I could do was stand there dumbly and stare. Some of them were natural wonders, places where the earth had gone unchanged for thousands of years, and I felt awe at just being near them. Others were great structures built by ancient civilizations, and they too, seemed incredible in their design. There are so many wonderful places on earth, places where a man would think that God had made these things just because he could. I can't remember them all, but sometimes, the ones I've forgotten come to me in dreams, and that profound sense of wonder fills my mind as I sleep." He paused, as if remembering his dreams, or remembering the places he could recall, and I felt a sense of isolation that filled my mind in a way I couldn't describe. It was the same sort of loneliness I felt when I looked up at the night sky and saw the millions of stars way out there in outer space. Those stars had existed for millions of years; they were the same stars that the dinosaurs had seen, until one of them came down and destroyed their world 65 million years ago. I shivered and he asked if I was cold. I murmured no, saying that I was warm enough. He put his arm around me anyway, pulling me close and he began to speak again, in the same soft tone of voice.

"I've seen terrible things, too. I've seen the aftermath of earthquakes and hurricanes, of wars and of people being cruel to each other over reasons like religion, or skin color, or..." and he paused, shuddering himself, "sexuality." I knew what he was talking about; gay people were all too aware of how the straight people saw them. Straight people thought gays were an abomination, a festering disease upon the earth, something that needed to be eradicated, like a sickness or something. Not all straight people felt that way, but enough of them did that it mattered who you came out to when you were gay. He began talking again, interrupting my thoughts, or perhaps reading them, I wasn't sure.

"It isn't easy being gay in this world; I often wonder if there is a world out there," he pointed towards the stars, "where people like us; where gay people are as accepted as easily as the flowers or the trees. I wonder if there is a place that being gay or being straight is the same as being like grains of sand on a beach, a place where everybody accepts everybody else, not for who they love, but for their character. For their soul." He sighed and I put my arm around his ribs, taking comfort in being near him. He turned to look at me and he hugged me against his side. "You understand, don't you?" he asked. I said that I did. "I love you, Pete." I said, and suddenly I felt stupid for saying it.

He hugged me tighter and replied, "I love you, too. I love you so much that it scares me, because I'm afraid for you... for us." He paused, and I waited for him to say more, but he simply sat silent at my side, holding me, my head on his shoulder. I felt the tears start to come again, and I felt stupid for having them, for crying for no good reason. I sniffed and wiped roughly at my eyes. He asked if I was crying, and I foolishly said no. He stared at my face, obviously seeing the tears running down my cheeks and he chuckled. "Well, you must have had too much to drink, because the wine is leaking out of your eyes." I laughed at his little joke, and I answered his question honestly, "Yes, I'm crying, but I don't know why, I guess I'm just stupid."

He hugged me and replied, "No, you aren't stupid; you just have a soft heart, you are a very loving young man and you shouldn't be afraid to show your emotions. I think that's what I love most about you, my young friend, the fact that you have empathy for others. You can see how things are, and if that makes you stupid, then I'm even dumber than you." We sat silent for awhile, leaning against each other and staring at the flames. The fire was dying down and we'd run out of wood to feed it, and soon it was just a pit of orange and grey coals in the sand, occasionally sending up a random spark or a wisp of smoke. I shivered and this time, it was because I was chilled. He disentangled himself from me and stood up, stretching his arms up with his hands clasped over his head. I watched him, and I felt my heart beat a little faster at the sight of his incredible body. He was built like prize fighter or a boxer. He was like a god, or a warrior, and I loved him. He then relaxed, bringing his arms back down and he put his hand in mine again. I climbed to my feet with his help, and we held hands as he led me back towards the house. I felt so safe and comfortable with him, and while I might have balked at holding anyone else's hand, holding his just felt right. He led me into the house and we went into the kitchen. He asked if I wanted coffee. I looked at the clock and replied that it was pretty late for coffee. He glanced at the clock and said, "So it is." and asked if I wanted something else instead. I said a glass of water would be fine. He got the pitcher out of the fridge, poured me a glass of water over ice and then began to prepare the coffee pot.

He explained that he probably was going to stay up all night, so he'd have to make coffee. I nodded, knowing that he kept odd hours, and I wished that I didn't have to go. I drank the water he'd poured for me as I watched him make his coffee, and it no longer seemed strange to see him naked in his kitchen. It seemed perfectly normal and suddenly I felt overdressed, even though all I had on was a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. I studied his body, seeing that he was tan all over, and he was rather hairy as well. Not hairy like an ape, but hairier than I was. He had broad shoulders and a narrow waist, and his arms and legs were well muscled. He had a few tattoos scattered across his arms and shoulders, and there were some pretty terrible scars on his back. I knew where he'd gotten those scars; he'd told me the story behind them once. When he turned to face me, he caught me staring at him. He smiled, because he'd caught me staring at his body. It wasn't sexual, well not totally. He knew how he looked naked and he enjoyed the attention.

"You should take a picture." he said with a grin, and I replied that I didn't want to break my camera. We both laughed and he moved to sit on the kitchen stool on the other side of the counter from me. I stood there, feeling content, but a little troubled. I wanted to ask him something, but I wasn't sure how to phrase it. He seemed to notice I wasn't ready to leave just yet, and he said, "Well, spit it out, I know you want to ask something, so go ahead and say it."

I finished my water and set the glass down, listening to the ice cubes clink together as the glass hit the counter a little too hard. Finally, I screwed up enough courage and I asked him, "Earlier, when you were yelling about God making gay people all wrong, about how we... about how gay people aren't the same as straight people... about how it's a sick joke," I paused, unable to finish the thought. He nodded, and replied, "Yeah, it sounded pretty crazy, didn't it? I'm sorry. Sometimes, I get angry about the way things are, and I sort of lose my mind." He smiled at me and I smiled back. Suddenly I felt nervous, and I wasn't sure why.

"But did you mean it, I mean, about God playing a joke on gay people?" I asked, wanting to know what he really thought. He sighed and said, "Listen, I think about a lot of things, and some of them sound good in my head but then they sound nutty when I say them out loud. If you are asking if I believe in God; no, I don't think there is a god. If there is, He's a fucking prick and a cruel bastard, but personally, I don't believe in any sort of gods. I think it's just a bunch of made up nonsense." I nodded, because I had begun to feel the same way. My parents were religious, and they expected me to believe in the same god they did, but personally, I found the whole concept kind of dumb. God was like Santa Claus, and I stopped believing in Santa Claus a long time ago. I told him thank you for explaining it to me, even though I wanted to know more. He smiled again and said, "Hey, I'll walk you to the door." I felt him put his hand to my shoulder and he pulled me close, and then I felt him kiss me on the neck. I turned my head and pressed my lips against his. It felt good and it felt right, and I liked it. We were holding hands again as we walked through his house, and I realized that I didn't want to leave yet, even though I knew I had to go home.

He then turned me loose at the front door, and he let me out, telling me good bye. He watched me walk out to my car, get in, and he waved as I began to back out of his driveway. When my headlights were shining on the front of his house, I saw him close his door and then he was gone. I drove home, my mind full of all sorts of thoughts, and my parents were asleep when I let myself in. I went to my room and crawled into bed, and I lay there for the longest time, and I felt like I was the last man on earth. Then I thought of Pete and I realized just how much that I loved him. He made me feel like everything would be okay.

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