Sorry to double post but here's the next chapter.
My love says that I worry far too much, and I think I probably do. But it’s not like I can help it, it’s an essential part of who I am… a bit of a worrier. Hycinthus has not phoned me and I am worried that I will receive news that he has harmed himself, grievously. What does his parents do that hurts him, that cuts into his heart? What is his social life like? Does he even have one? Should I ask if he does have one? Who has dared betray this surprisingly kind and gentle person? Questions swim – with increasing entropy – in my head searching for answers like a Sperm Whale searching for Giant Squid to devour and digest.
I open the blue-covered notebook, anxious to write more in it about the young man who I have come to care about greatly. I have not fallen in love with him but I care greatly about his well being, physical and emotional. In the way that an older brother wishes the best upon beloved younger sibling. I hear a soft knock at the door, and concealing my emotions effortlessly, I call, “Enter.”
Hycinthus walks silently in, his sneakers padding softly against the blue carpet and he gently closes the door behind him. When he turns to face me, I am highly relieved to see he has not been crying again. I smoothly gesture for him to sit in the squishy chair that sits in front of my desk as I greet him cordially. “ Please sit, Cinth. How have you been?” I no longer feel any of my previous anxiety and I smile easily at the boy, it’s hard not to feel good around the smaller man and harder not to show emotions that could possibly mean the complete death of a block. I only show emotion to my lover, ‘Lex, and now, Hycinthus.
“Not too bad,” he murmurs quietly. He glances at me, pulling his legs up onto the chair, catching my eyes with his own, his face gentle, and asks, “How come you always wear that pin on the collar of your shirt?”
I smile easily at him, feeling completely unashamed in telling the thinner man, “This pin is to outwardly express my sexuality, so people around me who understands what it means will know.” I look at him, now a bit apprehensive, and ask, “Do you have any problem with me being a homosexual?” I attempt to stop myself from caring if he does have a problem with it but I can not. I wish for him to accept me. I chew on my fingernails, a terrible habit.
“Of course I do,” he drawls, and my shoulders start to fall, but then he continues, “Since I’m a queer, of course I can’t accept another faggot.” He smiles at the look of mock pain and outrage from me. His smile becomes his normal soft crooked smile as he speaks, “No offence but I don’t feel any attraction toward you, sir.”
I laugh after dropping my – obviously fake – outrage. “None taken, I feel the same way. I already have a man of my own, thanks. And it’s Maddox, ‘member?” I lean my head on my hand and push my dark sunglasses up on my forehead with the other. When I notice him biting his lip, I ask, “What’s wrong?” I am very concerned, did I do something wrong?
Hycinthus sucks his lip into his mouth, mercilessly abusing the poor appendage and says, “I’m not supposed to call you that anymore.” He hangs his head down in shame and disappointment, at least I believe so anyway and I am fairly good at reading people’s body language.
I tilt my head and look at the boy, confused by what he said. “…What? Why?” I ask him, sitting up straighter in my chair as I watch his rhythmic swaying, the movement seems almost hypnotic.
“Mother heard me referring to you by your given name. I am no longer allowed to call you Maddox, sir,” he murmurs sullenly and continues for all of three words. “It’s not professional.”
I can barely restrain myself for a feral growl. How dare she, it’s my life, and Hycinthus’ choice to call me what he wants. I keep my anger and loathing for this… this woman off my face, lest Hycinthus feel that my displeasure is aimed toward him and not his mother, whom deserves my wrath. His self-esteem is damaged enough without him thinking that I am displeased with him. I pause for a minute to calm my seething and simmering emotions and watch as Hycinthus fidgets nervously, disrupting his rocking motions, and then I speak. “Well, then we need to come up with something else for you to call me. I dislike being called Doctor Onyx, it makes me feel so old. My father is a paediatrician and that’s what people call him,” I explain my eyes on the redhead.
His lips quiver as if he is about to start crying. “I’m sorry,” he tells me bowing his head, hiding both of his dark eyes.
“S’not your fault,” I say, waving off his apology, trying to show it is unneeded between us. “Let’s think of something else, hunh?”
I close my eyes and I allow the sound of my own shallow breathing and my pulsating heart to overwhelm me; allowing myself from my normal flowing cold apathy felt toward much of the world that surrounds me, a world that wishes to rip and tear and maim the hearts and souls of good people, like Hycinthus. Nothing comes to my thoughts as to what he could possibly call me; I have always just been Maddox. That’s all, no nicknames. After five minutes of quiet reflection, Hycinthus’s quiet voice breaks through my self-imposed fog, “Doctor Dox.”
My eyes snap open quickly and my eyes attempt to capture his but he avoids looking directly at me. I tilt my head again and I ask him, “I beg your pardon?”
“Doctor Dox,” he repeats more loudly this time. “Your title and then the last three letters of your given name. That way you don’t have to be thought of as your father,” he murmurs, his crooked smile unconsciously sliding onto his child-like face.
I beam brightly at him before I can stop myself, my restraint flies out the window when I am around this intriguing young man. I lean forward no longer trying to hide my smile as he seems so happy that I am pleased with him and I tell him my thoughts as they zip though my mind, “You’re brilliant! My parents have been on me like a kid who wants candy to become more professional,” I exclaim, mocking my parents as was my other bad habit, my cruel and sardonic sarcasm. Without realising what I am doing; like a puppet on it’s strings, like a marionette; my body stands and walks to the naïve young man and hug the boy’s bony shoulders. I freeze as I hug him, still as a statue, and pull away quickly. I should not have done that, and my whole body becomes limp as I apologise, “Sorry.”
He looks up at me, his eyes wide and his face flushing lightly as I am sure mine is and he asks, his voice really timid, “Why did you do that?”
“I apologise sincerely,” I tell him, looking down at my feet instead of his face. “It was beyond unprofessional. I hope you will forgive me for this indiscretion.” I refuse to meet his eyes, which I can feel trained on my face, seemingly searching.
“But…” he says, pausing for a moment. I feel so ashamed, now he will never fully trust me. “Why did you do that?” he repeats, sounding confused but not horrified. “Only Helena ever touches me… and Judas, if he wanted something.”
I shift from foot to foot, my nerves overwhelming me with great worry. The only time I have been more nervous was when I asked Alex to move into my house with me. Like back then I am fearful of rejection and scorn. Despite my qualms with revealing irrelevant information about myself, I tell him the truth, he deserves it, “It is something I do with my partner, Alex, when I am excited or elated. I should not have–”
“Don’t,” Hycinthus commands in a quiet but calm voice. I am completely shocked and pleasantly surprised that he interrupted me, it shows that if he needs to he will speak forcefully, it seems if he were bitten he would bite back. “I didn’t mind the hug, and, truthfully, I still don’t. It felt… nice.” He blushes as he says this and he valiantly continues, despite his embarrassment, “People don’t generally touch me.”
The puzzle pieces click rapidly into place in my head. His shyness, the jump he gave in the first block when my alarm went off, the way he only peeks at people – not looking directly at them, his abrupt changes in mood, his fondness for his twin whom he has said touches him and comforts him, his skittishness, his social awkwardness, his self harm, the fact that he wants to escape reality, the way he said no one took care of him, his reluctance to allow himself to hope for normal human desires, his distaste for other people – especially his parents, his reluctance to go home, his sarcasm and demure attitude, it all makes sense to me now. He has been denied the comfort from an adult; maybe his Father or Mother rejected him outright and crushed his belief in adults, crushed the belief that they will help him. He thinks he’s not good enough for affection and that I don’t want to touch him as well.
I bend down to the sitting man so our nearly black eyes are nearly at the same level, my eyes slightly higher, showing dominance. “Cinth,” I say quietly, making the red-head look me in the eyes. “Hycinthus, I… it’s not that I don’t want to touch you. It’s that I thought you would be uncomfortable with someone you have known for such a short amount of time having physical contact with you.” I say his full name to denote how serious I am. He nods solemnly; he probably has no clue what to think; I – whom he does not know well – am telling him that I care about him, mostly through body language, and his own parents, I’m assuming, won’t have any contact with him. He doesn’t know what to believe; me, whom he cares about but does not understand, or his instincts, which have been the only things that have guided him thus far.
I walk back to my chair, another soft and squishy high-backed chair. “Now,” I say, calmly sitting down and looking at him. “Let us begin, who is Judas and what is his place in your life?” I ask, gently nudging the wheel that begins a conversation. This is what I live for, the conversations that bring epiphany; that and Alex.
“Judas Zephyr,” he begins, starting to sway again, forward and back at approximately 0.3Hz, his baseline. “He was my boyfriend, the only one I’ve had so far. Tall and bulky, he worked out a lot. Shoulder length platinum blond hair, a bit messy, and these narrowed green eyes. It was like he was constantly mocking those around him like, he was better than they were, but he was very popular. Especially with girls,” he tells me, closing his eyes.
“Then why was he your boyfriend and not one of those girls’ boyfriend?” I ask the man, truly confused. Why would Hycinthus date a straight man? That’s just asking for hurt and heartbreak. I close my eyes and listen calmly to his explanation.
His tenor voice grows softer as he continues to speak. “He approached me,” he explains, tapping his forefingers together, “He asked me to date him. He…” Hycinthus pauses for a full minute before continuing to speak. “He offered me the poisoned chalice, a chance to be the first guy with him.” The man glances at me, eyes hooded, increasing the speed of his rocking. “That should have sent bells of warning chiming in my head. Shoulda been like an electric collar warning a recalcitrant dog away from the boundary of a property. I… I was a mere experiment to him – one that failed. A simple toy. But he strung me along like an imprinted baby hawk; chirping, hoping for approval of the human who saved the tiny, pathetic thing.”
I barely keep myself from wincing at the anger and pain the younger man is showing, it is almost frightening to see the quiet, child-like man become angry. It is almost as if vitriol is coming off of him in pulses and waves. “How long did you date him?” I ask, hoping the smaller man’s innocence had not been taken from him. It would be a devastating blow that I don’t know if I could help him with on top of all his other problems.
I watch for signs of pain but I do not detect more suffering than usual. I gently slide my foot out, checking for thin ice; continuing my inquiry. “How long ago was that?”
“Two years,” he tells me, looking to my face, searching for… something – though for what I am not sure of. “It was the day after my sixteenth birthday he asked me out. I should have said no.”
“‘Tis better to have loved and lost’,” I quote quietly to him.
Hycinthus finishes the quote, returning the frequency of his sways to his baseline, his equilibrium. “‘Than to have never loved at all’. I know,” he says solemnly. Hycinthus tilts his head curiously to the right and asks, “Do you think that’s true, Dr. Dox?”
I smile wryly at him and tell him the truth, “I wouldn’t know about that. I’ve been with the same person for just over twelve years.”
Hycinthus’ jaw drops open; his mouth wide open, showing his chipped and slightly crooked teeth. His eyes are wide with what I assume is shock as he questions me excitedly, “Twelve years? That’s gotta be more than half your life.”
I laugh, running my fingers through my short hair and smirking. “No,” I tell him, grinning, “it’s not. I’m older than twenty-four.” I continue to laugh as he shakes his head vehemently.
Hycinthus actually grins at me, instead of his shy-and-sad smile, a beaming smile, and says, “I don’t believe it. You can’t be more than five years older than I am. You look too young to be older than that.” He flicks his shaggy hair out of his right eye, his previous misery forgotten for the time being.
And I am glad to keep it that way, for now. “I’m nine years older than you are,” I tell him, still smiling. “Twenty-seven.” I am pleasantly surprised that he younger man voiced his opinion, showed me conclusively that he… he has a mind of his own. That he will think for himself. This… this is progress.
“No way!” Hycinthus exclaims, his mouth curved into a half-grin, only half of his mouth shifting. “You’re nearly thirty!” Quickly, he looks ashamed of himself. He babbles at a speed at which I nearly don’t understand, “Well, I know thirty’s not that old and all, but I just thought – expected ch’u to be younger, I mean ch’u look younger than that – not that ch’u–”
I start laughing harder and wave his ranting off. “No need to apologize,” I say, grinning like an idiot whom does not know that he is an idiot. “I’ve been thought to be seventeen years old within the last few years. At least you have the right decade.” My alarm blares to life, startling him. Aww, damn. “Time for you to go.” I sigh, trying not to show that I also dislike that he must leave my office. “I have another session soon.” I tell him quietly.
He stands and walks to the door with slow, paced strides; prolonging his stay. He pauses in the doorway and turns back to me. He looks me again in the faces as I slide my sunglasses back in front of my dark eyes. “Why do you not call us patients?” he asks.
I raise an eyebrow, not quite understanding the question. “Hmm?”
‘Those who come here,” he says, his eyebrows furrowing together in concentration. “You call them sessions not patients. Why?”
I give the younger man a small smile. “Because,” I tell him serenely, “you are not receiving medical treatment.”
“Eh?” He looks like a small child, his eyes mostly closed, his nose scrunched up and his lips tightly together in confusion. His head is cocked to the side; his messy hair looking like the mane of an adolescent lion. “Then… what am I receiving from you?”
“You,” I say, pausing so my word have time to settle in his highly receptive mind, “You are receiving a long needed release. You kept everything bottled up – your pain, your anger – and now you are releasing your suffering and I am here to help you understand that pain. Not to destroy it, but to learn to live with it and not let it hurt you any longer. Do you understand what I mean?” I ask him the question even though I know he doesn’t. Not yet.
“Not really,” he murmurs, mostly likely ashamed of his ignorance.
“That’s alright,” I tell him soothingly, the way a person would speak to a wounded animal. “You don’t need to.” He smiles his crooked little smile at me as he clicks the door closed, and I smile serenely back. I open Hycinthus’ spiral-bound book and I write about the block.
--Good progress is being made. Cinth has asked questions--
--and shows more back bone. Very intelligent and inquisitive.--
--Sense of humour is now very apparent and appreciated,--
--by me anyway. Listens to parents despite being an adult,--
--needs to move away from them. Very submissive. Generally--
--is not touched. Ex boyfriend caused him grief. Judas--
--Zephyr. Judas in dictionary is a person who betrays--
--a friend. Zephyr «offered him the poisoned chalice»--
--something offered that seems attractive but is likely to--
--cause problems to the one receiving it. Strong use--
--of satire. If he gains confidence he could be a good socialite.--
--Still uses morbid comparisons. Seems to be dispassionate--
--about love. Does not understand this is to help him--
--not for his parents pleasure. Does not judge age well. He seems--
--to have been severely neglected by adults. Hmm…--
--in the Greek Myth of Hyacith or Hyacinthus,--
--Hyacinth was loved by Apollo and was killed--
--by a jealous Wind God, Zephyrus Maybe I should--
--tell him this myth. I hope… I hope that I--
--can help him get better.--
As I draw a dash across my page, one of my newer sessions walks in. I close Hycinthus’ blue-covered book and get out Jonathan’s notebook. “Hello John.”
Last edited by Keiran
on Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 am, edited 1 time in total.