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"Do you have a lover?"
"Interesting terminology, but yes I suppose he's a lover of sorts."
"I don't understand."
"How about you let it be as it is and leave it well alone?" He slumps forward in his chair, scrubbing spidery fingers through his mess of curls. "What I don't get is you kids' constant obsession with slapping a label on every slightly confusing or misunderstood thing you see. Gay, lesbian, bisexual… have I forgotten any?"
He throws his hands to the ceiling dramatically as if I've just proven a point. "Just touch whoever makes you feel good- or no one at all- and let it be!"
He continues to look exasperated for a few minutes before taking in my perplexed expression. He sits a little straighter, fingers to his temple. "I understand that some people really are confined to liking one gender- or none at all- and thats ok. Most people, however, are not like that. It's an endless whirlwind of thoughts and ideas inside a persons head and they are constantly changing. One might just decide as they are drinking their morning coffee that they like one gender exclusively and they start to define themselves as that label. Soon they're subconsciously denying themselves pleasure and company that could make them happy because they've locked themselves into this little box of self-denial. Do you get what I'm trying to say?"
I hesitate. "So… people are trying to define themselves through their sexual orientation, but in the process denying themselves of their true needs?"
He huffs a laugh, "ironic, isn't it?"
I mull that over for a while, then, "you're… lover. Tell me about him."
He hums fondly, slumping back, softening, and a small smile plays at his lips. I watch as this absurd, erratic man in front of me seems to travel back in time. The years slip away and he looks kinder, more carefree. I can almost see the memories playing like a film in the light of his eyes.
"He was quite the spitfire. Much more than myself. We chased each other across the stars… well, he chased me. I was always running off, but he would've had me tied down in one place- and I mean that quite literally. We never would have lasted if I had stuck; he was completely insufferable."
I realize he is referring to this man in the past tense, but I feel like it would be inappropriate to ask him about it. "And I suppose you're a little ray of sunshine yourself?"
"You certainly thought I was at first."
"Yeah, well, never meet your heroes, right?"
He nodded, a bit distractedly, and his eyes were still distant as if he were still traveling the skies with his faceless partner.
"You didn't settle together?"
"The fun is in the chase, never in the capture."
"No, now you're just quoting Doctor Who."
"It fit the situation. It's a good quote. The world is old, as am I, and originality is near impossible."
"You keep using your age as an excuse. How old are you exactly?"