This snippet is a little long, but it’s one of my favorites–couln’t make myself cut it down 🙂 Bruce is with Alasdair, and he’s rmemebering what it was like to feel too much sometimes. Our Bruce is a bit of a sensualist–
Against his better judgment, he closed his eyes, aware of Alasdair staring at him, almost willing him to remember, to picture his thoughts. He gave in to him and let his mind wander. He had always been sensitive even as a kid, loving the smells of the lakeshore at his childhood home in Granby, the crunch of fall leaves under his feet, the banter of people fishing on the dock. He remembered running through the woods in summer wearing just shorts and tennis shoes, jumping over rocks and logs, feeling his body singing, the wind he generated rushing through his hair. He could do the same thing in winter ice skating on the lake, just flying, stretching out his arms. He would come in from outside and just stand in the kitchen sniffing the air while his mother was cooking, tasting it and smelling it at the same time, until she kicked him out to take a shower. That was a treat for his senses on another level altogether. And the dishes. Bruce always did the dishes from the time he was barely four years old, right after supper with no complaints, because he enjoyed it, enjoyed the smells, the soap and hot water, the clang of the pots and pans.
When they had gone to Mass on Sundays and holy days, he was never banished to the children’s area, where all the other young kids had to go. His mom had tried it once, but he had pitched such a fit that they had to take him back with them. His parents shook their heads in puzzlement, because he quieted immediately when they sat down in the pew. He was too mesmerized by everything to even think about misbehaving. One of his earliest memories had been the smell of the incense in the swinging censer at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, listening to the rising and falling chants of the priest in his rich embroidered vestments and the answers of the parishioners. Mom had even taken him to a Tridentine mass once after his confirmation when he had turned thirteen, and he had been in heaven listening to the unfamiliar Latin tongue, not even wanting to genuflect and stand with his mom and dad. He had sat in the pew with his eyes closed, almost swaying back and forth, and his dad kept shoving him thinking he had fallen asleep—
Then another picture came, a picture of him with Jeffrey in the soft bed of their off campus apartment in the winter of his junior year, both of them covered with that huge faux fur quilt, holding each other. His lover’s auburn head rested on his chest while he stroked his hair, curling his fingers around its softness while Jeffrey’s fingers traced the slight curve of his waist–feeling Jeffrey’s soft lips resting on his skin, his breath stirring the soft hair there–
He could feel the tears starting.
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