I've always been one of those boys who dressed academically correct. Incorrect in the sense, I was driven by pure independence, and the cocky self-confidence that held me upright. Studded belts and baggy shorts? I had those. Backwards hats and tight shirts that say, "I think I could fall madly in bed with you?" I wore those. And being in a band called The Fuck Offs reiterated my individuality in the extremes that others saw me. It made me the rogue of academia and furthered my ego. Those are the clothes I love, but at the same time – it's what made me unique, made me stand outside of the box.
But mostly because I thought I looked damn good.
I had randomly met P.S. on the Transit going downtown to This Is London. He was in his usual attire: lots of glittering necklaces, unbuttoned collar shirt, shorts that would have made Christina Aguilera jealous, flashy eye-makeup, and cowboy boots to complete the ensemble. Priding myself in not being judgmental, I greeted and talked to him as if he were wearing a suit and tie.
"Hey. I like your boots."
"Hn. What else do you like about me, hon? Can't only be the boots that got you over here."
"Your necklaces? I like the big one, especially." I laughed, not self-conscience in the least.
"You like big things, don't you? I can tell." And I knew it wasn't me when the front of his shorts managed to get closer to me. He gyrated. "Like what you see?"
"The pearls look real. Are they?" He raised a thin eyebrow at this, the right side of his lips, quirked.
"No. I like my things big and fake, the faker the better. Y'know? Get a sense of satisfaction knowing I'm the only real thing about this outfit." I could only nod at that.
"Noted. Name's Tim by the way, how bout you?"
"P.S." He gave me his slender hand, and there I was, ready to shake it. "Nuh uh, kiss." Snorting, I dipped down and placed a quick peck on the back of his hand. Soft skin. "Good." Smiling cheekily, I caught the snarky grin on his lips, P.S. taking back his hand.
"So. What? You're not gonna tell me what P.S. stands for? Especially after that?"
"Maybe if you're good, and I start to like you more… then yes. You just might learn my full name." I swear he grinned lecherously at me then.
Too much time between then and now to figure it out, though.
However, I realized that the driving force behind my acting so nonchalant was so I could tell myself that, yeah, I'm fucking cool and don't care what other people look like or their backgrounds, in effect making my argument just as judgmental as those whispers surrounding us. I'm not dressed like him, those murmurs aren't directed at me, yet because I'm not uttering shit under my breath, I'm better than all those around us, my mind is more open.
Thinking back on it, I was the worst person on that bus; I was using P.S.'s appearance to build myself up, by acting as if there was nothing out of the ordinary taking place and that I was above passing judgment on somebody who looked out of the norm; I'm not superficial like all the others. I was looking at him as an object, an object that would further my egotistical mind-bullshit that I am a good person and would never lower myself to simply stop and write people off just because of their appearance.
We made plans to meet up later that night and went over to his place. I made it a point to compliment him on his shorts and eye-makeup, even though such compliments weren't necessary and thus, making them empty. He was still dressed in the same clothes from the bus.
"Nice place. I am liking the green." I surveyed the brightly lit apartment. It was big, and it was green. It screamed and kicked P.S.
"No need to suck up, hon. I get it." P.S. drawled, swaggering his way deeper into the apartment, while I just stood there. Taking it all in. And then some. "But if you really want to, I'm sure I can find something else for you to suck on." I rolled my eyes, and he just smirked. Looking all glamour devilish like.
"Way too corny. Even for you." I found myself plopping down on a beanie bag. "I expected better coming out of you."
"Am I to respond with a witty remark, every time? I don't know if I have the energy for that."
"But you have the energy for… other things, huh? Funny." P.S. looks my way briefly, studying me intently. I don't say anything about it; I just shift on the beanie – trying to get comfortable.
"Don't be cute. It doesn't suit you, Tim."
"And what exactly suits me? You just met me."
"Are you sure you'd like to know? For I doubt you'd like what I have in mind." His grey eyes twinkle in perverted glee. "It involves me, you, and nothing in between." And do I blush? Hell, no. I just laugh it off, mouth wide. "Drink?" I nod.
And P.S. nods too, striding through a threshold and into a small kitchen I'm supposing. After a few minutes, he comes back out – two flutes in hand, and a thin smile gracing his lips. He hands me the drinks, and I smile graciously, taking a sip.
Red wine. I can live with that.
"Classy." P.S. acknowledges the comment with a mere quirk of his lips, and then he gets up, strutting over to a large sound system. With a few twists and turns, a high-pitched voice and the gathering build up of drums, begins.
"Who's this?" I ask as P.S. returns, sitting down on the couch, across from me.
"New Order." He takes a long sip from his glass, lips coming back red when he places it down on the ground.
"Never heard of em… " I murmur.
"Really? I would've thought you would've heard of Temptation, at least. One of their more… famous songs, if you can call it that. That's what we're listening to, by the way," I hum thoughtfully, nursing the glass, "thought you should know."
It was then, that the glasses started flowing and the music was booming.
Around the seventh glass, I suggested that I would love P.S. to dress me up one night before we got out. It would be tons of fun. The real reason was because I wanted to show everyone that I didn't care what other people thought of me, and would establish myself as someone who was just as cool as P.S. But as it is, it takes hefty amount of self-assurance and strength to be able to go out dressed in such a way, strutting the whole time.
Around the thirteenth glass, we decided to go out, and because of what I had suggested earlier – it seemed like the appropriate time for me to play dress up and walk around the crowded streets of downtown Toronto.
Decked out in the shortest shorts I have ever worn, I felt amazing with my naked ass being groped by the things, and went out with a chip on my shoulder – aching to prove to myself and others that I didn't care what the people on the streets were going to say. Hell, if P.S. could do it, so could I.
The moment we went outside there was whispers, laughs, jeers, and flat out insults. I consider myself a very strong person, while not as extravagant as P.S., I have always loved the fact that I don't care what I wear and am always a little different in my own universe.
Walking around, I took my shirt off and tried to strut; yet it soon became apparent that I was completely uncomfortable and all the insults started to get to me.
I really never thought they would, but I started to get really, really, mad. These people didn't know me, they knew nothing about me. Yet because I was dressed like a, and I quote, "diva fag" that's exactly what I was in those mocking eyes and nothing else. I got the attention I wanted that was supposed to let me show everyone that I didn't care and was stronger than the words, but I found myself replacing the feeling of satisfaction with anger. I couldn't believe what people were saying, and I couldn't believe that P.S. was able to go out and knowingly hear all the nasty words every single day.
He was no longer an object in my eye, no longer an image I could build myself on, but an incredibly strong person who had more self worth and individualism than most people ever got a taste of, and an influx of deep respect for this man came blasting into my chest.
As the evening began to dwindle down, and the alcohol was making my veins worse for wear, it was time to go home. Walking back to P.S.'s, a group of three guys passed us and made a disgusting comment that I will not repeat, whether it was toward P.S. and myself, it doesn't make a difference.
As P.S. might say, the "Dude" in me exploded, and I shoved one of the guys down on the concrete. He got up and was instantly in my face, screaming insults and looking all threatening like. I simply pushed him again, thrusting him into one of his friends and knocking the two over. I loomed over him; hand fisted and pulled back, obvious determination to introduce my fist to his face.
But P.S. took my hand, pulling me back gingerly.
"It doesn't matter, they're worthless anyway." I was speechless.
Looking at him, as he smiled a small smile, tugging me along with him, and off to his place; I couldn't believe it. He really didn't care what people thought of him, and what they were saying about him. The words were simply hitting his ears and not being heard.
He snapped me back to reality, and I adjusted the hem of my shorts. Shifting awkwardly in them, while I continued to follow after P.S., his grip firm.
I still had that feeling bubbling up in the pit of my stomach, that desire to "defend my honour". Or was I defending P.S.'s too?
"Dude, you just got your ass handed to you by a fucking faggot." The insults slammed into the back of my head, but when I looked up at P.S., he was merely standing tall and laughing about whatever – not paying any attention or wasting any thoughts on all the words that were being tossed our way.
I saw him in a completely different light, the shoddy lamplights of the sidewalk casting over him, didn't change the fact that he was stronger than the words. And I wasn't.
P.S. impressed me like no one else had. He was one of the strongest individuals I knew, and I knew a lot of people. Through him, I was able to realize my own bullshit, able to get to know myself better, and he showed me the errors of my own social conscience. To be brutally honest, I had not possessed much respect for him previously because I didn't really know him and of the way he dressed and carried himself, but now; I have nothing but respect for him and will always be grateful for the life lesson I was taught.
I was so impressed that he was able to deal with such abuse from the outside world on a daily basis without wasting a breath of resistance, but rather focusing all his energy on just being himself and having fun doing it.
Everyone says, "I am me, I do what I want, and I don't care what other people think." I'm one of those people. P.S. is one of the few who actually believes it and lives it one hundred percent every day.
I would love to wake up every morning and feel like it was going to be the best day of my life.
"Love you, man."
"It's Pierre, Pierre Starr."
"… you like me, huh?"
"Don't get cocky, hon. It's not your colour, now me on the other hand… "
"Go jack off somewhere else. Pervert."
"And I love you too, Timmy, love."
I have a feeling P.S. does.
A random inspiration thing, for I had the title, and the idea? It just came with the territory. Listen to Antony And The Johnsons' For Today I Am A Boy (it's my muse here). I apologize for the story format, it just came out this way and… if I tried to change it now, I wouldn't be able to. Just the way it has to be. Sorry? I dunno. Just take it as it is, and don't complain. This was interesting for me to write, something new and… more realistic, relatable even. Sometimes I find my writing isn't realistic or relatable enough, hopefully… this is a little different from what I usually mindvomit out. I fell in love with the characters, and whether or not their friendship grows into something more… ? I'll leave that for you to figure out. Imagination? What's that? Haha. I'm pretty sure I'll play with these two again… they've grown on me. And hopefully on you. And yes, there is a deeper meaning to the title. It goes back and fourth, and it works with both of them. So. Guess. And learn. And never judge a book by its spine. You might just miss out on something worthwhile. Yeah.