Ein schwerer Traum.
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Englisch und Inzest und Fanfiktion und Slash und alles und hier und da und dort.
However. Ich mag es. Ich liebe es.
You drive him home from school, and he does not speak to you. The vacuum that the absence of words creates is painful and it is entirely his; he possesses it because you would not dare speak first. You do not take initiative. This is fact and it defines your relationship with him. You start the car only because you know he knows where you are driving to, and knows that he himself, being as of yet too young and unable to drive, is dependent on you for at least this. The engine sputters fitfully because the car is old, but it is cold out and the windows are up and the noise is not loud enough to distract you from the fact that he does not speak to you.
He doesn't turn the radio on so you don't. Usually he puts on the local underground station; he knows some of the kids from the local community college that run it and it plays passable music. Sometimes he plays classic rock or if he's feeling particularly inscrutable top forty pop, which, you think, if he were driving with anyone else he would be too morbidly embarrassed to admit to listening to. Or maybe he just plays it to torment you, knowing that you can abide preprocessed sugar pop and bland rock music. If you had your choice you'd put one of your tapes in. You have dozens of them, mainly scattered under the seats and in the glove compartment but if he doesn't want to listen to anything you don't either. So you don't turn on the radio.
On a normal day it takes you eighteen minutes to get home. Sometimes, there is an accident and you have to go around another way and it takes you a little longer, but the usual time is eighteen minutes. You've had your license for two years and you've driven home enough times to know how long it should take, exactly where to break, what streets to avoid. You could probably drive home in your sleep but you wouldn't want to because you wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to watch the sharpness of his profile covertly as you pretend to check the passenger side mirror. Besides it would be dangerous and then you yourself might get into an accident, which, besides putting both him and yourself in the way of great bodily harm, would certainly extend the length of the trip home far beyond the standard time of eighteen minutes.
You pull into the driveway. Your mother's car is not parked in its customary spot so she must be out. You aren't surprised because she has been working extra hours whenever she can pick them up because last month the washer machine broke and she'd had to pay four hundred dollars for a new one. She has been behind on the bills since then and you feel guilty whenever you think about asking her for a couple of extra bucks, even if it is for gas or something responsible like that. You have a job but it doesn't pay too well and you had to cut back your hours after you failed math last year, because your mother thought you weren't concentrating on your schoolwork.
You get out of the car. Mikey does not. He sits in the front seat without even unbuckling the seat belt. You want to ask him what the fuck is wrong but you won't, and he knows that you won't so you just go inside and set your bag down next to the door and take off your shoes but not the jacket that you wore. It's kind of a joke, if only a joke with yourself, but lately you've been wearing a suit jacket and tie to school, if just because last year the principle threatened to send you to military school. You sit at the kitchen table and get a can of soda and take out the notebook where you're supposed to do your math homework and stare at it for a while. It's kind of embarrassing, really, but the teacher does check everyday and every time you don't have the problems completed she takes off one or three or some fucking number of points off of your final grade. You desperately need to pass this stupid math class or else you won't graduate on time, and you don't think you can handle another summer of remedial classes with brain dead jocks who are being forced to attend by the coaches that rely on them so desperately.
Mikey comes in the house when you are halfway done with the second problem. He slams the door as he comes in and he tosses the black jacket he is wearing to the ground. You don't look up at him but he comes and sits down across the table from you and stares at you for a while. This past summer he started to hang out with different kids, kids who played in bands, who were older and cool. You don't know any of them but then that isn't really your crowd. You don't really have a crowd. Mikey has a crowd now, and as dearly as you love him you can't help but wonder if he weren't rather ... nicer before he did.
He wears shirts that have the names of bands on them you have never heard of and certainly never heard. You're still in love with the Cure, and Mikey is too, secretly, but he listens to whatever his friends feed him. He stares at you and you do not look up but diligently keep working on your math homework, struggling with the concept of quadratic equations and what the fuck kind of sense they're supposed to make.
"Ryan told me about what happened to you yesterday," Mikey says.
You immediately feel yourself blush scarlet. "And?" you ask, rhetorical and calm although you feel neither.
"And what the fuck is wrong with you?" Mikey asks, angry. "Gerard, why do you let people push you around like that?" His voice cracks, evidence of his recent passage through puberty. Mikey has only started shaving these last few months, and even still it isn't really necessary so much as something he does just because he thinks he ought to at sixteen years old.
You don't look up, just stare at the problems. You'd forgotten that Mikey's little buddy Ryan was in the same gym as you, and didn't think the odds of him having seen you yesterday were high, anyway. It's not that Mikey doesn't realize you're basically a huge loser, because that would be impossible not to realize. It's just that he doesn't believe that you ought to be, maybe, which is something that you really have no power to convince him of. You hate it. Of course you hate it but it's been years since you've tried to do anything about it. There's not really any point.
"Gerard," says Mikey. "You have to stand up for yourself. You can't just let the whole fucking football team gang up on you!"
You have no idea why he's taken this affront so personally. So, sure, while you were getting changed for gym some stupid jocks stole both the tee shirt you were supposed to change into and the shirt you'd just taken off and hidden them so thoroughly you still can't imagine where they ended up and so you were stuck standing in the cold locker room half naked and mortified and you know exactly who did it to you but you can't really say anything because they'll just beat the crap out of you if you do.
"Mikey," you say. "It's not that big of a deal." You just want to forget the whole episode, because honestly it was just a stupid and juvenile prank and not the kind of thing you have the time to worry about.
"God," Mikey says, not even letting you finish. "It's a big deal, Gerard. It's a big fucking deal because you can't be a chump forever. You're better than that and I don't want to have to watch my big brother get harassed because he's too much of a wimp just to stand his ground."
He ends his declaration with a dramatic sigh, gets up from the table, and goes upstairs, from where you can hear his door slam. A moment later some typically mopey sounding music is echoing through the house loudly, and you just roll your eyes, because your brother's dramatics are sometimes a little out of hand.
Still, you love him very dearly. You love your brother and value his opinion over anyone else's in the whole world.
When you are done with the math homework you put it away and go upstairs to your bedroom to get changed and to draw, probably, which is what you do every afternoon. You take off your jacket at last and undo your tie, and then unbutton the shirt that you're wearing. You don't like to be shirtless, which is half the reason yesterday's stupid antics are so distressing; Mikey knows how you hate to be without a shirt, how you'll hardly go swimming even if you do have one on. You aren't the kind of guy to pride himself on his looks, because you have no looks on which to pride yourself. You think of your body as something purely functional, a vehicle and a tool that allows you to move and manipulate things, but which in and of itself offers no particular advantage.
Maybe if you got more sun you wouldn't be so pale and then it wouldn't be so bad, but you look at your reflection in the mirror on the wall and you are so white you almost glow. Several dark birth marks stand out on your neck, but other than that you are pale and completely hairless. Your body evidences all the maturity of a three year old's.
Mikey enters unnoticed, and he must watch you, watch you watch yourself, for a few moments because you don't notice him until he coughs, his same hacking asthmatic cough, and you turn around and blush red to be caught in such vain self scrutiny.
"Gerard," Mikey says.
You wait for him to continue but he does not so you ask, "What?"
"Nothing," he says. "I was going to ask you to take me somewhere later."
You don't know why he even bothers to ask because he knows that you are going to say yes and that you won't have anything better to do because you never do. "Okay," you say. "Sure. Let me know where and when."
He nods his head. He has changed from the tight jeans and dark shirt he wore to school to clothing that fit him less closely and he looks younger and rumpled. It is an endearing look.
"Gerard," he says again.
Again he does not complete the thought, and so once again you must prompt, "What, Mikey?"
"I don't want you to take shit from anyone any more," he says. It's not a request, but rather an order, and it is expected that you will obey.
"Uh, okay," you say, not knowing how to explain that it is not within your power to stand up to people who you know think they are your superiors. You aren't good at confrontation; you're good at drawing and watching and being in the background. The spotlight terrifies you.
"No really," Mikey says. "I want you to promise because when I heard what those fuckers did to you it made me so angry that I wanted to kill someone."
You chuckle. "Mikey, it wasn't really that big of a ..."
"It was, Gerard!" You are sitting on your bed and he comes and he sits next to you, and you feel like you should move because he's actually too close for you to be comfortable. "You're my brother," he says. "They're just blind and they don't realize you are the best fucking person I have ever met in my entire life. They're scum. They don't deserve to make you feel like that."
Mikey's absurd loyalty makes you feel more loved than you have ever felt, but at the same time it is disconcerting. What have you done to inspire such devotion?
"Mikey," you say. "It's really okay. I can handle it."
"You don't get it," he says. "They don't have the right to say that about you, Gerard. They shouldn't say it. They can't just talk about my brother like that." He pauses, breathes deep. He puts his hand on your wrist. "You're the smartest, most talented, most creative, caring, thoughtful, beautiful ..."
You chuckle. Mikey scowls at you. He looks furious. "You are beautiful Gerard," he says. "Maybe it's hard for some people to see now but you are the most beautiful person I have ever seen and some day the whole world is going to know it."
Mikey's delusion is kind and well intentioned but you don't understand how anyone could be so optimistic, could find so many flatter and false things to say about one person. "It's really okay," you begin. "Just because I'm ..."
"Just because you're what?" Mikey asks. "You're you and you too good to let people walk all over you, Gerard."
You fall silent, chastised and shamed by your younger brother. His hand is still on your wrist, and his skin is warm and a little damp. You want him to let go but you won't tell him so. Sometimes you don't love when people touch you.
He leans forward and first like he doesn't know what he's about to do touches his lips to your forehead, but then he realizes what he intends and he kisses your lips, softly, very softly. You have never kissed anyone except this one girl in the backseat of your best buddy's car, and it was an awful kiss, that one. Not like this one at all, which is softer and warmer and nicer and kinder than anything that you have known.
Mikey keeps his lips against yours for a few moments, but not too long. When he pulls away you look at each other with wide eyes, although in reality you are mostly innocent.
Mikey stands up. "I love you, Gerard," he says. "I love you. One day you are going to do something so fantastic that the entire world is going to love you too, but for now, until then, you're mine."
You love him too but you don't really know what to say, except for that you love him and you don't think that he's right but you'll try, maybe. And he kisses you again, kisses you hard, and you almost blush or die of shame because it is clear that your little brother has gotten more play than you are ever likely to get, has kissed more strange people than will ever condescend to be kissed by you. And maybe this is kind of like what he can give you, this pretend love, and maybe it's all you're willing to take.
He stops kissing you and doesn't smile but rather frowns and repeats that he loves you in exactly the same cadence he used before so that it sounds like the message left on an answering machine, unchanging for eternity although you doubt that his love will or can last for such a long time. He stands and you feel the weight of his hand on your shoulder, and you hear him say, "You deserve better than you think, Gerard." And he says that he loves you and he leaves.
And you shiver. You are a little frightened but you do not know why. You are not bold and you don't think that you're worth the effort of standing up for. But then you think that that's not the point really and what he's saying is not 'Act like you know your own worth' but rather 'Make yourself worthy of me'. And you love your brother dearly and you do as he says so although you it is pointless, you think as you pull on a tee shirt, and you are not bold you resolve to act like a man, to stand up for yourself, if that's what he wants you to do. Perhaps you never knew it but you always, always wanted your brother to kiss you, and if the price of his affection is a confidence you know you don't have then you must fake it, if that's what he wants. You're his. You will do as he says.
~...Ich bekenne mich: Ich liebe dich. Ich hasse dich daf?r...~
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