I started swimming on my return from the week at the Mont Gaspode Clinic in Switzerland that Mother had forced me into, since I remembered something about promising myself to get fit. I started with a swim only once or twice a week, but now it's almost a daily occurrence. I come out here when most of the students are doing their homework, and I just swim. Sometimes laps, but sometimes just floating about in the water, running problematic ideas through my head. It's really very relaxing, and I can sort things out easily when the need arises. I think now, while doing backstroke, is as good a time as any. I sure haven't had such an unexpected thing happen to me in a long time.
I really don't know how to even think this properly, the idea being so foreign, but Dana MacCaugry kissed me. I don't think I could even try to understand how it happened and definitely not why it did. And now I have to think it through logically, because I would not be myself if I did not. Okay, Fowl, the beginning is always a good place to start.
I had just finished my laps in the school indoor pool and moved to the change room to have a shower. And then when I was dressed and almost about to leave again I turned and saw Dana standing there, watching me. I was almost surprised that the cliched statement about feeling eyes on the back of your neck hadn't occured, because when I actually saw the dark eyes watching me the blaring look was so strong that it was… amazing. Glares I understand (and have patented some over my lifetime); piercing looks are an easy illusion, useful in many circumstances; greasies are just amateurish. But this look was powerful, amazingly powerful, compeling. I couldn't have broken the locked gaze even if I had felt any inclination to do so. Fowls do not look away, they stare problems and curiousities in the face. But that wasn't the reason as to why I couldn't break the eye-lock. I almost wanted to break the contact, because it was so completely unfamiliar to me, but I simply couldn't bring myself to do it, probably because it was giving me such an incredible high. All from a pair of eyes focused on me as if I was the most important thing Mother Nature had ever created.
Dana stepped forward. And I noticed that those eyes were amazing in themselves and not just the unbreakable look they could produce at will. They weren't - aren't - black as I had thought, but have a layer of bright blue on the outer edge, then a core of swirling, moving steal grey that fades into a thin silver rim around the pupil. I'm an observant person but to see that from 2 meters distance is an impressive feat.
Those eyes looked absolutely amazing with the long black lashes and the dark shiny hair falling around the high cheekbones.
Another step, even slower than the one before.
The dark skin made them stand out even more than those eyes on a Caucasian. I wonder how they came about; genetically speaking it should have been almost impossible.
Yet another step. It was like a lioness stalking its prey; if the stalker doesn't make any sudden movements then the prey won't even think of running.
And then Dana was right in front of me. And his lips were on mine.
And yes, Dana MacCaugry has a Y-chromosome, or perhap two, since he's certainly got a lot of testosterone floating through his body.
That's why this is such a big deal. I've kissed and been kissed by a number people in my time as sexy genius extraordinaire, but never by a boy. I don't think I expected it to be like that. And that's what's really irritating my mind about this whole situation. I honestly don't know what's worse, more shocking, but not quite disturbing. The fact that a person of the male persuasion felt the urge to lock lips with me... or the fact that I enjoyed it so much.
Possibly the second. It's rather shocking to suddenly discover an attraction to males overnight.
It wasn't even the type of kiss that anyone would usually consider mind-boggling, earth shattering or otherwise destructive in a metaphorical way. It was gentle and soothing. It definitely didn't destroy anything, yet I'm almost afraid that it might have created something. I don't know what, but… nobody's invented a cliché that describes the feeling yet, and I can't find the perfect word in any of a dozen languages.
The thing is... Does this mean that I'm gay?
But I hate questions that don't have proper answers. They always make me feel so helpless, like when people turn to me for a solution and I haven't quite got one yet so the pressure's on to discover one before sound passes my lips. I feel like I should know what to do, but I don't really. Not every time. Right now I know that I should never entertain the thought of, nor go near Dana ever again... and yet I also know that I loved the experience.
Why do I have to live in Ireland?! Why not a country which gave up on serious religious dogma 70 years ago, not half a generation ago? This internal monologue wouldn't be nearly as stressful if there was anything close to an acceptance of homosexuals in Ireland, an open gay society.
It's probably just the fact that it was a truly amazing kiss, even though I didn't join in myself. I'm not exactly naive when it comes to things of a seductive nature. I've had a few crushes and some girlfriends over the years. There was the crush on Juliet that had been quickly dispersed after I woke up in the hospital 4 days later; there was Yolanda Long, the daughter of Mother's spa club friend, who I went out with for a few months; and then Sandra and Susie Quail - both of whom I went out with for about 3 weeks each, two rather disappointing exercises.And that's my dating experience. Now, most of the kisses from those relationships were messy and uneven things, even after lots of practise, though enjoyable enough in their own right. But Dana's kiss was… nice. It wasn't perfect, and it wasn't passionate either. It wasn't hard, or masculine (as frankly I'd have expected, not that I'd thought about it much), but it was still strong. Why on Earth am I here analysing this when a) it was just a kiss and b) there's no reason to because I am not interested in males? ... Much, anyway.
It's definitely just because of the way his breath felt against my face before I opened my eyes and before he walked off without another word. Did I say another? He hadn't said anything in the first place.
I was watching him in Business Studies this morning and I realised how little I know about him. I know that his marks are up at the top of the class, his father's a big time man in Scotland and his mother's from Asia somewhere – the Philippines or Thailand I think. That's where he gets his incredible looks – his dark skin and hair from his mother and the contrasting, genetically improbable, eyes from his father. And don't ask me why I've even looked at him like that. I don't think my mind in its current state would like the answer.
He also has this incredible natural grace and charm. When he's not thinking about the movements of his hands as he writes or when he stretches his arms, he looks absolutely natural - pure - in his actions. But when he starts to concentrate on the movements, when doing classical dance or PE, the grace becomes lost and his limbs change from long and sensual to awkward and gangly. It's… rather endearing.
I was also sitting there wondering why on earth he did it in the first place. If you're experimenting you pick a friend, like when Thomas and Howarth were groping each other and giving blow-jobs in the dorm last year. You pick someone you know, not a boy who you're not even on speaking terms with. The alternative is he was – is - attracted to me.
I know that I can pretty much have anyone I want, female or male - it's a side factor of being a sensual, elusive, tall, dark and mysterious stranger. But I don't think I'd have thought of many guys looking me over. It must have happened though. Yolanda had always commented on the contrast of my eyes and hair but I'd never… Guys are supposed to look at girls and visa versa, aren't they? And yes, don't give me an ear-bashing about 'other people'.
I think he felt me staring at the back of his head throughout the entire lesson, and when he put up his hand to answer the teacher he turned around slightly, the amazing eyes meeting mine, and he... smirked. I don't know what it was like for him but I had the same uncontrollable feeling inside as when he had been walking towards me yesterday. I don't think it's very fair that when I can't move, for fear and desire and awe, he just sits there smirking. I was the one who looked away first. I've never been the one to look away first, but I did. I think it was because of that smirk. I wanted to wipe that bloody lopsided smile off his face and I was thinking of creative ways to do so once he was talking to the teacher. The third option that I thought of was getting rid of the smirk by ravaging his lips with my own.
And that just defeated the entire purpose of getting rid of the smirk in the first place.
And of course, it is a very gay thought.
If I'm honest with myself I could probably admit that Dana was just experimenting as boys do in an all male boarding school shut off from the outside world as it is. He's a horny bugger who wants buggering, or a blow job at least. I'm not entirely sure, but I don't think I want to be honest with myself. And being honest with yourself is a front for telling your mind what it wants to hear and not necessarily "being honest". Being honest with myself would imply that I didn't want it to happen again. Being honest with myself would mean that I wasn't the slightest bit entranced by his kiss and his movements. Being honest with myself would say that… I bet it was just the kiss.
It's probably just the lust and hormone factor that runs rampant in all teenagers. And the strangeness of the experience. For the chest I was pulled against to be flat. For the shoulders my hands were resting on to be broader than my own. It was a novelty item and… he tasted different. More powerful and seductive than any of my previous experiences. It felt different too, not in the fact that Yolanda had had braces and Dana did not, but the charged feeling that I got the sensation of his tongue running over my lips.
I don't think that I'm gay, but how is any 15 yr old boy meant to know the answer to that question? When you're turned on by watching grass grow it seems a small thing indeed to be aroused when watching the athletic boys run around the oval in shorts and tight tank-tops. Or following the slim figure of a classmate as they walk to the teacher's desk. I think that was only when Simon Brinkley was in my class. Did I just think that? I did, didn't I? I'm gay, aren't I? Do I have to answer that?
Sometimes I hate my mind, but only sometimes. If I was anyone normal then my mind would have been distracted during the day by the menial task that is schoolwork and I would have had a minute's peace from this bloody debate. Instead I've been able to get through the entire day without anyone noticing anything wrong, all the time running over the same pointless train of thought. And all I wanted was for some mental terrorist group to come along and de-rail it for good. Hell, I don't even want the station to exist let alone the train.
I don't think it's healthy to manipulate a metaphor that much.
Since Dana left me outside the changing rooms to this moment when I'm back in the pool, swimming repetitive laps in an effort to clear my head, I've been angst-ridden over that bloody kiss. Doesn't he know that random and unexplained kisses are detrimental to a criminal mastermind's mental wellbeing?
And, of course, for anyone normal they would have been able to live on in cheerful naivety for a little while longer. For me… I just keep swimming.
But the thing is… do I really care? Do I care about societial constructs and rules, especially those so closely related to Christianity which exist in Ireland even today? Do I care about my father's opinions enough that I place those opinions over my own desires? I was pretty much planning out a life as a Hedonist so this won't change things very much, will it? Of course Father will be a bit of a difficulty but I'm sure he'll get over it. I did enjoy my little tryst with the Quail girls and, of course, Yolanda, so maybe I just have a healthy enjoyment of the company of either sex. Is that so bad? Does it matter all that much?
Any new arguments you would like to add, subconscious? Nothing? Well that must be a first. Okay, what do I need to think about, in order of importance? Was Dana serious, or was it a dare? Which option do I want personally? What does Dana want to do? What do I want to do? Since when do I think of a fellow student by their first name rather than their last? What do I do now? What will my Father say? Would I care? My Mother? Butler? Do I need to stop thinking about this? Do I want to stop thinking about this? Have I been honest? Am I being honest?
Answers: How would I know? Well, um… serious if something happens, dare if it doesn't. Either kiss me or run away. Maybe kiss, maybe run. Since they randomly walk up and kiss me, that's when! I don't have the smallest inkling. After he wakes up from the coma from hitting his head on the ceiling, "GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!! YOU'RE DISOWNED!!" Possibly not, he's lost my respect over the past years as I saw his character a bit deeper than I had. "Are you sure, Arty? Lots of people go through fazes when they're young." Probably something better than that of my parents, (or his sister's "Oh! My! God! A bloody fag, bloody kissed me!" for that matter.); Probably something supportive, understanding, kind. Probably. Perhaps not. Not really. To the best of my knowledge, to the best of my emotional capacity to do so at least.
There were too many maybes, possiblys and perhapses in those answers for my liking.
I hate how I don't have a clue as to what might be happening or happen in the future. I'm ignorant of the future, only being able to inexpertly predict events through the present. Experimentation I can understand… and sounds quite appealing if it involves Dana's mouth. But if…
Do I really want to think past today? Is it really necessary to do so anyway? I know that's what I usually do but I don't think it's going to get me very far on this occasion. How can I think past today for myself when I plan for it to involve someone else? Okay, at least my subconscious has made its thoughts on the matter known through a slip of the thought.
I focus back on my strokes and turn around in a tumble turn with a light splash. As I do so I spot someone sitting in the very back row of stands and over to my left. Now I have a plan. I just hope I don't regret it.
I slow my strokes down so that each one becomes a graceful but strong movement into the water and back out, creating only minimal splash. Now that I know that they are there I can feel the strange eyes on me as I move through the water, or at least I imagine that I can. (Although if you focus your eyes on a person on a lower level of a shopping center they almost always feel the gaze and try to find it.) I turn and move back down to the other end, keeping my limbs as fluent as is possible when your heart has started to beat overtime. The feeling of him watching me is making me feel almost giddy, and I'm giving a performance and loving every second of it.
I get to the shallow end of the pool and walk through the waist-height water towards the ladder while looking directly into his bizarre eyes. This time I initiated the stare and I can tell that he's the one that's becoming uncomfortable. I give the slightest twitch of my lips to show my amusement at his predicament, my hands tracing patterns on the surface of the water as I move. As I reach the poolside he stands up, but doesn't move away - nor closer - as I pull myself out of the water without looking down or breaking the eye contact. And then I wink and turn away from him. I can just imagine him looking up and down my back and this is almost more fun and more arousing than swimming for him. I pick up my towel and lightly dry myself before turning back to watch his salivating half-grin. He had moved down the steps while my back was turned and then he had sat back down on reaching the bottom.
I keep the eye contact in an imitation of his actions of 24 hours ago. And I copy his slow and steady steps of before. I don't feel like I'm doing anything steady, but the illusion is the important thing. He believes in my calm, even if I know better. His eyes only leave mine for a second as he looks up and down my half-wet body, making me shiver at the thought. He grins at me and then I am in front of him.
"Am I going to regret this?" I ask, to myself or to him I don't know. He shakes his head and the too long hair falls over his brow. I reach up and brush the hair away with my left hand.
"It was rhetorical. I don't really care if I do."
And I kissed him.
The sequel to My Queer Young Mind can be found at storyid=1568900 on ff.net (it stuffs up if you type in the full url, c&p that into the current address bar). Forty Two is an Artemis/Butler novel length.
Who to blame: Eoin Colfer for creating Artemis Fowl in the first place (which I don't own by the way.) Me for the actual content of the story. Celestine de karamel and her fic 'Homecoming' for sparking the idea in the first place. Cassandra Claire for writing the first Harry/Draco slash fic that I read which in turn created my curiosity for homosexual relationships. Bella for introducing me to fanfic 3 years back. My sister for hogging the computer when I thought of better lines than the ones you see here, so reducing the quality. My Grandpa's conditioning for the bad pun of a title. Artemis' mind for anythings which don't make much sense. Yourself for getting to the end.
Flame me, blame me, adore me... I'm really not all that picky.