Title: Line With Three Points
Summary: It wasn't so much that they were caught up in a love triangle, really, it was more of a line with three points, and two of the points overlapped.
Notes: A brief examination of the close bonds between Mark, Mimi, and Roger, and a view of all the different sorts of loves in the world.
Line With Three Points
It wasn't so much that they were caught up in a love triangle, really, it was more of a line with three points, and two of the points overlapped.
It had started out innocent enough – Maureen had been teasing Mimi during one of their 'girl's lunches' with Joanne and Angel, usually held on the first Tuesday of each month, asking about how the dancer was coping, burdened as she was by her relationship with the "entity commonly referred to as 'MarkandRoger.'" This phenomena, which she had first come across four years ago when she first started going out with Mark, was the result of fifteen years of two best friends rooming together, sharing everything until it became impossible to separate them. Then, after fifteen years of sharing space and life, they had begun to rub off on each other until it became nearly impossible to distinguish where one stopped and the other began. Thus, 'MarkandRoger,' the Jewish-songwriter-filmmaker-rocker-bohemian anomaly, was born.
Mimi had laughed the comment off, knowing that Roger did love her, in his own way, which more often than not was distant or aloof. But they were happy together, that much was certain, and had been for nearly three months.
Then Joanne had spoken up, joking with her partner about how, had it not been for this odd attachment and singular existence, Maureen would probably never have ended her relationship with Mark. The performance artist laughed, speaking candidly as she was wont to do. "That's probably true. But hey, I got tired of playing second fiddle." They had laughed, the four of them, enjoying an afternoon of such frivolous talk. There was no philosophy, no disease, no religion, no music, just friends and laughter and banter and fun. It was not until later in the day, while Mimi was walking back towards the apartment building on Avenue B, that she began to pay attention to what they had been discussing.
The first time she had ever really met Roger, when she had knocked on his door asking for a light, he had only opened thinking she was Mark. Would he still have opened up if he knew who it was, if he knew it was someone daring and bold and new? Would he have let her in without Mark's expected presence?
Probably not, she thought, but surprisingly, she wasn't jealous or upset. She understood the close bond the two Bohemians shared, even if she didn't fully understand it. She had never really been able to put words to it before; friends implied too little, roommates nothing at all, and most everything else too much. Leave it to Maureen to phrase it simply and effectively, if not a bit... obscurely.
It seemed plausible, really, the idea of 'MarkandRoger...' the way they had entire conversations using only their eyes that everyone else saw as just a glance or a blink or a raising of eyebrows (or ESP, as Collins was convinced it was, or at the very least that weird psychic connection that twins have – even though their birthdays were four months and 300 miles apart). Hell, just last month when her parents had come to visit and meet her boyfriend, she had introduced them as, "And these are my boys, Mark and Roger." They had been quite taken with Mark – as most parents were, generally – but disapproving of Roger, and since they only came to visit one weekend out of the year it had seemed pointless to tell them which one she was actually dating... not that it so much mattered, as remembered sunny days strolling through Central Park hand-in-hand with Mark, and rainy ones cuddled on the couch with Roger.
It wasn't that they were the same person, or "the same soul in two bodies" or any shit like that, oh no. They were as different as black and white, hot and cold. It was just that they fit together so well that they were a pair, impossible to imagine one without the other. 'MarkandRoger' was like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich – Roger was the peanut butter, of course; thicker, coarser, but somehow oddly addictive, and Mark was the jelly; lighter, sweeter, and generally more likeable. They complimented each other. They completed each other.
Maybe she could have just Roger, or maybe Maureen could have had just Mark... but would they be the same 'Mark' or the same 'Roger' they had fallen for?
She reached the loft – where she stayed more often than her own apartment nowadays – and slid the door open, heading towards the kitchen. She smiled at the sight of the bright post-it note on the counter – Roger often left her small notes like that – and picked it up to read the familiar scrawling, "Hey Babe. Out with Collins. Back tonight. Love Roger." She shook her head fondly and placed it back on the counter, where the thin strip of adhesive residue didn't even pretend to cling, before squeaking in shock when an arm snaked around her waist to pull her into a warm hug, which she happily returned.
"Hey Meems, have a good time?" Mark released her to continue with his original task and began scouring the kitchen for a clean mug. She nodded and met the friendly blue gaze that was as important in her life as Roger's green, and the man who she loved just as much in his own special way.
"Yeah, actually. The girls say 'hello.' Hand me that knife?" She rummaged through the sparse cabinets, pulling out a loaf of white bread, slightly stale, and an old jar, possibly expired. Taking the knife she made herself a straight-up peanut butter sandwich; no jelly, just crunchy, chunky peanut butter. Following Mark to flop on the sofa, she took a large bite. She chewed thoughtfully for a minute, swallowed, and then, gently, leaned against Mark's side to rest her head on his shoulder.
It tasted awful.