30 Days to Your Birthday (Day 1)

I knew that if I didn't leave of my own free will, you'd push me away until I left in anger or trick me, like you did when I was originally offered the job in Hollywood. I'm still angry about that by the way. I was so looking forward to taking that journey with you, helping you as a partner should while you defeated your own demons, transcending your own physical limitations. It should have been me, not Michael, by your side. I needed help, the help of people young enough to still resent the well-meaning interference of older folks, older folks who don't have a clue about what really matters. Hunter still hates me a little, but he still like-likes you, so he was more than willing to help me stay hidden for a while. Daphne, as always, was my partner-in-crime. She helped me plan the deception and will help keep me sane as I wait for you. Hasn't she always? Last night, you were so sad that I was floored. I knew you loved me, but your stubbornness, as always, made me forget, for a while, just how much, made me forget that you need me as much as I need you. I almost broke down and told you. But I couldn't risk it. I couldn't take you trying to give me everything, but, somehow, missing the point and taking from me all that I really need. So here I am, in the studio you thought I'd completely abandoned, painting as I can only do with you nearby, with the hope of our reunion not too far on the horizon. I am going to paint everything, all our ups and downs. 5 years later, 90% of my art still revolves around you. Ha.

29 Days to Your Birthday (Day 2)

I painted our first time today. The streetlamp, my fear and exhilaration, your cool confidence, your gentleness, our desire, your annoyance at friends' interference, our heat and electricity, and your love for Gus. Translation, I painted myself falling in love with you, recognizing the other part of my soul.

28 Days to Your Birthday (Day 3)

Today, I missed you so much, ached so much for your body, your touch, your kiss, that I painted what looks like a collage of you. I even painted parts of your image (so images would seem to overlap) and created the appropriate texture. To find drawings to base the painting on, I paged through all my sketchbooks from the last 5 years. The selection shows how much you've changed since we met, though you've changed little physically. Most of the changes can only be seen in your eyes. Later, I called your cell phone so I could listen to your voicemail message, jerked off in the shower, and cried myself to sleep.

27 Days to Your Birthday (Day 4)

Daphne's here today, thank goodness. I was getting a little morose. She's an expert at handling the symptoms of my Brian-Kinney withdrawal. We ate peach frozen yoghurt and popcorn and watched silly romance movies, all with deliriously happy endings. Her visit grounded me enough to start looking for an agent in New York. I hope it doesn't take long to find one.

26 Days to Your Birthday (Day 5)

I created a prom piece today. Daphne described the night to me again, every detail she could remember. I added touches representing the feelings I saw in your eyes when you were trying to help me recover my memory of that night. It's bittersweet, but beautiful, I think.

25 Days to Your Birthday (Day 6)

Hunter's been taking pictures of you for me. He brought the first set over today. I was dismayed to hear that, until yesterday, you hadn't left the loft. But I'm excited to have new images of you to sketch and study. It's a relief to draw you and read the expression in your eyes, things that have become so much a part of me that, now, they're as natural and involuntary as breathing.

24 Days to Your Birthday (Day 7)

I painted our emptiness today. The emptiness I saw in the pictures Hunter brought and the emptiness in my heart. Hunter came over again. I think he pities me a little. I hate being pitied, but, as a result, he made a copy of your answering machine tape for me. I absolutely loved that! I jerked off in bed, while listening to your voice and gazing at a recent picture. The only one with you smiling. The smile doesn't quite reach your eyes, but you threw your head back to laugh, which gave your hair a very sexy ruffled look. I didn't cry today. Okay, I did, but not as much.

23 Days to Your Birthday (Day 8)

I can't believe only a week has passed. I'm so glad I didn't really leave. Moving to New York would have done terrible things to me. Killed me inside, even if I still lived. My trips to California were difficult, but I knew they were temporary, and I could call you. Plus, you hadn't told me you loved me then. You hadn't proposed or bought me the country manor of my dreams. You hadn't given me everything I ever wanted and, then, asked me to abandon it all. I painted the second proposal today. The love I saw in your eyes and heard in your voice. My joy, much more joy than I ever thought I could feel. Our lovemaking. Would you scoff if you saw me using that word? You trained me well. I gagged a little when I saw it on the page and almost changed it. But fuck it. That's what it was. So there, Kinney (I'm sticking my tongue out at you).