1. The Story of B.
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The Story of B.

I had one rule:
If this was to be love,
I wasn't going to hurt anyone over it
Especially not myself.
I still have a crush on you.
You gave me many firsts.
You showed me
I can stop being afraid:
Of what I feel.
And how strongly I feel it.
Of what others might feel.
Or how they might behave.
Of being unworthy.
Or just being different.
        This is the story.
We met once at a wedding reception.
I thought you were way cute
Maybe even the answer to my prayers.
But you were young or taken, or something.
So I stepped away and erased you from memory
So I'd not miss what could not be.
Then we met "officially".
The MIT Graduate Student Coffee House.
You were still way cute.
I was attracted and wanted to talk.
I sort of flirted with you
Telling you stories of driving naked
Hoping you'd think it was a fun thing to try.
You did seem intrigued.
Then we started talking computers.
As we got deep into conversation,
I felt like I was settling in, settling down.
I felt comfortable and at home.
That never happens when I talk computers.
        I don't know what you want with me.
        But I know what I want with you.
I brought you back to my office
And showed you some computer stuff
That I'd recently got interested in.
Then we went our separate ways.
I hoped we'd see each other again soon.
I thought about you a lot.
I thought about how you were such a prize.
A prize I felt unworthy of.
A couple days later.
Chatting on the computer.
I told you
About feeling unsure of myself,
About my life as a cartoon character,
And about my aspirations.
You told me about the philosophy of
"Press your Luck".
"Should I press my luck?"
"I'm afraid to tell you I want you."
You want me too.
The question was when?
I had to meet my parents.
But I'd be back Saturday
For the Fetish Flea Market.
I came out to my Aunt
Telling her,
"I think I've found someone."
At the Fetish Flea Market,
I introduced you to my friends
As a cuddly friend.
We did indeed make
A cute couple.
Then we went back to my place
To cuddle, and what-not.
At my suggestion
We boil in my Jacuzzi.
"I'll be right back", I said.
Then I came back and poured in
The whole box of tub toys.
The entire surface of the water
Crammed full of duckies and froggies.
Squeak Squeak!
Giggle Giggle!
You do like a tub full
Of far too many toys.
After we'd dried off
Ourselves and the toys
We retired for a little cuddle.
And tickling.
And Joking.
And LOTS of buttons to press
To make you happy.
I pressed ALL your pleasure buttons.
You laid there
Ear to ear grin
I looked down at you and said
Through the haze,
You looked back at me and said,
And I burst into tears.
It was such a surprise that
Anyone so sweet and cute
Would say yes.
I told you how lonely I'd been
And how happy you just then made me.
You saw what I most feared to show anyone else
How totally lonely I'd been for so long.
And you weren't hurt by the strong feelings.
Everyone else seemed afraid of them.
We played and slept and slept and played.
You slept a lot the next day.
You were so CUTE sleeping in my bed
While I went about my business.
Tuesday we went swing dancing.
I introduced you as my boyfriend.
I forgot all my steps.
But I enjoyed just being with you.
Wednesday was a full moon.
I've always wanted to be
With the one I love
Under a full moon.
But nobody ever said yes.
I called you up.
"It's a full moon.
Can I come over?"
You said yes.
We stood on the roof
Kissing under the full moon.
It was very special to me.
Thursday at work I heard:
In the upcoming move
They want to take our offices away.
That would be the end
Of everything good at work.
The fear of that loss
Contrasted with the memory of you.
One so bad and one so good
Both at the same time.
I thought I was gonna split in two.
I called you
Looking for stress relief.
But you couldn't get together till Friday.
The stress at work
Was crushing me.
But HEY!
B. was not put
On this earth
Solely to be used
As my soft landing spot.
I took myself home
To find my own
Way to unwind.
I got home
And you'd left a message:
Plans changed.
Tonight's the night.
I flew right over.
When I got there,
As I started to pounce,
"There's something I need to tell you", you said.
A twinge of fear.
But HEY!
You've earned my trust.
"I can't be your boyfriend", you said.
"You must follow your heart", I said.
B. can't be my boyfriend.
His previous relationship
Used up his will
To assess the impact
Of what he does
On the one he's committed to.
So he didn't feel right
Committing to me.
If it's really love
I must give him his freedom
To follow his heart.
I burst into tears.
I am terrified
That there will be
No other like you;
That I will lose
What I found
While we were together.
I must put on a brave face
Take responsibility
For finding my way.
I gathered my wits
And stopped crying.
"Knowing me as you do
It was very brave and honest to tell me.
You don't deserve
To put up with me like this", I said.
"It's OK.
You're my friend", you said.
And I burst into tears again.
Eventually I settled down.
We settled down.
I stayed overnight anyway.
And we cuddled.
Nobody's ever cuddled with me
Like you cuddled with me that night.
We fell asleep entwined.
I remember waking up a couple times.
I remember you waking up a couple times too.
Each and every time
We cuddled in closer.
How come everybody else
Turns over
Or turns away?
I pray there are others
Who by reflex
Cuddle in closer
Like you do.
One week later
I checked in.
"Did you do it out of pity
Or because you wanted it too?"
You wanted it too.
You put aside fear
That I'd get the wrong idea.
We found our way together.
And threaded a delicate course.
Just what relationship
Will we end up having?
Another week passed.
At the free Fruvous concert.
You came late.
I pounced on you with an elated hug.
We stood together and listened.
Those songs will always
Remind me of you.
But as we stood there
I slowly filled with doubts.
Maybe you don't want me around.
I crept forward
To see your face.
I smiled at you.
And you smiled back.
That made me happy.
How silly of me to doubt myself.
You do welcome me.
I must find a new playmate.
But I haven't yet lost
My playmate B.
When we were boyfriends
I lost interest in
My planned week-long
Gay naked vacation.
I felt better able
To make new friends there.
It was a good vacation.
I had a great time.
But I still liked
Playing with B. the best.
I was missing B.
You're an officer in a group
That was meeting that very afternoon.
I went.
Afterwards we went
To the steps of Killian Court
We held hands and sat.
I wanted you to come over.
It felt weird to you.
We started to fool around in the court.
And then you come over anyway.
We had a lovely time.
By then you'd learned
That I don't care
Whether or not
I'm your one and only.
You're my special playmate.
We do the things
I could not do
Until you came into my life.
But when you mention
Someone new you're interested in
As a potential boyfriend
I try to be the first to say
"Go for it!"
Our difference in age
And difference in stage of life
Make a big difference to you.
You need for me
To step away
So you can find
One who is just like you
Who will do certain things
For the first time
As you do them for the first time too.
I stepped away for a while
But one Sunday at country dancing
The place was dead.
I didn't like it.
I got to be feeling down.
I decided to drop in on you.
You were home with a chest cold.
We fooled around anyway.
It lifted my spirits a lot.
I felt a little guilty about it.
You were sick.
I started to feel I'd been selfish,
But you reassured me.
Days went by.
With no opportunities
To play with B.
Then one evening
We were chatting on the computer.
You mentioned a name I did not recognize.
And I asked you who he is.
"Er, my boyfriend", you said.
"For how long?"
"A week."
"Congratulations!", I typed.
You didn't know it
But I'd burst into tears again.
I'd expected this.
Just not so soon.
I've not found another playmate yet.
I still need someone
To take me out of myself.
There is so much I found
With B., and inside myself.
Each time we've been together:
So many surprises
So many transformations.
What you do without thinking
Is just what I most want and need.
I'm really afraid
That I'll lose all that.
Finding my way
Is very important now.
I must not drive myself crazy
With self doubt
Or fear.
You've shown me
That it IS possible
To share a bed
And a heart
And a mind
With a man I first thought
Was too good for me.
I have been learning
To be less fearful,
To be more open,
And follow my heart --
Like B. does.
My next boyfriend
Will be quite a playmate.
My first clue
That he is right for me
Will be the feeling
Not that I'm unworthy
Or that it's exciting.
But that I'm coming home.
From home
Many surprises
And firsts
Were shown to be possible.
And may be possible again.
Months later
B. isn't my boyfriend.
But he's still my trusted friend.
The stress of the office has faded.
The memories of B. remain.

22 January 2000
revised 14 February 2000

by Bill Cattey