Five Signs Of Insanity
by Oro


The minutes go by so slowly at night, and he's too busy counting to realize when the light begins to change the shade of the ceiling he's been staring at since Keith fell asleep.

The contrast between dark and light shocks him, somehow, like he didn't see it coming, and he's still in awe of the world like when he was a boy.

Still a boy, Keith said last night, and his affectionate smile caused wrinkles around his eyes that slid softly to his cheeks and shaped that familiar warmth he has.

It vaguely occurs to David that his skin never changes beyond that deadly pale; that deadly smooth.

He spent the whole night listening to Keith's post-sex calmness and his steady breaths, and nothing went through his mind. The darkness wrapped around him like a coffin, and the eeriness was as much a part of him as his breath was.

It always is.

Keith wakes up with a smile and a kiss that tastes like morning and stale dreams. He gets up briskly and goes to the bathroom.

David listens to him pee and it all feels so domestic.



"Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim."

All the time, that same name that sounds like a non-word and is still so painfully common, in series of four. This time, David decides to count the series instead of the words; because versatility, they say, is good. He replies with a groan.

He's a lawyer today, from out of town, having his brush with show business before going back to wherever the hell he came from. Now he could tell all his lawyer friends over drinks about this guy he fucked who was in showbiz, and they'll laugh and drink and laugh some more about good ol' Jim and his adventures in sunny California.

David allows himself a moment of disillusionment and disappointment at this intercourse with stardom.

"Jim, Jim, Jim, Jim."

He has no idea whose name this guy is moaning, and everything is so trashy and fake. Two minutes, three, four, and he's there before reaching five. It's not long before he clumsily puts on his boxers and his pants and says goodbye to whoever he just fucked, and a more sentimental goodbye to Jim the Lawyer.

And he thinks of how he never did get to go to law school.



He still counts the minutes; different place, different time, there's loud music and bright lights and it's not Keith anymore but someone who refers to him as `the older guy.'

The lights change so quickly, from purple to blue to pink to yellow to white flashes and the occasional smoke, and everybody's dancing, and maybe Kurt slips a certain pill into David's hand and another one into his pocket. "For later," he says with a smile that makes David hope there won't be a next time but ultimately guarantees a second date.

He counts the minutes between taking the Ecstasy and feeling it, the nonexistent centimeters between his body and Kurt's, the ripples that go through his body as he clumsily sways to the eurotrash music. And he thinks that this is what being alive must feel like. He tries to lose himself in the movement, in the loud music and the crowd; in that thought of being wanted.

Kurt kisses him, his tongue exploring and somehow intrusive, and it feels as though everyone is watching.

They go back to Kurt's apartment and fuck, and David can't help counting every thrust and pant. When they're done, there's this urge to put Claire's shirt back on and go home. He stays anyway.

The drug makes him sleepy after sex and he hates that. He listens to the idiotic pop music Kurt insisted on playing while they did it and falls to a restless sleep.

He dreams about nameless colors.



Las Vegas isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it?

His inner voice is sarcasm-dripping and punishing, and underneath all the bullshit, he knows he shouldn't have done half the things he did that day.

The cell smells like piss and so does that guy in the corner, and David keeps telling himself that something in his brilliant plan to get drunk and have sex must've gone terribly wrong.

He is drunk and claustrophobic and dirtier than ever, and he's tired of counting metal bars, because the number never changes, and that just makes him crazy. He paces back and forth, counting the steps until the guard lets him out.

He didn't really think Keith would come and get him. They walk together in silence, and David refrains from making a semi-witty, lame comment about being somebody's bitch in prison. He's just grateful about breathing fresh air again.

There's no warmth in Keith's eyes when he drops David off at the hotel.

David watches him drive off and then goes upstairs to jack off in the shower. He feels like such a badass.



David leans closer to the corpse and counts its eyelashes; his eyelashes. He counts bruises of hate on the still face and tries to make them disappear for the boy's grieving family.

He dabs lotion and makeup and liquid skin reviver on the dead skin, and for once he tries harder than usual to make this one work.

It's a political thing outside this silent room, and all the people with their ignorant opinions and loud voices will never make him feel like being gay is a choice, or a lifestyle, rather than who he is.


Maybe he is a disease, or unnatural, or wrong and misdirected. Maybe all that time of fear and self-loathing really do mean something, and maybe the Bible is right for calling him an abomination, and liberalism suddenly seems like the wrong way to go.

Maybe he's a sinner.

He straightens the dead boy's hair and his own mind taunts him.

Maybe there is no afterlife, and therefore no wrong nor right.

A dead gay boy's ghost mocks him mercilessly.


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