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Dec. 5th, 2015 12:48 pm
sekritomg: (mew mew)
[personal profile] sekritomg
about hanukkah, from last year.


Their first kiss was three weeks ago. Kyle isn’t sure if that’s delayed or not, but he feels like a late bloomer, dragging his feet through the slush on their block in Fort Collins, on the walk to the yarn shop. It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and Stan climbed the side of Kyle’s house and in through his godforsaken window, like a fucking child. No, literally, a child; that’s what they did in fucking grade school. If finals weren’t stressful enough Kyle’s spend the past 20-odd days and nights worrying that it wasn’t for real, it was just because of South Park, because they act like children when they’re there and what could be more childish and irresponsible than developing a gay crush on your best friend, your roommate? Kyle’s not even gay, or like, he’s not even out, or maybe he wasn’t out to himself but everyone could tell? “I could tell,” Stan says, drawing Kyle’s attention back into their conversation. “The way you look at other guys? I could tell.”

“That’s not a tell,” says Kyle, “and anyway, that’s bullshit.” He knows it’s not, but he’s still a bit lightheaded from the blow job Stan gave him before they left the apartment. The first one ever, from anyone, not just Stan. It was pretty good; just that fact is jealousy-inducing, but Kyle might be more panicked than jealous.

“I could go on, but I’ll spare you the indignity.”

“That’s great, thanks.” Kyle sighs when Stan touches the small of his back.

But, anyway, the yarn store.

Does Stan come often? Kyle is unsure. Until recently he hadn’t felt entitled to full knowledge of Stan’s whereabouts. He kind of pieced it together from offhand comments, blog posts, Twitter; felt uncomfortable when Stan turned up casually in someone else’s Facebook photos. So who knows if Stan’s been here before, or what he’s been knitting, for whom. All that Kyle knows is it’s finals week and the first night of Hanukkah, and they are here so Kyle has to pick out the yarn out of which Stan is going to knit him a scarf. It’s a Hanukkah gift. The shelves are packed with skeins and the colors overwhelming, arranged by color, ROYGBIV and all the intermediary shades.

“What do I do?”

“Pick two kinds,” Stan says, “two skeins,” and the word is natural on his tongue but foreign to Kyle’s ear. He feels Stan watching as he gravitates toward the blues. It’s not his color, never was, but there’s an incredible depth to the selection. Stan is watching, his arms crossed, the look on his face pleased and nervous. He seems a bit sick.

“Are you all right?” Kyle asks.

“I hope you pick something I can work with.”

Oh. “Um. Why don’t you just pick something out?”

“No, because I want you to have what you want.” He pauses. “I mean, it’s not a very good gift if I pick for you.”

Not wanting to argue, Kyle doesn’t mention that he fundamentally disagrees. “It’s really a kids’ holiday,” he says, certain he’ll make a bad choice. “My parents don’t even get me anything anymore. I’m too old.”

“But,” says Stan, “I never got to be a part of it.”

“We played dreidel.”

Frowning, Stan reaches for a bolt of blue yarn, cobalt like a crayon, not too dissimilar from his own eyes. It’s thick yarn, bulky, and it looks warm. Cozy even. “This?”

Kyle takes it, squeezes it, and rubs it against his cheek. “It’s too scratchy.” He hands it back and sees that Stan is smiling, not quite a grin, blush on his cheeks. “Well, what?”

The yarn replaced, Stan says, “Nothing. Just, the way you rubbed it on your face."

 "Well, I have to know if it's soft."

 "It's cute."

 Now Kyle starts blushing, fumbling with another skein. "What about this one?" It's another shade of blue, steely and marbled with bits of gray and tan. He brushes it against his face and spies Stan licking his lips, which are always chapped and Kyle’s always known they’re chapped but only recently did he come to feel how chapped Stan’s lips are against his lips and it’s crazy but the thought of it makes Kyle so hard right in this knitting shop that he wants to crawl into a hole and fucking die.

“That’s the one,” says Stan, snatching it away. Then he demurs, knits his brows, and says, “I mean, if it’s soft enough for you.”

It comes out pretty soft, actually: “Yeah.”

Stan gathers skeins of yarn into his arms and carries them to the counter, where he pays in cash. It’s 60 dollars of spun alpaca, probably money Stan’s been saving since his dad gave him three hundred-dollar bills two months back for his birthday. Typical Randy; some years it’s three Benjamins, some years nothing.

~

After a brunch of empanadas and french toast at a café down the block, Stan and Kyle return to their apartment and share the living room. Listlessly Kyle types an essay, dwelling on his late lunch. They split their entrees, switching halfway through, something they’ve done many times over the years, sometimes even at that same café. But now the little old things they do, the gestures they share, suffer under the weight of too much meaning. Surely Stan knows the click-clacking of his knitting needles is driving Kyle insane, but Stan knits to recordings of anthropology lectures. Perhaps he can’t hear the needles at all. But, no, that’s madness; they’re right in his hands.

Kyle slams the laptop shut and inches closer to Stan, who sits across the room in a frayed club chair they found in front of the building one day. It’s horrifying to Kyle, still, three months later. He’s itchy all the time so maybe it’s got bedbugs. The dermatologist on staff at the student clinic swears it’s dermatitis, but what does that bitch know? Kyle didn’t tell her about the garbage street chair. Anyway, Stan sits in it every day and hadn’t complained of itching. Kyle pulls out an ear bud and the monotone droning of a lecture on methodology comes streaming from the little nub.

“What’d you do that for?” Stan asks.

“The needles,” says Kyle. “They’re so fucking noisy.”
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