Sunday, September 19, 1999

Sweet Dreams

This story originally appeared on the Secret Garden website and is archived here at the request of author Doug Rogers.

I kept telling myself that this was crazy. It was crazy and I just kept right on doing what I was doing.
My boyfriend was here. His thick dark hair contrasted sharply with the almost luminous blue of his laughing eyes. He was beautiful. Turned up nose... knowing smile. The mattress lay there in the middle of the living room, where it had been left earlier in the day. The cutoff jeans showed the ripple of hidden strength as he slowly knelt there. He looked up at me and smiled again.
I smiled back and joined him on that soft surface.
He reached down with his right hand and grabbed the tail of his white tee shirt. With a single deft movement, he pulled it over his head, and discarded it. I looked at him, and melted. The smooth skin of his chest drove me crazy. I loved the visible strength as he flexed his arm to scratch the back of his head. The line of his stomach. The asymmetry of his pecs, as the slightly smaller left side led my eye to the 4 inch stump of his left arm.
He was beautiful. And he was mine. I reached out to kiss him... a long, lingering kiss of adoration. And then I remembered! My wife was in the next room asleep!
And then I woke up.

I woke up with my heart pounding, my body literally shaking. Gwen was there, next to me in the bed. Apparently I had not cried out, for she was still asleep. My nightmares were becoming more and more disturbing to her. She believed my excuses of men with knives and chases that lasted forever. That was far easier to tell her about than my repeated encounters with the enchanting teenaged boy with no left arm.
Those dreams should have been pleasant. I should have relished and enjoyed them. Having been a devotee for as long as I can remember, the dreams of finally being with a beautiful amputee should have made for a pleasant night.
Why could it not be a woman I had found? A pretty, vivacious girl with medium large breasts and a taught behind and, say, her left leg gone at mid-thigh? That's the sort of thing I used to daydream about. A striking girl who would crutch about the house and show me all her best moves!
But it is the boy who is always in my dream. His name is Joey. I have never met him, or had more than a fleeting glimpse of anyone who even vaguely resembles him, amputee or able. He must be a product of my mind. A figment of my imagination. The dungeon keeper of my dreams.
As I drift back to sleep, I concentrate on one of the one-legged beauties from my hard drive. Perhaps a raven-haired GIRL will come to me this time.
But it's not. It's Joey. He's still there, lying on that mattress that shouldn't be in the middle of the living room floor, but is. His eyes are full of adoration and lust. I return the gaze in kind, and remove my shirt. As I get down next to him, I draw him close, cuddling him chest to chest, and we begin to kiss. His lips are so soft... almost like a girls'. Yet there is the slight abrasion on his skin of shaven stubble that you can never quite get rid of, unless someone catches you 15 minutes after a shave. I stroke his face with my lips, and savor his taste.
My right hand finds his stump. I caress it gently, and he presses it harder into my hand. My fingers trace the length of the surgical scar, now quite faded, that runs from the inner to outer edges of the amputated limb. He giggles slightly, and kisses me hard on the lips.
The lights come on. Gwen is standing there, watching us. She screams.

No, The scream is mine. Gwen is shaking me awake, asking what's wrong. "It's the knife, again," I tell her, without much emotion or conviction. Yes, the story wears thin. She knows I'm not telling the truth, and cannot understand why I would lie. But she would never understand.
Once, I tried to explain my feelings to someone I trusted. It was pretty shocking to him when I admitted that I found amputees attractive, beautiful. But, he was able to buy into it. "Hey, " he said, "Some of us like big boobs!" But he didn't swallow what I told him next. That while the amputee girls were very, very pretty, the amputee men were even hotter! 
"Are you a fag?" he asked me. "I mean... you're MARRIED!"
I haven't heard from him much since that evening.
I thought maybe I had found the answer when I found some of the sites on the internet that cater to amputee devotees. I remember one night in one of the chatrooms... There were three guys all talking about how hot one of the guys who'd just been posted on the companion picture site was. One of them asked me how long since I had come out as being gay. I told him I wasn't gay. That I had a wife, and liked being with girls sexually. But that I really liked looking at the amputee guys on the site.
35 minutes.
That's how long the lecture on denial lasted. The claims that I was really gay and was denying it and covering it up. That I really didn't like women at all. That I was hiding from the fact that I wanted to be with a man.
So much for finding someone who understands. The straights think I'm gay and the gays think I'm in denial.
And everyone thinks I'm crazy.
I think I'll get up. It's 3:30 in the morning. There's no need to go back to sleep. I'll never get there without the pills anyway... too afraid of my own dreams.
I bring the computer up and check the email. Nothing there, of course. Hell, I'm 56 years old. Who is going to give a shit about corresponding with a fat old closet bisexual. The answer is right in front of me.
Perhaps I DO need a sleeping pill. Or two. Or ten. I count them. There are 27 here. It takes a couple of glasses of water, but I get them all down. I feel full, but not uncomfortably so. I think I'll surf the net while I wait for them to take effect.
But no! I forget.
My computer has been my friend and confidant in these feelings for all of these years. It has kept my secrets safely hidden. If I leave those secrets behind, sooner or later someone will find them here on the hard drive. I suppose I need to prevent that. To make sure that I don't leave yet another loose end behind for someone else to tuck in. Gwen is going to have a hard enough time understanding. She doesn't need these directories full of questions, too.
Windows 98 asks if I REALLY want to erase all of the data on the non-removable drive. I answer yes. The machine begins flashing the activity indicator, and a progress bar begins to crawl toward the right. 13%... 14%.... I'm getting so sleepy now... 19%.... 20%...

Quite suddenly, I sense that I am not alone. I turn around. Joey is lying on the mattress in the center of the room. I smile and join him.
This time, no one will disturb us.

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