It’s Not Easy Being Greene
Greene stood outside of the restaurant and took a deep breath. He hated blind dates, hated dating at all, truth be told, but all of his friends had told him it was time to put his feet back in the water, get out there. He was quite happy on his boat; in his little bit of bayou. He didn’t need to get wet, as they said.
His friend Mozzie had convinced him that his date tonight would be a sure thing. Mozzie had told the guy all about Greene and he had been very, very intrigued. Greene wasn’t sure if he was reassured by this or more apprehensive. What exactly was this guy expecting? How could anyone be intrigued by him?
Let’s get this over with, Greene thought, sighing one more time before opening the door and scanning the room, looking for his date. It couldn’t have been possible that there was an actual spotlight on the table and the person there waiting for him, but looking back on it, it totally seemed that there had been.
“Lee?” he asked, tentative, standing behind the short, dark haired man seated in the middle of the room.
He turned around and Greene swallowed hard. He had never seen anyone that beautiful in real life. He just stood there as Lee stood up, small and petite and kissed him softly on the cheek. “Greene! So glad you came. I was starting to fret.”
Fret? How precious is that? Greene thought as he finally found his legs and moved to the other side of the table.
“Sorry. Didn’t mean to make you worry. I was just a bit…”
“Nervous? Me too.”
Greene sighed in relief.
“Why don’t we get a drink in you, that helped settle my nerves,” Lee said, as he daintily raised his hand to get the attention of the wait staff.
“What will you have?” Lee asked as the waitress approached.
“What are you drinking?”
“Pom martini. It’s delicious.”
Greene cringed. “I’ll give that a try.”
Lee must have noticed the face Greene pulled. “You don’t have to order the frou-frou drink to please me. I actually like a man who can swallow the harder stuff.”
The only thing redder than Greene’s face was the waitress’.
“Whiskey sour, please,” he mumbled so that the server could flee from the table.
Lee seemed to be the only one un-phased, as he reached for his cloth napkin and gently smoothed it over his crossed knee. Greene wondered if he’d even meant the double entendre. It didn’t seem to have registered, so he ordered himself to let it go and proceed normally.
“I’ve never been to this restaurant before, how is it?”
“Ah, magnifique. What the French can do with food is a thing of beauty.”
Greene looked at the menu with a twinge of trepidation. “What do you usually get?”
“Well, the frog legs are divine, as is the pate, chicken liver and caper,” he brought his fingertips to his mouth and kissed them.
“Any, ah… vegetarian options?” Greene asked, his face turning green at the mention of legs and livers.
“You’re a vegetarian?” Lee sounded horrified. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”
“I’m not a real vegetarian. I eat some things. I mean, you can’t live on the water and not eat fish, ya know?”
“You live on the water?”
“Yeah. On the bayou.”
“Like really live, live? I don’t think I’ve ever meet someone who really lives on the bayou.”
Greene smiled. “Well, you have now.”
“So, you eat fish.” Lee brought his drink to his lips and raised an eyebrow. “Any other meat you enjoy?”
Okay, that was deliberate, Greene thought.
He took a deep breath as he closed his menu. “You know, I’ve been told I need to live a little, so why don’t you order for us. I’ll try anything… only…”
“No frog’s legs or pate?”
Greene smile widened. “Yeah, except those.”
The waitress came back and Lee ordered their meals in fluent French and Greene had never been more turned on by words alone in his life.
“So, how do you know Mozzie?” He asked Lee after the waitress walked away.
Lee threw his head back with a chortle. “Oh Mozzie, poor dear. He’s one of my admirers.”
“The group of young men who show up at most of my performances, who wait for me at the stage door.”
“You’re a performer?” Greene asked, thinking, Of course you are.
“Oh yes, I am the queen of drag queens! I have the tiara and sash to prove it, honey. Mozzie didn’t tell you?”
“That he wanted you for himself? Wait, you two never…?”
Lee shuttered. “No. Never. I have the unfortunate luck of not finding the type of men who admire me attractive. Mozzie is perfect in a lot of ways, but by his finding me irresistible in a dress, heels and a spectacular wig, he is ruined to me. Tragic, isn’t it?”
“Guess that depends on your viewpoint. I mean, for me, not so much tragic as lucky.”
Lee beamed. “I bet you say that to all the girls.”
“Nope. You said you’ve never met someone who actually lived on the bayou? Well, I’ve never met anyone who is an actual drag queen.”
He shrugged. He hadn’t actively avoided them. They just seemed to exist on a plane he’d never ventured amongst.
“You’re not into that sort of thing?” Lee asked.
“I don’t know. It’s just never been on my radar. But I can tell you, now I’m afraid to go. What if I become one of those people? One of those people who just don’t do it for you?”
“Never going to happen.”
Greene blushed as he drained his drink just in time for the waitress to show up with their first course and another round of drinks. If he was going to be doing this level of flirting and innuendo, then he was going to need many more drinks in him.
“So, you and Mozzie?” Lee asked after dabbing at his lips daintily with his napkin.
“Me? And Mozzie? God no.”
“Why so emphatic? He’s not horrible is he?”
“No, no. He’s great. I’ve just known him since we were kids. He’s like a brother to me. We play music together and hardly ever have the same taste in men, so it works.”
“You’re a musician?” Lee asked.
“Yeah. I play percussions for a few different bands. Mostly bluegrass.”
Greene smiled tightly. He recognized that tone. Being a bluegrass musician was just never going to get him laid. He just hoped it didn’t prevent it all together.
There was a bit of an awkward silence, but it didn’t matter, as suddenly there was an obscene amount of food at the table. Greene was determined to try everything and was suddenly horrified by the amount of moaning he was doing every time he bit into another dish. He didn’t know what any of the things drenched in cream and wine sauce was, and he had no desire to find out.
“Alright, I’ve got to ask,” Lee started; the waitress had just delivered yet another round of drinks. “Greene? Where does that name come from?”
Greene laughed. That question had actually taken much longer to be asked then he was used to. He was used to it being the first thing people wanted to know. “My parents were huge hippies. You ever heard of the Rainbow Family?”
Lee shook his head.
“Well, it’s a group of like-minds that mostly live off public lands, state parks and such and are really into nature and shit. Anyway, my parents were convinced they would have seven kids and decided—probably doped out of their minds—to name them all after the rainbow. Of course it all fell to shit when I was their last child. Still, you think I had it bad, you should meet my sister Orange sometime. Scarred for life.”
Lee laughed. “Forget about Orange, you really have a sibling named Yellow?”
Greene laughed too. “It’s a middle name. My parents are crazy, but they’re not that mean.”
“Well, I’d say you lucked out. Greene is the best of the colors.”
This conversation seemed to loosen them up again and they really talked for the rest of the meal and the drinks that just seemed to keep coming at an alarming rate. They talked about what brought them to New Orleans—Greene had been born there, something to do with his parents following their bliss and a Janis Joplin song. Lee had moved to town only a few years before after a horrific break up in Savannah.
This led them to the requisite discussion of the all the exes they’d lost before. Lee dominated this conversation with a litany of men who just didn’t love/appreciate him enough. Greene made a mental note to freak out about this tomorrow. Tonight, with the food and the whiskey and how he couldn’t get over how gorgeous Lee was, it didn’t seem to mean anything to him. Tomorrow he’d worry about just how much was enough when it came to devotion.
Greene had had his heart broken a time or two, but nothing compared to the soap opera love life of Lee. Greene was a bit overwhelmed with it all and the names and torrid details were starting to swirl into a mass of chaos, but then the dessert was served and all else was forgotten.
“Ohhhh my god,” Greene moaned and then blushed as he took his first bite of crème brulee.
“Was I right, or was I right? It’s amazing, yes?”
“So very amazing. All of it,” Greene answered licking crème off his thumb. He wanted to stick his face into the tiny ramekin and lick it clean. But, after 6 whiskey sours, that wasn’t the only thing he wanted to lick.
Lee quirked his eyebrow. “You ready for some more amazing?”
Any other night, Greene might have groaned at the come-on, but then, there, after 6 Whiskey Sours and thinking with his nether regions, and he just smiled wide. “Absolutely.”
Greene couldn’t remember the ride back to Lee’s place or how he survived it without ravaging him right there in the back of the yellow cab. He did remember his first impression of Lee’s place when they walked in.
“Wow.” It’s the only word that would form as his mind overloaded on color, texture and style in a chaotic beauty. “Wow,” he said again.
“You like?” Lee asked, closing the door and shimmying past Greene.
With his eyes on the curve of Lee’s ass as he walked passed he nodded. “I like a lot.”
“Make yourself comfortable, there’s a wet bar in the corner over there. I’ll only be a minute.”
“Sounds good. Would you like me to make you anything?”
Lee leaned back out the room. “Surprise me.”
Greene stumbled over to the bar. He really shouldn’t drink anymore, but he felt he needed just a tad more liquid courage to compete with the war being waged in his mind. He wanted this, needed this so bad, but seriously, how did these things normally work? What was he setting himself up for?
He made a weak whiskey sour for himself and a fruity, colorful combination of booze for Lee, heavy on the grenadine and juice. Lee was probably just as tipsy as he was; no need to push the man over the edge.
“Ready?” Lee asked. He was standing at the door frame that obviously led to the bedroom, holding back the beaded door curtains wearing nothing but a short, silk, vibrant red robe, cinched tight around his waist.
Greene dropped his jaw and almost dropped the drinks. He bit his lip and nodded.
Lee extended his arm and curled his finger in the coy come here gesture and Greene willed his legs to move. This was all too surreal. He felt he was in a movie. When he got to the room, the feeling intensified. Lee’s room with its draped four-poster and vibrant fabric walls looked very much like a set. He just wasn’t sure what sort of movie he was in.
Though, as he handed Lee his drink and Lee grabbed his wrist and lightly tugged him to the room proper, Greene got a good idea what sort of movie this was turning out to be. He swallowed hard before taking a drink. Lee took his glass and placed them both on the nightstand before standing in front of Greene.
“What do you like?” Lee asked in a breathy whisper.
“I’m a big fan of this.” He tugged at the end of the belt around Lee.
“This ol’ thing?” Lee drawled, his cheeks reddening adorably. He tugged at both ends and the knot came undone and he rolled it off his shoulders onto the floor. Greene stepped back slightly to take it all in, his lower lip between his teeth. Lee’s tan-all-over skin glistened and there wasn’t a single strand of hair on any of it. None. He knew he shouldn’t stare, but he couldn’t help it. He hadn’t seen a smooth, hairless crotch since the middle school gym showers. It was mesmerizing, and also made him suddenly feel like he was some sort of hairy-knuckled Neanderthal.
“What do you like?” he asked, nervous.
Lee came and stood close in front of him and snaking his hands up Greene’s chest and putting both hands on Greene’s face, on his stubbly jaw he whispered, “This.”
“Really?” Greene asked, skeptical.
“Oh yeah. Scruff and manly men do things to me.”
Lee nodded as he slid one of his hands back down Greene’s chest, his abdomen before cupping his crotch. “Also a big fan of this.”
Greene wrapped his arms around Lee and pulled him tight, crushing the other man’s lips with his own. Lee worked frantically on the belt of Greene’s trousers while Greene devoured Lee’s mouth with his tongue, savoring his taste and feel.
Lee broke the kiss when he finally worked off the belt and undid the zipper so that he could pull down the pants.
“Can I…?” he asked, looking up at Greene through his eyelashes.
Lee blushed furiously, moving further down. “Taste the rainbow?”
Greene groaned, pulled Lee up by his armpits and pushed him onto the bed. He bent over him, climbing up to straddle him. He bent down, drew his nose along Lee’s before kissing it, kissing his forehead, his jaw, his lips. “Can I fuck you instead?”
Lee smiled wide and grasped Greene’s hips, grinding their cocks together. “I don’t know, can you?”
And he did.
It was the longest, most joyful weekend of Greene’s entire life. They never left the apartment, hardly ever left the bed. Occasionally they made their way to the kitchen. Lee made breakfast naked under an apron and fed Greene omelets as he bounced his ass up and down Greene’s cock right at the eat-in kitchen table.
Occasionally they cleaned up, Lee going down on Greene in the shower, thankfully without the horrible pun. And occasionally they slept, curled up in each other’s arms in a way that Greene didn’t think real people ever did, not in a way he’d ever been comfortable with before.
Sunday night, as they lay together on the couch, recouping, empty Chinese take-out cartons on the coffee table before them, Downton Abby on the television, every muscle in their bodies sore, Lee swore his undying love to Greene. And Greene, without any hesitation, without any of his usual panic and over-think returned the oath of devotion.
Of course, it would take no time at all for him to question ever single minute of that weekend, every single minute that they spent after it. Trying to pinpoint exactly what it was that made him like and need this man who was so very different than him in every way. He couldn’t, and yet, he couldn’t walk away no matter how none of it made sense.
They were complete opposites. Lee loved that Greene was scruffy and a “real man” but hated Greene’s swamp home and every single piece of clothes Greene wore. Greene loved how beautiful and classy Lee was but hated seeing him in drag; the wig and the mascara and the high heels. Lee has no use for the kind of music Greene played and thought his friends and bandmates—not counting Mozzie—were a bunch of dirty animals. Greene thought Lee’s co-stars and friends were a bunch of clucking bitches who manufactured drama to give their lives meaning. Lee spent half his time berating Greene and the other half in a jealous rage with some imagined look or gesture towards another man.
Greene spent half his time wondering what Lee saw in him and wishing Lee would wake up and realize he deserved better than him and the half knowing that no matter all of these things, they oddly worked. They brought excitement and adventure to each other’s lives. They made each other truly and really alive.
They did things for each other alone in Lee’s apartment that no one had ever done for them before and made it impossible to imagine living without. Their friends who took bets and had a pool to when they would implode would never understand, they barely understood it themselves.
It was never easy, would never be easy, but it was always worth it.