When I heard that Prince had died, it was like a blow to the gut and head at the same time. Prince was my first crush as a sexually aware teen. Barely teen, actually. Before then, I'd thought so and so was cute and would fantasize about being married and having the perfect house etc.
Prince did not inspire those kinds of fantasies. :D I looked at him, at the way he moved, his body, his face, then there was the talent-- vocals, writing, guitar, dancing, fashion-- dude, I was a goner.
After I had some time to process the loss, though, Will started talking to me. He had a bit of grief he needed to get out. I kept seeing it over and over. And so I let him tell me his story. It's short. It's not really happy, though of course it ends with his men comforting him. There's no sex. It's just what kept going through my head over and over until I put it down on Word.
So you don't have to read it or anything, but I had to write it
Grief and Love
Will set the iPod down on the couch then all but collapsed on the floor, landing on his butt and pulling his knees to his chest. He wrapped his arms around his knees and just let himself go, unashamed of the sobs or grief he felt. He knew he wasn’t the only person in the world mourning someone he didn’t really know.
But it felt like Will had known him, like he’d lost a close friend. He knew all about how ridiculous it was to think celebrities owed fans anything, or for fans to think they owned a part of a famous person.
It still hurt. Will remembered so clearly zooming down the road in his little car, happy as a clam—whatever that meant—dancing in his seat and singing “Kiss” at the top of his lungs. It was like it’d just happened, though years had passed. He’d blown a kiss at a cute, older cowboy, then gotten scared and thought he was about to get the shit stomped out of him.
What he’d gotten was that cowboy, and another man, too. Will loved Carlos and Troy with every ounce of his being.
And he might never have met them if it hadn’t been for that Prince song playing on the radio at that moment in time.
Despite Carlos being a cowboy and Troy being, well, not into music other than heavy metal, they’d all agreed that ‘Kiss’ was their song. Every year on the anniversary of their first, er, meeting, Will had given his husbands a performance all over again. Troy had missed out on that first kiss Will had blown to Carlos, but that didn’t matter. Will danced and wiggled his ass and blew kisses at his men, then he proceeded to drag them down into the dirtiest sex he could imagine.
It felt like he’d lost a part of all of that, and though he knew that feeling would pass, for now, it totally sucked and he hurt.
“Ah, shit, honey, we tried to get home quicker.”
Carlos’ deep drawl had Will raising his head up off his knees. He knew he had to look a fright, snot and tears and swollen eyes, but it wasn’t the first time his men had seen him such a mess. He’d bawled over the adoption of each one of their five kids.
“Come here, baby,” Troy said, bending down.
Will was soon cuddled between Carlos and Troy, with Troy having lifted him right up off the floor and carrying him to the bed. Carlos wiped Will’s face tenderly with a bandana.
“Figured you’d be tore up over it,” Carlos murmured. “Not that I ain’t upset. You got me hooked on Prince’s music, and you know that’s breaking the cowboy code of music brotherhood.”
Will hiccupped a laugh. “That doesn’t even make sense.”
“Sure it does,” Carlos argued before dropping a kiss on Will’s lips. “When ya sign on to be a cowboy, you gotta swear to listen to country music only. It’s in the cowboy code of ethics.”
Will knew Carlos was trying to cheer him up, and it worked just a little. “I’m not trying to be a drama llama, I just…I don’t know.”
“I do,” Troy said, cupping Will’s cheek. “Remember how I lost it when Robin Williams died? That was like losing one of my best childhood friends, even though I’d never met him. His movies were, well, sometimes they were all that I had to make me happy at times. So I understand what it’s like. I think a whole bunch of people understand. There’s been so many passings this year alone.”
“Bowie, he made me aware of the fact that I wasn’t exactly straight. Didn’t know what I was at the time, but I did know it involved me wanting to get my hands on him, and not to harm him, either. Then there was Merle,” Carlos said with a sigh. “Even though I saw it coming, that tore at me and you know it. I grew up singing Merle Haggard songs and thinkin’ him and Waylon and Willie were gonna live forever. Then Waylon died, years back and, just, damn. It hurts to lose people whose work we’ve admired, and who’ve helped us feel better and given us hope with a movie or a song, or a word or…I guess what I mean is, you don’t have to know ‘em up close and personal to mourn. It’s very human to regret the loss of life.”
“That’s the longest speech I’ve heard from you since you caught Eddie stealing a cookie from the jar,” Will rasped, trying a wobbly smile.
“Well,” Carlos drawled, “I’d told that boy no already ‘cause he didn’t do his chores. He was lucky all he got was a lecture.”
“And some day, Will, Eddie will tell his kids about that,” Troy added, an earnest expression on his face. “He’ll use it as a teachable moment, and he’ll talk about his three dads, and hopefully we’ll all be around then still. But life happens, and death happens. The losses hurt, but think about all the love and the lives, the smiles on our kids’ faces, the way you, me, and Carlos love each other.”
“And dance for us, still,” Carlos murmured, eyes on Will’s. “Every anniversary. Never stop celebrating what came from you singing that song and blowing me a kiss.”
Will sniffled. His whole face felt bloated and he was tired, and still heartbroken, but he also had that deep, abiding love inside of him. “I will,” he promised. And he would, because what one song had brought together and built wasn’t gone with the singer. It’d grow, as it had been for years, and it’d be a memorial of a sort, he thought, and that eased some more of the pain and shock that had taken him down to his knees.
That, and the arms of his men as they each moved closer to kiss him and caress him.