CHAPTER TITLE: The Most Interesting Part of the Day is Lunch_Thirty-Six_of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,085
WARNINGS: this chapter: none, Lindsay POV
DISCLAIMER: Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already? Not mine.
Originally Beta’ed by herefordroad, all subsequent mistakes are mine
Story throughout contains excerpts from The Brian Kinney Operating Manual including commentary from the Editors
SUMMARY FROM THE EDITORS: ‘I especially liked the day we met his friends.’
Toronto visits New York and, while there, makes some revealing observations
AUTHOR‘S NOTES: This story projects 59 years into the future and reflects all that that entails, many of the loose ends are tied-up. I dance with POV, I dance with time, in essence, I just dance to the song Brian & Justin sang to me.
Contains: Brian_others, Justin_others. They grow old, they are always together for just as long as time allows, but, ultimately, they will die.
As someone wise once said, ‘In the end, it’s all about Brian and Justin’ and I can only agree
A Time From Now
The Most Interesting Part of the Day is Lunch
Same Week - New York
This was the first chance we‘d had, in the nearly six months since we’d moved, to get away. Between visits from Pittsburgh, remodeling, job searching, school…just everything, life had been hectic, but now that things had slowed a little, with the house nearly complete and with no scheduled visitors, there wasn’t anything overwhelming preventing us from visiting Justin, except, possibly my new job.
I took my little well-rehearsed speech to my boss, Preston, and explained how I’d only be gone for a few days, how right now Gus had vacation time from school and how, since we were between shows, things were a little slow at the gallery, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. He agreed without complaint and sent me on my way, bidding me a ‘fond farewell‘, reminding me that, after all, it was his gallery, that was why it was his name was on the signage out front, and that he had managed ‘somehow’ to run the place for several years, 25 years I believed, before I’d made myself nearly indispensable. But not completely, not yet. He’d suggested that I could combine business with pleasure by looking into a couple of galleries he’d been meaning to check-out, so we’re in New York, we’re with Justin, it was our last afternoon and the trip had been amazing.
And he’d changed, in how he acted, in how he looked…our boy was growing up. He seemed more urban, more edgy, dressed in low riding jeans with t-shirts that just grazed his belt and usually topped with vintage vests, but still with his book bag, now stuffed with art supplies, that he took with him everywhere. His hair was noticeably longer, nearly shoulder-length and slightly darker. He’d been the perfect tour guide / host, knowing just the right places for us and the kids to visit He’d managed to find a park or somewhere special for Gus and JR after every couple of hours of shopping or gallery and museum visiting for Melanie and me. I could almost imagine he was a native and after only five months.
I especially liked the day we met his friends.
In the morning, we met Jake when we visited Justin’s studio, located in a fairly large warehouse, in a fairly scary and therefore affordable area, which had been divided into several studio spaces. Five artists shared this particular space and, while everyone was accomplished, to my eye, Justin’s work stood out, the direction he’d taken since leaving Pittsburgh was remarkable. He’d been working on Babylon’s mural, along with a couple of smaller pieces, and I could feel its power. I photographed the smaller paintings, both completed canvases, to show to Preston plus two of Jake’s mixed media works. A third artist, a woman named Lauren, also did work that I thought would be appropriate for the direction I saw the gallery moving. While it may take a few months, I might be able to showcase them.
Then, that evening we had dinner with Justin’s roommate Alex and his girlfriend Ellen at a very pleasant little bistro they obviously frequented regularly. They were known there and the staff treated us like visiting royalty, wining and dining us on the best Italian food I’d had in ages. And, impressively, Justin picked up the tab.
But the most interesting part of the day was lunch.
We met with Justin’s friends, Jamey, Tristan, and Mychael, at a little hole-in-the-wall burger place close to where Justin lived. They needn’t have bothered to tell us they were from Kansas, the soft drawl of the place still sounded in their voices and they had us in stitches, even Gus, telling us the stories about their adventures when coming to New York and about all their adventures and misadventures since arriving here including how they’d met Justin at a dance club with the beautiful name of Eden Skye.
But the most interesting part of lunch, to me anyway, was how Jamey acted with Justin, there was something real between them, even if Justin wasn’t acting quite the same way and maybe that was because of us, I didn‘t know. Several times, Melanie caught my eye and smiled, she saw that something between them too. They were obviously lovers. I only hoped he wasn’t going to break Jamey’s heart. I’d always been concerned that Justin could become quite the heartbreaker, especially after what had happened with Ethan, but even more because of everything he‘d learned from Brian. Actually, I wonder if I should mention any of this to Brian, maybe warning him? I doubt I will. But maybe that bound-to-happen-thing had. Not sure.
Jamey did ask one revealing question though, starting by telling us what beautiful children Gus and JR were, he then hesitantly asked if Gus looked anything like his dad, apparently not caring much if JR looked like hers. Justin’s only reaction was to momentarily lower his eyes, nothing more. I was relieved he had at least told Jamey about Brian, but he obviously hadn’t any real idea who he was. I told him that Gus did look very much like his father. He said something flattering to cover up feelings I couldn‘t really understand and the moment passed and they continued on, the three of them mostly but with Justin joining in, to make our lunch a completely memorable occasion. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d laughed so much. Melanie seriously thought they should take it on the road.
So I combined business with pleasure, with all the emphasis in the right place. We truly enjoyed everyone we met through Justin. He was gathering around himself a unique group of friends and they were his friends. I felt that Justin had never gotten completely past the reality that we had been Brian’s friends first. I wasn’t sure if he ever really thought of himself as Brian’s equal in our eyes. He’d be wrong if that was how he felt, of course, well…at least with most of us, but I wasn’t sure if he’d ever really understand that.
And I was so pleased that, having followed through with my confidential suggestion, Sam was having such a positive effect on Justin and his career. Who could have known that something so right could come from that mess he and I had created in Pittsburgh? Sometimes some things just needed their own time to finally make sense. I was thankful that all of that had ultimately worked out for Justin’s benefit. Beyond that, the only thing Mel and I could really do was to keep Justin close and to make sure he understood that we cared.
Next Chapter: Just one of the ways in which two lives can influence each other
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