This is fan fiction. Though the characters involve real people, this does not recount real events. The rating on this story is R. If you are not at least 18 years of age, please do not read!
CAN YOU LET GO?
© Radiantbaby, 1999
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Simon on the meaning of SENM, a la The San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11/00:
"I wouldn't really want to be specific. It's based on a very small incident, but the way I look at it is this: Something happened to me on a dance floor in France -- it was just minutes -- but it started the ball rolling in my head. Where the ball ended up is where the song started. That's pretty obscure, isn't it?"
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The lights were always disorienting when the nights were drawing to a close ages ago at the discotheque in Paris I used to frequent. It was probably more from a mix of the swell of intoxication of drugs, drinking, and brooding than anything else. Some people don't think me to be much a brooding sort, figuring me to be more cavalier. Then again, some people are wrong.
Even just more than ten years later, I remember that night so vividly that I could almost paint a portrait of it, encompassing every little detail. Of course the problem with that is that I am not really a painter, but I am a writer, an artist of the written word. I will try my best to paint a picture with my words and perhaps you'll see the painting in your own mind.
I remember the pulsing of the music racing through my body, powering me to move tirelessly throughout the evening. I don't know how many woman I danced with that evening, or even how many men. They were all just a blur to me, filling in the picture around me, but most importantly helping me focus on whom my main attentions were upon. He had arrived late and like me was very intoxicated, some things with him were actually predictable.
He spotted me across the room, smiling crookedly at me, and then waltzed towards me with a drink held high in the air. It was as if he were toasting me, but I knew he was probably just trying to balance himself and keep from falling.
"Charlie," he drew out, drunkenly, his eyes glittering with the lights from the mirror ball just over us.
"Hello, John, what are you doing here at such an hour?" I teased.
He had been drinking from his glass and nearly sprayed me with its contents, laughing at my question. It was a dark, sarcastic laugh. I knew his mood then.
"I just sort of left my flat and found myself *here*," he replied, sweeping his hand.
"Renee?" I asked, knowing his reply before he even spoke it.
"Gone to London. We had a bit of a row, I s' pose," he said, feigning innocence.
It wasn't anything new really -- John and Renee's fights. It seemed that ever since they took up residence in Paris while the band worked on our album at the time, their relationship was deteriorating right before everyone's eyes. The saddest thing of all was that John was as well.
"Be careful, there," I said, grabbing John's arm as he lost his balance for a moment, part of his drink sloshing onto his vest.
He was just laughing, though his eyes were sadly empty. "Come on," I urged, leading him to an alcove in the club, where we sat alone on a red, velvet couch.
I had grabbed a stack of napkins from the bar and was trying in my own intoxicated state to dab at spilled alcohol on John's vest. "Oh, thank you Daddy. Might I go back to my pram now?" he teased.
"Now, now. I am *far* from your father. I am just trying to keep you looking tops, you hear?" I laughed.
"Dear, dear Simon, I fear that might be out of your control," he said darkly, glancing down at his arm.
I was almost startled to see some small slashes on his upper arm, knowing now that he had taken to slashing himself with a razor back then when he was particularly upset. He would say later that he did it just to prove to himself that he could still *feel,* I think back then he was completely detached from himself, trying desperately to get back. I lifted another wet napkin and wiped away some of the crusted, dried blood from around the wounds, causing him to whimper just slightly as I brushed across them.
"Where is Yasmin?" he asked quietly, his demeanor now like the child he had just been joking about.
"Away. We've had our rows as well," I replied, focusing on cleaning his arm so that I didn't need to look into his eyes.
"Born to be broken-hearted, we are," John exclaimed with a sad smile.
"Born to be always searching for perfection is more like it," I replied, smiling back at him.
His eyes were red and I could see that he was near crying. I placed my hand on his knee, meaning to be an innocent gesture, but not denying the surge of excitement that went through me when I did. "When will everything be perfect, Simon?" he asked, a tear rolling down his cheek.
I lifted my thumb to wipe it away. "I don't know, John. I don't know."
We sat on that couch for what seemed like forever, getting even more intoxicated and speaking rather ill of our respective lovers. The club was beginning to clear, the songs becoming slower as the night turned to morning.
"Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ahhh," John mimicked as the Spandau's "True" came over the speakers.
"This much is true-ooh, ooh" I added, the two of us laughing, both glazed over from the nostalgia the song was bringing to us.
"Dance with me, Simon," John said in a mock female voice, putting his hand out to me.
"Of course, darling," I replied, the two of us stumbling out onto the floor.
The lights were low and it was difficult for us to see, but we were having too much fun to even worry. I took the lead, holding his nearly limp body against mine as we swayed to the music, that first song turning to several as we were out there for much longer than either of us had probably intended to be. I was surprised John let me hold him to him in that way, letting his guard down and holding tight to me as if he were afraid he'd float away otherwise. He had never been one for open displays of affection in public, at least with men. His guilt about his ambiguous sexuality seemed to reach back as far as when he would sit in the pew at church as a child with his mother, trying to figure his place in the world.
"Why does this feel so good?" he whispered, his lips just near my ear, sending shivers down my spine.
"Because its...rebellious," I replied, trying to keep my distance emotionally. He knew how I felt about him -- the long, lingering stares, the songs written just for him. I loved John in a way that I had never loved another and I think it frightened me as much as it did him.
"What's the matter, Simon?" he asked, sensing my withdrawal. He always seemed to know my thoughts, sometimes even before I did.
"I'm just...I am in trouble, John. You know I love my wife, but I just can't stop thinking about...no, *obsessing* about *you*. It's like I live to make you happy," I confessed.
"Can't we just have this moment? Why does it have to be so complex? When it gets complex, we get hurt," he murmured, nuzzling against my neck.
"It's just not right, John. You're meant to give yourself to someone else, not me," I whispered.
"But Simon...I..." he started.
"I know, John. I know."
The lights of the club clicked on, blinding us for a moment, as we oriented ourselves to where we were. They were closing and making it apparent it was time for us to leave. The two of us went back to our respective homes, hardly speaking. It was as if the light had silenced our feelings and that we could only *truly* communicate in the dark. I remember watching him stumble as he left the cab, wearily making his way to his door. I had to steel myself as I wanted more than anything in the world to follow him, but I knew if I did, I would be following him forever. I had to set him free and set myself free.
N A V I G A T I O N :
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