The events described in this story are fictional. The author makes no assertion about the lives or characters of the real people whose names and identities she has used in the writing of this story, and makes no money from it.

Thinking About It

Our lives flap, and we have no better hope of
Happiness than this

Douglas Dunn - Modern Love


He (he being Orli) says, "Oh, I don't think about it much." (It being love, or what they call in magazines, dating, or romance.)

Because he's too busy. Because his life is too full. It's not exactly a lie.


The heath is tawny, lion-coloured, as he walks in the morning. It's September. There is a stiff breeze. He feels so good and healthy to be out here walking on the heath while others lie in their beds. It's a Sunday. The only people here stroll along slowly, indulgently. They hold dog-leads limp and dangling behind their backs. They whistle. Labradors and terriers bounce back and forth on yo-yo strings. The dogs smile and their pink tongues hang out.

It feels nice up here. It feels good. And why wouldn't it?

Later, if it doesn't rain, families will come here, with children. The children will bring kites that they've built from kits maybe, with their dads. The wind will take the children's kites and whip them straight up high, and hold them there. The kites will look like dragons and aeroplanes and cartoon characters. Everyone will shade their eyes to look up at the wonderful kites.

Now though, there are no kites on the heath. The kites haven't come yet; it's too early for them.


He, Orli, does not think about it much. There is so much else to think about, after all. He has to think about being pirates and outlaws and soldiers. Orli is busy having a lot of fun, so he doesn't think about it much.


Up on the heath, on the hill, Orli stands and looks down, and the whole city is there, or that's how it seems. From up here, the city seems small and manageable. He feels as though he could deal with it, from up here.

Is this it?

That question doesn't mean anything. It's just a string of words that zips occasionally, like a little electric fish, through his thoughts. Is that all there is? Like that song; that really camp one. It's silly. It makes him smile.


Of course, it's not like he never thinks about it. Just that he doesn't think about it much.


Orli thinks about Dom, as he's tiptoeing, half-running, half-galloping down the hill. Dom's funny. He's a funny bloke. Dom has warm hands. When he's bored or nervous he does fiddly things with felt-tip pens or bits of string. Dom's good to be with -- he's the best company. And after all ... what harm could it do?

But then again. What good would it do? What good would it do, and how would it change things, if Orli had a laugh with Dom, and spent all his time with Dom, and asked Dom to put his warm hands on him? In the long run, what good would it do if he spent obscenely long stretches of time looking into Dom's eyes, and annoyed people by smiling at nothing? Would it make things better?

Would it make things better if Orli had candlelit dinners with Dom, and private jokes with Dom? And went to the movies with Dom, and went shopping with Dom, and argued with Dom about lateness and unfairness and things said in the heat of the moment, that could never now be unsaid?

How good could it ever be, if it all turned to crap in the end? How good, if there was an end, which there was bound to be. How good, even with Dom's warm hands on him -- on his waist and his ribs and his cock and his mouth and everywhere? Even then... How good, really, if there was always this ending waiting somewhere up ahead, like a road accident?


Well, obviously, Orli does think about it sometimes. He's bound to.


Coming down the hill, it was like flying. When he reaches the bottom, though, it's only like stopping.

He finds that it's windy on the heath, and that he's a little bit cold, and that he's walked (almost) in a complete circle.