“Hi! You’re so-and-so… Oh yes, and you are so-and-so…” Handshake. Smiles. And…
In the past, I would have done one of two things: (1) stiffened my posture so that I did not give any hint that I was attracted to him, which usually involved demonizing his maleness in some way in my mind; or (2) inadvertently let out a sign of my not-good-enough male insecurity by cowering into the corner or avoiding looking him in the eyes.
… my eyes stayed on his.
In my heart were successive bursts of thought-palpitations:
- “Damn. What a good looking guy!”
- “Gorgeous blue eyes.”
- “His shirt is open, his chest is hairy and muscular.”
- “I really like him.”
- “Am I melting?”
- “No, I am not melting…”
- “I am still standing!”
- “Oh, he is softening.”
- “Is he sensing my warmth towards him?”
- “Wow, I am feeling a softness towards him and I am not afraid!”
Weather, recent projects, need for a holiday, etc. Surface chatter. But beneath all that, two men were connecting emotionally. And they knew it.
Ground floor. We smiled again and exchanged goodbyes.
- “He is a good looking guy.”
- “I can’t get what I want from him sexually.”
- “Erm... he is a great looking [read: sexy] guy, but what I want from him is not sex!”
- “I just like him and want to be his friend.”
- “And he seems to like me.”
- “He’s okay.”
- “I am okay!” . . .
- “What a weird feeling.”
Then feelings of being loved and affirmed in my relationship with Brother A came to mind. Being naked together; being hugged by him for a long time; being fully loved for who I am in a non-sexual way. These are a few of my favorite things. And in that place of intimate love and acceptance—God’s love for me through Brother A, in the real—is a birthing of a new sense of security in my own masculinity.
And so when I peered into the eyes of my elevator encounter, my eyes were able to tell him: “I am man.” “I like you.” “I am man, just like you.”
And I imagined that his boy-soul within him responded: “You are boy.” “I am boy.” “Let’s play together.”
Yeah. Let’s play together.