Disclaimer: Well, they're using the names of Marvel
characters, if nothing else.
"All prepared for your date?"
"Yeah, sure, absolutely. Ready. Yup. Fine. Great .... no."
"I just, I started thinking."
"Robert, you know what happens when you do that."
"What if he wants to. you know."
"You could say no."
"Of-course you can, don't be ridiculous -"
"No, look, I know I could, but I can't just not, I mean -- there just doesn't seem much point coming out and dealing with all this shit if I'm gonna be fucking celibate -"
"Has anyone been -- unpleasant?"
"What? No -- no, everyone's been -- actually, everyone's just been really nice. It's kind of unnerving actually. I don't remember anyone ever being this nice to me before."
"I think they're trying to reassure you."
"It's getting on my nerves. I keep waiting for the punch line. 'ha ha, we think you're a pervert really!'"
"I'm sure it'll wear off. Sooner or later you'll do something too irritating to ignore, and everyone will go back to mocking you."
"Can't hardly wait."
"I'm sure he wouldn't pressure you Robert. Jean said he seemed very nice, and I'm fairly sure she, ah, checked."
"It's the twenty first century Hank, even nice guys have sex. And I just -- what if I just can't? What if I freak out, or freeze, or, or just hate it, even when he kisses me, or something? If he does. I mean, he might not. He might not want to, he might hate me. He might hate this shirt. What do you think of this shirt?"
"It's a fine and excellent shirt my friend, worthy of song and odes to its beauty."
"You really think so? I thought maybe it was too -- is this the one you gave me for my birthday?"
"I think it is, yes."
"Oh. well, okay. um. Where was I?"
"Freaking out, I believe, at the thought of having sexual relations with someone you've yet to so much as go on a date with."
"Don't, I mean, it's not just -- it's just -- I know what to do with women. Well, more or less. Well. Actually, I doubt I ever really set anyone's world alight or anything, actually. Probably that's why they all dumped me. God."
"I don't think--"
"No, no, no, look, it's -- I just -- sometimes I think - 'woohoo, guy sex!' -- sorry, um, TMI there I guess, but you know, and, and sometimes I think, 'who the fuck am I kidding? I can't do that!' And, and, what if it, you know, gets to that sort of -- point -- and my subconscious decides to go for what's behind door number two after all?"
"Robert, I think you should consider the very likely possiblity that you might be over-complicating this somewhat--"
"and what if--"
"But, no, really Hank, this could be a total disaster. I don't think I should go. I think I'll just. I'll phone him, I'll tell him I'm sick. or, dead, or, or -- a virgin, I bet that would put him off ... oh god. I'll have to be celibate forever. oh, God. I just can't -- mhphhh!"
"wha- tha- you. you. you. Hank. you. you kissed me. you -- what the hell was that for?"
"I'm a man. Did you hate it?"
"NO -- uh, I mean, nooo, but--"
"Did you freak out?"
"Well, perhaps we'll skip that one -- but consider. You kissed me, a guy, therefore, you can kiss a guy -- and without going into shock, or needing therapy for post traumatic stress. Don't you feel better now?"
"No! ... Besides, I didn't kiss you, you kissed me. It's not the same ... what? What's that arm waving supposed to mean?"
"Hank ... Geez, okay, I don't know quite how to say this, so I'm just gonna -- have you been at the cat nip again, or what?"
"It was merely an offer. There's no need to be insulting."
"You want me to kiss you? Me? To kiss you?"
"You don't have to Robert, I simply thought a small rehearsal might qualm your fears, and keep you from needing to breathe in a bag during your date. But if you'd rather wing it--"
"No! I mean ... no. I mean -- okay. if you. I mean. Okay. Sure. I bet that would. help. If you don't think it would be too weird."
"Why would it be weird?"
"Well, I mean. you know."
"Hank, come on. You're -- we're -- I mean! You're my friend. My straight friend. And okay, so you're a pretty open minded guy and very, you know, at one with your inner beastie or whatever, I dunno ... actually, now that I'm thinking about it, it's kinda a pity you're not the gay one. I bet you'd be better at it. Less repressed and stuff, probably."
"Yes, well, thank you Robert."
"Right. Sorry. Not much of a compliment I guess."
"... so. um. okay then. I'll just -- um."
"Just do it, Bobby."
"Yeah, thank you very fucking much Nike. Shut up already, you're putting me off--"
"I'm just gonna..."
"okay. okay? Was that--?"
"Great. great, okay. so I. um. kissed you."
"A guy. you."
"yes. yes, you certainly did."
"Well. good. okay. that went. fine, I thought."
"absolutely, yes. fine."
"Okay then. so, um. thanks."
"you're, ah. welcome."
"no, I mean really, Hank, you didn't have to let me ... well, you know, I mean. I know it's not precisely your thing. so I just. really appreciate it. Really."
"It was my pleasure Robert."
"Really? I mean, uh ... okay. good. So ... can I ask you something?"
"I don't -- that is to say ... I don't suck at it, do I? It's just, well, you can never really ask someone, usually, and I was never entirely sure I was doing it completely right, or if whoever was just too polite to say, and --"
"Right. sorry. never mind."
"You don't suck at it."
"oh, well. thanks."
"In fact you're actually quite ... talented."
"oh. ohh. Really?"
"Don't let it go to your head."
"Riight. Okay. thanks ... um. Right. So I guess i'm ready for my date with ... uh ... thingy--"
"--Michael, yeah. Right. I knew that."
"Just. um. slipped my ... um. Hank."
"I was just thinking."
"I thought we agreed you wouldn't do that any more?"
"No, really, I was just. It just kinda, occured to me, you know, just now, that he might. Well, I mean he ... well, you know. Twenty-first century guy. He might wanna do more than ... kiss."
"I suppose he might, yes."
"And, well. Even if not tonight, you know. Eventually. If it works out and stuff, that is. or if not him, you know. someone. Eventually."
"That does seem likely. Unless you remain celibate, which you seem averse to."
"Right, well, that's what I thought. And you know ... I've never done that either. and so I was just thinking ... if it's not too much bother ... do you think maybe..."
"A further rehearsal?"
"Yeah. Just a little one, you know. practise?"
"How much practise do you envision needing?"
"Well, geez, Hank. You know me. I've always been kind of a slow learner..."
"Indeed. Very slow."
"Yeah. But I wouldn't want you to -- if it's too much bother --"
"I think ... I think I can spare the time."