Nasir raised Ed’s ass. Ed’s face retreated from me with his eyes closing. Nasir licked his hand, from wrist to finger tips. He threw us in the shower and slammed the sliding Plexiglas door behind him. We must have looked comical, or maybe really hot, on all fours like cattle, being hosed down with burning water in a suburban bathroom. Ed and I grabbed each other. He took me on his lap and I crossed my legs behind his back. We turned our gaze to the fogging mirror that Nasir kept in the shower—they fucked in there a lot. Ed was taller, skinnier, a long brown stain next to a smaller, lighter one in the mirror. I couched my head in Ed’s clavicle, pretending I could hear his heartbeat through his bones. Did Ed know that I thought he was too beautiful for us?
My short breaths blew on Nasir’s neck. Nasir and I were lying on the bare mattress in his room—things had gotten a bit messy. I caressed him from behind as a 90s sitcom played on the computer screen in front of us. Ed was closing and opening drawers in the kitchen downstairs.
“Ed doesn’t like this,” he said, pointing at his chest and then pointing back at me, “he doesn’t want you and me to be together without him.”
“Huh?” I muttered. “What do you mean?”
“This.” He did the pointing thing again.
“But I thought we had agreed to—” but it was always Ed’s way, “let’s just go downstairs.”
I followed Nasir, noticed he was shorter than me, with scattered patches of hair on his back; the comforter dragged behind me over the creaky steps. Downstairs, the door was open.
We parked in front of the entrance to Ed’s apartment building. Ed stood next to his car. His left taillight was shattered. He stood there, it was midnight, and the moon had finally come out, just above the rustling trees, casting moving shadows on Ed’s skin. It was going to rain tonight. The puddles from earlier that day would fatten up in an hour or two, and flood the parking lot.
Ed seemed to be completely enthralled by the broken taillight. He traced the ridges of the plastic case with his fingers. It stretched me and Nasir to think that he had arrived home, that he hadn’t disappeared into the marshes. “I told you he’d be okay,” I said, not loud enough for Nasir to hear me. For a moment that night Ed had disappeared, a blue streak in the sky, and now the distance from me to him and the distance from me to Nasir felt like it was the same. I was fine. Or at least, I felt like I was. Whatever I wanted Nasir to give me, whatever I wanted from Ed, was right here, right now, in this moment and all around us.
Santiago Sanchez is a Connecticut-based photographer, writer, and cultural anthropologist from Ibague, Colombia. His non-fiction works on queer selfhood and non-normative sexualities are forthcoming in Q Magazine at Yale and Imponderabilia Journal of Anthropology.