“You stupid boy.”
Blaise blew a small torrent of minty smoke towards his charge, leaning forward on his executive leather chair. Bold headlines glared at them from a stack of different tabloid papers. Calvin Klein Model Proves A Playboy. Jose The Secret Ladykiller. She Had No Idea Who Jose Was.
Gorgeous red curls framed his pale face, blue eyes narrowing at the younger, but bigger man in front of him. He was just getting too old for this, thirty was too old in the modelling world. The man who coughed was a tall, tanned, Latino dream on the covers of magazines, with his dark hair and muscles only an addition to his exotic handsomeness. But Blaise had seen many Latino dreams pass him by. “Blaise, I…I swear I didn’t do any of that! I don’t even know any of those girls!” Of course he didn’t. Blaise already knew that. “…and she just, I didn’t know. She was precious to me. You know, Priscilla.”
“She’s a glamour model. Nobody dates glamour models anymore, honey.”
The manager finished his cigarette, crushing its flame on the magazines he paid about fifty dollars for. But not before moving closer and letting the last billows of smoke clog Jose’s nose. “But weren’t you a-Blaise…!” A cough. “…I just..” Another cough. Blaise decided he would not have any more of this idiocy as he settled back into his chair, and it was starting to feel to taut for his liking. “Just what? Just couldn’t resist another hoochie in lace?” He had seen this from the beginning, from the very moment the two had met.
“Don’t call her that!”
“Oh, my boy…” Blaise shook his head and wryly chuckled. The sheer dumbness of youth astounded him. But then again, who was he to talk? In his day, he had Latino dreams, Greek dreams, British dreams and even Asian dreams. But for the nineteen year old Jose, it was just the beginning of the train wreck he liked to call model relationships. Swinging his chair to the right slightly, the redhead looked out the window and down at all the media clamouring at their reception several floors below. Reporters, camera men, or even just enraged fans. Jose was a talent and Blaise knew talent. After just debuting a year ago under him, Blaise had transported Jose from yearbooks to magazine front covers.
Jose buried his face in his hands with an exasperated sigh, running his fingers through his hair. “I don’t know what to do, Blaise. It’s just, all of this, is too much for me. You can save me, right? You’ve been a model for decades, you were even acting in some movies. You have years of this relationship crap!” His manager nodded. Blaise was a gay model in the earlier scenes, known for his androgyny, as well as his acting prowess- he had been on nearly every gay magazine’s cover in the past years. A once humble French beauty from the countryside towns in the outskirts of Paris.
When it came to relationship crap, Blaise knew the pains and humiliation of it well, many of his scandals with men in the past made it to the tabloids too. Model men, acting men, married men, freshmen.
“You have two options.” Blaise began, reaching for his pockets for another menthol, but he blinked and frowned when Jose snatched the hated cigarette and kneeled before him, pleading on his knee. “Blaise! Be serious! I really need your help…” He almost whined, which only made the manager raise his eyebrow. “Get up. Pack your things. You’re going to Vegas tonight. Jet’s leaving at eight, with or without you.” At those words, the Latino looked up with a delighted gasp. “Or you can head out that front door right now and say hi to all your media friends.”
“No, no! I’ll go! I’ll go!” With a smile forming on his face, Jose nodded like an excited puppy. A huge, brown puppy. “Come with me, Blaise.”
That stopped Blaise in his tracks as he snatched his cigarette back, quickly lighting it. “What, and change your diapers too? I’m not your nanny, I’m your manager. Your annoyed, overworked, old manager.” Old- he hated that word. Blaise grimaced for a moment, he preferred it when he used to be a ‘piece of fresh ass’. It seemed derogatory then, but heck, he loved it now.
“You’d make a good nanny though…one of those pretty nannies.” Thus, he made his big eyes at Blaise. Blaise rolled his eyes and extinguished his new cigarette on the tabloid stack. The boy knew how to joke, for sure. “Don’t kid me, boy.” Blaise quipped.
Jose was as straight as an arrow, who chased celebrity skirts and panties like a horny middle-schooler and Blaise didn’t appreciate the weird compliments. “I ain’t kidding. This is like, the umpteenth time you’ve put a diaper on my ass.” Jose insisted, setting a hand on his knee. Then there it was, not the dashing smile of a hot Latino model, but the grin of an honest, humble janitor who cleaned the school halls after class for his sister’s tuition money. “Please, come with me.”
“Fine.” He rummaged through his pockets and produced two sets of keys, handing one to his charge. “Get out of here with my car through the back. Get out of my sight.” Blaise’s words were harsh, but the soft grumble that came with them betrayed the fact that he had truly given in.
The moment Jose had rushed out the room, Blaise took the opportunity to look through all the tabloids and call every magazine and newspaper that reported on it. He had to clear a few things, and of course, share some dirt on Priscilla too. He wasn’t without his own secrets. That, and Blaise quickly fixed his schedule to debut one of his other younger models, Greg, for next week rather than next month.
That should distract the media for a while.
When the morning sun peeped through the velvet hotel curtains, its strong but precise light hit Blaise square on the eyelids, making the Blaise shift out of discomfort and rub his eyes. The sun was really warm, that he didn’t need the blankets over his bare skin through the morning.
Though his head felt as heavy as a lead ball, Blaise fought the strong hold of sleepiness and yawned, slowly opening his eyes. Hotel ceiling. Good. Yawning again, Blaise scrunched his eyes shut to force any memories he had of the night before to come back, but he only saw flashes of color. A lot of color. Maybe purple, red lights, white and gold fabric. Musty paper.
But nothing else. After closing his eyes like that, Blaise lost the motivation to open them again. Next sense, smell. He inhaled in deeply, noting the scent of bourbon, vodka and lemon. He definitely had shots then. There was a lingering fragrance of some…some CK perfume. Definitely men’s perfume.
Blaise didn’t even want to linger on taste, the aftertaste of alcohol hangover was just all different types of yuck rolled into one. To him, hangovers tasted like youthful mistakes and semen overdose.
Touch. Great quality hotel linen sheets. Soft memory foam mattress. King-size. Perfectly fluffed pillow caressed his shaggy hair. It was relief for his aching lower regions.
He could hear his own breathing, deep and slow. That, and snoring. Snoring? He couldn’t have been snoring, he was awake! The creepy sound was enough for Blaise to blink his eyes wide open in a fraction of a second, and despite his drowsiness and headache, he forced himself to move and turn to his side.
All he could see was a big bundle of hotel sheets, and a patch of tanned skin peeking from underneath. “No. No.” Blaise croaked.
Unable to comprehend that truth, he turned away and searched for something else he could land his wide eyes on. The bedside table sported a colourful piece of glittery paper. Taking it into his hands, his vision focused on the letters and numbers. ‘Vegas Big Bucks Lottery’. Number one and way too many zeroes. Five matching cherries. Blaise’s affected mind tossed that aside, who cared about matching cherries?
Moving to find Jose in the sheets, Blaise froze at the portrait that now replaced one of the small paintings on the hotel room wall, just above their bed. It was him, in a careless Cleopatra-esque dress. His kohl eye makeup was smudged, and to his right, holding him inappropriately by the waist was a smug Jose in flimsy, plastic Knight armour, holding a fake sword with his other hand. In the middle was someone who looked like a celebrant or Minister, looking like Spock down to the expression. Unimpressed.
He saw his pants on the floor and gulped, noticing the crumpled parchment in one of the pockets. Snatching it from his jeans, his breathing shifted to shallow and quick. Blaise turned back to the certificate, scanning down to the bottom. That was his signature alright, and though more of a scrawl, it was not forged, as his was a complicated one. “NO…”
A groan interrupted his thoughts, coming from under the sheets, and tanned patch of skin rose to reveal Jose in his morning glow glory. “..babe?..” He rubbed at his eyes before leaning in closer. “..wait, Blaise?”
‘Blaise Beauchene’ and ‘Jose Hermanos’
On this day celebrates
Their fateful union into one before me,
Minister and celebrant of the Gay Chapel of Las Vegas
May 5, 2015.
AIMS AND INFLUENCES
Stupid Boy is a short fictional narrative detailing a twist of events that occur between two peculiar characters, an openly gay manager of a modelling agency, Blaise and his charge, a young, recently debuted Latino model named Jose.
The plot begins with a scandal that arises from Jose’s bitter breakup with a lingerie model called Priscilla, and in the process she had emotionally attacked him by creating vile rumours for the press and to protect Jose, who is new to such media pressure, Blaise resolves to send Jose to Vegas, to distract himself. When Jose asks for his company in Vegas, what would have been a pleasant evening out for them as boss and charge becomes a whirlwind night of drunken attics, a lucky lottery win and an immature marital promise. One mistake becomes many, and in the end, Blaise realizes he had proven himself more stupid and youthful than his charge Jose.
This fiction piece is an experiment, a trial for me as an author to make a dramatic but light-hearted romantic plot between two men, one gay and the other subconsciously aware of his homosexuality. This is not a common theme in many narratives, or even in the media, at least until the last decade or so, and I wanted to try and contribute such a piece.
Firstly, I neatly situated this piece in a contemporary, modern genre, in order to not have its focus stray to historical, fantasy or even action aspects, but only to the characters themselves and their interactions.
In writing this narrative, I paid careful attention to creating my characters. Creative techniques such as constructing characters with the idea of knowing their reactions to certain events, their quirks, quotes and even past memories had lead to Blaise. When thinking on character reactions to different events, such as prompted in tutorials, I tried to think of one of the most dramatic yet amusing situations that a gay man like Blaise would find himself in- a surprise drunk marriage.
With this idea in mind, I also aimed to make the story reflect a major personal and internal change in that character’s life, and in this case, Blaise. Though marriage in itself is already a life-changing event, adding the lottery winnings of several million made his marital arrangements even harder since they would become mutual assets. Additionally, making this marriage be as drastic as possible, I had written it so that he would marry someone he did have affections for, but would never confidently pursue while being his normal, everyday self- Jose. Not only does this affect his life and finances, but also his emotions due to the crazy, overwhelming way he had expressed them that lead to marriage. This is also a major change for Jose, who had finally shown his preferences for men and revealed a part of himself he had been hiding.
Stupid Boy is a compact, light-hearted story that explores restrained emotions and affections, as well as the consequences of ‘bottling’ them for too long, and resulting in drastic consequences once expressed under the influence of alcohol and carelessness. It is also an unusual take on a coming-out experience, especially for Jose. Though most importantly, it demonstrates how vital it is to share and express one’s feelings in a safe, mature way before reckless mistakes could be made.
-The Musing Mestiza