Years ago, Lowell had a Super Bowl party which was a giant success because none of us had any idea of the rules and logistics of football. We were mostly book people who could identify football, but just barely. We liked the action of it, and the commercials and the constant t&a. I felt a special kindness for all the gay men in the room who would never ever make a "tight end" joke; they weren't like that.

Lowell's roommate, boring Mike, was the one who had the money and put the cool things in the house and boy did we love him for it. He knew and didn't mind. The bigscreen was almost a whole basement wall and the bar was overstocked and there were excellent tiny speakers perched all over the place like sparrows trying to hide or nest.

I stood at the edge of the room with susie-and-woody, talking to each other, but eyes toward the screen. They were trying to figure out the game and I was trying to figure out Lowell. On the couch, his long length sprawled out, the kind of tall you only see in high school boys with enormous Converse sneakers. The kind of tall that never appeals to me, but here we were. He was framed against the flicker of men running. I liked the way his hair swung in his eyes and how he was there to talk to everybody. This was before I was that type. He impressed me.

Enough of being fourth grade swoony, I said to myself. Went to the kitchen to find Gullet, because I knew he would be standing in the kitchen talking to someone. He shut his eyes and I fed him brownies and he had to guess which one of us had made them and he was always right. Yours are the best, but you should leave out the chocolate chips, he said. You should fall in love with Lowell, he said.

Sure, okay, I said. Should I go to bed with him tonight or keep the sexual tension around for a while, keep America tuning in? Gullet said I should go on and impale myself on Lowell's ready cock and I said all right then, you always know best about that ready cock business.

You understand we were both full of garbage. It was all right because we knew the truth underneath, which was that I watched Lowell across rooms and Gullet saw it happening.

The game was over too fast; I think we'd all thought it would go on for days or at least till morning. This is what the nation makes such a fuss over? Everyone reclaimed their coats and Tupperware. A lot of us had thought it would be cute to show up with Tupperwares full of homemade stuff, and it was, but it also turned out well and we understood for the first time that hokey or not, potluck is just a damn good idea.

I volunteered to help clean up and then everyone else was gone and Gullet managed to leave without winking at me dirtily; good. We went to the basement to collect bottles and cups and crap but there wasn't much there - we're loud but clean. Lowell and I talked until we were done talking and stood in the basement out of words all of a sudden, and alone.

He looked at me long enough for me to finally figure out what color his eyes were. I was nervous and I flickered the light switch on/off quick. A joke: look, I'm mischievous. It was like a black light jump from one scene to a slightly different. His face after that flicker was different. Maybe his smile had disappeared or maybe it was just now showing up, but something in his whole demeanor was changed and it was all right to stand there and look. I flicked the light off again and left it to see what would happen and what happened was he touched my face. My hair was in the way and he brushed it aside, finding the hook of my ear in the dark and coming back to slide his cool dry palm down my cheek again. He did not kiss me, that is important. I stood in his darkness having just learned the color of his eyes and I knew a substantial piece of panic was permanently behind me.

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