I have been overwhelmed by the reception of No Irish Need Apply. I guess coming-of-age is something we all do. I dedicated the work to PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gays) because it deals with coming-to-terms as well. However, feedback from readers say "it is those boys - those two seventeen year old scamps," that have stolen their hearts. So I offer you a sample of Kevin Borden as he does something that author's are warned against - seeing themselves in the mirror. In this case, who can guess what is reflected?
from No Irish Need Apply
"Kevin shut the taps, and then grabbed a towel, giving his hair a lazy dry. He cracked the bathroom door. “Loud and clear,” he shouted. “I hear you loud and clear.” The rush of cool air from the bedroom gave him a chill. His teeth chattered. He continued drying as he emerged into the bedroom like Apollo on the chase. He spied his rental tux spread out on the bed like a warrior’s battle array. It wasn’t the one Sarah wanted — a deep cherry velvet affair, but a plain black contrivance. Kevin had promised Louis to keep it simple; and simple it was. What wasn’t simple was the next thing he spied as he finished drying off. He saw the boy in the full length mirror — a boy grown to manhood, fashioned like a cross channel swimmer, smooth as leotard and as attractive as . . . well, as Apollo on the chase — only his Daphne would be a similar sight with similar appendages.
Kevin dried his legs slowly, and then worked the terrycloth down to the wisp of hazel hair that graced his groin. Thad’s was golden, he thought. The chill warmed his under parts. He knew that if Louis was here right now, the Prom would have been ditched in favor of the sheets.
Apollo smiled as he thought of his Daphne. He thought he heard the distant hastening of his mother’s voice, but she could cool her jets now. He let the towel drop and messaged his chest and stroked his belly.
“My, my Miss Scarlet,” he drawled in a whisper, “your Rhett Butler’s ready for you tonight. Not bad. Except for this little mishap on the knee, quite perfect I would say. In fact, you’re a hunk, Kevin Borden — quite the macho, macho man. A girl in man’s clothing.”
He sighed, his eyes scanning his full form while reaching for his jockeys. “Shame to cover it up,” he said as he stepped in and pulled the elastic band slowly up his legs and thighs and, after an impish squeeze, tucked his assets into the cup. “I’ll unwrap these later. I’m quite excited by the prospects.” Stag, he thought. How I’d like to march in with Louis on my arm. He’d die. I’d die, but it might be worth it. “To see their faces, their hateful sneers,” he sighed. Stag. He proceeded to the tux shirt with its brace of studs. His fingers worked their magic, the holes plugged with faux diamond caps. He inspected the work. It was impressive, this costume in progress. It was a dry run for the wedding — or the funeral. Now for the pants. They were odd things. They looked like pants — a little wider than his jeans, but they defied staying up, until he discovered the side clamps and the suspenders. These were a chore, but when complete, he looked quite the nineteenth century rascal, he did. He slopped his hands into his pockets and flared.
“Look at the boy,” he said, the smile looking back at him through the glass. “Boy, he’s cookin’ tonight. Why that Alison will be drooling when she sees me. And she’d be jealous of Louis, if she knew.” Stag, he thought. Care. “They’d all be madder than hell.” And if they found out — “They’d better leave us alone.” And if they didn’t? “If they hurt him, I’d kill them. I’d rip their fucking throats out.” He snarled and then went for the socks and shoes.
The socks defined the word hose. They kissed his damp feet with silken elegance. It was a new sensation, like a first peck on the lips, but the shoes — those patent leather clamps, felt like electric prods — exciting and ready to go. “Dancing shoes,” he sang. “We’re gonna strut tonight.” He swayed before the mirror. “Dancing shoes.” He imagined he saw Louis beside him. He closed his eyes and saw a room full of men — men on a dark dance floor, the starlight ball casting a galaxy around sweaty chests and scant bottoms. All that hip-hop — all those bodies, undulating gay love. And there was Louis waving in the sparkling beads. Kevin knew where his dancing shoes were taking him. He knew for sure. He knew it was right. He wanted to live on that dance floor forever. I want to dance there for the rest of my life with Louis.
He danced in front of the mirror to imaginary hip-hop, but he heard the beat and the rhythm. How imaginary could it be? He pressed his body to the mirror as if he danced with another boy. “Feet of flames,” he said, sex dripping from his lips. “Fire. On fire. These dancing shoes’ll take me to my man. Steam. Look at the man in the mirror, boy — ready for his love.” He kissed his image."
Edward C. Patterson