From the Brightest Star

~700 words :: I ♥ Huckabees :: Albert/Brad :: 3/4/06
Folded up neatly in his pocket is another poem, scribbled on a Kleenex as Brad lay dozing next to him. It’s called “The Brightest Star”, and despite the fact that Albert waxed lyrical about Brad’s face, physique, and proficiency at fellatio, he can’t quite bear to throw it away.


They had connected, really connected, in a way that had nothing to do with how Albert’s pants seemed to shrink when Brad said, “Yeah, we date. If you want to call it that,” then smiled, eyelashes dipping, and leaned in a little, “but it’s not exclusive.”

“Not,” Albert said, suddenly glad for the tablecloth covering his lap, “not…” His voice cracking was the least of his embarrassments. “Oh really?”

“Really. It’s totally casual.” The clincher was when Brad looked down at the table, mouth twisting, then back up at Albert and added, “She just doesn’t care about the environment the way I do. The way we do.”

They toasted, Brad’s teeth flashing white as he answered Albert’s “to Open Spaces” with “to us” and clinked his glass to Albert’s. It was like in a movie; Albert knew in that moment that they would be partners, true partners. His fingers were just itching to write a poem.

Well, he has his poems now. Half a notebook filled with titles like “Betrayal” and “Deal with the Devil” and “Whore for Shania”. Folded up neatly in his pocket is another poem, scribbled on a Kleenex as Brad lay dozing next to him. It’s called “The Brightest Star”, and despite the fact that Albert waxed lyrical about Brad’s face, physique, and proficiency at fellatio, he can’t quite bear to throw it away.

He takes it out again, smoothing it open on the kitchen table. It’s because they did connect. Albert’s sure he wasn’t just getting carried away when he wrote that in Brad he’d found the missing half of his soul. He may have compared said soul to a black hole recently, but it wasn’t always that way, was it?

There’s something else in his pocket, something with a sharp corner that pokes under his fingernail as he shoves the folded-up poem back into his pants. That business card. The existential detective, whatever that is.

For a moment, he thinks of asking her about Brad. But what can she tell him that he doesn’t already know? Brad sold out. He betrayed Albert’s trust, made a mockery of what they’d shared.

And they had shared so much. Albert had never felt anything like it before. And yes, maybe some of that was due to the wine, which he’d never had a good head for, and maybe he should have been suspicious that Brad had a hotel room reserved, but those were just little details, meaningless in the greater scheme of things. What mattered was that he and Brad shared the same dream. And to a lesser extent, that Brad gave the best head Albert had ever gotten. Not that he really had a lot of experience in that area. Okay, so he’d had none. But he could tell good head when he got it.

Anyway, that didn’t matter. What mattered was the dream. The connection. Open Spaces. The environment. Not Brad’s lips and…tongue and…

“God damn fucking fuck fuck shit stupid asshole Brad!” Slamming his fist against the table, Albert shoves his chair back and stands, trying desperately to ignore his erection. “Stupid fucking Brad.”

He digs in his pocket again and – there it is – his fingers close over the business card. He’ll call this woman, but not about Brad. Brad is meaningless, a mistake. The black guy, though, that African guy he keeps running into, that’s one weird coincidence. Three weird coincidences, even. That’s got to be more important than Brad fucking Stand.

The phone rings and rings until he wonders if it’s even the right number. Maybe she’s gone out of business. How much business can an existential detective drum up, anyway? But no, there’s someone picking up, a woman’s voice saying, “Vivian Jaffe, Existential Detective.”

“Uh, yeah. Hi. This is Albert Markovski. I’d like to make an appointment…”