Bravo, mon petit grenouille! You make my silly poem sound so grave and suave.
So this isn't poetry, exactly, but I suppose you could consider it really, really awful "poetry," to the point that it's prose. In any case, I thought you might enjoy it, Monsieur Froggy. Somebody requested a romance story about Mika, and so I attempted to oblige. The catch being that, as I do not want to publically speculate on his sexuality, I had to keep it gender-ambiguous, which was much harder than I originally anticipated, and made for pretty clunky sentences, too.
Oh, and it might help to be aware of these lyrics if you don't know them already.
The show had just ended, the confetti barely settling over the forest of applause-reddened hands and breathless grins. Jem snuck out the back door before the first few paper flakes could make their way past the audience's sweat-dampened hair and onto the floor. Crowds always made Jem feel suffocated, and a little bit like disappearing, though with Jem's height and startling cloud of auburn hair, disappearing in a crowd could hardly have been possible.
Jem had never heard of Mika prior to that night. Going to the concert was Susan's idea. She was covering the show for a small local zine, and had a spare ticket, and so decided that Jem should accompany her. "You'll love him," she insisted. "You're kind of weird and you like weird music anyway, so this should totally be your thing." Jem considered protesting that statement, but knowing Susan, decided against it. In any case, she turned out to be entirely right. Mika was the most brilliantly bright thing Jem had heard or seen in ages, and despite the claustrophobia, the music made Jem feel as though the whole world were inside one's ribcage, pushing one's lungs open to eternity in a euphoric burst of energy. However, as soon as the music ended, Jem could feel the crowd crushing in again, and this is why, having briefly ditched Susan, Jem was now searching out a few moments' solitary peace.
Gasping in fresh air, Jem leaned back against the brick wall, and then almost slid to the floor when a side door slammed open suddenly and nearly caught Jem's nose as it did so.
"Oh! I'm sorry, I didn't see you there," a disarmingly familiar voice said, and Jem was about to brush off the apology and move to a less violent section of wall when recognition kicked in. Mika was staring at the redhead in a bit of flustered concern, equally as sweaty and confetti-drenched and out of breath, but a little less sprawled along wall-plaster.
"Uh," Jem replied eloquently, tongue catching on dry lips. "I was just trying to... get away, but... so many people, and..."
Mika nodded, smiling a little. "Me too. You may want to get away from the stage door though," he suggested. Then seeing how pale Jem remained, he paused. "I didn't hurt you or anything, did I? Do you need to lie down?"
"No, no, I'm fine," Jem breathed, straightening up and pushing messy red hair out of dark eyes. "You were amazing, by the way. Brilliant show."
"Took your breath away, right?" Mika laughed. He fixed his eyes on Jem's. "Look, I have to go, but if you want to stick around..." He didn't finish the sentence, but continued smiling for a while, and then turned to go inside.
Jem thought of Susan and her teasing, and what she'd say if she were to be there now. Of the crush of fans exciting the theatre, of the long ride home, and Susan's chatter about how "weird" they were. Of the fact that Mika, in addition to putting on the best show Jem had seen that year, was disconcertingly gorgeous in person. Of what Susan would say about THAT.
Jem stuck around.
Mika didn't come back out.
It was only to be expected, Jem thought walking to the car. It was silly to wait. Plus for what? An autograph? Not like a scribble on some paper was really worth anything. "Not anything," Jem said out loud to the pavement, studying its cracks with great concentration, and promptly smacked into someone. "Sorry!"
Jem looked up to see the now-familiar haze of curly hair and lanky frame, and blushed. "We're making this a habit, I think," Mika said. He crinkled his nose. "I'm really sorry for not coming back out. I meant to, I promise. I got... things happened." Jem noticed he looked tired, and seemed upset. Jem also noticed that he was, again, entirely alone. Surely that was a little strange. "Are you feeling better? Do you want me to sign anything?" Mika asked.
"Not anything," Jem repeated, without thinking. They looked at each other again. "Do you need to go back?" Jem said at last, awkwardly.
"Yes," Mika said. He didn't move. Another pause. "Do you ever..." Mika began.
"What do you do when you need to breathe?"
Jem looked at him, and suddenly felt entirely at ease. "Sometimes, I go for a car ride. To see a secret. The most beautiful place that no-one ever thinks of."
"Show me," Mika said simply.
Jem nodded. They got into Jem's car, and Jem set out for the highway. Everything was a bit surreal, but then Jem thought that the highway was always surreal. They were both quiet for a while, mutely following the silk stretch of road ahead into the pale horizon. The sun had set a while ago, and the sky was turning a deepening violet. There was no moon and no stars; the night floated like a smooth purple tapestry above the warm road. Jem finally broke the silence. "You're not scared?"
Mika turned to look at Jem. "Scared? Of what? Of you?"
"Maybe. You don't think this is weird? That I'm weird?"
A shy smile flitted over Mika's lips and softened into his eyes. "No. I don't know; I was always weird. I don't think I know what weird is. I think normal is weird." He looked back towards the road. "What do you think I am?"
Jem breathed in quickly, and felt a flutter of panic as the word slipped out and hung in the air between them. But Mika only kept smiling, slightly wider now, with a child's open grace.
They passed under a bridge, and a grey mass rose before them, set in a field of glittering white lights, as though a duchess' diamonds had been scattered all over. Slender towers and spiraling peaks rose from it into the sky, looking like some fantastic foreign castle. As the car rushed closer, the castle acquired more details, delicate stairs winding round it like laces, and lights sparkling over its silhouette. A shadowy plume of violet smoke rose from one of the soaring towers: the breath of a dragon encircling the castle's parapets.
"There," Jem said. "This is it. It's a factory, you know, and no one thinks of factories as beautiful. But at night, spotted with twinkling lights as though wreathed in garlands of fireflies, it's like... a cybernetic fairytale. It feels like a whole other world, like something between realities. Even in the midst of all its pollution, all the other cars, I feel like I am separated from everything, and all that exists is the beauty and the speed, and I can breathe the whole night in, and--"
"Pull over," Mika interrupted softly.
Jem turned to him in surprise. "Now? Why?"
"I can't kiss you while you're driving."
Jem did as Mika asked.
It was funny how well they understood each other's breathing then, underneath that violet sky and its cloak of purple smoke, smoke and breath mixing together, red hair tangling with brown as though the curls were made of heavy air.
It was dawn when they made their way back to the city, a lazy, rose-colored, yawning dawn. The statue of liberty rose faintly out of the mist that gathered over the water. "I always wonder what she's thinking," Jem confided to Mika as they passed her by. "When I go driving like this, I feel like she can breathe, and I am the one made of stone sometimes. She seems so lonely then, I wonder if she shares everybody's loneliness."
"Nobody," Mika replied thoughtfully, "is ever the only lonely one."
Their hands were intertwined, fingers pressed together. They didn't look at each other, but they breathed in unison.
Jem stopped the car outside Mika's hotel. "Thank you," Mika said. Jem nodded. Mika was going to say something else, but Jem only smiled, and both knew that nothing more was needed then.
"There are always too many people," Jem told him, a little sadly.
They parted after that.
When Mika's next single came out, Susan brought over a copy for Jem. She was surprised to find Jem had a copy already in the car, but even more surprised that Jem refused to listen to its b-side track with her. "Why do you have it then?" she asked.
"I do listen to it," Jem said. "Just by myself, when I need to get away. It reminds me how to breathe."
"I swear, you're so weird," Susan said.
Jem let her keep it at that.
So yeah... it's kinda crap. And honestly, not particularly romantic, because I couldn't really connect to "Jem" at all. But crap is the point, isn't it?
"why, instead of semen, couldn't men ejaculate strawberry jam or something?"
"I have had contact with a vagina."