Subliminal Messaging in the Use of Comforters in the Late Twentieth Century

Written for Purpig's birthday

When Ray eventually woke up, Fraser had been awake for hours. This Ray knew. Ray also knew that falling asleep facedown on the bed with your boots still on might suggest that something about your lifestyle was, you know, vaguely shitty. Like the way his feet ached, that was shitty. Except it wasn’t.

That was weird. And weird can be shitty too. Particularly when you’re wondering where all your energy went and if you really need to raise your head off the comforter, which is now covered in your icky sleep drool. Maybe his energy got et by something he met in that bar last night, perfectly acceptable reason. It must have gone somewhere.

Hell, the karmic energy police had probably just gone and given it to Fraser. Not even Ray would bet on it, it was such a sure thing; Fraser had been up since the Jimmy Crack Corn of Dawn and was now merrily polishing his leather after a nice long run through Mugger Central with Dief. Ray wished he could merrily polish Fraser’s leather, or at least Ray did when his brain wasn’t about as quick off the mark as something that isn’t very quick off the mark at all.

Ray drooled into the comforter some more, because thinking was really difficult at that moment in time and the inner six year old, the only thing awake at this time in the morning, was thinking thoughts along the line of there being no Stella to tell him to quit drooling on the comforter…

And if the thought of Stella didn’t make him want to moosh his face into a load of synthetic fluff with the floral cover his mom had given him nothing would. Anyway, it was floral. A crime against humanity, a crime against guy-hood, a crime against his favourite friend in the whole world, the one which would never leave him bar unfortunate accident followed by unfortunate surgery (but that would be followed by unfortunate suicide so they’d be together as nature intended in the end). He’d just turned up after a hard day beating the streets and kicking perps and malfeasants in the head, and found not only had his mom done his laundry and probably spent a lot of time wondering about certain select items that he’s now got very careful not to stick in the hamper, but his grey and red comforter he’d bought after the Divorce was gone.

Goneroonie, vamoosed, stolen by aliens and worshipped as a god.

And there was this thing. It was pink, it had flowers on it, and Ray really didn’t want to know what his mother was thinking, hoping that it was just “oh, how pretty!” rather than hoping to send subliminal messages to any dates he might bring home. Messages like “you know, he might fuck like an animal, but he’s practically domesticated and you know, lonely for a woman’s touch, and great at Home Depot on a Saturday.”

‘Cause that would be a) sick and 2) fucked up ‘cause the sort of people Ray took home weren’t into domestic, or maybe they had domestic somewhere else, like another city somewhere else, and chintz doesn’t really say… Okay, the fuck-up was Ray was/wasn’t bringing guys home, mostly he was bringing guys off, in the men’s room, in their cars (not his, ‘cause mountie-nose would absolutely do hell for him), in alleyways surrounded by broken beer-bottles glinting like sickly candles.

The only thing the comforter would say is, “I’m as fucked up as you are” and Ray doesn’t want that, Ray wants to be cool, Ray wants to be the one in control, the one comfortable in his own skin, the one who knows what he wants…

Which asks the question, why then is he blowing annoying-mouse men in alleys?

Why, if he’s so in-control and in-his-own-skin? Besides the fact that he ain’t in his own skin, he’s in Vecchio’s and it’s all tailored but the fit is wrong and it hangs in the wrong places, and it hangs with a mountie, but it’s swamping him and he can’t give the right signals in it, ‘cause it catches up…

So Stanley Raymond Kowalski. Blame something else, someone else, for your fuck-ups, for your fucked-up-ness.

It’s the name, it’s the parents, it’s the Stella, it’s the only girl he ever loved left him oh so alone, it’s anything and everything…

Just never him.

Except he knows he’s to blame; just like he’s responsible for the face full of drool and rayon that he’s currently enjoying, not the wolf. And he’s going to face up to that, even if he doesn’t want to face up to the, you know, other stuff.

And the lizard part of his brain, the bit that normally wants to stay in bed until it’s warm and sunny is telling him things too, and what it’s telling him is that if he doesn’t get out of bed now then he’ll be able to blame nobody but him for the subsequent accident.

And let’s face it, Ray really doesn’t want his mom to find out that she didn’t toilet train him good, so he’s have to wash the fucking thing himself and then he’d have to not wreck it or his mom would… cry maybe? Resort to setting him on blind dates with desperate librarians?

Not that there’s anything wrong with librarians, percy, some of his best friends are descended from librarians.

So he gets up, and then he almost gets down again, face first, into the rug.


He’s wearing Fraser’s boots and they don’t bend like his boots and that’s why he almost fell over. He sets his brain to rewind, but no, at no point was he even in a position to make off with Fraser’s boots.

At this point he makes off with himself to the bathroom, ‘cause that’s kind of pressing, and it’s only after that that it hits him, for reasons not to be explored at this juncture his boots magically switched with Fraser’s super-supportive mountie boots. And Fraser must take a bigger size than him. And they’re kind of kinky.

And he can’t get them fucking off, exclamation point.

His hands seem to skid mysteriously whenever they go near the laces, and why do these things need two sets of laces each anyway? To stop otters trying to wear them? Double redundancy? Deeply kinky mounties with perverse and vaguely masochistic interests in footwear?

His dick decides to wake up when the kinky mounties come into his brain. Woah, really wake up, not so much morning wood as morning forest, but then Fraser would argue that it isn’t morning anymore anyway. And a snarky kinky boot-loving Fraser is so much better than the detachment of kinky mounties, that his dick decides that either he is going to open his pants, or his dick is going to and his dick makes no promises about whether his jeans will survive the experience.

So yeah, bed good. Avoid drool. Open pants and push down until the stop at the leather. No shorts, ‘cause he was out getting laid last night, except no laying involved and no strings attached and it’s remarkable that he stayed up without strings ‘cause right now he’s moving like a puppet. All jerky as he runs his hands down the nut brown leather.

It’s so fucking smooth and slippery in his hands, and then his hand is running down his dick, and that’s fucking smooth but less slippery. He’s gonna dig out the slick, but then he’d have to free one of his hands and they’re both too happy where they are. The one on the boot twists and the other one copies almost instantly and fuck, it feels so good. And he’s imagining Fraser in the boots and him in the boots and wondering if Fraser ever licks them, ‘cause they look so damn inviting.

The boots are just asking to lick, and it ain’t as if he can lick his own cock, is it? ‘cause if he could, he’d never leave his apartment ever, and his mom would find him wrapped in the floral thing from hell and reeking of come. So yeah, leans forward a bit and his cock tells him it’s a bit of a squash, but it’s good squash and he licks a line around the top of the boot, and looks at the line of spit in his wake. And it doesn’t taste that weird really, good in a sort of savoury way and anyway got to be cleaner than his comforter, right? They’re Fraser’s boots; you could probably eat off them. Hell, you could probably eat them if you’re stuck in the Northwest Yukon Wilderness.

And yeah, him and Fraser in the wilderness and he’s licking Fraser’s boot as Fraser licks him and he doesn’t know which of them’s got the better deal and yeah, he spits on his hand and makes nice with his cock some.

And he’s panting…

And Fraser’s standing in the doorway. His peacoat is open and he’s only wearing his longjohns underneath, and the reason for that is his feet are in a pair of motorcycle boots. They aren’t clean and shiny, they can and will kick shit and perps and the tires on the goat.

And fortunately, his dick never catches up with his brain, ‘cause everything brain was expecting? Doesn’t happen. Instead, Fraser’s looking at him with a look that says he wants to lick his boots and him, and his cock and anything else he can lay his tongue on, up to and including the comforter, but Ray hopes that he’ll get tired before he gets that desperate.

“Hey,” yeah, that’s it, the Kowalski cool.

A smile tinged with caribou in the headlights.

Kowalski runs a snap argument in his head about which hand to remove and then pats the bed, “Hey, come here.”

And Fraser does come here, but thankfully doesn’t come like that, ‘cause that would be sad even though Ray is 99% sure Fraser knows how to wash comforters. “Interesting pattern” Fraser says, and yeah, it is. Ray hopes he’s talking about the whole magic with boots thing, and not the comforter, but that’s okay if he is, ‘cause yeah, he guesses it is interesting, if you’re like a freak.

If you’re like a freak trying to kiss and suck all the air out of Ray’s lungs and then suck his lungs out for good measure and Ray has to think hard about the comforter and his mom and stuff not to come. And, yeah, their boots are knocking and Ray thought that was just a figure of speech, but it ain’t and yeah, he’s got the longjohns open and’s beginning to think about the potential of the back hatch, and then he feels them, the boots, come loose a bit.

Like magic.

But then, Ray doesn’t care, because he has a mountie in his hand, and the mountie’s hand is pretty good too and the kissing, good and the moment, just greatness.

And Ray doesn’t care about the boots, or why the boots, or anything; until Ben (he hopes it’s Ben, ‘cause Fraser in bed? Sounds kind of awkward) winces and he realises that the boots, his boots, are smaller than Fraser’s and Ben’s probably walked all the way here in them, ‘cause it’s hard to hail a cab when your moolah’s all Canadian without being in your underwear too. And Ray scotches down the bed, and hits the floor and pulls the boots until Ben’s sitting on the edge and he starts doing the straps and listening to the way Ben’s breathing.

And then they’re off, but Ray doesn’t move but grabs Ben’s knees to stop him moving or doing something weird and freaky like that; and leans in. Takes a quick look at Ben’s cock, but that’s not really what he’s interested in, looking. And takes him into his mouth, and Ray’s good at this, and this time he isn’t surrounded by beer bottles and dumped cars and old condoms… and it’s a million times more fantastic.

And maybe the comforter wasn’t so bad after all, and Ben tastes nice, but not smooth and leathery and the foreskin moves around a bit in funny unpredictable ways, and Ray decides to push it around a bit with his tongue, and then he really can taste Ben as he comes down his throat.

And then Ray feels like he’s falling, and he is falling, forward far as he can go and his legs, which were just getting a little antsy, are all soft and have no muscles no nothing, and then he falls backwards and lands on the carpet, and looks up at Ben and the look on his face.

And then he looks at himself, wrong boots (his are hanging on the dresser like weird fruit) and pants half down and covered in come.

And Ray laughs and thinks about Ben and him down at the Laundromat.

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