Mel Bossa's Blog, page 2
June 18, 2013
Our mayor has been arrested…
Funny how I really can’t make myself care about Montreal’s downward spiral into the gutter. It’s dirty, it’s crooked, it’s falling apart. Yeah, so? I have a feeling things aren’t rosier in other cities–they just don’t have a commission looking into their closets.
And for people like me, it doesn’t really matter anymore who runs the show. I still have to pay for my bus pass, even when the metro breaks almost every other day, and I still have to pay my rent increase every year because my landlord tells me she’s struggling with inflation (how about selling the cottage house and not building that extension to your already gigantic house, hm?) and I still have to put up with Hydro upping the bill every year, but wait Péladeau will take care of that, right? I still have to pay for car repairs on my old car because of how bad the roads are here (which by the way technically my car is so old they want to make it illegal for me to drive it). Still have to find a decent school to send my kids too that won’t cost me a kidney.
But you know, I can deal with that. What really PISSES me off is the price of wine here. Damn, as Oscar Wilde said, “work is the curse of the drinking classes”.
Let us at least have a cheap bottle of wine readily available when we desire it.
I had dinner with an author I greatly admire and he told me about the low cost of living in Thailand. Then I have someone tell me about the low cost of living in South America, and oh, another one tells me about the low cost of living in such and such a place…Then why are they all back here, in good ol’ Montreal?
There must be something in the water.
Oh wait, there actually was something in the water. We had to boil it for 36 hours a few weeks ago.
What is it about this city? She’s not Paris, and can’t quite match New York, and yet, there’s something about her. Montreal has that “je ne sais quoi” written all over her body.
She’s queer, that’s what it is. Oh yes. I’d even claim her as being bi. There isn’t a city quite as split as Montreal in North America. And according to the latest studies, bi people have poorer mental and physical health than gay or straight folks. It’s all the purple in our blood, I guess.
When I look around my city streets, I see what neglect has done to her. There’s a sad mixture of indifference and possessiveness here. Like a bi girl at a party where half of the room is gay and the other half, straight. Some want to claim her, some just ignore her.
The francos and anglos here generally want Montreal to pick a side, and at other times, they just look the other way, and corruption seeps into our city’s heart.
I want Montreal to say, “Fuck you, I am what I am. Anglo. Franco. Multi-faced. Open minded. Welcoming. Bohemian. Business. A place to learn and live and party.”
We don’t need another mayor. We need a leader.
For fun, here are my choices:
4-Atticus from To kill a mockingbird. (Compassion and intelligence, anyone?)
3-John Galt from Atlas Shrugged (corruption? Nah, I don’t think so.)
2-Elinor Dashwood from Sense and sensibility (but we’d have to leave all of the festival planning to her sister)
And my number one…The little prince.
At least, the child understand accountability.
And besides, if we’re all going to be in the gutter, we should be looking up to the stars…
Preferably with a glass of wine. Not cheap, but inexpensive.:-)
June 10, 2013
I’m waiting on an answer from my publisher for the new book…
Meanwhile, I am writing my words every day and planning out the summer. I have a big family and a tiny budget, so hey, I need to get creative most of the time. However, one thing I hope we can pull off, is Québec City’s Music Fest. The line up is impressive and exciting, from Stevie Wonder, to GNR. And I have this “date” with Axl Rose from the time I was sixteen and he came to Montreal and ditched the show. I still remember running through the alleys with my asthmatic little brother, trying to find refuge from the SWAT team. I’d slept on the sidewalk for a night to get those GNR tickets.
I’m old now, so I’ll just buy them with my credit card online this time around. How times change.
So anyway, plan is, to pack the family in our ol’ beat up 1998 Plymouth and drive to the old city and find some cheap camp site and see as many shows as we can cram in three days.
It’s going to be a hot summer in Montreal and I plan on making the best of it. There’s going to be a lot of things happening and I intend on making good use of my two legs and hitting the pavement. Being straight is for the winter.
It’s summer time now. The queer in me is aching to get out.
By the way, In his secret life, my new novel is getting really good reviews and I am shocked. I’d blogged about how I thought it would bomb and how people would hate Davinder, the bi man in the book. Turns out, I underestimated my readers and I’m sorry:-(
So far, people say it’s my best book. See, you can never tell. Shows you how clueless writers can be about what works and what doesn’t. Also tells me I should just keeping writing what I love and be true about it. The rest will come.
But it sure takes a long time. I’ve been giving this career a lot of fuckin’ foreplay and I need to see some satisfaction for a change!
if you detect a little bitterness there…well, you’re right. I was on amazon, looking at my ranking like I do sometimes (sometimes–yeah right), and I saw Dan Brown came out with a new book just about around the time In his secret life came out. It’s called Inferno…I refuse to comment on other writer’s work (if they’re alive and I’m only going to say things like this sucks so bad I wake up at night just to remind myself how much I hate it, or God doesn’t exist, this proves it) and anyway, the book ranks number one and it has already rendered 2500+ reviews.
I’m certain it’s a fine story.
I just wonder what I’d write if I had three years to produce a novel and I could chose to go wherever I desired on the face of the earth to research my work, and had a team of experts willing to double check everything for me, and an agent, a publicist…And MONEY lots and lots of MONEY.
Would that make me a better writer?
I don’t know…but the best books have often come out of the worst times in an author’ life. When I am stressed out about money and family issues, and sitting there with only two hours to write before I need to tend to real life, and the fucking pressure is on, and I think, “How the fuck am I going to write in this state?” And I stare at my screen, and I wonder why am I still doing this? Am I one book away from making a living out of this? Two books? Five? Never? When do I stop? When do I give up and go work at the pharmacy?
In those moments, I write my best. I write from a place of hunger and hope and mostly, I write from that place that can’t take the daily minutia anymore and needs to escape–needs to forget. And see, that’s when I actually do forget and forgetting is the best way to write. You’re not thinking about ranking and branding and readers and royalty checks and reviews and expectations…you’re thinking about nothing. The characters are thinking now.
So, if I was in Florence, had all the money I needed, and loads of time to write a book…I’d get drunk every day, make new friends every evening, and forget why I was there in the first place.
If I had money and time, I’d probably write like shit and never sell a book in my life.
All right, so, the key to my success as an artist is commercial failure.
Hm…I’m going to go check my sales ranking again.
June 1, 2013
May 27, 2013
I realize I haven’t blogged here in almost a year!
Well, here I am, and here you are, and how are you?
How was the last half of 2012 and first half of 2013 for you?
I’m very superstitious and neurotic about the length of my life. I always have this sick feeling I’ll die young and so on December 21st, I was in a hotel room in Florida and very sick with the flu and sort of delirious on a knock-off NyQuil I bought and ingested like maple syrup, and anyway, I woke up around midnight, and had a powerful moment, which was like: “Oh my God, I’m so tired of being this fucking scared all the time.”
I went back to sleep and dreamed of the end of the world. I have lucid dreams, (I just find out about that this year, I thought everyone dreamed like this) and this means that a lot of the time I’m not sure if I’m awake or not. Some nights or mornings, I have to do certain things in a certain order to make sure I am indeed, awake. I’ve battled demons all around my apartment in the last years. I’ve been nearly driven mad by these dreams. I’ve battled immense spiritual beings in the last years, always in this waking dream that seems to be attached to my brain like an actual tumor. But there’s nothing wrong with my brain.
Except that I have so much imagination and I am hypersensitive and it creates such a deep night around my head when I sleep. The night is a door. A porthole.
I also suffer from sleep paralysis and for anyone who knows what that is like, you understand what kind of fears and panic this can bring. But I have worked on it for a long time and I’m actually trying to use these moments to go deeper into my mind and psyche.
Okay…Why am I telling you all this?
Sometimes people ask why I became a writer…
I didn’t become a writer. I was born unhappy with reality. And didn’t have the means to become much of anything else. This is a cheap way to do the things I long and dream of.
So much so, that the ghosts and demons of everything I have to repress and compromise every day to make it here, in 2013, come out and play with me at night.
If I don’t sit down at a computer six hours a day and write, I’m fucked, people.:-)
But as grim as this seems, I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t want to tone the magic down. Wouldn’t want to cut out the noise out of my nights.
I mean, when are we really awake?
I think I’m awake when I’m making love. Or on the dance floor on Saturday nights. Or listening to music. Or maybe cooking, yeah.
But when I’m writing, I am asleep in the arms of the world.
And you? When do you feel lucid and awake?
May 7, 2013
Here is the link, if you'd like to read it and if you want to share something with me, you can comment or email me.
February 8, 2013
Sunday morning, and I sat in my living room, watching Montreal’s
local news on mute. I’d woken up with a parched mouth an hour
ago and crept to the kitchen for a tall glass of water. Since then, I hadn’t
been able to go back to sleep. After two years of being single, sharing
my bed with another warm body made me self-conscious. I never knew
how to position my limbs. I’d end up on my back, with my hands tucked
under my armpits, listening to the unfamiliar sounds the stranger at my
side made in his sleep.
I heard a thump and looked over at my bedroom door. Maxime,
the guy I’d taken home last night, was still asleep in my bed.
Last night, on the dance ﬂoor, he’d caught my wandering eye. In
his terrible, but trendy Jean-Paul Gaultier navy striped shirt, he looked
a little pathetic yet cute as a lamb in a room full of wolves. The night
had been wearing thin by then, and I’d been in a rut in the last weeks, so
I’d gulped down the rest of my drink for courage and pulled him close.
By some miracle, he hadn’t refused me. Just smiled and held me tight.
He was much cuter than me. Younger, too. I was turning thirty soon, so
anyone under the age of twenty-ﬁve was much younger.
I turned to see him standing in my bedroom doorway. “Hello,”
I said, moving to get up. He barely looked eighteen. I needed to start
asking for these guys’ ID pretty soon or I’d get myself into some trouble.
“How do you feel?”
He was dressed already, clearly uncomfortable. “Ça va?” he
asked, not looking at me, but at the front door. His blond hair stood
��up and his face bore an imprint of the sheets. I remembered our secret
touches in the cab’s backseat last night, the way we’d stumbled through
my apartment, both of us too drunk for good sex, and now wanted to
give it another try. Last night, we’d rolled around in my sheets, trying to
make something out of nothing. Trying to chase the loneliness away.
“I have to go,” Maxime said in a thick French accent. I’d forgotten
how sexy he sounded. “My grandmother likes to brunch me.”
“You mean you’re having brunch with your grandmother.”
“Oui.” He made a move for the door.
So this was it, then. I rose. “Would you like some coffee before I
call you a—”
“Non, non.” He waved away my offer, springing for his running
Thank you? Had I been that bad a lover last night?
“I will message you in the phone,” he said, his cheeks darkening
through his wispy blond stubble. He was taller than I remembered.
Bonier, too—but more handsome than I’d been able to tell. He had an
intelligent face. Beautiful blue eyes.
Yes, and sadly, he was leaving…unless I turned this thing around.
It was Sunday, and God, I hated being alone on Sundays. Gave me
the jitters. “Hello,” I said, holding out my hand to him. “I’m Allan
Waterhouse, and I think we’ve met before.” I winked playfully.
His handshake was limp, but he did smile a little. “Hello, yes,”
he muttered, sticking his hand under his arm, dodging every one of my
looks. “I have a memory.”
“I think you mean that you remember. Stay a little while.” I
touched his arm, but he turned around, shaking his head. “But it’s so
early for brunch.” I was steadily going from charming to needy. “Have
a cup of coffee at least.”
He ﬁnally met my eyes. His were phenomenal. What was it about
blue eyes? “I have an apology.” He raised his eyebrows and opened his
hands, offering me only emptiness.
I still had a few crumbs of my pride left. “Okay then, good-bye.”
I opened the door for him and we both looked outside. It was a crisp,
clean blue morning. A perfect May day beckoning us. So many things
to do, and why should we have to do any of them alone? “Can I have
�����your number?” I spotted my phone next to my keys on the entrance
table. “Maybe later, when you’re done with—”
“My grandmother, no.” Maxime shook his head, looking at me
with a mixture of pity and remorse. “I eat my boyfriend.”
Ah, of course. The infamous boyfriend excuse.
“You’re having brunch with your boyfriend,” I corrected him,
looking down at my cell phone. How many numbers had I punched
into this thing in the last two years, since Anthony and I had split up?
So many. Too many.
“You’re good and nice,” Maxime whispered into my ear. “Very
I decided he meant nice as in crazy sexy. “I’ll see you soon, then,”
I said, knowing that was a lie as well.
Upstairs, Fay was running up and down the hall, making my
Good, she was awake. I ﬁnally had something to keep me busy.
Maxime had left an hour ago. I’d tried taking a nap in front of the
TV, bored out of my mind but too tired to sleep.
Not bothering with my slippers or shoes, I sauntered up the wrought
iron staircase connecting my sister’s apartment to mine. Six years ago,
Anthony and I had bought this duplex in hopes of drawing in a third
income. When he’d left me for Lucas the man slut, I’d emotionally
blackmailed Anthony into signing the property over to me. That done,
I’d moved my sister and my niece Fay upstairs. I charged my sister
ridiculously cheap rent, which allowed her to actually live instead of
survive. She was a single mom, but she had me to count on. I was Fay’s
godfather, and not a day went by when the three of us didn’t see or
speak to each other.
At their door, I looked through the glass pane and saw my niece
“Uncle Allan, look at this,” she said, pulling me in. “I can hit
her straight in the head.” She ran back to the end of the hall where
she picked up her favorite doll—the one I’d given her at her seventh
������birthday, in February—and propped the blond baby girl up against a
pillow. She ran back to me and nodded seriously. “Ready?”
I shut the door behind us and returned her serious look. “Go.”
She rolled a rubber ball between her little ﬁngers and crouched
down. “Right between the eyes, you’ll see.”
Fay threw the rubber ball with striking precision and hit the doll
in the face, knocking it ﬂat on its back. She jumped up and clapped her
hands. “It’s ten times now. That’s my record.”
Fay wasn’t a violent child. She just liked aiming at things. She
wanted to be a cop. And my sister was a vegetarian ﬂorist who couldn’t
even kill a spider in her shower. Go ﬁgure.
I tousled her hair. “Your mom still asleep?”
Fay ran to the kitchen. “I want the Nutella pancakes.”
“Want?” I followed her into the messy kitchen. Last night’s dishes
were in the sink and bills were scattered all over the table. I stuffed the
utility bill in my hooded sweater pocket. I’d take care of it this week.
“Let’s clean up ﬁrst, okay?”
Fay looked at me as if I’d spoken to her in a foreign tongue.
“Come on, your mom needs a little help.”
“Hell yes, I do.” Elsie yawned, dragging her bare feet into the
kitchen. “And I need a cup of coffee, too.” She walked in and dropped
a kiss on my cheek. “How was your night?”
I pulled a face. “David and Kaliq fought all night and I had to
play mediator. Then Kaliq disappeared and David had a breakdown on
the curb.” I poured some water into the coffee machine. “When David
ﬁnally left, I went back up to the shooter bar…and, you know.” I shot
Fay a look, but she was engrossed in her morning cartoons.
Elsie gave me the coffee can. “Cute?”
“So, so cute.”
“It was nice?”
“I think so.”
She squeezed my arm. “His loss.”
My sister was my biggest fan. And of course, that was the problem
�������with my love life. I didn’t want my fan club to consist of two women I
was genetically related to. “He was French anyway,” I said, turning the
machine on. “And kind of skinny.”
“You’re so picky.”
“And you’re not?”
“Well, I think those days are over, my dear boy. I met someone
yesterday. A guy. At the store. He just waltzed in looking for
chrysanthemums for his boss’s birthday and…oh my God, we hit it off
“Really?” Elsie’s bad luck with men was legendary.
She got some cups out of the cupboard and moved in closer, careful
lest Fay hear. In hurried words, she told me his name was Dayton and
he was a math teacher. But he wasn’t one of those math teachers. No,
he was built like an athlete and had piercing gray-blue eyes. Wonderful
teeth. Good hair. Blondish. Tall. Very, very tall. With this voice. Oh, a
voice made for movies. And he had broad shoulders and such a wicked
sense of humor. He smiled like he was on drugs all the time, but he
really wasn’t, see, because he was a teacher and he loved kids. He
didn’t have any himself, though he wanted to…well, eventually. Not
like they’d actually mentioned kids. Or maybe they had, but—
“Whoa, slow down.” I laughed.
Elsie didn’t date much. When she did, she always ended up hurt or
disappointed. Fay’s father had run off during her pregnancy, but she’d
never been bitter about it. She was a wonderful woman, and I couldn’t
understand why she’d been single all these years.
“You know,” she said, “we just talked. Eye to eye. Just talked and
laughed for thirty minutes.” She glanced over at Fay and her face grew
serious. “I’m seeing him tonight. Can you take her out to dinner?”
“This her here?” I pulled out a chair and fell back into it. “I don’t
know.” I pretended to weigh my options. But soon, Elsie came up behind
me and wrapped her arms around my neck, trapping me in her famous
chokehold. Ever since we were kids, she’d gotten what she wanted by
strangulation. “Go for his belly,” she egged Fay on, and I knew I was
done for. Fay’s little ﬁngers scratched and pulled at my sides and no
matter how much I howled, they did not let me go.
Elsie crept out of my bedroom, tiptoeing to the couch. “Sure you
don’t mind keeping her here for the night?” It was eleven p.m. and
my sister had just returned from her date. She sat next to me now, turning
her cup of ginger tea in her hands. “Your futon is so uncomfortable. You
won’t sleep well.”
“It’s late. Fay has school tomorrow. Don’t wanna wake her up.”
I knocked my cup on Elsie’s. “So, come on, I’m dying here. How did
it go?” I was ready to deliver the pep talk I’d prepared in case the date
had been rotten. She’d had many of those. As a matter of fact, so had
I. We’d laugh about it, her and I. Called it the Waterhouse curse. Nice
people always ﬁnished last, we liked to tell each other. Maybe that was
true. Doing the right thing sure didn’t seem to pay off these days.
“Allan, there wasn’t one awkward moment during the whole night.
It was like magic. He told me I was beautiful seven times throughout
the evening. Seven. I counted them.”
I sipped my tea. “I see… rundown time.”
“Go for it.”
I set my cup down and faced her. “Smoker?”
“Can’t be a teacher if you have one.”
“Not electric, but hybrid.”
�������“He was chewing mint gum when I showed up.”
“Not sure, but it might be Davidoff’s Adventure.”
“Hmm, one of my favorites. Apartment or house?”
“Cleanliness of the premises? On a scale of one to ten.”
“Nine.” She bit her lip. “Okay, ﬁve, but the bathroom was
“We now come to the ﬁnal question.”
“He’s beautiful, athletic, childless, smells great, owns a hybrid car
and a condo. And he doesn’t smoke.” I cocked a brow. “Sounds gay to
“I knew you’d say that. No, Allan, he’s straight. Look, women
know about these things. Trust me, he’s straight. But his brother, on
the other hand, is gay. And check this out. His name is Dali. Like the
painter. Their mom is quite the character, Dayton says. He and his
siblings all have unique kind of names.”
“Anyway, I saw a picture of Dali. He’s like Gael Garcia’s spitting
image. You know, the guy from Mal Education. That movie you
“Yes, and he’s single.”
“The gay brother who looks like Gael Garcia and whose name is
“I know it sounds a little out there.”
She stared at me from over the brim of her cup. “Can you imagine
how cool that would be? You and me, dating brothers?”
I grimaced, blinking the very thought away. “No, thank you.”
“I’m seeing him again tomorrow.”
“What about Fay?”
“It’s okay. We’re just having lunch. She’ll be in school.”
“You won’t rush into this?”
“What do you take me for?”
�������She was right. She’d never put her needs in front of her daughter’s.
Ever. “I’ve just never seen you like this, that’s all.”
“Well, you haven’t seen him. Believe me, when you do, then
July 31, 2012
I read somewhere that you must do something that scares you everyday.
To me, that would be touching a pigeon or having a conversation with Linda Blair in her full The Exorcist make-up.
But I don’t think that’s what the author meant.
I suppose what he or she meant was, every day we need to push ourselves to step out of our comfort zone. Whatever that zone is. And in doing so, we quicken our heart and make it young again, if only for a moment.
When I was a kid, I took immense pleasure in trying new things. As a matter a fact, childhood is pretty much a long string of new things. That’s what makes it so intensely beautiful. We grow up and older, and new things are slowly replaced by familiar things, and though that’s quite all right, once in awhile, the child inside peeks out through our eyes and sighs, “Boring.”
That’s when you have to indulge her a little.
I was very afraid of going to London on my own, stepping up on stage to read in front of strangers. So much so that a few days before the event, I almost called it off.
But the little girl in me wanted to see about something…
The train trip went very well. Debra and her wife Karen were fantastic, warm, and so welcoming. I met readers there and shook their hands and took the time to speak with them. Sky Gilbert and Allison Wearing made me laugh and think sideways. They are both talented and lively. I read my work and connected with the audience.
On the train ride back, I thought about the little girl who sometimes peers through my eyes and looks at this great big terrifying world…
What does she see in it?
Maybe she still sees possibilities. Happiness to be had. Maybe she allows herself to feel hope and excitement about the future.
Maybe she even believes in it.
I closed my eyes and listened to the -thump-thump-thumping of the train…
July 10, 2012
June 27, 2012
Okay, so I quit smoking. HOLY SHIT. I never thought I’d do it. I always thought I’d be like my dad and smoke with resentment until forever and a day. I can’t believe I haven’t smoked for three weeks.
I’m never going back there again. I was a slave to it. It decided where I sat, walked, hung out.
I was so scared of quitting. I was afraid I’d learn something about myself I wasn’t prepared to face: that I couldn’t do something I set my mind to and I preferred living with the heart palpitations, headaches, weak lungs, than to fail at trying to quit.
I don’t know what happened this time. I don’t know why I was able to do it. But I guess I chose door number two this time around. I’ve spent the last decade thinking about my mom dying so young and in the back of my mind, I thought, “that’s how I’ll go too” and I kept staring down that door, counting the years to 46, almost resigned to my fate. And then, a person that has a lot of power over me still drew some tarot cards for me and it was intense and I quit the next day.
Which means, I’ll be around a little longer to write and pester you all.
On another note, I’m taking a long train ride to London–Ontario Canada that is–for my first reading EVER. I’m shitting nails over this. I am so fucking terrified of sitting up there and reading but it’s too late and the people organizing the event are so sweet and kind to me, so I will not back out on them and I will not let my anxiety ruin this.
I’ll post some details if ever any of you are in the area and want to come celebrate Pride in London and get a signed copy of one of my books.
I don’t post often so I’ll throw one last thing out there. My new romance is coming out next year and I wanted to share the cover and blurb with you.
When Allan’s boyfriend leaves him for a younger man, Allan lets him go without a grudge. When his sister, Elsie, gets pregnant and ditched, he becomes her support system and father figure to his niece.
Then, Elsie becomes engaged to Dayton, and Allan meets Dayton’s older brother, his new brother-in-law, Davinder—a fierce and exceptionally gifted artist with a thousand secrets breathing in his eyes. Davinder is a married man and father of two young boys.
From the moment they meet, and for over four decades, Allan and Davinder will walk along the edge of their secret lives, never allowed to push open the gates. And though their love is a head on collision, a meeting of the minds, a fusing of two lost souls, both men know, that it is also, and above all…Impossible.
Take good care everyone x
May 24, 2012
I’ve never done this before, but I think this could give you an idea of the voice and tone and overall feel of my new book coming this August…Hope you like it.
There are those we’d run back into the flames to save.
Jamie spends his days counselling patients who suffer from anxiety disorders. To his patients, he is Dr. Jamie Scarborough—a brilliant psychiatrist. Yet secretly, Jamie is losing his own battle against an acute panic disorder. Ever since Basil—his lover of five years—left him, Jamie has been in misery. Still hopelessly in love, he’s faced with a choice: heal or lose Basil for good.
Then after a particularly revealing session with Dance Young—Jamie’s most challenging patient—Dance disappears without a trace. For the last two years, Jamie has been trying to crack the compulsive liar’s hard candy surface, but to no avail. When Dance’s identical twin, a trans woman who calls herself September, comes out of seclusion to ask for his help, Jamie can finally shed light on the Young twins’ tragic past. But as he and September begin to collect the pieces of their dismantled lives, a few streets away, captive of a mentally unstable firefighter, Dance is fighting for his own life. And to find Dance, Jamie will have to confront all of his monsters…
Including those he unknowingly helped create.
Jamie sat in his leather armchair, cross-legged, studying Dance Young’s ravishing, but well-hidden face. “How long has she been this way?” he asked the boy.
They’d been discussing Dance’s sister for nearly twenty-minutes, but Jamie had yet to understand what the urgency was. September was moody, Dance explained. Perhaps depressed.
They weren’t getting anywhere. The only thing the boy seemed to be interested in, was the plate of falafels Marie-Miel had had the presence of mind to offer him. Dance ate with a voracious appetite, forgetting to chew.
“You mean, anorexic?” Dance asked, his mouth packed with the last of the meal.
Jamie stole a look at his notes. He’d jotted nothing about an eating disorder. “You didn’t use that word.” He uncrossed his legs and leaned in to gather the empty plate. Dance had practically licked it clean. “Is this your diagnostic or―”
“It doesn’t take a medical degree to figure my sister out.”
“I see.” Jamie rose and brought the plate to the sink. “And how about you? How are you doing?”
Dance burped into his fist and flashed a smile. Killer, of course. The boy was as slick as black ice. “I’m just dandy, Doctor. How you been? By the look of your hands, you’re still trying to catch up to Howard Hughes.”
Jamie decided to let that one go. Though Dance made an effort to come off as nonchalant, his body language told a different story. He’d never seen Dance so fidgety. The food had been a temporary distraction, but now that there was nothing to keep Dance’s hands occupied, he was beginning to chew his nails.
“Not in a retaliative mood, Doctor?” Dance leaned back into the seat, cap pulled down low over his steely eyes.
Jamie seated himself in his chair once more. He hadn’t used the hand sanitizer since their session began and he planned on staying clear from it, though subtly, intrusive thoughts tickled the side of his mind, making it difficult to focus. “Have you been sleeping well?” he asked Dance, determine to steer the boy back to their on and off therapy. He’d been seeing Dance Young for close to two years, one of the dozen cases he took for the Bunker, pro bono, but he knew little of Dance still. The boy’s file was the size of a phone book, yet, all of the information Jamie had collected on the elusive liar was irrelevant. This case was a challenge, and though Jamie tried to convince himself that he was wasting his time, he relished the idea of cracking Dance’s hard candy surface.
“My sister needs help,” Dance said, dodging another question. “And I think you’re the only one who can help her.”
Flattery was also one of Dance’s gifts. Jamie had fallen for it on numerous occasions, but not today. “If your sister suffers from an eating disorder, I’d be happy to refer her to―”
“Forget the eating disorder, okay?” Dance sat up straight, flustered. “You specialize in Post-Traumatic Stress and anxiety disorders, and that’s what my brother has.” Dance eyed him furiously, his gaze blazing under the long bangs. “So, are you gonna hear me out here?”
“First, you should start by getting the facts straight, no? One moment you say sister, the next he’s your brother. Which one is it exactly?”
Dance darted his stare to the floor, nibbling his lower lip. “September was my brother for a few years, and now he’s my sister.”
Jamie remembered the timbre of September’s voice. “I think I understand,” he whispered, relaxing back into his chair. Dance was telling the truth on this one. Or some of it. “Dance, I still don’t think I’m the right man for this case. I don’t deal with gender disorders either.”
“She doesn’t have a fucking gender disorder.”
“I don’t mean to offend you. That’s the clinical―”
“You’re not listening to me,” Dance snapped, sweeping his hat off. He was truly breathtaking, with finely chiseled features, almost feminine. “September’s problem isn’t in her shorts. It’s the eating disorder. She needs to talk to someone about how much she hates herself.” His voice sunk. “And me.”
“Why do you think she hates you so?”
“Search me.” Dance shrugged again. Typical adolescent behavior. The boy refused to grow up.
Jamie decided to try another approach. “If I agree to see her, I would be going out of my way for you. Have you seen my waiting room? Taking on another patient, with the complexities this case seems to―”
“You want me to suck your dick.”
Jamie’s jaw unhinged, and for a moment, his tongue sat useless in his mouth. “There’s no call for that,” he said at last. “You don’t need to insult me.” He clung to the note pad, hoping he’d have the self-restraint not to throw it at Dance’s cocky face.
“How’s me asking if you want me to give you head, insulting?”
“Because, all I’ve been with you, is cordial and professional, and bringing this conversation down to that level is not only insulting, but completely detrimental to your emotional health.”
Dance processed the words silently.
“All right,” Jamie said. “Permit me to be frank.” Gently, he set the note pad down on the coffee table. “We’ve been going through the steps of this very well executed choreography for nearly two years, and I think it’s safe to say we’ve reached a plateau. You either decide to commit to this―”
“I know what you want and I’m gonna give it to you if you help my sister.” Dance flipped his cap back on. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you. But you don’t listen.”
“And what is it that I want?” Jamie smiled, though he was not at all amused.
Dance held his probing stare, his gray eyes, unreadable. “You want a backstage pass to my mind.”
The boy’s challenging manner, his well chosen words, all of it, sent a jolt of excitement through Jamie, even as he tried to keep his face neutral. Yes, a peep inside.
It could be no less than fascinating.
“So, if you help my sister, if you call her tonight and make her come here to see you, and I don’t give a shit how, I’ll come here every week, sit in this ugly, uncomfortable, tacky vintage chair and tell you every thing you wanna know.”
No. Out of the question. It was against his oath. He could not lure a patient using another as bait. Heart racing, Jamie watched the fantastically complicated young man sitting across him.
“Come on, Doctor Scarborough, you might be my sister’s only chance.”
Inside his pocket, Jamie’s fingers pressed the bottle of sanitizer hard up against his palm. “I want you to send me an email,” he said. “I’ll need as much information as you can give me on September.”
“I don’t have a computer.”
“Then go to the library.” Jamie rose, his legs wobbly. A mistake. This was a mistake. “And make sure you don’t leave anything out.” He looked down at the boy.
Dance’s eyes flickered, and he nodded. “Deal.” He got to his feet and tucked his notebook deeper into the waist of his tattered jeans. “
“And I want to read that as well.”
Dance winked, regaining his usual caustic way. “Maybe later.” He moved to the door, leaving Jamie, flushed and confused. What had he just agreed to?
“Oh and Doctor,” the boy said, plucking the door open, “I wouldn’t have sucked your dick. I’m straight.”