Yeah, so, I’m kind at a disadvantage here, because it’s the next day. Because, well, you know.
You’re watching the video. The. Fucking. Video. The night before. And you suddenly forget to breathe. Like, really, truly, all of a sudden your body does not remember what it’s supposed to do. Inhale? Exhale? What? And you’re choking, and also (and you weren’t sure this was physically possible before, but apparently it is, because you’re now doing it) and at the same time, emitting this high-pitched whine that’s almost not recognizable as a human sound, but rather closer to what the tea kettle does right before it’s about to boil.
And you’re trying not to really lose it, because your housemates are sitting there, right next to you, and if you let out the scream that is building right below the surface, the maniacal laughter that is just sitting right there, right behind your teeth, you’re not quite sure how long it would take you to stop, and you’d definitely wake up the baby, who has just now fallen asleep, and while these friends of yours are fully aware of the depths of your depravity and one of them has her very own Justin Issues, you know they don’t quite get it to the same extent that you quite obviously do. So. You force your lips closed and you close your eyes (because it’s over now, and you can) and you re-learn what to do with your diaphragm, and as the oxygen returns to your brain you pick up your phone and dial.
Amanda’s. not. fucking. home.
You babble, incoherently, at the husband for a minute. And you expressly order that she pick up the phone when it finishes, her time. Because you know, oh you know, because you’re feeling it, the familiar muscle tension, the shakiness, exactly what she’s going to be doing in three hours. Exactly how much adrenaline is going to be running through her body.
Exactly how much you’re going to need to be talking to her. And you hang up, and there’s a message from loki, and you call and squeal at her for a while, and then the cell phone rings and you shriek at KitCat and are absolutely incapable of finishing a sentence without using the words “um” and “yeah.”
(Because, let’s look at this for a moment: they were all. dressed. normally.
The song is about sex. Oh, it pretends to be about love, but it’s a thinly-veiled pretense.
JC talks about using candles.
The words, “deeper, deeper” come out of Justin’s mouth.
Joey touches his stomach.
Chris, and I would almost swear to this, says, “That’s the way love goes” TO LANCE.
Justin’s shaved head has become, do not ask me how, edgy. Indicative of a tendency towards violence. Something.
Lance. Is. Just.
JC, at the end, sings his line and then looks at someone sitting just off camera, and quirks his lips into this tiny half-smile.
They sound. They sound fucking amazing. Their voices. The speaking. The blend. The lust. The way they fit it like it was custom-tailored for them. This song is THEIRS in a way that the entire No Strings Attached album can only grasp at.)
So you hang up the phones and you watch the rest of the special in a fog, with your knuckles pressed into your bottom lip. And eventually you gather up your stuff and wander to your bed, and all the time you’re brushing your teeth all you can do is replay the lyrics in your head, the little flick of his hand JC makes as the song opens, the way all these Boys have to do to drive you out of your head with longing is to sit back and know that they don’t have to put one iota of effort into it at all, until finally. You’re done. You’re in bed.
And your mind won’t stop and so you watch the video again because it can’t have been that good, right? And you watch it again. And you put your phone next to the bed because you know it’s going to ring in an hour and a half, and willa will be shell-shocked and you don’t want to have to get up and cross the room. And you watch it again. And it hurts, it hurts to turn the TV off, but you do and you turn out the light and then you turn the TV back on and watch it two more times.
And then it’s the morning and your radio comes on and it’s the biggest hip-hop station in the tri-state area and the morning dj who Hates. Everything. Who watched the Icon special.
(“Pink looks like one of those trailer-trash white girls whose breath stinks from weed, trying to be down.”) and detested it but could only say about The Boys that they tore it down. And you’re suddenly smiling, ear to ear, the smile of a mother whose kid brought home an A and you’re cheering, 6:30 in the morning, in your room, with a robe on and the sun coming up.
But it’s the morning, right? And that was last night. And it’s never the same the next day, and you can’t possibly have felt that, and things are always like that, at night. You were tired and your defenses were down and these things never have the same impact in the morning with birds chirping and a shower and waiting for the bus to come by to take you into the City. Right?