let's spend the night staring at the moon

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let's spend the night staring at the moon

Damian Thomsen
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Damian Thomsen
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May 19 2016, 12:45 AM #1

May 6, 2016
7.15-ish

He lingered to the side, body relaxed yet almost eager. His weight didn't shift often, he had long sense learned how to carry his body weight comfortably, learned how to stand and how to lean, learned to be patient in lecture rooms. One more lecture was finished, bringing them closer and closer to the end of the Spring semester, closer and closer to final grades. Damian offered extra credit for attending lectures, for attending exhibits, offered as much as he could without being unfair.

His class was hard, he knew the whispers in the hallway around registration time, could remember the comments on rate my professor from the time his sister had laughingly printed them out, plastered them around his office (as if she were fifteen years old again and oh, how could he be upset with her when she smiled like that?). He knew it. And so he did his best to ensure that all his students passed -- because they would know it, they would, by the end of the semester his kids were well on their way to becoming proficient in Latino/a lit, but... Sometimes that knowledge was not able to be expressed through traditional means.

He went to as much of the extra credit opportunities as he could, wanted to ensure that it was relevant, that it mattered, enjoyed being able to converse with the students who attended afterward. This time though, this time it wasn't one of his students that he was waiting for, instead it was the lecturer himself. He'd been to the campus before, Damian could remember the murmur of his name in the halls as well, but had never been to one of his lectures himself.

An easy smile spread across his face as the person before him walked away. Closing the few steps between them, Damian unclasped his hands only to push them into his pockets as he stopped in front of Mr. Hart. "I must say, your lecture was very enthralling." It was unfortunate, that Damian knew everyone didn't feel the same way, but... there was an obvious passion for the other man, and even though it wasn't a passion that Damian shared -- American Lit just wasn't it for him -- he could still appreciate it in Ephraim. "You've got me curious -- what is your take on Tomas Rivera or Sandra Cisneros? Modern American lit is littered with the rise of new ethnic literary inheritances outside of African Americans and Jewish Americans, and despite my focus on Latino/a literature, we don't spend time in class discussing the works produced by America."

They talked briefly about it, when they got to the appropriate point, but it was hardly a focus.
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Ephraim Hart
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May 20 2016, 03:21 AM #2

Ephraim was used to people waiting for him outside of his lectures.

It wasn't meant to sound as cocky as it did, but it was a fact. He had two published novels, and a published collection of short stories, and people were interested in what he had to say. Sure, when he did lectures at the college, a lot of what people wanted to know was the dirty details of his life, the things that were between the lines of his book, but anything he hadn't published in the novels themselves, he didn't share, and he didn't extrapolate on his poetry much. Those things, what little he kept secret from the world, were truly private to him.

He wasn't used to professors waiting to speak to him, however, at least not for more than to ask if he wanted to do a guest stint in their class, or to thank for coming at all...and not a single fucking one of them looked anything like the man that approached him now.

The guy looked like a professor, yes, but the kind of professor you have fantasies about in class. His hair was swept perfectly off of his face, and the clothes he was wearing hung off of him in all the right places. He drew Ephraim's eye immediately, but Ephraim stopped himself. This wasn't the place to be his lecherous self, this wasn't some bar off campus, this was in the lecture hall, at a university that he had a very good rapport with. Sure, he didn't make much money off of these things, but when he lectured in classes, his books were usually in the course material, and people reading his work? That was really all that he needed.

"Thank you," he said with a polite nod of the head when the man complemented his lecture. He thought that would be it, the professors never really stuck around to talk much, but this guy? he had questions, and if he wanted to dive in to a conversation about literature, well, Ephraim was the last person who would stop him. "I am going to start this by saying that I am not terribly well versed in Latin American literature," he admitted, wanting it to get out there full well that he wasn't experienced, or well read in this area. "That being said, Rivera has the stream of consciousness style that I admire in Kerouac - granted, I have only read "...And the Earth Devoured Him," but it made me wish I spoke enough Spanish to read it in it's intended form." He paused, taking a beat. "And Cisneros...she did, in my opinion, for Latin Americans what Toni Morrison and Chaim Potok did for African and Jewish Americans. Her work is extremely important to developing the true history of the melting pot that is America."

This was, to be honest, a bit nerve wracking for Ephraim. He didn't want to look stupid in front of this man, but Ephraim hadn't graduated high school, he hadn't gone to college, he wasn't well educated, and if this man chose to get technical about it, well, Ephraim would fail to impress in many ways.

((...pretty much everything I threw at you is thanks to google so please feel free to help me edit here.))

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Damian Thomsen
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May 20 2016, 06:32 AM #3

He could hug the other. It was an instant thought, a flood of joy rushing through his body at the other's admission. It was hard to explain the small differences that occurred throughout translation. The nuances of languages resulted in the fact that there was never really a true word-for-word, meaning-for-meaning rewording. The English translation of ...and the earth devoured him was beautiful, but given a chance, Damian would always read the work in it's original form -- and he encouraged all students, no matter the book, to do the same.

Yes, he could have hugged the other, but he did not. Instead a smile spread across his features, bright and happy. "I would agree with your opinion -- with both of them. ...and the earth devoured him holds a certain elegance that I find the translated version does not. There are some things which simply cannot be translated. Which is, in part, why I enjoy Cisneros so much. She has a way of intertwining English and Spanish in an easy to understand way, a type of linguistic hybrid that is playful and utterly delightful." It almost made him wish that they could spend more time on her works.

Unlike Ephraim, Damian was completely at ease with the conversation. But that was probably because they had strayed further into his own territory than was acceptable. Shaking his head, Damian glanced away, ensuring that nobody else was waiting in line to speak to their guest speaker before turning back towards the younger man. "Forgive me, though, for dragging you into a conversation you are not entirely comfortable with." His eyes shined bright with amusement. "And let me preface by mirroring your own sentiments by saying I am not well versed with the Beat Generation's works." He was passable, could scramble, but Ephraim's lecture had been the first time he'd sat down with the intend to focus on modern American lit in... ages.

"To be completely honest -- and you must promise to not shame me for this -- but I'm not quite familiar with Kerouac. I do recall, that his prose was unconventional, especially at the time... I read once, that it was hypothesized the reason he wrote so was due to his own confusion, about sexuality, politics, life in general... Do you think there is truth in that? Pardon me if I misunderstood, but the style between Kerouac and Rivera... I don't believe he, Rivera, was confused -- conflicted, about identity as a Latino with the United States just as.. oh... Kerouac was... French? French within America, but the levels of conflict there..." He trailed off, weighing his words. "What I mean to ask is..." And so it started.

It was only the arrival of a custodian some time later that had Damian withdrawing from the academic bubble he had entered with Ephraim. At some point he had shifted some more, moved to rest his weight against the podium, hands moving in small gestures before him. The custodian gave a small wave but nothing else to the pair, a simple gesture that still had color rising in Damian's face. Clearing his throat, he looked at the time on his phone. "I dare say that I have stolen enough of your time for one evening, but..." He sought out Ephraim's gaze. "Perhaps I could buy you a drink to make up for it?"

He wasn't flirting, not exactly -- he didn't mean anything by the offer and the events with Daire were still far too present in his mind, but he couldn't lie and say he wasn't intrigued by the younger man.
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Ephraim Hart
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May 20 2016, 06:48 AM #4

The hug would have been out of place, but not unwelcome.

Ephraim's initial reaction to this man had been one of physical attraction, and learning that he was a lit professor, well, that definitely implied the sort of mind that Ephraim wanted to get his hands on. He loved a man that could talk about books while they lay together, naked, entwined in the sheets in bed...but he was getting ahead of himself. After all, this was still Indiana, and most men still weren't into other men. However, Ephraim's books put him in the unique position of being out to every single one of his readers, so someone who approached him was, well, knowing of that fact, and could make their own moves accordingly for Ephraim to discover.

Sometimes he figured it out, and sometimes, he wasn't as astute as he liked to think that he was, but either way, Ephraim had never really been lacking for bedfellows, male or female. That, however, didn't numb his desires in situations like this ,when he met someone that he just...wanted.

"No translation of anything can fully capture the original intentions. Yes, maybe the story is the same, but small meanings, playful language, most literary devices, become lost as you translate something." He didn't know anywhere near enough of any language to read full novels in them, of course, but that didn't stop him from truly believing the words that he was saying.

Ephraim tilted his head to the side as Damian began to speak about Kerouac. "What I mean stylistically is not their motivations, or conflict, but the bare bones of their writing style. They both went for the stream of consciousness aspect of it - Kerouac never edited his work. He wrote down things as they happened, and that is how they went to press..." he gestured wildly as he spoke about Kerouac, Ginsberg, how he felt they tied in with the few works he'd read that Damian was fluent in. He folded his arms across his chest, nodding, or shaking his head as Damian spoke, letting himself get completely lost in the debate. This man knew what he was talking about, and after a short time, Ephraim no longer felt out of depth, but as though he were in the middle of something important. He hadn't been in a debate or conversation this spirited, this stimulating, in ages.

And then there was the way this man spoke. Elegant, and intelligent in a way that some might find annoying, but to Ephraim was beautiful, sensual in a way that he couldn't explain, and when the custodian interrupted them with a wave, Ephraim just smiled and shook his head. "On the contrary," he said. "I think you have taken up nowhere near enough of my time." He tipped his head to the side. "I feel we are nowhere near finished with this conversation, though I will not refuse your offer for a drink. I do, however, feel at a disadvantage. You know who I am, but...I have no idea who you are."

Of course, the identity didn't really matter here. Ephraim already knew he wanted to spend more time with this man...talk to him...and then some. However, a name was never a bad thing to know about someone.

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Damian Thomsen
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May 20 2016, 07:08 AM #5

It was clear, ever so clear, to see the passion the other held for the works he spoke about. His gestures were broad, wild, his entire body getting lost in them. And Damian loved it. It was easy to tunnel vision into their conversation, forget about the lecture, forget that he hadn't even introduced himself. His mother would be so ashamed. His sister would be so amused.

Damian quirked an eyebrow at the other's words, his own amusement showing clearly. "Oh?" It was... incredibly forward and not at the same time. One could not make assumptions, but it was easy for Damian's mind to fall into a handful of possibilities. "And forgive me, I... I'm quite embarrassed about my lapse of manners." His brow furrowed as he spoke, head tilting just the slightest big forward. "But I'm Professor Thomsen -- Damian. Several of my students spoke highly of you, and when you returned, well... It was an excellent opportunity for extra credit and to sit in as well."

Sitting in on the lecture had obviously been.... extended. Reaching out, Damian offered his hand to the other. "It's a pleasure to, formally, meet you." He could see why his students spoke so highly of him.

"Now, I know I'm in no position to go making requests, however, if we do go for this drink no more... "shop talk" -- at least not about the beat generation or Latino/a lit. I'm sure we're both more confident in the other's respective genre, but that's a conversation that must be finished another time." His smile was warm and open, mimicking the invitation. Ephraim said he didn't feel the conversation was finished so they'd finish it. Another time. For now (hopefully) they would find a common middle ground, or discuss their own lives, wherever the conversation took them. With Ephraim involved, Damian had no doubt that it would be interesting.
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Ephraim Hart
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May 21 2016, 05:38 AM #6

Ephraim hadn't known, not until the man had said it, that this guy was a professor for certain, but he definitely had that look, and the way he talked, the way he spoke, well, it was pretty clear to Ephraim that he knew what was going on. He wasn't an idiot, but then again, neither was Ephraim, and Ephraim not only wasn't a professor, he had 0 education past 16. At least not formal education. He would argue that his years spent traveling the country were far more educational than most anything people learned in a classroom, but everyone learned differently, and Ephraim? He learned by traveling, teaching himself what he thought was important to know, and that was that.

"It's nice to officially meet you, too," he said with a nod. He wasn't the most pleasant person, Ephraim, but he could be polite when he wanted to be, and getting what he wanted from people was something that he bad become something of a pro in. It wasn't great, not morally, but he had had his heart smashed to pieces, and something along the way there had fucked him up. He was selfish, and he wanted what HE wanted, and just shy of hurting someone else, he would do pretty much anything to get that.

He had learned his lesson, though, when it came to causing pain in others. He had almost done some serious damage to someone that he truly cared for, and at the end of the day, well, it had been bad. The friendship was over, and it wasn't likely to ever be fixed.

He raised an eyebrow, shocked to hear that the man didn't want to talk about literature when they went for drinks. "I am sorry," he said. "But do you really think that we can do that? I mean...most of my conversation, literary works just...slip in. If you want to know about my life, well, you've read my work, no?" Yes, it said a lot of his life, but every last detail. Still, pretty much everything that he was comfortable sharing was in those books. Still, he was intrigued. "Okay," He nodded. "I'm in." No, he wasn't sure what would come of it, but he sure as fuck wanted to find out.

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Damian Thomsen
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May 21 2016, 05:59 AM #7

Damian could understand not wanting to be hurt, could understand the pain it brought, the changes it wrought. Unlike Ephraim though, Damian didn't turn away from it. One day he was going to find the right person to spend the rest of his life with and until that day he would do his best to not only find that person, but cherish everyone along the way. Did it hurt when things went south? Of course it did, but... It was for the best -- like Daire. They were... incompatible in the romantic sense, Damian could understand that. Even though their contract had been terminated, they talked, were friendly enough and for Damian, that was enough, especially since he got the sense that Daire didn't let people in very often.

So Ephraim? Damian was sure he could handle whatever the younger man threw at him.

If he would retain his pride, well, that was yet to be seen.

He shifted uncomfortably at Ephraim's question, mouth falling open as he paused to find the right words. "Well.... no. I have not, to be frank." But he would, after tonight, he would. Ephraim was eloquent, lovely to talk to, converse with, clearly had a good understanding of the things that he found important and Damian could only pray that such qualities transferred over to his writing. (He was sure it did.) "I hope that doesn't color me in shades of negativity." A smile accompanied the phrase, turning the words into a playful joke, a tease. He didn't believe they would. Surely.

(He hadn't even looked Ephraim up like he usually would before attending a guest lecture he'd never seen before.)

"Still, shall I meet you there? Or...?" It was more economic to drive together, gave them further time to discuss whatever it was they would talk about, but that left them with the case of who would drive, how they would work out the details, small but important, and something Damian placed far too much significance on.
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Ephraim Hart
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May 21 2016, 06:12 AM #8

Ephraim didn't think about forever, not anymore.

Forever was something that he had thought about with Kalen, something that he had really, honestly thought that they would have, and when that hadn't panned out, well, he had become certain that nothing really lasted forever. They were in love, they were supposed to remain as such for the rest of their lives, or so he thought. Kalen, apparently, had thought different things, and he was pretty sure that that was where the bulk of his...well, issues came from, but also, it was where the ability to finish his first novel had come from. He had needed the pain, the hurt from that break up to really get through to him.

It had been simultaneously the worst, and most important thing that had ever happened to him.

Ephraim wasn't sure how he felt about love after that, but he was always interested in people, and for him, what else really mattered? Whether you loved someone or not, sex, and sharing a bed could always be nice, and he had enough guards up that, after Kalen, and then Jesse, he wasn't sure that he would really be able to open himself up like that again anyways, so really, what did he have to fear, going for drinks with someone?

He was mildly surprised when the man said that he had not, in fact, read his work. That meant that he really didn't know much about him at all. "It doesn't color you any way," he said. "I'm not conceited enough to think that everyone has read what I have put out there." And while that was true, he was still quite conceited. He had a very high opinion of himself, but in the most self deprecating way possible. He felt he was a good writer, with interesting things to say, and he felt his opinions more often than not trumped those of others, but he was also very aware of the mistakes he had made...mostly with his past relationships.

"I can meet you there, yes," he nodded. "Once you tell me where "there" is, of course," he added. He would have offered a carpool, but he didn't want to leave his car at the university and then have to come back to get it, and he was sure the other man didn't, either...besides, the two of them may have had very, very different ideas of where this night was going...or where they wanted it to go, but Ephraim? He was pretty sure there was a mutual attraction of intellect, at least...if nothing else.

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Damian Thomsen
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May 22 2016, 11:21 PM #9

Absolution came in the form of Ephraim's words. Damian ducked his head, grateful. There was an understanding that one would at least be familiar with the works of a lecturer and normally Damian would, but time had gotten away from him and he honestly did feel bad about it. "I would ask you to tell me about your works, but I feel as if that would break our no 'shop talk' rule. Perhaps another time, after I have had a chance to review them?" He angled for another meeting without a second thought.

The conversation with Ephraim was refreshing, academic in a way that conversations with his English Department colleagues often weren't. It was a lightheartedness that Damian found himself needing.

"I know of a place near here, Severin Bar? It's got a lot of great local drinks." It was... a hipster place, Damian wouldn't lie, but judging from the general overall look of Ephraim -- not that he was judging, he was just...making observations -- he didn't think the other would mind. Besides even in a big city like Indianapolis it was always a good idea to support locally. "But I'll meet you there in...." He trailed off, glancing at his watch. "Fifteen minutes? I have to grab something from my mailbox upstairs." One of his students had dropped off a paper for him, something he had intended to let wait until Monday morning when he returned for his first class but it seemed remiss to not take care of it while he was on campus.

Reaching out his hand, Damian shook Ephraim's hand. "It's been wonderful talking with you, I look forward to continuing it over at Severin." He smiled again, giving a brief nod as his hand fell back to his side. Without another word Damian moved to the back of the lecture hall, heading up to his office.
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Ephraim Hart
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May 22 2016, 11:40 PM #10

Ephraim didn't know what the evening held for him, but he knew that he would be spending more of it talking to this well-educated, and well-opinionated older man, and Ephraim...he wasn't the sort to push that away at all. He wanted to further their conversation, see what the other man had to say, and he hoped that, at the end of the day, they would wind up in bed, or at least with plans to see each other again - plans that could lead to that ultimate goal.

Yes, Ephraim had something of a lecherous nature, but it wasn't all that there was to him. He was sure that, if it was all the other man wanted, they could just be friends, right? Sure, he didn't have many friends right now, but that was because most people that he was friends, he was also sleeping with on the side...or he had been at one time. It was just the way that operated these days.

"Severin, 15 minutes. See you there." Ephraim nodded. He had never heard of it, but he didn't much care. He was going for the company of the other man, and not to wind up at the poshest place in Indianapolis. He could make it work, and with technology, he was sure it wouldn't be difficult at all to figure out where it was.

He watched the other man walk away, a slight smirk in place on his face as he headed to go find his car in the visitor's lot. There was definitely something intriguing about the other man, that was for certain, so when he got to the bar, he got a table in the back, one where they would be able to hear each other, and he waited for Damian to arrive before ordering a drink. He stood when he saw the other man, beckoning him over. "Nice place," he said, looking around. "Very...suave." Hip was actually the word he was looking for, but this was Ephraim. He'd never say what he was aloud.

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Jun 1 2016, 03:09 AM #11

He wouldn't admit it to anyone -- not even himself -- but there was a quicker hustle to his step, a faster pace as he moved up to his office and then back down to the first floor. Talking to Ephraim was refreshing -- it wasn't the stuffy arrogant doctors that littered many of Damian's day-to-day conversations within the Butler halls, nor was it the bumbling trying-to-hard conversations that he had on more than one occasion with his students.

But they weren't allowed to talk about literature, at least not American nor latin@, a concession that Damian didn't find himself making too often. (It colored too much of his life.) Yet Ephraim made him curious enough to want to attempt it.

When Damian finally arrived at Severin, he was cautious, his steps slow as his eyes roamed around the bar. The bar wasn't large, wasn't overly filled, but in hindsight Damian still wished they had exchanged numbers. He hated looking like the blundering fool, unsure of where the rest of his party was. (Nobody noticed, he was sure, at least that was what he told himself.) Still, a grin spread across his face as he gave a short, sharp clap as he caught sight of Ephraim's form. "I'm glad you found the place okay! I hope you haven't been waiting too long?"

He'd told the other man fifteen minutes and Damian was pretty sure he hadn't actually gone over that limit, but still. It was rude to keep his guest waiting -- even now his mother would still skin him alive for being rude.

Damian gave a short laugh as he sat, quickly taking up his side of the table by settling his arms against the surface of the table and spreading his legs slightly beneath it. He was quick to make himself comfortable. 'Ephraim, tell me, what'll you have to drink and what do you do when you aren't getting ambushed by old English professors after lectures?" His words were accompanied by a grin and a teasing tone.
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Ephraim Hart
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Jun 1 2016, 04:13 AM #12

It hadn't been difficult to find the place. In the days of smart phones and GPS, it only took about 6 minutes to get anywhere in Evergreen, and not much more time than that when it came to the city. He had been able to find the place with great ease, and had arrived with little trouble, save for a couple of drives around the block looking for parking, but even that had been much worse in bigger cities.

"I found it without any trouble at all," he assured the other man. Of course, he would likely have said that even if he had had a bit if a challenge locating the place. He wouldn't want to seem stupid to this man. He was a professor, and he clearly knew his shit. He was smart, and impressive, and Ephraim wanted to make sure that he could keep up with him, that he could prove that, even without a fancy education, he still knew what he was talking about. He was passionate about literature, and self taught, he felt, was just as good in this instance as not. He had been born smart, and that sort of thing didn't just wear off.

Maybe he hadn't learned in traditional classrooms, but he had learned all around the country, and that, he felt, counted for just as much...if not more.

"I have only been here a couple of minutes," he said. Hell, if he had been here much longer, he would have been one drink down already, that was just the way that he went.

Ephraim eyed the man as he settled into the booth. He was truly attractive, older, yes, but that didn't make him any less desirable. If anything, it made him more-so, to that part of Ephraim that just...didn't want to let the man go. "Bourbon," he stated. "On the rocks, preferably Bulleit, but...beggars cannot be choosers."He leaned back, taking a deep breath. "Well," he said. "I work for the paper in Evergreen, Indiana, I do a culture column, but I think that I'm going to be all done with that job in the near future. I want to be able to focus on my writing...and with two successful novels and a fairly successful poetry book..." he didn't want to sound like he was tooting his own horn, but...he was doing pretty well these days. "But my favorite thing is being ambushed by an intellectual who has enough time to truly hear me out," he said with a flirtatious smile. "What about you? What do you do when you are not ambushing amateur writers?"

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Jun 27 2016, 04:48 AM #13

Damian would agree, perhaps reluctantly, that learning did not just take place within the four walls provided by a classroom. There was something to be said for hands-on learning, for going out and experiencing things. There was a comfort to holding a book in his hands, to holding an object that was both delicate and durable, but there was something else left to be said for digging your hands into metaphorical fresh dirt.

Ephraim stood (sat) before him, proof of such things. Damian didn't know his education level, couldn't tell if he had completed graduate level classes or not, instead all he knew was that before him sat a delightfully intelligent man who had no problem discussing literature with him.

Correction -- a delightfully intelligent man who had no problem discussion literature and other things with him.

Tucking Ephraim's drink order away in the back of his mind for when a waiter appeared, Damian nodded. And then quirked an eyebrow. "Careful there," he teased, smile pulling at his lips, "I dare say you're getting awfully close to 'shop-talk'." Did it matter? Of course not. "Although I do wish to offer my congratulations -- being published thrice over is no small feat." Especially at what he guessed Ephraim's age to be.

His smile turned into a soft laugh, curls bouncing as he ducked his head for a moment. "I do believe you've earned the right to no longer consider yourself an amiture." But the fact that he did tugged at Damian's chest, made curiousity blossom throughout his limbs. He liked that after everything Ephraim was still modest enough to consider himself an amiteur. "But I..." The words trailed off, a momentary pause. Amusement twisted his lips. "What you see is what you get I'm afraid."

He didn't, wouldn't, regret his work, it brought too much joy to his life, but there wasn't much else to him. (It was family and work, and that he wouldn't change either, but he held no notion that it made him interesting, that it was something to talk about.)
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Jun 27 2016, 02:35 PM #14

Ephraim liked it when people agreed with him.

Yes, he was all for a good debate here and there, but at the end of the day, there was something about Ephraim, just as there was in most people, that liked the validation that they were right. Of course, whether he received that validation or not, he often felt himself to be right, even when he was wrong, but that wasn't something he really chose to think about very much. He knew that he was smart, and sometimes, he was more intelligent than he knew what to do with, and he used it negatively against people.

Perhaps that was why he was here, forever alone, as he felt. At least he had his writing to keep him warm at night...and the company of random strangers who wanted to sleep with a thrice published author. If nothing else, the book publications were good for his sex life. The nature of his literature, however, made everyone weary about entering a relationship with him, and if he was being honest, yeah, that was pretty fair. His books were wide open about the mistakes he had made, and the people that he had hut.

"Right, right, sorry," Ephraim laughed. It was truly difficult for him to talk about his life without writing and books coming in to it, because that was so much a part of who he was, but he liked the challenge, and he was interested in giving it a try. "As for the amateur thing..." He shrugged. "I think some part of me will always feel like an amateur in comparison to -" he stopped himself, laughing. "Nope, not going there, no shop talk." He shot the man a wink.

The wink faded, of course, into something of a frown when the man said that sadly, what Ephraim saw was all their was. "Why is that sad?" Ephraim asked, cocking his head to the side. "From where I'm sitting, what I see looks pretty good."

Was that forward? Yes, but the man was intelligent and beautiful. It was difficult for Ephraim to see any real harm in that, at the end of the day. Why not validate it?

AMAZING set by NEHM
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Damian Thomsen
Advanced Member
Damian Thomsen
Advanced Member
Joined: Apr 7 2016, 02:48 AM

Jul 13 2016, 09:10 PM #15

It was amazing how alone one could feel in a crowded room. It had always been such a fascinating concept to Damian -- he didn't feel, as Ephraim would have put it, forever alone, he had his family, had friends, but he couldn't deny that they was a certain something, a romantic something, missing from his life. He had attempted to sign up for the Vow only to be matched with a former student, a former student with walls miles high that he couldn't even see the top of, a former student with a dead husband who turned out not to be nearly as dead as he was thought to be.

If Damian didn't know better he would have said it was all something out of a book, something out a telenovela that his mother watched.

But he knew better.

He knew better, and he terminated his contract with the Vow, found himself with that nagging absence in his chest once more. So it was home and work, home and work, a constant routine that Damian had come to love deeply for, but still... He was far too much of a romantic to be truly happy with his life at the moment.

Still, as Ephraim laughed on the other side of the table, an echoing smile formed on Damian's face, content and happy for the briefest of moments. Others being happy made Damian happy. That was nothing new. His own laugh bubbled out of him at the wink, made him lean forward and clasp his hands in front of him. "I like that." He stated, "I find modesty endearing -- it's amazing that all the faculty can fit into one room for meetings considering how big some of their egos are." He didn't wink, but a smile twisted his lips, lips pressed together.

It took a moment for him to respond to Ephraim. He propped his elbows up in that time, rested his chin against his folded hands. "You're right," he said finally. "Not sad." Despite what others may have thought, Damian was happy with his life. He'd spent the last thirty-eight years learning and writing, dedicating his life to something so specific that it felt few cared about it. He wasn't famous, he didn't sell books to the masses, and if he were honest, he couldn't quite figure out why Ephraim was so willing to talk with him, but he cherished it, relished it all the same.

"Although perhaps you are biased." Warmth blossomed throughout his chest, caused another smile to spread gently across his features. His head tilted. "Perhaps we are both biased." Undoubtedly. Shifting suddenly, Damian cleared his throat. "I just meant that I have found very few people your age truly interested in my work. I am satisfied with my work, with my life." His head tilted, curious. "Are you?"
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