Miles walked into his room and switched on the light. Or at least, he switched on the light switch, but was met with only persistent darkness as a result. He sighed, dropped his gym bag on the floor, and hollered for his roommate, Lane.
Lane, being the self-professed expert in all things electric, was only too happy to take a look. It had only taken four wrong guesses before he got the right breaker turned off, but now he was balancing as best he could on a computer chair since they didn’t have a ladder, the fixture hanging from the wires as he poked and fussed.
Miles watched, the inner workings of his light being akin to invisible magic as far as he was concerned, clueless what to do beyond flipping the switch and changing the bulb, and the bulb was new.
Since the fuse also turned off all his outlets, Miles couldn’t do anything until Lane finished, so he was sitting on his bed, kicking his heels, as Lane fussed with the wires.
“Hey, Lane? Mind if I ask you a question.”
He had wanted a chance to talk to Lane for a while, and this seemed to have proved a good excuse. “I know you, uh, y’know…”
Lane craned his neck around to glance at Miles, giving him an expectant look.
“Go both ways,” Miles finished lamely after a moment.
Lane snorted out a laugh. Oh, it was going to be one of those questions. “Yeah, I kinda do,” he said, turning back to his work. “What do you wanna know?”
Miles shrugged, sniffed a little, and tried not to look uncomfortable. “Why? I mean, I get that you’re attracted to both. But wouldn’t it be simpler?”
Lane stopped and gave him a bemused look. “Simpler?”
“To, y’know, stay with women.”
Lane started to laugh; a deep, intense laugh as if that was one of the funniest things he had ever heard.
“What?” Miles asked, wanting in on the joke but feeling he had become the butt of it.
“Simpler? My god, you think dating women is simple?” Lane was laughing so hard he almost couldn’t get the words out. “Dang, Miles, you are deluded.”
“I mean it,” he said, wanting to be serious. “No,… no hiding. No worrying about being caught, or what people will think. No-”
Lane interrupted, holding his fingers out as he count off his reasons. “No needing ESP to figure out his emotional patterns; my fair share of the closet space; bathroom products,” he said, getting very animated in his attempt to get the point across, “that I can actually identify!”
Miles shrugged again. “Well, they do smell nice.”
“Men smell nice,” Lane said with a smirk and went back to the light fixture.
“Yes, but aside from the small stuff- well, okay, the emotions thing, I’ll grant you,” Miles said.
“No unplanned pregnancies,” Lane noted.
“No pregnancy, period,” Miles said.
“Ha! You say that like it’s a bad thing!”
Sure, Miles wasn’t ready himself yet, but that didn’t mean in ten years or so it wouldn’t be nice. “You honestly telling me you never want kids?”
“Oh hell, Miles,” Lane said, “are you serious? What the hell would I do with a kid? Nah, man, I ain’t a dad. Besides, with my luck, I’d have a girl.”
“Yeah, and have to lock her up to keep her from all the guys just like you.” Men or women, Lane had himself a reputation.
“Exactly,” Lane said, with perhaps a bit too much seriousness in his tone.
“Spit is natural,” Lane countered.
“Okay, that’s just gross.” Miles was beginning to think he shouldn’t have started this conversation.
“Oh, come on, man! That’s a time-honoured tradition! Besides, when you’ve got a bottle you don’t have to wait for her ‘mood’.”
Ouch. “No having to figure out who’s changing their last name,” Miles said after a brief pause.
Lane shrugged, “Big deal. No being dragged along to all-day shopping marathons.”
“Yes, but less exciting underwear.”
He pondered that for a moment before nodding. “Yeah, I’ll give you that one. No PMS though,” he said, wagging his finger at Miles when he finished replacing the fixture.
“You’ve got a good point there,” Miles conceded, then countered, “No boobs.”
“Dang, mm. I do like those,” he hummed wistfully as he carefully got off the chair. “Still, men have a lifetime of experience with the equipment.”
Miles barked out a laugh. “Alright, I’d say we’re even. But won’t you miss women?”
Lane was about to reply when he paused and got a warm little smile on his face. “Not as much as I’d miss Dave,” he said at last.
“Ah, the answer that trumps all arguments. Can’t argue with love, my friend.”
“Well, look at the bright side,” Lane said, clapping Miles on the back. “You’ll never have to worry about me messing with your relationships.”
Miles chuckled. “Hey, speaking of, you got anything for Valentine’s Day, yet?”
“Ah hell,” Lane said, stepping out of the room to flip the breakers back on. “That time already?”
“Gettin’ close,” Miles called back.
“What about you?”
“I thought about going out tomorrow, see if I could find some romantic little thing for Sarah. You wanna tag along?”
Lane came back in, nodding. “Yeah. Yeah, that sounds good. See if I can pick up anything.” He flicked the light switch a couple times, just to make sure nothing was gonna catch fire.
Miles grinned as the invisible magic of power was restored to his room. “Hey, thanks man.”
“My pleasure,” Lane said, gathering up his tools.
“So, I’ll grab you on my way out tomorrow?”
Lane grinned. “It’s a date.”
“Dude… just… no.”