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profzenben
03 March 2009 @ 10:33 pm
A/N: Again, not even re-read, so nowhere near proofed. Just trying to get on paper what I can and go from there. Maybe editing to follow later.

November Prompt: Celebrate

When people think of celebrations, they think of balloons, cake, party hats (if you’re part of Michael’s family, there are ALWAYS party hats). Our biggest celebration came without a hat, without even spoken congratulations. But it will, for the rest of my life, remain the largest celebration I have ever been privy to.

“Ben!” Michael flung open the door quickly, letting it slam behind him. “Where’s Hunter?” he literally gasped for breath.

I laughed softly, looking up from my spot on the couch, marking my place in my book and turned around to face him. “He’s working on a project with a few kids in his history class. Something about Marx, I believe..?”

He waved an envelope around excitedly and I smiled widely. Being a part of Michael’s life was more than I could ever have imagined. He was so animated, so chocked full of emotions, so … alive. He made me feel the same way.

“What is it?” I said, finally standing up.

“A letter, for Hunter,” he panted out. “I think we should open it.”

“Michael!”

“What?”

He looked so genuinely surprised I would say anything about him wanting to open Hunter’s mail, that I could find it nothing but adorable. “We can’t violate his privacy, Michael!”

“But this is important.” His voice raised just a few octaves. I sometimes forget Debby is his mother, until moments like these.

“What is it?” I asked, again.

“It’s from Columbia!”

My heart started beating rapidly. Hunter, Michael, and I spent what seemed like days filling out applications for college. It was a stretch to think we could convince Michael to even let him stay somewhere on campus if he went to Carnegie Mellon. So, Hunter and I felt it was a huge accomplishment that Michael finally relented to and let him apply at Columbia in Chicago. They had a great film and production program. And Hunter had finally found his passion, behind a camera. I thought it was important that we let him pursue those passions with as much abandon as possible.

The front door swung open and we both turned quickly.

Hunter stopped in his tracks. “What, dudes?” He looked at Michael’s flushed face and scanned my face quickly. “I took out the garbage, Jesus.”

Michael pounced, shoving the envelope into Hunter’s hands. “Open it!”

“What the fuck, Michael.” Hunter dropped his bag. “I can’t even come insid---” He stopped, looking from the envelope to the both of us.

He opened it quickly, bits of the envelope falling to floor as he ripped into it with no regard. My mind raced as his eyes scanned the paper quickly. Michael started to take a deep breath and I held my hand up, catching his eye. “Michael,” I whispered. He sighed, crossing his arms as we both intently watched Hunter.

He tossed it onto the coffee table and kicked off his shoes, heading directly for the stairs.

“What did it say?” Michael asked, quietly, nervously.

“I got in,” he bounded up the stairs two at a time.

“What?” Michael rushed toward the paper.

“Yup. I’m in. Hope you like Chicago style pizza.” That was all we heard before his door shut, upstairs.

Michael flung himself at me, his arms around my neck. “He got in!”

My arms wrapped around him tightly, as my mind raced. Out of state tuition, travel expenses, we need to find a doctor near the school, I hope he’s going to eat proper, take his medications. But the only thing that really mattered at that moment, was that me and my wonderful husband, were going to be able to celebrate our son going away to college. We were going to share that moment as a family. Years ago, I would have never thought any of this possible. For a number of reasons. I also caught myself smiling. Because I was also going to see Deb and Michael try to make Hunter wear a party hat. This was going to be good.
 
 
profzenben
03 March 2009 @ 10:10 pm
*A/N* I haven't even re-read this. Just posting to get it out. Ben finally crept into my brain and I can't stop him to edit/proof. So here it is. Perhaps editing will happen later :)


November Prompt: Survival


Survival of the fittest, I think, as I set down the set of weights, wiping the sweat from my brow and sigh. I know deep down that Michael understands that nights I come in past midnight, the mornings I leave before the sun has even crept its way in through our shades. Survival. It has become increasingly important to me. Even more so since the last scare. The last time my counts went down.

They say, before you pass away, that your entire life flashes before your eyes. The night, at 3 am, when I woke up in a cold sweat, with the fever of 103, I realized the truth behind that statement.

I sat down at the leg press machine, methodically pushing, holding - as I thought of Michael’s voice, on the way to the emergency room.

“Stay with me Ben,” I could hear the panic in his voice.

I nodded, resting my head against the passenger window, the coolness of the glass more than welcome.

“Ben, fucking listen to me. Damnit.”

I nodded again, using every ounce of strength I had to move my hand towards him. A wave of peace flooded over my body as he glanced down and grabbed it quickly. I closed my eyes, letting the sense of safety rush through every inch of me. And that’s when I saw it. My entire life, flashing before my eyes. And it came in the form of a photograph I carry in my wallet, everyday. Michael, a child-like smile playing on his lips, Hunter rolling his eyes at me behind the camera, and little Jenny Rebecca, nestled into the crook of Hunter’s arms, looking up at Michael and Hunter with complete adoration behind her eyes.

I stood up from the leg press machine, wiping it down quickly. Survival of the fittest. It was definitely the driving force between my 4 hours a day at the gym. But, I smiled to myself, as I hurried to the locker room, I think there are others ways I can work out tonight.
 
 
profzenben
Title: Dinner is Served
Author: Neesey
A/N: Not beta-d. Not even read through. Written for Dops with a ten minute deadline (ben imposed), a prompt of tofu, and a request for Michael, Hunter, and Ben. Extra points for having Mikey and Hunter ganging up on Ben behind his back.

I glanced from my watch to the casserole that was almost finished and sighed softly. I can’t believe I forgot the honey. And without it the golden tofu casserole wasn’t going to be the same. I glanced over my shoulder at Hunter bounding down the stairs. “Dude, when’s dinner,” his face screwed up slightly as he looked at the dish on the counter.

“Well, if I can convince you to head to the store for me, it will be done shortly.”

“If I go to the store, can I not eat that…” he waved his hand, his lip snarled up a bit. “…stuff?”

“Hunter, I thought you said you would eat the golden tofu casserole I said I was going to make.”

“No way, dude. I said you could make it. I never said I would eat it.”

“Eat what?” Michael asked, as he entered the kitchen, his lips on mine before I could respond.

“Golden tofu casserole.” I said, a smile on my lips.

“Oh,” Michael said, feigning a smile. He thought I couldn’t tell the difference between his real smile and this one, I always could.

“I need honey though, before it is a finished master piece.”

“Master piece of gag.” Hunter mumbled under his breath.

“Hunter and I will head to the store for you,” Michael said, perhaps a bit too quickly.

“Oh maaaaaaan.”

Michael shot him a look and kissed me again, quickly. “We’ll be back shortly?”

“Don’t take too long!” I yelled after the both of them.

Half an hour later, I was sitting at the table when they returned. “You two were gone a long time,” I said suspiciously.

“There was a long line, old dude. You have no idea.”

I glanced from Hunter to Michael, looking at the shared looks between the two. I handed Hunter a napkin and stood up, pulling Michael into my arms quickly. “Hi,” he stammered out softly before I dipped my head down to kiss him.

“Ew, come on…are you serious? Before dinner?”

“After dinner,” I said laughing to myself as Michael pulled back from the kiss. “And use the napkin to wipe the pizza sauce from your chin.”

He turned towards Michael, his mouth open. “You let me walk in with pizza sauce on my face? Seriously!?”

“Here’s your honey … honey?” Michael said chewing on his bottom lip nervously and holding out a bottle.

“It tastes like pepperoni. Am I right?” I watched Michael nod. “The least you two could have done was brought home some veggie lover pizza for me!”

“Told you so!” Hunter yelled out over his shoulder, heading for the front door. “You owe me twenty bucks, Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.”

He returned moments later with the pizza box in one hand and a smile covering his face. “Dinner is served, dudes.”
 
 
profzenben
10 September 2008 @ 11:31 pm
I was listening, honestly I was. The speaker discussing transmigration was phenomenal. But I kept letting my thoughts drift back to Michael. I had long ago stopped dreaming of the imminent future. I say imminent because of course it is going to happen, but what part of that future will I be? I am thankful for every day that I wake up, my limbs tangled with Michaels, the soft gentle sound of him breathing the only thing I hear, the first thing I hear every morning. But I still wanted to dream.

“Life is a journey.
Death is a return to earth.
The universe is like an inn.
The passing years are like dust.

Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp - a phantom - and a dream.”

I heard what he was saying, I knew what he was saying at this point. But how can you not want to be a part of someone you love’s life. At this point, my dreams had been rekindled. Michael had relit the fire of my dreams. They were a tad different than everyone else’s. Of course, I wished that I could be in attendance at our 50th anniversary, give Michael a present that would last forever on his 60th birthday. As Buddha says, I was reminded by our speaker, if we were to light a succession of candles from one they would all be a different flame, but still casually connected to the master flame. My wish now is to be a flame that carries on through Michael’s life. I was not arrogant enough to believe that I had reached the enlightenment that leads to nirvana. Instead, I was dreaming of reincarnation that still let me be connected to the man I love. And I fully believed, when I allowed myself to dream, that the universe would align just right for this to be possible. To be there to see the smile that crosses his lips when JR leaves for her first prom, to see the pride in his eyes as Hunter walks down the aisle. And, as we filed out of the temple I thought, I know I will be there. One way or another.
 
 
profzenben
10 September 2008 @ 09:00 pm


“Ben!” I jumped, slightly.

“Yes, Michael?” I turned the page in my book, knowing from the tone of his voice that I should bookmark it, lay it on the nightstand, and be prepared to not be asleep in half an hour as I had planned.

“Come here!” His voice raised another octave. This was the clear indication to me that I needed to move, and quickly.

“Coming, Brown Eyes.”

I walked into the bathroom, a small sigh escaping my lips as I saw him standing there, in front of the mirror wearing nothing but a pair of my pajama bottoms. I wrapped my arms around his waist, resting my head on his shoulder and kissed his ear softly. “You rang?”

“There are more of them!” He said, his eyes not leaving the mirror.

I ran my hand along his taut stomach slowly. “More of what?” My lips moved from the bottom of his neck up, resting against his ear, again.

“More gray hairs,” He genuinely sounded panicked, which only served to further amuse me.

“I know,” I said, my hands tugging at the top of his pajama pants.

“What?!” He spun around, his eyes flashing slightly.

“I’ve noticed.” I couldn’t help but smile.

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean? And why in the hell wouldn’t you say something to me, goddamnit!”

“Because I love them.” My lips found his quickly, with the practice that only comes with doing so for eight years.

When he pulled back, his eyes had stopped flashing anger and instead had started to turn the dark, wonderful dark, brown they did before I couldn’t stop myself from picking him up and carrying him to bed.

“I thought you always remarked on my … what do you call it…” he looked so cute as he started to try to think, I almost couldn’t stand it. “Raven. That’s it! Raven hair. What the hell is happening to it? It’s going to be ALL gray soon.”

“Michael, it’s a few gray hairs.” My hand wrapped around his waist and pulled him against my own body hard. “And I love them.”

“I’m too young to look distinguished!” He moaned.

“But not too young to make me realize we’re growing old together,” I said, scooping him up quickly and covering his mouth with mine. As I made the way to our bed I realized I was going to have to do my best to keep his mind off the gray hairs. The ones I had been noticing every night when we fell asleep. The ones I had been examining and reveling in when I woke before him in the mornings and held him in my arms. I am going to enjoy watching Michael's raven hair turn gray. I'm sure of it.
 
 
 
profzenben
10 September 2008 @ 08:13 pm


How I got myself into this situation is neither important nor something I am proud of. But, I did promise this semester’s one class that anything I asked them to do, I would have no problem doing as well.

That, however, was before I sat down to try to write an essay of my own doing. The Buddhist philosophy has much to say about happiness. And all I had asked them to do was write about their own happiness that somehow encompassed the enlightenment of Buddha, as well.

I took my glasses off and leaned back in the chair. Michael was sound asleep, and I could hear the faint sounds of music from behind Hunter’s door, as I sat in my office. They were my happiness. That was simple enough. The sound of the phone startled me from my deep thoughts of how to include Michael into the one Buddhist philosophy I had decided to use.

“Hello?” I found myself whispering, it was well past midnight - call it a force of habit.

“Professor.”

“Brian,” I paused.

“I need to talk to Mikey.”

“Brian, he’s asleep.”

“Well, wake him up. Must we go through this again?”

I sighed heavily. “How about if I have him call you in the morning?”

“I can wait if you must wake him. I mean, blow jobs work for Sunshine with me. Maybe try that? If I recall, you aren’t totally inept at it.”

“Hold on.” I didn’t wait for him to finish, instead growling into the phone and standing up from the chair.

“Ben?” I looked over at Michael’s sleepy form, standing in the doorway, hair tousled, eyes half open.

“It’s Brian, baby.” I handed him the phone, attempting to let the annoyance of Brian’s flippant attitude flow out of me.

As Michael moved down the hall and away from the office, I turned back to my laptop. Moments later, I was surprised to have Michael turn around the chair and jump into my lap quickly. “Justin’s coming home!” He squealed, his arms flinging around my neck.

“What?” I pulled back.

“I know!” Michael beamed back at me. I couldn’t help but smile as well. His boy-like charm, innocence, and the happiness that always bubbled from him when he had good news was contagious. “That was why Brian called. Justin’s coming back. It’s about damn time, right? Three years in New York. He’s coming home!”

I laughed, my arms wrapped around him tight. It would be nice to see Justin more often. And it would be good for Brian. The time away had done him (and Justin) well, however. Their relationship became just that - a relationship. Brian realized how much he needed Justin. And Justin realized that his love for Brian and vice versa didn’t and wouldn’t fade from miles away. And, more importantly, he realized he could handle it on his own.

As Michael scampered out of the room, glowing and yelling for Hunter, it hit me. This was going to be easy. I opened the laptop.

My mind was wheeling as my fingers moved a hundred miles a minute across the keyboard. Michael may never be just “mine”. No one every really belongs one hundred percent to another. But that doesn’t diminish the way they are yours. In fact, I was proud that Michael was a part of everyone else’s life as well as my own. I may despise the late night phone calls where Brian asks me - or rather, demands me - to “rouse his Mikey”, but it doesn’t make Michael less mine or his love for me less. In fact, as Buddha says “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

This is the same way I felt about my love for Michael, and his for me. There would always be outside factors to our relationship. There would always be a Brian there to take their own type of happiness from Michael, but that would never make the happiness I feel from Michael any less. In fact, it grows. Much like the glow from a thousand candles lit by one. Michael was the one candle from where so much happiness stemmed from. My students were in trouble. This essay was definitely deserving of an A.
 
 
 
profzenben
29 August 2008 @ 08:48 pm

It is impossible for me to watch Michael with Brian any longer. I simply can’t do it. I can’t watch the man I love be torn between two people that he loves. And watching him look up at Brian with adoration in his eyes tears my heart in half. I can’t be angry at him. I always say you can’t help the way you feel. And while that may be true, it doesn’t make packing my clothes to move out any easier. There simply is no other way out. I don’t know how long I have. And while I hate to think like that, it is a very real predicament for me. I am unsure of my time left here with people. I want to surround myself with those who I love and who love me back. I am sure that Michael loves me, there’s very little doubt in my head. I just wonder if there’s any reasoning behind me trying to make him love Brian less. He’s devoted, loyal, loving, caring, and especially wonderful. But I can’t make him not love Brian. It is the impossible feat. I have to go. There’s no justification behind me pulling him away from his best friend for God only knows how long. And even if I tried, there’s no guarantee I really could. Brian’s hold on Michael is stronger than anything I have ever seen before.

I pause, zipping the suitcase on the bed and look down at the nightstand - my book on one side, his comics on the other - leaving may be just as impossible a task as staying, I realize.


 
 
profzenben
29 August 2008 @ 08:41 pm




You will find your one true love
. I laughed, setting the tiny sliver of paper from inside my fortune cookie aside and leaned back in my office chair. This cookie is about seven years too late.

Seven years? Has it really been that long since I walked into the comic store and saw him? Seven years since I first felt his lips against mine? If you would have asked me, before Michael, who my one true love was I could not have given you an answer. But the moment my eyes found his beautiful brown eyes, I was sure of it. He was my one true love. If I ever needed a reminder I could merely look down at the ring on my left hand. He isn’t just my one true love. He’s my husband, my lover, my best friend, my everything. The feelings that course through my body when I look down at his beautiful body under mine, the way my heart still skips a beat seven years later when he grabs for my hand as we walk down a crowded street, how during a storm, even in his sleep, his body curls up tight against mine, his hands pulling me even closer - these were all constant reminders. There’s not a doubt in my mind that this man is the love of my life. My breath catches in my throat the way he looks up at me, when we’re making love. After the bombing, it became increasingly clear to me that there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for Michael. I would lay down my life for him. Watching him in his hospital bed, battered, bloody, lifeless, and so small compared to the machines helping him fight … it was all too much. That’s when it hit me the hardest. Without him, I’m not complete. His bottom lip fits between my lips perfect, his head was made for my chest, his hand like a puzzle piece that fits into mine - but beyond that, his heart makes me whole. He is truly the love of my life.