He came into the store again. It was awful and made Alden nervous and giddy. Alden couldn’t help it.
Alden hated himself for it. The guy’s jaw was just so perfect, so strong. He smelled like the sun, too, like warm dry grass and rough labor. Alden just wanted to melt; he wanted to offer himself up, right then and there.
After the man left, Alden stared emptily out the gas station window. The hot, strong summer light was stripped away to weak envy by dusty, tinted panes. The broad windows were so covered in bad checks and flyers, what should have been wide countryside was reduced to haphazard and contextless squares.
Hard-set lines descended from the corner of his unhappy mouth. Cold, dry guilt had killed completely every ounce of his flushing desire. It was an abomination. Why did he feel this way? He couldn’t feel this way. He couldn’t need a man like that. He couldn’t. He couldn’t be a fag. It was too terrible…
He tried to fight the thoughts away, but the long silence of his job left him no such solace. Why did Alden have to feel this way? Why couldn’t he just get raped?
It wouldn’t be his fault, then. He could get what he wanted and wouldn’t have to hate himself.
He hated himself even more for the final thought.
And so he stewed in self-loathing, without reason. Jesus loves everyone, but god hates fags.