Come Undone – CROSSIN(G)ENRES

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“Your home is beautiful. How long have you lived here?” Aiden asked as he stepped into the four-story brownstone. Walking through the center hall, they passed an entrance to the living room and an ornate mahogany staircase on their way to a white marble kitchen with the same antique cherry and oak parquet floors as the entry hall.

“We bought it seventeen years ago shortly after Richard’s first Tony.”

Winston led Daisy to his water bowl, letting her drink first. “I can’t believe Winston is such a gentleman,” Aiden gushed. “Just like her father.”

“I’ll grab a towel. This is going to be messy,” Douglas said as Daisy walked away from the bowl with water flowing from her jowls. Winston took his turn. Raising his voice to be heard over Winston’s loud lapping, Douglas added, “Now for our drinks. How do you like your martini?”

“A little dirty with two olives, please. Do you mind if I look at the photos in the living room?”

“Not at all. I’ll bring our drinks.”

Aiden stepped into the living room with floor-to-ceiling French casement windows, heavy crown molding, and a mahogany and black marble fireplace. A set of built-in mahogany bookcases lined the wall opposite the mantel filled with awards and memorabilia. The walls were adorned with black-framed photographs depicting Douglas and Richard together with Broadway greats. The entire room seemed a sentimental collage of the couple’s glamorous past. As he began to admire the photos one by one, Aiden said, “These are amazing. What wonderful memories they must stir up.”

Douglas handed him his glass. “I treasure them all. This one is my favorite,” he said, pointing to a photo of him and Richard. “Taken backstage shortly after he won his first Tony. Richard was so ecstatic. I’m pretty sure he was happier at that moment than the day of our wedding.” Stumbling backwards in time as he gazed into the photograph, he said, “It was a marvelous evening. I was so proud of him.”

Aiden raised his glass. “To Richard.”

“To Richard.”

Aiden stared into Douglas’ eyes and smiled as their glasses clinked. “Do you mind if I play you something?” He gestured toward the Steinway grand piano.

“That would be lovely. Richard played the piano quite well. I don’t play, and sad to say it’s more like a piece of furniture now.”

Aiden sat down and began to play. “I’ll sing ‘Come Undone’ for you since you didn’t get to see me perform. Let me know how it compares with that other guy?” He looked over and winked.

Oh, it’ll take a little time,
might take a little crime
to come undone now

We’ll try to stay blind
to the hope and fear outside
Hey child, stay wilder than the wind
And blow me in to cry

Who do you need, who do you love
When you come undone
**

Midway through the song Douglas moved over and sat beside Aiden on the bench and joined in for the chorus, harmonizing with him in perfect tune and pitch. When the song ended, Douglas closed his eyes as a lone tear streaked down his cheek. “Wow. You are quite talented. That was lovely.”

“Thank you so much. You sounded great too. I loved that production so much. It’s just amazing they created such a poignant musical based on a Duran Duran song. I’ve obviously spent a lot of time with that particular song. To me, the lyrics mean acknowledging your true feelings, which is not always an easy task. ‘Might take a little time, might take a little crime, but once you do, the truth comes out, and you come undone.’ When you come undone, only then do you know you’re at peace with yourself and recognize who you really love or what you truly need.”

Aiden looked over to meet Douglas’ eyes. “Who do you need, who do you love, when you come undone?” and leaned in to kiss him. Douglas’ eyes widened and welled as he returned Aiden’s lingering kiss.

Douglas backed away and said, “I’m old enough to be your father. But, I dare say you have a way of making an older man wish for younger days. How old are you?”

“Twenty-nine. You apparently didn’t hear me the first time. Age is but a number, Douglas.” He reached his hand behind Douglas’ head and pulled him in for another kiss, this time exploring his mouth with his tongue.

The sound of loud snores distracted them. They both laughed as they looked over to see Daisy sound asleep on a dog bed with Winston lying just outside of the bed, chin resting on Daisy’s neck.

“Would you and Winston like to come over for dinner tonight?” Aiden asked. “We live only two blocks away. I’m a pretty good cook.”

“That sounds perfect.”

“It’s a date then. Say at six o’clock?”

Douglas nodded.

“Well, I should run and prepare. I can’t wait!”

“Me too.”

“Come on, Daisy. We need to get going. You’ll see Winston in just a little bit.” They both made their way toward the door, and Daisy turned to send one final glance back toward Winston as Douglas and Aiden kissed goodbye.

Douglas closed the front door after Aiden and Daisy departed, squatted down, and raised his right hand in front of Winston’s face. “Give me a high-five,” he said as Winston raised a front paw and connected with Douglas’ hand. “Good boy! Looks like we both made out well today.”

Winston followed Douglas back into the living room as he approached the photograph once more. “Looks like I’ve come undone again, Sweetie. I will always love you, Richard. Always.” He leaned in to kiss Richard’s image.

Wiping tears from his face, he said, “Let’s go, Winston. We need to spruce up for our double date. Now, where is your bow tie collar?”

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