In the wings

“Hey there, sugar.  You ready?”

“Yeah.  Scene’s almost over”

I didn’t have to look to know that it was Trevor, not just because of his perfume and his seductive whisper, but because we had shared this moment in the wings for the last two weeks.  He was right in my ear, and his body was so close to mine in the darkness of the heavy stage curtains that I could feel heat emanating from it.

“I love you in this,” whispered Trevor, gesturing delicately toward my costume as I turned halfway around to see him…and to get a little space.


His voice truly was silky and sweet, but not in a way I could really enjoy.   Was he about to come on to me?  Or was he just teasing me?  Or maybe testing the waters.  He hadn’t spoken much to me during rehearsals or during the performances.  But here in the wings, he spoke to me as if I were the object of his desire.

“You a sweet thing.  So yuuuuung and buff.  I bet the ladies all love you,”  he simpered.

“I guess.  Actually, this is the best I’ve done all month, Trev.”  We shared a soft chuckle and a smile

“Boy, if you liked boys I would show you a LOT better then this.”  He cocked his head slightly and grinned broadly at me.

Trevor was an exceptionally handsome (some would even say beautiful) muscular,  black man, with a powerful, virile bass-baritone voice.  He could shake the room with his singing, but in the wings, he was just as soft and feminine as a man could be.  It really was the most affection I’d received in a few weeks.  And in my own way, I appreciated the attention.  But what can a straight man do to convey appreciation for affection from a gay man?  I wanted him to know that he was something special, too, but being young and inexperienced, I didn’t know how to do this for fear of giving him the wrong idea.

“Ok, here comes  my cue.  Wish me luck?”

“Honey, you don’t need luck.  You just go out there and do what you do!”  And he gave me a playful pat on the ass as I turned to head for my second act, stage left entrance.

“Dammit Trevor!”


About davidwburns

I like to write. I have a job. This is a flash bio. View all posts by davidwburns

11 responses to “In the wings

  • flyingscribbler

    I think you’ve captured this fleeting moment so well, which is what flash fiction is all about. It is such a well observed piece and the emotion feels very real and honest. Trevor in particular seems genuine with character and realistic speech. I like the way he gently teases.

    • davidwburns

      Thank you. No is ever more honest then when waiting in the wings. Not sure why that is. It’s a vulnerable place to be.

      • James

        I enjoy dropping in from time to time. I’ve not, however, taken occasion to comment until now.

        Ironically, it is not your prose that prompts my fingers at the keyboard– rather, the words…

        No one is ever more honest than when waiting in the wings… It’s a vulnerable place to be.

        I believe this has resonance beyond it’s context. It has certainly been my experience; both in the theater, and in life. Something tasty to chew on today, indeed. Thank you.

      • davidwburns

        Thanks for coming out for a comment. In the Wings as a metaphor makes me think of Into the Woods-Sondheim (a favorite show to perform and see).

      • davidwburns

        Ha Ha! Jim! Didn’t recognize you at first.

  • Mike Robertson

    This is so sweet, and real. And of course you had me so convinced the narrator was a woman until … well, you know. Fine bit of flash here, David.

  • Raven Corinn Carluk

    Good question. How do you say thanks for flirting?

    • davidwburns

      Ha! It really is a good question. I have a very dear male friend who is gay. And I know that all he ever really wants from me is affection. That I’m married and straight makes no difference to him. His craving for it runs deeper than his sexuality. I’m happy to give it.

  • adampb

    Having worked in amateur theatre, this rings so true. Well done.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  • dannigrrl

    I too thought this was a woman at first, but I love how well you played this intimate moment between them. There’s something about those quiet moments that make some of us more bold. I love that the narrator struggles with how to react, not wanting to offend or encourage. It was a very honest piece. Nicely done, my friend.

  • Steve Green

    Nicely captured moments here, platonic friendships exist between straight and gay men on an everyday level, but I think delicate handling, and wisely chosen words may be needed if the gay man was hoping for more than just friendship.

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