I gave Drew a hickey.

I know that sounds totally Happy Days, like instead of writing that, I should’ve just sung, “I found my thri-ill… on Blueberry Hill…” Anyway, it wasn’t something I intended to do. It’s not like we parked at Inspiration Point and started “necking”. To be honest, I’m not even sure just when or how it happened.

Well, “how”, maybe.

The thing is, we’ve been really good about being tasteful with our shows of affection. We don’t kiss in front of our friends, we don’t sit on the same side of the booth at restaurants and we don’t hold hands at the movies until the lights go down (and even then, we’ll sometimes drape something over our hands for privacy, which is as moronic as it sounds and we know that, or hold them down low out of sight, which is just mildly uncomfortable). For the most part, this is because we know that outside of Europe or West Hollywood, signs of affection between men are often frowned upon. Sometimes they’re frowned upon with lead pipes. We might be a bit more bold kissing each other goodbye outside my apartment, for example, if we didn’t have to worry about getting our asses kicked by one of my thuggish Russian neighbors.

Straight people take a lot of things for granted, but when you’re gay, there’s a complex forumla involved in deciding something as simple as whether to hold hands at a movie. It’s risky at Anger Management, safe at What a Girl Wants, and mandatory at Chicago. Not a good move in the Valley, necessary at Laemmle’s Sunset 5.

So when I saw the hickey on Drew’s neck Sunday morning, we went into spin mode. Did Drew own any turtlenecks? (No.) Was it really that noticeable? (Yes.) Could we come up with any other explanation for it? Uh… birthmark? (Maybe if all of Drew’s friends were retarded.)

We decided to play it off with humor. If anyone pointed it out, we had a schtick prepared.

“Oh, that? Yeah, I saw that, too. But it’s not a hickey,” I’d say. “It can’t be. I haven’t seen Drew in days.”

Drew would act really nervous and say, “That’s right. It’s just a birthmark, Jerry. Just a birthmark…” Fake laugh.

… because there’s nothing funnier than making your friends think you’re cheating on each other.

Have you ever come up with a fun scheme and then never had a chance to implement it? Well, no one said anything about the hickey. Maybe they were just being polite, maybe it wasn’t as noticeable as we thought, or maybe Drew’s friends really are retarded.

Or it’s possible they just suspected we wouldn’t be comfortable with it. After all, we’ve been very good about being tasteful about our shows of affection. Maybe they think we’re being ultra-discreet not for their benefit but for our own. Maybe they’ve always wondered if we were ever affectionate with each other at all.

The hickey outed us.

There was no denying it. It was concrete evidence right there on Drew’s neck for everyone to see. The hickey outed us as the normal couple we secretly always were, and for that, I had to be a little bit grateful.

Of course, I’m still glad it’s on his neck, not mine.

And now I’ve got a new plan. If anybody teases us about it, I’m just going to tell them to “sit on it”.

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