He ignored me for three minutes and twenty-six seconds, by the counter in my viewfinder, which was approximately three minutes and twenty-five seconds longer than I'd expected him to hold out. He could get so testy sometimes that it was easy to forget that about one out of ten of his fuses could be scary long. At 00:03:27, however, he grabbed the receipt he'd been using as a bookmark, shoved it between the pages to mark his place in some indecipherable legal text, and slammed the book shut.
And then, without comment, he took his shirt off.
"...What are you doing?" I'd like to pretend I said something cooler, a little more roll-with-it, but when the little microphone on the digital handheld is recording every grunt for posterity, you get real used real fast to just how much you can't lie about all the stupid shit that comes out of your mouth.
"Ruining your film," he said plainly, unzipping his pants.
At this point, really much any sane art student trying to make a short film for an assignment on the use of a single unrehearsed subject in a non-narrative cinema would have turned off the digital camcorder and gone to find someone a little less bound and determined to make his or her directoral skills seem less Michel Gondry and more Larry Flint. Unfortunately, as Tristan loves to point out, I've got the common sense of a small stupid goldfish, so I just kept rolling as he reached into his pants and pulled out his cock, which was getting less soft with every frame it graced.
By this time, I'd sort of pulled myself together, in the way you do when you find yourself playing chicken with a car and you're too drunk to remember how you wound up in the middle of the road in the first place, so you might as well just stand there as long as you can so your friends don't call you a pussy, and this metaphor just got way out of hand, but that's why somebody else writes my scripts. "The professors may think it's avant-garde," I shrugged, leaning back against the desk in his bedroom, which I only thought of as a bedroom and not a study because it still had a bed, even if nobody actually slept on it.
Tristan shrugged his jeans off his hips, leaning back against the pillows and spreading his knees; his cock lay against his thigh, heavy and stiff. "They'll think it's a cheap, pornographic gimmick and they'll drop you a letter grade. I listen to you bitch enough about your damn department; I know what I'm talking about." In a manner that was way too businesslike for someone so obviously aroused, he pulled out the little bottle of Liquid Silk from the bedside table, lubed up his hand, and began stroking himself off.
Hardly an exhibitionist, even less prone to feats of roundabout seduction, Tristan had to my recollection never jerked off in front of me in the three years we'd been together. At this point, I have to confess that my going theory involved too much con law having rotted his brain, with a close runner-up being an Invasion of the Body Snatchers scenario where someone had come in and replaced my grumpy boyfriend with a more compliant model, and the consolation prize going to a somewhat disturbing idea involving the inherent sexiness of Justice Rehnquist's majority opinions.
I was busily adding a fourth theory (based on my copious ignorance of astrological phenomena) centering around how Mercury might be in retrograde and the moon in the seventh house, or something, when he leaned forward on the bed, grabbed my belt loops, and pulled me close until my knees bumped the edge of the bed. With the camera pointed almost vertically downward and still watching this all unfold through the viewfinder, I stood there, stupid and half-dazed as he pulled out my cock. And here it was 00:8:49 and I hadn't even noticed I'd gotten hard. Talk about a man's dedication to his art. "You know," I swallowed, finding my mouth suddenly dry, "if you wanted me to stop filming you, all you had to do is ask."
"Bullshit," said Tristan, and he put his lips against the head of my cock just as he did so, so that every sound he formed buzzed electric beneath my skin. "You would've kept on going, and I would've gotten mad and thrown the book at the camera, and then somehow I would've been the one to explain to your mom why there's an extra $600 for 'equipment fees' on your tuition bill this semester, and really?" He drew his lips briefly around the head of my cock, his lips a perfect O as he pulled away with a pop. "This seemed like the most efficient response."
I had to admit, he had the foresight of Nostradamus -- and the mouth of one of those guys in gay porn who have really cheesy stage names, like Peter Ironrod, or Dick Wood, or Lance Steel. "The, uh, camera's still rolling," I pointed out, tapping the little green power light with the little finger of my free hand.
Tristan shrugged, pushing my jeans off my hips and yanking my underwear down after them. "Then worry about your performance, not mine."
In the end, only one of the three panel judges even mentioned the word 'pornographic', and I'm pretty sure he meant it in a good way. Cut down to just under five family-safe minutes from the original eighty-six minutes of footage (none of which, because I do not have a death wish, ever left my hard drive) and set to a variety of Duran Duran clips spliced together with bits of static like someone running through radio channels, Tristan Studies Law took second place at the student film festival. The titular subject was predictably nowhere to be seen (except on the screen) at the festival or subsequent awards ceremony, nor did he keep anything but the lowest possible profile on campus for the week following, but the night I came home with my trophy and $250 gift certificate, we cuddled up on the couch together and watched the director's cut of my first award-winning film together. Three hours later, mostly naked and sprawled across the living room floor, he had to admit that the whole experience might not have been the worst idea I'd ever had, and that for me was a better prize than any trophy could have been.
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