What do you do when you wake up buzzing and humming and thrilled to be alive? When you squeeze the warm body next to you just to make sure it's still there? When the air is heavy with the smell of sex and early winter chill?

How do you ease your fears, clear your mind, and fall into and out of love in the span of a shower? When you say This is normal, people do this all the time and the answer is too true: Not when it ended because one was gay. It could break your heart to hear it if you hadn't known it was coming; it could break your heart anyway.

Where do you turn when your closest friend is in your arms and blood is running down your back? When everything is just as planned: in love, but not in love? When you find normalcy on unfamiliar ground and wonder where it's been all along?

Do you quit while you're ahead, cut your losses, and cash in the chips? Or is it always one more hand or one more pull or one more roll in the hay? When she calls and asks, Is this okay? This thing?, what do you say? When the truth is I don't know, what are the words? When you think you've got a grip but maybe I have a plan for this and that would be all wrong.

You go to work. You drink your coffee and write your emails and tell your dirty jokes. You eat your steak so rare it jiggles like Jell-O. You put it out of your mind and go on with your life and hope you've got an answer next time the panting and sweating are over and the questions begin. You go on full-steam, knowing that when this spirals out of control -- and it will -- you will still be left with a shoulder to cry on and a hand to squeeze when things get grim because fate protects fools.

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