Being around Suparno always felt too close for comfort.
Even before I had met them in the flesh, they had taken over my thoughts. And my feed. Given my dopamine-hungry brain, I had spent most of my time in lockdown scrolling through the Twitter app. It was either that or to spiral into nightmares about the miserable state of our world. At least holding the phone in my hand felt more grounding.
Anyway, 2 years of seeing their gorgeous thirst-traps online alongside some very queer hot-takes made it easy for me to fall for them before I even met them. On the other hand, the only thing they knew about me was a piece I wrote for a literary magazine.
“Is it Suparno, like in Bangla?” I had asked them when we first met, trying to demonstrate my knowledge of a culture beyond… uh, Mylapore. I folded up my lower lips to enunciate the ‘sh’, drew out the ‘aa’ and nonchalantly ended it with a casually upturned ‘oh’ sound. I wanted them to know that I had taken the pains to learn every bit of their aesthetics and sensibilities, and that I would take every pain to learn their every whim and fancy, every curve of their body, the slip of the light tongue…
“Actually,” they giggled. “Suvaro, Sukarno, Suparno – I go by all three names.”
“Sukarno like…like the Indonesian leader?” I audibly struggled to regain my intellectual footing in the conversation.
“Actually,” they began again and my heart sank at the thought of feeling bested once again by this person who was carelessly cradling my whole heart on the edge of their open, slightly-bent wrist. “Karno, as in Karna. The OG bastard-child, binary-buster of the Pandava-Kaurava dichotomy, and also a proponent of body-mods and piercings I-M-O.”
I couldn’t help falling helplessly further in love with them. I had flashes of falling down backwards down the stairs as a 6-year-old. My heart raced with anxiety and pining, settling into a heady cocktail of emotions that nothing could have prepared me for.
That night, I hung about them like a clingy bedsheet-ghost. Drunken with spirits and pumped with hormones (having just visited the doc!), I was desperate to give into the erotic flurry that they stirred up in me all evening by merely existing. The power they had over my poor heart felt cruel. Being a simp for every bit of dopamine I could get after the terrifyingly lonesome lockdowns, I followed them around like a lost puppy, tongue hanging out, eyes swollen with UWU-ness.
“Can we talk, Choy?”
Finally. The moment I had been waiting for.
“I need some space. You’ve been hanging over me like the sword of Damocles all night, and it’s making me antsy. Maybe you should go home. You’ve had lots to drink, I can see.”
Sometimes when you’re walking through a wintry night, the cold wind slaps you in the face. Numb, you brave on. And that’s how I went home, fighting my tears for fear they would hurt more against the cold draft.
Alone, I trudged to meet my nightmares. Abandoned by my object of desire. To my nightmares, where Suparno’s pointy incisors would chomp down on my spine, crushing them under their delicious weight and incisiveness. That’s how deliriously I had given into my desires, only to have them rebuke me. To be asked to leave their party where I drank myself sillier than the crush I had on them.
For dessert, we are serving revenge.