I was going to miss my train.
Yes, for those who haven’t read Loving Jay, those are the first words of Chapter One. They kick-start the story of Liam and Jay and were written on a blank page back in April 2013. That’s how long ago I started that story, and wow – what a journey I have been on since then!
It took me ten weeks to write Loving Jay and every single word has come from the depths of my brain. Sometimes I would blink and then stare at the screen in bemusement, thinking, “Did I really just write that?” Other times it was squirreled away in my head for weeks while I found just the perfect spot to drop that dialogue into.
So now I wish to share with you my favourite quotes and moments of Loving Jay.
For those who don’t know, the story starts with our MC, Liam in denial about being gay. There’s only one problem with that – he has the biggest crush on this beautiful guy he sees on the train each morning:
And missing the first train of the morning also meant I didn’t get to see Jay. But I wasn’t going to think about that. Because I am not gay. I don’t notice other guys; I don’t drool over them; I don’t look forward to seeing their handsome face each morning; I don’t dream about them every night; and I definitely don’t get a hard-on thinking about one particular face. Nope! Not gay here at all.
Oh, poor Liam. He is in the midst of a major crush:
On that day he’d sat down next to a white-haired lady and they’d spoken in soft tones and laughed the whole way home. I felt like tripping the old dear as she got off the train.
Any man who contemplates tripping a granny because she talked with his crush is a little bit more than in love… Liam is just my hero.
But I want to tell you a secret. I secretly love Jay more. But he doesn’t always make the right fashion choices:
“We’re friends now, yeah?”
“Umm… I guess?”
“So, in the tone of friendship, I’m going to ask you a really hard question. Okay? I just don’t want you to get too upset.”
“Ahh….” Jay was holding his breath and looked terrified—rabbit- in-the-headlights terrified. He was wide-eyed and tense. But I just had to ask. Friends helped friends, didn’t they? Before he could conceive too many terrible scenarios, I ploughed on.
“You’re not going to wear those pants all day, are you?” It took a second to sink in, but I watched avidly as he deflated, slumping dejectedly in his seat, and nervously picked at the material on his thigh. Watching Jay’s overreaction to every situation he found himself in was more entertaining than prime-time TV. He didn’t disappointment me.
“Oh my Gawd! Are they that awful? I knew I just shouldn’t wear them. I was debating for ages this morning whether to wear them or dump them. They just cost me the earth, you know? But I didn’t want to toss them without wearing them at least once. I don’t know what made me buy them! A moment’s insanity maybe? I knew Tara—she’s the receptionist at the radio, you know—would tell me the truth. Oh my Gawd! I’m so embarrassed! Tell me straight, are they so bad? Like barf-in-my-bag bad?”
I looked at him solemnly. “Dude, even when M.C. Hammer had the bad taste to wear those pants he at least didn’t wear them in red tartan.”
It took me a while to think up the most atrociously bad pair of pants I could imagine. I hope it worked.
Then, when Jay is in the hospital, Liam gets a look at his pajamas:
My eyes ran down his body, taking in the flannel pajamas he was wearing and it momentarily distracted me from my task. I cocked my eyebrow in query at him. “Smurfs?”
He smoothed the material down self-consciously. “Little blue men with squeaky voices. What’s not to love? And of course most of them had to be gay. There was only ever one Smurfette after all.”
I ignored him, figuring we could discuss the queerness of Smurfs another day.
I remember writing this scene and sitting trying to figure out what sort of PJs would a drama queen wear? My five year old son had a great pair of PJs covered in Smurfs – so I chucked them on Jay.
Okay, I admit it! So I love Liam as well. His sense of humour is very dry:
“I’m just trying to think who I would call if I needed to be bailed out. Which person could I tell I had been arrested for public indecency along with a gay man who had no pants on?”
“So, did you decide who you would call?”
“My brother, Dale. He owes me.”
“Yeah? What did you do for him?”
“I dated his wife.”
Liam’s thoughts on meeting Jay’s sister for the first time:
And besides, if she yelled at me too much, I could just pick her up and push her through the cat door.
I wish I could do that to lots of people.
Liam and Jay are perfect for each other (obviously!) They have a lot of fun and laughter. And of course, sex, so I need to put in a saucy scene:
“Liam, darling. If you take this lovely big cock of yours and in your terms ‘erection, insert, and thrust,’ believe me, I will be screaming so loud that I won’t know if I feel like a girl, a guy, or a bloody blue-ringed octopus. I do know, however, that I will feel absolutely, fucking great. Your neighbors will know that I feel great. I’m pretty sure that I will feel so great that they will call the cops to report a murder taking place and you will need your brothers to bail you for public disturbance.”
I chuckled. “Have you seen my neighbors? I think it would have to be gunfire and a missile to make them give a shit about anything other than their own lives.”
Jay smiled coyly and ground against me. “If you provide the missile, I guarantee I will provide the gunfire.”
I groaned at his sick joke. “Oh, shit, that was bad, man.”
Who said sex couldn’t be immature and fun?
The fun doesn’t just come from my MCs. I wish all workmates could be like Chan:
I shrugged. “As I said, I accidentally outed myself this weekend. I may as well go the whole shebang and tell everyone else now.”
Chan grinned evilly at me. “Does this mean you’ll start wearing pink shirts and calling everyone ‘Darling’?”
I flipped a finger at him. “You are so judgmental. I’m going to dob you in to your brother.”
A look of alarm crossed his face. “Fuck no! My brother may be as queer as a three-dollar note, but he can bench press his own weight. But forget about me—I want to know how you managed to accidentally out yourself. How does one do that?”
I ducked my head in chagrin. “I unintentionally called my boyfriend ‘babe’ in front of my parents.”
Oh. Dear. <snort>
However, I did managed to get a couple of digs into the opposition over football:
“The fruitloop would be John, here. He is the only stupid one in the family who would dare go for a team like Port Adelaide. All the rest of my family goes for a good, old-fashioned Western Australian football team. But John had to be different and pick Port Adelaide.”
“Hey!” John was used to the good-natured ribbing he got from me for his choice of interstate team. “Watch your mouth. I wouldn’t be seen dead wearing that stupid purple color of your team.”
And for the record, I love wearing purple as I scream for my team.
We do get serious in the book. But not much. This is Liam thinking about his relationship with his homophobic father:
I’d disappointed him in life, too. He was disappointed that I chose Accounting at university, not Engineering like him. But he still loved me and had forgiven me. I’d disappointed him over and over again by not being able to have enough courage to drive a car. And he’d forgiven me.
I’d deliberately chosen to go for another football team, rather than his beloved Eagles, and he’d…. Well, okay. Maybe he’d never forgiven me on that one but there has to be a line drawn somewhere, and backing a different football team was just going too far.
But deciding to be gay, even when I didn’t really have a choice in the matter? That was way before that line.
I tried not to give away any spoilers in this post, but just in case you were wondering: YES! OF COURSE MY GUYS GET TOGETHER IN THE END! So I’m not revealing anything by giving you my favourite paragraph of all time. This paragraph is just warm, gooey caramel syrup on vanilla ice-cream. It’s delicious and melts me:
He’d smiled at me with devotion and I had responded with a look of complete adoration. And the photographer had snapped the picture, capturing that instant—two men gazing at each other, utterly in love. Jay loving me, and me… loving Jay.
So what’s your favourite quote?