Right now, I'm reading "The Lord Won't Mind" by Gordon Merrick. Had it sitting on my shelf for forever, never got around reading it. I like it. I mean, I'm not very much convinced about the story and the author tends to have a weird choice of words at times, but it's nicely written and there are a couple of really sweet scenes. What bugs me is the speed with which the story develops. They meet and the same day, just a few hours later, they're already in bed together and vowing everlasting love. Well, I guess that happens, but it always kinda has the taste of improbability.
Last night, I bawled my eyes out over a scene that actually should have annoyed the fuck out of me. But it still made me cry. You see, there're the two main characters, Charlie and Peter. Charlie is an incredibly handsome young man in the NY area of America in the 40s. He's very good at everything he does, is a very good artist, a great actor, wealthy, popular, excellent sportsman. He's got everything. And a loving grandmother to boot who's doing everything to make his life more comfortable. So it happens that she invites a young man over to her house for the summer for Charlie to spend some time with. First, Charlie is disgusted at the idea, because he thinks Peter is way too young for him, being 18 whereas he is 22.
Well, it just so happens that Peter turns out to be 20 (which makes aaaall the difference for Charlie) and is just as handsome. As a matter of fact, he's the spitting image of Charlie. Charlie's immediately interested and tries his best to seduce Peter. And succeeds.
This is how the story sets out and it seems as if it's a lovely lovestory and nothing else. But it soon becomes clear that their love is bound to go terribly wrong, because Charlie absolutely refuses to admit that he might be gay. To him, it's only a phase and he plans to get married sooner or later and then leave his past behind. Peter, on the other hand, is terribly in love with Charlie from the start and vows to be there for him forever.
They even move in together, a Peter turns into the perfect housewife, doing everything to make Charlie's life better. And Charlie is happy, but being the moron he is, he doesn't realize that. He begins pursuing his acting career, another thing he has to do secretly because his grandmother's love is crushing him to the extent that he has to do everything he does in the closet. No wonder he turned out the way he did! Charlie meets a girl and begins seeing her more often, not realizing how much it hurts Peter.
[Do not read on if you don't want to get spoiled. Well, not terribly spoiled, but a good deal of the plot will be revealed. Waffling ensues.]
It really annoyed me how Charlie could be so terribly selfish and blind. It is obvious to the reader and everyone else that Charlie really should be with Peter. Granted, he probably is bisexual since he does like girls, but he likes boys just so much better. Peter, however, is completely gay and he knows it. Every time he tries to develop some sort of gay mannerism, Charlie tells him off, calling him a queen and what have you.
C.B., Charlie's grandmother, is terribly sweet and nice and she just. Creeps. Me. Out. The controls Charlie completely. He's so scared to upset her that he's willing to give up everything. And she knows it. Does she ever know it. She tricks Peter into admitting that he's in love with Charlie which leads to her kicking out Peter and telling Charlie everything about it. Charlie then gets infuriated with Peter, thinking that he jeopardized everything on purpose. Having to choose between C.B.'s support and Peter's love, he glady chooses C.B.
The scene when Peter leaves their appartment just broke my heart. Peter was still so willing to do everything for Charlie, even when his own heart was being crushed to pieces. He first refused to leave but when Charlie began to cry, he agreed on it, always intent on doing what is best for Charlie. I just cried so hard when I should have been really pissed. Especially since Peter has nothing. Nothing at all. He knows he'll be out on the street and Charlie doesn't care. Or so he says.
Charlie immediately runs of to marry that stupid girl, Hattie. Mostly because he's mortally afraid to be alone in the appartment. He really goes right out and has her move in. We don't hear anything from Peter for a while. When we see Peter again, he's a sorta rentboy. He doesn't take money, but lets men pay for him in exchange for sex. He's become quite famous actually. They call him the Growler, because Peter has this thing for growling when he's ready to go to bed with someone. Charlie is shaken to the core, seeing Peter like that. Especially since he's adapted a somehow queer habit, something which always had freaked the hell out of Charlie.
I haven't read further yet, but I'm almost through. I really wonder how the story will end. Knowing Peter, he will rush right back into Charlie's arms as soon as he calls him back. That's so pathetic. I just can't understand a love like that. Peter has absolutely no pride at all. Everything he does is only set out to have some kind of effect on Charlie. Of course, a lot is just show. His being a rentboy. He just does it to numb the pain of being so cruelly kicked away by the one he wanted to stay with forever. And yet... all the while, he never really lets go, always keeps wanting Charlie.
Of course, it somehow touches my heart to see someone love to unconditionally. But it also scares me. Then again... if he could make Charlie understand, if Charlie really was there for him, it could be glorious. But will it ever happen? I don't know...
There are two more books after this one, so I'm sure they'll end up together, but I guess it'll always be a neverending up and down. Both of them are so sexual. Charlie is chronically unfaithful and Peter, deep inside, is a liar. He always says things like "You know you're the only one", "I'm yours forever" and yet he goes right out and acts against it. He does that with one lover who really wanted to there for him. Granted, he might have been that way because it wasn't Charlie, his "true" love, and yet... I don't know. It seemed so terribly insincere.
What I like is the way Peter transforms from a brainless sheep into a sexy fox. Before Charlie left him, he was the perfect housewife, doing everything to please Charlie, taking every shit from him, never complaining. After that, he fully explored his sexuality and became an independent person, self-assured and confident. That was cool. Even though I somehow know he's going to throw it all over board should Charlie show an inkling of interest. T_T
The book is very sexual. Amazingly explicit. It's rather refreshing to read that for a chance... *smiles* But the language becomes kinda dull after a while. Guess that's because it's only meant to indicate what is happening right now and not be beautiful about it.
Well... hope the ending won't annoy me terribly.