Parting Glances: Ex-Gay Fairy Tale

By Charles Alexander
Originally printed 6/19/2014 (Issue 2225 - Between The Lines News)

This is the story of Dorian Lavender who has vanished from the party scene of music, stimulants, sex and is now ironically beyond the saving grace of suddenly discarded friends of which there were many. (Perhaps you knew him too.)

While no tracing of his family tree to Victorian days exists, it's rumored that Lavender is related to the fabled youth made famous by Oscar Wilde in "The Picture of Dorian Grey". I, for one, believe it to be so.

Dorian Lavender was gifted of looks so well proportioned, so stunning in effect, as to be spellbinding upon all who saw him. (I was too old to consider inviting him out for an evening of vicarious adventuring.)

Surprisingly, Dorian was not spoiled by his looks. "My looks are pleasant," he'd laugh. "If faces are fortunes, my bank account's modest but nonetheless drawing interest at the ATM."

Dorian wrote poetry. Composed songs. Painted. He line danced superbly. His dinner parties were fabulous. He went to the gym three times a week. He was golden in the summer. Fashionably seductive in winter.

His fate was sealed at an office party. "You're gay," said an artist whom he met. "Would you mind if I did a portrait of you? I specialize in portraits of the soul. I'm sure you have one."

Intrigued Dorian agreed. It was his undoing. When the portrait arrived weeks later he was shocked. It was framed in mortice black, and quite, quite ugly.

"Why have you done this to me," he iPhoned the artist. "That Dorian is how God sees your soul. You're lost! Damned! Must mend your wicked ways!"

For weeks the portrait haunted Dorian. He was mesmerized. "He's right," said Dorian, returning home from a night of much partying and little ecstasy. "I'll pray. Go to church. Be born again. My gayety's done with."

He proved resolute. The portrait scared him. He hid it away. Each day Dorian prayed. Each day the portrait began to change. As did he.

It crossed my mind when passing his condo that I hadn't seen him in months. I buzzed. A vaguely familiar but hideous man peeked out. "Yes?" he hissed. "Is Dorian home?" I asked. "Dorian is banished!" he snarled. "Good riddance to my past forever!"

As I turned to go, the 'apparition' shouted, "Hey! Wait. This image scares me. Take it." Alone that night I opened his package. It was Dorian's portrait. Young. Beautiful. Smiling. Serenely radiant. Obviously gay. His legendary beauty intact.
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