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The Familiar Stranger

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"Are you still filming?", asked Nick, after they had turned off the rain. A man peered through the windshield and shook his head. "Why exactly?", asked Nick, glancing at the passenger seat. Blixa looked on his phone. "What?", he asked dryly. "Why exactly did you leave?" Blixa put his phone in the inside pocket of his suit. He looked closely at Nick through his glasses. “I've already explained that. Several times," he replied, turning away again. A man knocked on the window of the driver's side. Nick opened the window. “We put the car down again. Shall we ..." Nick shook his head: "No, I can do that." He closed the window again. Blixa looked outside in a bad mood, fixing a point somewhere on the bright blue horizon above the water. Nick realised the car was movable again and carefully put it down on the road. As soon as the car was back on the street, Blixa left. Nick, too, got out, lit a cigarette and came over to him. "Look, if you don't like all this, then you wouldn't have had to come," Nick said annoyed. Blixa didn’t reply. “Did you just come so I can stare at your stupid face?”, asked Nick. Blixa laughed mockingly. "Just like I had to stare at your stupid face when we were recording Nocturama? After all, I didn't have anything else to do." “That's unfair.” “You've winnowed me. First Rowland, then me, and Warren too, when you’ll find someone else." Nick looked around nervously and hoped nobody would hear their conversation. "Blixa, you haven't been ... winnowed. We've changed and that’s all." “No, you've changed. This was no longer the band I once joined," said Blixa and it was visibly difficult for him to control his emotions. It almost sounded like he was close to tears. Yet, he turned away and Nick couldn't see what he was feeling. “If all this is bothering you so much, why didn't you ever talk about it?”, asked Nick while nervously playing with the filter of his cigarette. He walked over to him und put his hand on Blixa’s Shoulder. Blixa Pulled the shoulder away and went towards Nick's house without speaking a word. Nick watched him simply walking across the road without paying attention to passing cars. "Can we go through a few more things with you guys?", one man asked, ripping Nick out of his thoughts. "Elvis has left the building," Nick said, shaking his head. "What’s that?" "No. No, I think we'll leave it that way. Our old faces don't get prettier, even with a new angle," said Nick smiling and threw the cigarette to the ground.


Nick ran up to Blixa, who was waiting by the door. "We can't just disappear," Nick said, unlocking the door. "We can, you see," said Blixa cold and walked in. "I’ll go out and talk to everyone," Nick said. Blixa closed the door in front of him. Nick looked at him questioning. "Where's your family?", asked Blixa with a gloomy face. Nick tore his eyes open and made a face. "Away," he answered, laughing. „We should talk," said Blixa. "Come on, I have to-" Nick said, trying to open the door. “I've left…because I didn't want to see you anymore," said Blixa. Nick turned around again. Blixa stood with arms crossed and a blank gaze in the middle of the hallway. "Me ... why?", Nick wanted to know. Blixa stared at him for several minutes. "This is getting creepy now," Nick said, trying to laugh. "I loved you," said Blixa and didn't change the look on his face. Nick nervously put his hand in his neck. "Sure ... I mean we ... were kind of brothers ...," he stammered, avoiding eye contact. " I loved you, but not like a brother," said Blixa in a strangely monotonous voice. Nick threw his keys on a table and took off his jacket. "You say that just as… as it was nothing?”, asked Nick, "Is this a joke? I don't remember being funny." Nick went to the kitchen. "I mean this. I’m serious," said Blixa and followed him. Nick seemed uneasy. „Does that make you uncomfortable?", asked Blixa. "A little, yes ... I mean ... why did you never ...," Nick said, puzzled. Blixa shrugged. "Why are you telling me this now?", asked Nick. "I Thought you should know. Quite simple." Nick drove his hands over his face. „Why are you like this?”, asked Nick, giving Blixa a questioning look. He knew Blixa as a man of principles. There was only black or white for him, and Nick wondered why he had never said it before. Instead, he simply let a bomb explode right in front of his face. “That's ...I ... I ...,” Nick has lost his words. “Why does this make you so nervous? I always thought it was obvious," said Blixa and his voice softened. Nick shook his head. "Oh," said Blixa and leaned against the counter. "Yes, indeed... oh," Nick said. "I always thought you were intentionally ignoring the fact." "No." Nick shook his head. “Now I've said it.” "Yes." "That was probably a surprise." "Yes." They both looked at each other for a moment and fell silent. Nick went to a cupboard, took a bottle of wine, opened it and took a sip. "Have at least some decency and use a glass," said Blixa. Nick shrugged and took another sip. Blixa Laughed and shook his head. "Leave something for me," he said, taking a wine glass out of a closet. Nick poured something into the glass. "Man, I mean ... you just stand there like a stone and ... and say something like that," Nick said reproachfully. "How am I supposed to say it another way?" asked Blixa and took a sip of wine. "I mean, there would never have been the right moment for it," he added. While Blixa was still leaning at the counter perfectly calm, Nick became increasingly restless. Like a cat, he ran up and down the room. Without saying a word, Nick walked into the living room and sat down on the couch. Blixa followed him. “You are serious, right?", asked Nick. Blixa stared into his glass and nodded. "You're so weird," Nick added. Blixa took a deep breath: "I know." Again, they were silent. The only thing that could be heard were some drops of water falling into the sink in the kitchen. „There would have been right moments,” Nick said, breaking the silence. Blixa took another sip of wine, crossed his legs and looked curiously at Nick. "What do you mean?", he asked. "For example, as ... I ... I don't know," Nick said hesitantly, driving his hand through his hair. "It wouldn't have changed anything anyway," said Blixa. He emptied the glass and stopped. Nick looked at him. "I ... I ... Blixa, I...." Nick could barely speak a word. "Aaah!“, Nick cried and rubbed his hands over his face. "What's going on?", asked Blixa. "Fuck," Nick said, got up and nervously started running up and down. Blixa had to chuckle. "Stop staring at me, Blixa. You and your stupid, serious, beautiful face," Nick said, laughing. "Beautiful?", Blixa wanted to know. Still, Nick seemed nervous and confused. Then he suddenly stood still, put his hands in his pockets and nodded. "Yes, beautiful." "You probably mean…old," said Blixa and smiled. "No, you are… and were ... beautiful," Nick said. Blixas face fell serious again. "What do you want to say?", asked Blixa. Nick did not answer and instead went to the kitchen, to fetch the wine bottle. He poured some more into Blixa’s glass and drank the rest straight from the bottle. "That's tough," Nick said. Blixa looked at him in bewilderment. "What exactly?", he asked in an annoyed tone. "If we are already ... telling secrets," Nick said and walked to the door "I want to introduce you to someone." „Ok...,“ Blixa said and shrugged. "Wait here," Nick said, leaving the living room.


When Nick came back, he was barely recognizable. He had wet hair and it wasn't combed back. It just hung down. It framed the pale skin like a curtain and Blixa saw that Nick was cold. A pair of big blue eyes peaked through the curtain, the long eyelashes made them appear even bigger than usual. He wore a floor-length dress, high shoes that made his legs appear even longer and stood shyly in the door frame. The arms covered a thin fabric through which the white skin shone through. Blixa stared at him and put the glass down in slow motion, without looking away from Nick. "Do we know each other?", asked Blixa. He got up and walked over to Nick. "We’ve known us for a very long time," Nick replied. "I knew you existed, and I always wanted to get to know you," said Blixa. His hands carefully stroke the thin fabric over Nick's arms. With each touch, the fabric moved gently over the cold skin under his fingertips. Nick was now considerably larger than usual and it made him feel small. Blixa looked down the long legs. Nick hesitantly took off Blixa’s jacket, put his hand on Blixas face and raised his chin. First, the jacket fell to the ground, then the vest. "She's yours," Nick whispered, loosened Blixa’s tie and slowly pulled it off his neck. It, too, dropped to the ground. Without averting his gaze Blixa pushed the thin fabric of the dress up. He felt wet strands of hair on his cheeks and gentle kisses on his neck. "Nick, this...," Nick put a finger on Blixa’s lips. "Nick is not here," he whispered, letting his fingers drive over the soft fabric of Blixa’s pants. By now, Blixa had pushed up the fabric so far that he could drive his hand along the hem of Nick's underwear. He felt the lace cloth under his fingers and suddenly Blixa’s hands where everywhere at the same time. He stroked Nick's arms, his back, grabbed his butt, his thighs, repeatedly lifted up Nick's dress and tugged at his underwear. Nick opened Blixa’s pants in frantic activity, gently pushing him into the direction of the couch. In a slow motion Blixa laid down on his back. Nick sat down on top of him and his dress opened over both like a parachute. Blixa pulled Nick closer to himself, opening the dress at the back and his hands sliding over his back. They wandered across his chest until they finally arrived back at the soft lace cloth. He had once seen it in his clandestine dreams but now his hand really closed around Nick’s erection, and he knew that this hand possessed a terrible lure and power that he had never imagined. Nick unbuttoned Blixa’s shirt, then he lowered his face to his stomach and kissed his navel. He pushed away everything that's in the way. Blixa moaned quietly as Nick thrust one of his fingers into him. He laid on Blixa’s thigh with his cheek, so his hair spread like snakes across his stomach. He waited and then finally let his lips slide over Blixa. For a moment, he was lying still, he didn’t suck and didn’t lick, he was just lying there quietly, as if he was protecting him. He moved his finger back and forth. His other hand stroked Blixa’s belly. After a while, Nick began to let his tongue circle tentatively. Minute after minute, Nick lay on his thigh, moving his lips up and down, carefully pushing his fingers deeper and deeper in the process. When Blixa came, Nick felt the contraction first on his finger and then closed his lips tightly around him. He swallowed, sucked, swallowed again. Slowly, he pulled his finger out, but continued to suck. He sucked and sucked, until there was nothing left to suck. He raised his head. The hair had dried by now. Nick didn't dare to look at Blixa and took a sip of Blixa’s wine. "Kiss me," said Blixa and Nick finally dared to look him in the eye. Nick lay flat on him as if they had merged into one human. Blixa buried his hands deep in Nick's hair, his mascara was smeared. "I love you, Nick," said Blixa and wiped away the makeup with his thumb as best as he could. Tears ran from Nick's eyes. "I'm a freak," Nick whispered. "No, you're gorgeous," said Blixa and finally their lips touched. Suddenly, everything was strangely silent, like the moment of silence between two lightning strikes. Blixa wrapped his arms tightly around Nick and the Kiss got more intimate. All feelings that they had withheld for so long, threatened to overwhelm them. Without being able to explain it himself, a tear fell out of Blixa’s eye and rolled slowly down his face. Nick interrupted the kiss and carefully wiped away the drop. "Is everything ok with you?", he asked quietly. Blixa nodded, pressed himself firmly against him and breathed a little kiss on his mouth: “It's more than perfect."