by Charlie David
Release Date: July 4, 2016
About Boy Midflight
At eighteen, Ashley seems to have everything: looks, talent, and even a girlfriend. What more could a young man want? Yet something is missing, and he has to come to terms with his sexuality and the possible implications for his career in the public eye. He begins dating Chris but isn’t sure he’s head over heels in love. It’s not the knight-in-shining-armor feeling he always imagined.
When Ashley is offered a big modeling job, he leaves his university in small-town Canada for a very different life in sunny Los Angeles, California. There he meets a slightly older man who makes him feel like he’s in a storybook romance. But is Ashley ready for real love, or is it just infatuation? The world is spread out before him, at once limitless and daunting, full of endless possibilities one moment and opportunities cut short the next.
Ashley floats between certainty and confusion as he tries to unravel new feelings, deal with past pain, and decide what he wants from life—and who he wants beside him during the journey.
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An Excerpt from Boy Midflight
“Which side do you want?” Mikal asks.
“Which side of what?”
“Which side of the bed do you want? Do you have a preference?”
Oh my Antonio Sabato Jr.! This room only has one bed! Why does this room only have one bed? Who thought of this? Were Ferni, Mikal, and I all going to sleep in one bed? Why didn’t I notice that before?
“Umm… I can just sleep on the couch here. You take the bed, Mikal.”
“You’re not sleeping on this thing. It’s not even a couch, it’s a love seat. You’ll wake up needing a chiropractor.”
We’ve been sitting on a love seat?
“Okay, well, I guess the left side is great, closest to the window,” I say. So I can fly out and escape to Neverland in the middle of the night.
I walk to the bathroom and close the door. I grab my toothbrush and start to vigorously clean. Always too aggressive, my dentist says. Use a softer brush. I hate soft brushes. I lean against the sink and stare into the mirror. Am I falling in love with him? You already have. That’s not a question. I wash my face and hum nervously into the splashing water. Something from Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Get over it, Ashley. He’s not that spectacular. I mean he’s eight years older than you. He was eighteen when I was ten. I was four when he was twelve. When I’m twenty-eight, he’ll be thirty-six. He’ll be able to tell me what forty is like and I’ll have eight years to prepare. I’ll be eighty and he’ll be eighty-eight. It probably doesn’t matter anymore by then. Except when you reach one hundred, then it’s like a celebration. And he could celebrate for eight years until I start. When you’re ninety you’re just old but making it to one hundred is like, wow, that’s something to really talk about. Okay, but right now I am eighteen and Mikal is twenty-six, with a little boy. I’m a boy. Seriously, I am still a boy. He’s a man. A full-grown man. Totally. He looks like a man. Full on man muscles, man chiseled face, man voice. I think I’m a man, but I’m still in man/boy stage. What if I grow into my full-on man stage and he doesn’t like it? What if Mikal only likes me because I am man/boy? I can’t stay man/boy forever. No matter what I do. Can I? I don’t know what will change, but things will. Older people are always saying things don’t stay the same.
Oh my Antonio! I am getting older right now! I can see it in the mirror. If I look really closely, I can actually see the skin around my eyes starting to pucker. And my jaw is widening. Did I just spring a hair on my chest? Shit. I’m going to go out there and Mikal will say, “What the hell happened to you? You were hot when you were man/boy. Now, not so much.”
Fact: to the best of our knowledge, I am dating Chris.
Fact: I have not seen or spoke to Chris for over two weeks.
Fact: Mikal has stated definite interest in our territory.
Fact: Mikal is super hot.
Fact: Mikal is genuinely loving, even as I hold him at arm’s length.
Question from the council: Were you in love with Chris, or in love with the idea of being in love?
Question from the council: We’ve seen pie charts, addendums and illustrated diagrams of your ideal mate. Mikal fits all listed descriptions. Is he what you call the One?
“Ashley, you okay, buddy? I got you some water here.”
“Be right out.”
I open the door and step into the warmth of the hotel room. The window, closest to my side of the bed, is open and the wind is rustling through the palm trees. The lights are all out but one, on the nightstand on my side of the bed. Mikal is already under the covers. Shirt off, one arm crooked behind his head. He smiles. “I built a Wall of China for us.”
“A what?” I ask.
“A Wall of China. I folded a blanket up and placed it under the covers between us. I thought it might make you sleep easier.”
“Mikal, I’m not worried about you. I appreciate the gesture though.” I pull off my shirt and unbutton my jeans. After tossing them on the love seat, I crawl into the left side of the bed. I laugh as I feel the Wall of China on my arm and leg. “Good night, Mikal,” I say, turning out the light.
“Good night, Ashley.”
I lay in the dark stillness and try to control my breathing. I don’t want to sound like I’m sucking air. After all, this is the first time we’ve slept together. I mean, we’re not really sleeping together, but we’re in the same bed. He could be naked over there. I didn’t see a shirt. He may sleep in the buff. And I’m just in my skivvies over here. All that’s separating his skin from mine is the Wall of China. A formidable barrier, yes, but scalable. You are not scaling the Wall! You are staying right here and going to sleep.
I lay on my back with my head facing the window. The warm salty air spills over the windowsill in a stream of magical light. I think I can hear the ocean lapping the beach. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight…. I can see eight stars from here. A perfect night. I turn my head and rest my eyes on Mikal, his chest rhythmically rising and falling. The shadows play perfectly in the valley between his chest and the crook of his arm still tucked behind his head. What would it hurt if I just placed a hand on that chest?
I’d like to just hold his hand as we fall asleep. Would that be wrong? I could just tear away this stupid Wall of China and surrender. His lips, pink and slightly parted, his jaw slightly rough and unshaven. What a startling and beautiful contrast. I settle on Mikal’s eyes, those big green almonds that look on me with so much care and concern. Now closed with his impossibly long dark eyelashes minutely dancing on each other. Are a guy’s eyelashes allowed to be that long and full?
I’d give anything to feel those icicles forming on my spine again. To press against this god’s warmth, curling one hand around that bicep. Mikal, my angel. My guardian. “Good night, handsome,” I say and turn to the window, closing my eyes. Did I just say that out loud? I did.
Then whispered across the darkness: “Good night, beautiful.”
I smile and drift off to sleep. Tomorrow is bursting with promise….
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About Charlie David
Charlie David has been a host for E! Television, NBC, OutTV, LOGO, here! TV, Pink TV, EGO, Fine Living and Slice Networks on such shows as FYE!, SpyTV, Crash Test Mommy, and his travel series Bump, which shot 120 episodes around the world and garnered a Hugo Television award. He has appeared as musical guest on VH1, BBC, CBS’s The Early Show, and dozens of radio shows.
In 2005, Out Magazine recognized Charlie in the ‘Out 100’ at their gala in New York. In 2007, the Philadelphia Film Society awarded Charlie with their Rising Star Award. In 2008, the Festival del Sol in Gran Canaria awarded their Best Male Actor Award to Charlie and the male cast of A Four Letter Word. Formerly in a rock band… okay, actually it was a boy band, Charlie opened for Destiny’s Child, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Rick Springfield, and the Black Eyed Peas.
A love of storytelling led Charlie to start Border2Border Entertainment Inc., a production company whose film and television credits include Mulligans, Judas Kiss, Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride, I’m a Stripper (series), Studlebrity, and Positive Youth. Border2Border Entertainment’s films have been licensed to Showtime, Super Channel, HBO Canada, MTV/LOGO, Sundance Channel, Condé Nast Entertainment, The Movie Network, Movie Central, Encore Avenue, and OutTV in North America as well as finding a worldwide audience through international distribution partners.
Charlie is a graduate of the Canadian College of Performing Arts and his current passions include motorcycle cruises, high adrenaline encounters with wildlife, SCUBA diving, and sports. He resides in Montréal and Toronto, Canada when he’s not living out of a suitcase.