It’s kind of a weird conversation whenever Fluffy and I talk about Shen.
My best friend Fluffy has spent the vast majority of the time I’ve known them single. This is because gay dating can be hard, especially when you’re looking for specific things. Fluffy has a hard time finding the right guy (or guys — as they’re open to polyamory and would gladly date the right MM couple). Even though there’s plenty of thirst. Sometimes for bears, yeah (or maybe cubs?). But often they’re thirsting over some twink in a thong.
Or maybe it’s otters they’re into?
Fair warning: I’m terrible at my gay male body taxonomy. With every new term I learn, I get more confused. But I try. And Fluffy seems committed to patiently correcting me whenever I misidentify a jock as a wolf or something. Which I appreciate.
“You know,” I tell Fluffy. “It’s probably a little weird, and maybe I shouldn’t admit this, but I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about who the perfect boyfriend for you would be. Dreamt one up for you, like a character study. I call him Shen. He doesn’t really exist. But if I had three wishes, I’d use one of them to bring him into your life.”
And I start describing this guy, Shen. He’s a musician. Plays rhythm instruments mostly; piano and bass are his primaries. He’s a bit soft spoken and mild mannered in his day-to-day life and short and slender in stature. But in the bedroom, he’s extremely toppy. A fierce Daddy Dom in leather pants.
Shen has a good job. Works in tech. But he minored in sociology as an undergrad and has an appreciation for interpersonal relationships. Which is handy, since Fluffy’s in the process of getting their PhD as a psychological researcher. So Shen would be able to follow a lot of what Fluffy talks about while still being interested in the details, the new things Fluffy’s uncovering in the process of getting published over and over again (since Fluffy’s unknowingly a rock star and paving the way with some really interesting studies, just doesn’t realize it because they have a bad case of impostor syndrome).
Fluffy says he sounds perfect, this guy Shen.
“I know it’s kind of weird that I’ve thought about this. That I’ve named a person who doesn’t exist.”
“Of course he doesn’t exist. I don’t have that kind of luck,” Fluffy says. “But it’s sweet that you think about it so much.”
We talk about Shen every now and then. He’s become a kind of model that I follow when I’m looking to set Fluffy up with real-life men, ones who actually exist — which I do from time to time (I love matchmaking for my friends and partners). When we’re evaluating the hotness of celebrities. It’s the Shen factor.
So yeah. I’m not just a matchmaker; apparently I’m a friend shipping magnate. Because Shen’s not the only fantasy ship kicking around my friends circle.
LH, another one of my friends, got an ideal fantasy partner of her own. Veronica, Ronnie for short. Ronnie’s a cute little submissive who is sexually toppy – and will basically knock you back on the bed trying to get your pants off so she can worship your body fully.
What’s more is that LH and Fluffy go on doubles dates with Ronnie and Shen. And everyone gets along.
“I have this wildly elaborate happy ending all planned out in my head for you,” I tell them, “because apparently I imagine things for other people.”
They laugh. Express approval.
“WHY DO I MAKE UP PARTNERS FOR OTHER PEOPLE???” I ask.
“Because you are the best,” Fluffy replies. “And speaking into the universe the things we need.”
“Agree,” my other friend says.
“Wouldn’t that be nice?” I say. “If a person could make things happen that way? Like Harold and the motherfucking purple crayon.”
Because Harold drew an entire world, an adventure, and everything he needed to deal with it. Harold was a legend. Talk about bringing your dreams to life. Harold is goals.
“It doesn’t work that way,” I add, “But that would be nice.”
“It would,” Fluffy says.
“I will say that if I did happen to meet real-life Shen and Veronica, and I made the introduction to one or both of you, there would likely be an uncomfortable moment where one or all of us are calling them Shen/Veronica, and Shen or Veronica would be so confused.”
“We can just tell them that those are your names for when you write about us on the blog,” LH chimes in.
“I like how we are covering our tracks in this imaginary scenario,” I say. “That’s some proactive white lying.”
“Y’all,” Fluffy says. “I love you.”
And I can tell Fluffy really means it.
“I’m not sure what to write about today,” I say to Fluffy.
“WRITE ABOUT SHEN,” they reply.
“But it’ll sound crazy,” I say.
“No,” Fluffy says. “Write it. People will get it. It’s sweet.”
Books by Page Turner: