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DECONSTRUCTING BRIAN
SESSION with Justin Taylor
by Randall Morgan

Continuing on with Brian's therapy...this time Lydia meets with Justin to better understand Brian's psyche...

Doctor's Notes: Justin Taylor (JT) is the only person I know of thus far who has been a love interest for BK, or perhaps he still is. He is a youthful looking twenty year old white male. Given BK's ego and deep investment in his own appearance, I anticipated JT would be physically striking, and he is. Despite his youth, he displays a level of apparent maturity and obvious intellect. He is composed, concerned, curious. He sits in the chair with one leg tucked under him in a very boyish pose, yet his gaze is intensely inquisitive. He opens the session with a question.

Excerpt from transcript:

JT: Do you like Brian?

Doctor: Why do you ask that?

JT: Some people are put off by his sarcasm or his looks or his attitude about life. Does it bother you that he's gay? Most women resent the fact he's gay. They look at him and want to convert him.

Doctor: First of all, I don't view Brian as a potential mate, Justin. Let's start with the fact I'm a straight woman, and he's a gay male. Then there's the issue that I'm twenty years older than he is, and happily married. Finally, my professional ethics forbid it, and my personal ethics would never even go there. His sarcasm is a defense. I know that. It's not important whether I like Brian. What is important, is that I can help Brian.

JT: It's important to me. I want you to admire things about him that make him unique. I don't want Brian to change completely because of therapy. I love him as Brian. I'd just like to see some edges smoothed out. You see what I'm saying?

Doctor: It isn't like that, Justin. This isn't a bakery. You can't come in and order a cake exactly the way you want it to be. Brian is his own person. He will deal with his issues. What changes he makes because of that, if any, are up to him.

JT: I guess I didn't think of that.

Doctor: Have you ever been through analysis?

JT: No, amazing as that may seem. My Mom took me once, but it was a joke.

Doctor: Why amazing?

JT: I'm a perfect candidate to have my head shrunk.

Doctor: Why is that?

JT: I come from a broken home. My father hates me and probably left my mom because of me. I'm gay and have been out since I was seventeen. I'm a victim of a gay bashing. And I'm in love with Brian Kinney and have been since I was a kid. If that doesn't qualify me for therapy, what would?

Doctor: (laughed) Did Brian know you when you got bashed, Justin?

JT: (narrowed his eyes at me suspiciously) You really don't know?

Doctor: Know what?

JT: Brian was there when I got bashed.

Doctor's note: I recall a reaction from BK when I mentioned gay bashing. I will pursue whether this event caused that response at our next session.

Doctor: What was his reaction?

JT: (Shrugged.) How do I know? I was out cold. I got hit in the head.

Doctor: Can you tell me what happened?

JT: Backing up, Brian showed up at my senior prom. I wanted him to come, but he refused. I remember when he walked in, how hot he looked, so incredible! The rest of it got blurred by the bashing, but people have told me.

Doctor: What did they tell you, Justin?

JT: That Brian led me out on the dance floor during a slow song. We danced in front of everyone. They say everyone in the room stopped and watched us. One of the students, Chris Hobbes, must have been really interested. He hates me.

Doctor: Why is that?

JT: Probably because I gave his homophobic penis a hand job in the locker room one day, so I know how much he liked it!

Doctor: He attacked you on the dance floor?

JT: No. Apparently we walked out to Brian's car after the dance. He kissed me goodybye. When I turned to wave at him, Hobbes came out of nowhere and bashed me in the head with a baseball bat.

Doctor: Where was Brian?

JT: In the car, I guess. I don't know. He tried to stop him. He took the bat afterwards and creamed him with it. The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital. Weeks later. I'd been in a coma. After I woke up, I had to spend more time in the hospital while I stabilized and began physical therapy.

Doctor: How did Brian react to your injury?

JT (shrugged.) He was Brian. At first, I thought he just didn't care enough to even come by and check on me. But later I found out he came by every night, after everyone was gone, and watched me sleep.

Doctor: How do you feel about that?

JT: I wish he came in while I was awake so I could talk to him. I thought I had lost him. I'm an artist. As a result of the injury, I lost function in my right hand. I thought I'd never paint again. I lost Brian, I lost my art, I was miserable and angry.

Doctor: Understandably. Did you get that function back?

JT: Most of it, but Brian turned me on to computer enhanced art, and I really love that medium. I work in that mode almost exclusively now. The first thing I ever painted on the computer was a sketch of Brian stretched out on his bed, eating an apple.

Doctor: What else do you recall about Brian's reaction to your injury, Justin?

JT: When Brian showed up at the prom, he was wearing this long, white silk scarf. He put it on me some time in the evening, and when I got hit, I was still wearing it. I guess my blood soaked into it. I found out later, he wore that scarf under his shirt the whole time I was in the hospital.

Doctor: How did you find that out?

JT: Much later, when we were together again, we were preparing to make love. I unbuttoned his shirt and I saw it.

Doctor: What did you say?

JT: Nothing. I just slipped it off of him and dropped it on the floor. It was my way of saying, let it go.

Doctor: Very wise, Justin. So you got together with Brian again after you were released?

JT: Yes. He helped me overcome my fears and was very sweet to me.

Doctor's note: (At this point, Justin teared up, cleared his throat, regained his composure.)

Doctor: How did it go?

JT: Good at first, but life intervened.

Doctor: What does that mean?

JT: Brian really pressured me to remember that dance. I'm not sure why. He. really wanted me to know how it was between us before Hobbes hit me with a bat. He did all sorts of things to remind me, but nothing worked. I tried, I really did, but it's just a blank. Finally, when he accepted I may never remember the dance, he changed a little.

Doctor: How did he change?

JT: He became less like this newer, more considerate Brian, and more like the old Brian.

Doctor: Describe the old Brian.

JT: Fucks around, sarcastic, pretends to feel nothing, narcissistic.

Doctor: Narcissistic is an interesting word. Why say that?

JT: Not so much vanity over his beauty, but always putting himself first. His needs. His view of how a relationship should go. His view of queer life and the perfect homo.

Doctor: What is Brian's view of the 'perfect homo'?

JT: One who rejects everything heterosexuals embrace. Like monogamy, family, commitment, things like that. Live for the thrill.

Doctor: Is that why you left?

JT: I didn't see how anything was going to change with Brian. I didn't want to be a thirty year old guy hunting strange dick in clubs with my forty-two year old lover. That would be so pathetic. I believe two men can have a committed relationship. That it can mean something.

Doctor: Did you give Brian an ultimatum?

JT: You don't know him very well, do you? Giving Brian an ultimatum is like putting out a fire with gasoline. It's counter to your goal.

Doctor: I see. So what did you do?

JT: I started seeing someone else. Someone who shared my belief that commitment is not just for the insane.

Doctor: You left Brian for him?

JT: Yes, I guess so. (Frowned.) Sounds funny to say that.

Doctor: How did Brian respond?

JT: Outwardly? Not at all.

Doctor: So you think he felt differently inside?

JT: I know he did. I know how badly I hurt him.

Doctor: How do you feel about that?

JT: (grimaced, inhaled sharply and sighed.) Terrible. I loved him. Even then. But I was looking at the rest of my life and I wanted more. What else could I do?

Doctor: Your current lover, how is that going?

JT: It went. It's over.

Doctor: You've left him?

JT: I'm moving to New York. I'm going to live with Brian.

Doctor: Ready for that?

JT: (Laughed.) Is anyone ever really ready for Brian Kinney?

Doctor: You tell me.

JT: I love him. I'm hopeless. And the things I don't love about him, you're going to fix.

Doctor: Stop there, Justin. Brian is not seeing me to get 'fixed'. I'm not a vet. You decide to move in with Brian, it should be with the understanding that the way things are now is the way things may always be.

JT: (Looking contemplative as he hesitated.) Then why should he bother coming here week after week?

Doctor: I'm not saying he won't be helped. He will be. But how he responds to treatment is up to him. He may understand himself better, be more comfortable in his skin and go on exactly as he was going before, but with more inner peace.

JT: I have to take that chance. I tried to make it without Brian. But I thought about him all the time. I wanted him. I fantasized about him. I missed him. I may as well live with him and be miserable, but have his body! (Laughed.)

Doctor: What do you want from Brian, Justin?

JT(Thinking quietly.) Everything.

Doctor: Meaning?

JT: His love, his sex, his happiness, his sadness, his ups and downs, his anger, his jealousy, his beauty, his sweetness, his sense of humor, his brilliance, his success, his failure, his life. I want to share his life, Doc.

Doctor: For better or worse?

JT: Til death do us part.

Doctor: You ready for that? You're quite young.

JT: I'm a very old twenty.

Doctor: And Brian is a very young thirty two.

JT: I know. I'm the grown up in our relationship.

Doctor: How about the promiscuity, Justin? You mentioned it.

JT: I don't want an open relationship.

Doctor: What does Brian say about that?

JT: I think he understands. We're still talking about it.

Doctor: Can you afford to live in New York on your own?

JT: Why should I? He has a huge loft in Soho.

Doctor: Do you think it makes some sense to move here and live separately while you see if it's going to work out for you? Perhaps de-emphasize the sexual aspects of your relationship?

JT: (Laughed.) Doc, that's like asking minks not to make coats.

Doctor: I see. Will you do this, then?

JT: What?

Doctor: If you reach a pressure point with Brian, before you take any drastic action, will you come meet with me first?

JT: I guess. Why?

Doctor: The problem may have a root in his therapy, so I might be able to head off an unnecessary drama. Perhaps not, but I'd like to have the opportunity.

JT: That's cool.

Doctor: You're a remarkably poised young man. You've been through a lot, and yet you seem to be very aware of yourself and what works for you.

JT: (Grinning. ) Is that like a shrink compliment?

Doctor: Maybe its as close as we can get.

JT: Doc, am I good for Brian?

Doctor: Do you think you're good for Brian?

JT: Yes.

Doctor: Then you probably are.

JT: Can I tell you a secret?

Doctor: Of course you can. But as I said at the outset of this session, I'm here to help Brian, not as your therapist, so I need to be free to use things you tell me in his treatment.

JT: I don't care if he hears this. Brian Kinney is the most infuriating man on earth. He is cold and remote and egotistical, but he also is sweet and loyal and courageous. He has great fears about himself, and yet he displays more self confidence than anyone I know. He's smart and talented, and yet he downplays his professional success. He never wants credit for the nice things he does, and he always accepts blame personally. He's funny, yet worldly wise, and he's a snappy dresser, but he looks perfect in jeans. He's the best fuck on the planet, and he's never a selfish lover. He's worth it. This time we have to make it work.

Doctor: Thank you for your time, Justin.

End of transcript.

Doctor's notes: JT is a mature, self-actualized twenty year old gay white male. He has been through traumatic events, and has perhaps an obsessive attraction to BK. Undoubtedly, BK makes him feel protected. He brought up several issues that will require discussion with BK: the importance of the dance to BK. (Note: JT appears to suffer post traumatic stress syndrome associated with the dance and the aftermath. This should be dealt with by a competent therapist who can help him uncover those locked memories and deal with the associated stress.) Whether this is important to BK because it occurred just before the bashing, or whether it was an emotional venting for him, it needs to be explored. The bashing itself and his guilt over it should be discussed. BK's wearing of the bloody scarf, any residual fears, are also important topics. The impact of promiscuity on his relationship with JT is another aspect to unravel. Why he feels compelled to seek other sexual outlets if he loves this young man? Why he fears monogamy? Why he risks the love of the man he cares about so deeply? Finally I would like to discuss JT's father, whether BK knows him, has any issues with him. Whether JT is putting him in the role of his absentee father, as protector and advisor. I predict some dysfunction ahead as they try to reestablish a relationship, and I hope that JT will take me up on my offer when that occurs. I will set up a meeting with both JT and BK, together, in the near future.

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Beginning
July 25, 2004