You take the elevator with your boyfriend down to the underground club and he’s holding your hand because you’re a wobbly drunk, the world an ocean, and you’re the worst water walker ever. The fairy lights before you wave and waver into pink mist. He asks You’re sure about right now? And you think I need to know I’m not dependent upon you, I need to know I’m independent, I need to know I’m not being trapped again just because you’re the first boy who has ever loved me back but what you say is: Yeah. Your boyfriend’s thumb runs circles over your palm and maybe, just maybe, he actually does understand. The doors slide open and you forge into the crowd alone. Everywhere there’s men. Men in ripped jeans, men in tight dresses, men in sleeveless shirts, and you’re thinking carpe diem, live más, 活在当下 and now you’re laughing at yourself with a white boy who’s not your boyfriend and he says Damn, you speak Mandarin? And as you toss back your cherry vodka you wonder How do I talk about Mandarin without talking about my parents, and how do I talk about estrangement without talking about the cult, and how do I talk about Shen Yun without sounding like I belong in a psychiatric ward? Your boyfriend legitimately is a psychiatrist, you can’t make this shit up, and he guards you from a distance, nursing an IPA. And you realize you’re looking at him, not at the boy in front of you, and you realize you’re talking about the past again, not making headway into the open relationship you asked for. You need to chill, the boy in front of you says. He offers you his weed vape and this is your first hit ever, it sears your throat, scratches your chest, and your boyfriend watches you and you gesture I’m fine, I’m fine and your hands look like they’re flapping an overenthusiastic goodbye. Your boyfriend gets it, but the boy in front of you, he asks Who’s that? So you tell him too much and too little and he’s inviting you and your boyfriend over to sleep at his place. He says Why not make tonight the night for all your first times? You’re already crossfaded for the first time. Have a threesome now, take two dicks up your ass, try some molly. And you’re caught on this word, crossfaded, which you’ve never heard before. You are crossed, you are faded, you are two arms and a stick body, you are pale and sweating and melting, you are looking for your boyfriend, you are looking for your mind, you are trying to keep your eyes open, you are trying not to die, and the boy in front of you says Holy shit are you okay? And you think I’m fucking trying and your boyfriend grasps your hands and he places his forehead against yours and he says You still have time, you really do. His watch glows 12 AM and usually you would be in bed, your ankles crossing with his, thoughts of tomorrow shining like never before—and your boyfriend’s eyes shine now too, you can see your reflection in them, his reflection in yours, and the mise en abyme of it all rushes through you, and yes, you have time, you really do.