SHe'd almost looked forward to the nonsexual intimacy stage, when he'd thought he'd be able to do it with Asher.
He does his best to hide how miserable he is.
He attempts to figure out a way to express this sentiment that is appropriately heterosexual.
"I like getting to talk to you."
"I like getting to talk to you too." Quiet, sincere.
Lev is so good at appropriate heterosexual relating!
"Mostly what's changed in the past year is... realizing that even if my parents love me they still kind of screwed up as parents. And I don't hold it against them because they were trying their best, but probably if they were better parents I would have less of an anxiety disorder and I would be straight."
"What's changed in the past year is," realizing I'm a girl at least kind of, "realizing that... just because I started out one way doesn't mean I have to stay that way. And I got to teach the freshman the Bacchae last year, being on the teaching end rather than the learning end was new."
"I don't even know what the Bacchae is."
"It's a Greek tragedy, I've heard people say it's Euripides's best but I don't know his other work enough to say, and the drama kids at my high school used to put on a section of it every year at Showcase but it got banned I think six years ago because a bunch of Christian parents were concerned about it. Since then we've been teaching it to each other outside of class — I mentioned I spent a couple months freshman year sneaking out to a field on Saturday nights to learn a pagan ritual? That's what I was talking about."
"Are you sure it wasn't an elaborate conspiracy to get kids interested in the classics? --Sorry, I don't know if that's mockery."
"It's totally fine, I can never tell how much I'm sincere about the ritual itself and how much I'm sincere about the ritual we've built up around it and how much I'm joking — the Christian parents were sincerely trying to get it banned, though, the drama teacher and half the English teachers have been complaining bitterly about them ever since."
"Why? I thought Christians liked"-- he waves a hand vaguely-- "Greece and Rome and all that."
"Maybe sometimes, but not when their kids are onstage streaked with mud enacting a ritual to Dionysus. They mostly terrorized the English department in other ways, I don't know why they thought trying to get The Scarlet Letter off the curriculum would go over well but they did."
"...In the interests of science, did they also try to censor 1984?"
"And Animal Farm, and The Color Purple."
"I don't know what the Color Purple is."
He glances around. "— I'll ask Natalie to put it on the next flash drive."
"Probably don't, I'm trying to avoid triggers."
"...the reason I didn't want to explain here was just that it's kind of heavy but you're not actually wrong. I won't."
"You don't have to be, giving you books you don't want to read doesn't help anyone. Better that I know."
He's aware that that isn't really the point.
"I really liked the psychology books you gave me."
Is there anything else you would want to read, if I could get it?"
"Uh. I made a list of stuff that was cited in the books that I wanted to read but I'm pretty sure I can just get them when I'm back at home?"
"When it comes to the future, what do you worry about the most?"
"Well, right now it's mostly staying homosexual."
Not dying? Sasha doesn't say. Not homelessness or starvation or cancer? Not getting hit by a bus? Staying gay? Are you sure?
"That — makes sense," he says. "I think I'm most afraid of being trapped."
"What do you mean?"