What follows is an original piece of fiction, based in part upon real people and upon characters in the film "My Own Private Idaho" by Gus Van Sant, but mostly upon my own fantasies. I intend no copyright infringement from my use of this material, and shall receive no monetary or other compensation for any use, in any form, of the story that follows. While the individuals named in this story are real people, this story springs from my own fevered imagination: I do not imply that any of these adventure ever actually took place or that they are likely to have done so in real life. I mean no disrespect to or assumption of lifestyle or behaviour on the part of any person, living or dead, who may appear in this manuscript. This is merely a work of fantasy fiction, written exclusively for the entertainment of myself and the readers of the Internet newsgroup I do hereby declare copyright on this document, and it shall not be reprinted, recirculated, or republished in any form without my express written permission, except for the exclusive private, not-for-profit viewing by members of the above-mentioned newsgroup. For the legalistically impaired, this translates as, "I wrote this. Don't pass it around to everybody you know. You may print it out ONCE for your own reading, but don't send it on to anybody else in any form, especially not for money!"

(C) September 29, 1995, Janet F. Caires-Lesgold,

WARNING: This story contains language and scenes that may not be suitable for younger or more sensitive readers. I advise you to use discretion in choosing whether to read this story.

All warned now? Ready for anything? Follow me!



My favorite photo of Keanu Reeves? Oh, that's easy. It's this one I tore out of a magazine article about "My Own Private Idaho". He looks so tough and brave, but a little vulnerable. I will always remember him like that... What? Who's that behind him? Who does it LOOK like, pal? Sorry to shout in your ear. Okay, maybe you weren't expecting to hear from me again. It's me, River. River Phoenix. Remember me? God, how fast everybody forgets you after you die. Yeah, I'm dead. Don't get weird, or anything. I just came back to tell you this story about Keanu and me. How am I able to do that? Hell, I dunno. The power of love?

I love Keanu. There it is, out in the open. Or should I say "loved"? Nope, "love" it is. I still do, with all of whatever part of my spirit can get its shit together simultaneously these days. I guess you're reading this because you love him, too. I'd say, "If you see him, tell him Riv says howdy", but I don't think that would go over too well. Besides, I think we got all of that "goodbye" crap out of the way already. I'm pretty sure he loves me, too, but it feels awful risky to come right out and say it. He told me he did, so I believe him. I did at the time, anyway.

Not that it didn't take him awhile, mind you. Maybe I should start at the beginning. Keanu saved me, you see. Okay, don't rub it in. He did the best he could. He always told me I was stupid to do the stuff I was doing, that it might kill me. Hey, Ke-man, you win. Happy now?

I shouldn't be bringing this up to you. I hashed it out already myself, and it should be settled. I guess I just want you to know what he tried to do for me. I spend my time (or the non-corporeal version of time - trust me, you don't wanna know...) wondering why he bothered in the first place. "Hey," you say, "he's a nice guy. You were a punk kid who needed a friend. Why wouldn't he try to help?" My point is, I wonder what he got out of it, at least at first.

Maybe I was a little trophy. Sometimes he certainly treated me like one, but I shouldn't complain. There was something more... When I first went home with him, we never fucked. He'd just hold me all night long, and give me these kisses... Man, I thought his tongue would pop outta the back of my head! I had kissed girls, but those lips! I was wondering if girls felt MY lips like that. His were soft, like a girl's, but the muscles behind them...

Excuse me. I was just remembering. If I were wearing jeans right now, they'd be getting tight against my cock. Hell, I don't even have a cock anymore! Man, that's sad! Ke, I miss you like anything.

We had these names for each other. I always addressed him as Ke, and he called me Riv, but when we were already in the same room and didn't need to get each other's attention, he called me Peanut. He was just screwing around with "Phoenix", that's all. It didn't signify anything else, except maybe that he always thought he was taller than I was. Maybe a couple inches, but nothing really impressive. I screwed around with "Keanu" and came up with Banana (the taller thing again), but he threatened to backhand me when I called him that. I shouldn't tell you that. He never hit me. Never. Occasionally he would backhand AT me, about three inches too high, so that his fingers whipped some of my hair back, but then his fingers would go creeping through my hair, and he'd grab my head and pull it towards his and kiss me. Then he'd laugh.

Sometimes I listen hard, and think I can hear his laugh. He's happier now, at least more than he was right after I "left", shall we say. It makes me happy to imagine his laugh. His smile alone... Gee, has Keanu got the prettiest smile in the world, or what? But then, I'm prejudiced. No wonder girls kept following him! I think he fucked some of them, which made me incredibly jealous, but I never said anything. That was early on in the two years we spent together.

There was kind of a progression in how he reacted to how much I loved him. Pretty soon after I moved in, I'd say, "I love you," and he'd go, "Yeah." No emotion or anything. I think it bugged him at first that I needed him so much. Later, he'd roll his eyes when I said it, but he'd be smiling. I don't think he really wanted to be queer, but after he kissed me the first time, I never wanted to be anything else. It was just in the last six months we were together, that he started saying, "I guess I love you, too." I got tears in my eyes the first time I heard it, but I didn't let him see them. It was like he hadn't just changed my life, but that I'd changed his, too. Wow.

There were other things I never let him see, too (yes, like the stuff that did me in). He'd give me hell for it if he suspected anything, but I knew it was because it frightened him. Man, you feel indestructible when you're young and stupid! Love may be better than drugs, but sometimes you can't really tell the difference, you know? I went home with a couple of other guys, too, just to get laid, because I was so horny all the time with Keanu, and all he'd do was fondle my ass, or wrap his fingers around my cock when we laid in bed together naked. I wanted him to make me come so bad!

Not that I'm knocking what I did get! No way! I bet his body gets even more beautiful with every passing year. I wish I could see it all fleshed out... or run my fingers along it, or kiss it from stem to stern (and what a stem!)... Sorry, I couldn't resist!

I always felt so pale next to him naked. He never suntanned on purpose, at least not while we were together. He just sort of glowed golden between the sheets. Later, when it didn't embarrass him so much, he'd get an erection just from kissing me, and he'd let me go down on him. He wouldn't come in my mouth, because he knew it would gag me. Instead I would jack him off the rest of the way, and it would shoot up, hot in the air between us. He'd do the same to me, too, except he liked to swallow. That was heaven! His head, all shiny black hair, bobbing away on my stomach, his lips slurping up my juice as his tongue teased the tip of my cock for more! When I couldn't come any more, he'd break away slowly, kissing the eye of my cock as he left, then crawl up my chest and kiss me deeply, his sweat, my come, and our saliva mixing wickedly in our mouths. When I could breathe again, I'd say, "Thank you", but he'd answer, "No, thank YOU!" I always felt like I could live forever there, reflected in his dark eyes, wrapped in those long arms, one leg thrown over me protectively. Can guys marry each other yet?

Then it was October, and a chill swept the summer away. One night, finally, it just happened. We were naked, we were kissing, we both had aching erections. He pushed me gently on my face across his bed, his hands spread my ass open, and before I knew it, he was inside me, pumping like he had been waiting longer than I had for this moment. His hands crept around to my stomach, and he started jacking me off as he fucked me. My head was almost over the edge of the bed, and it was a little difficult to breathe, but somehow this made me come hotter than I ever had before in my life. I had read about guys trying to hang themselves and masturbate, and I kind of got the idea of what they were aiming for. Ke came right away, filling me with heat and joy, and I think we both had tears in our eyes when we finished. That night I dreamed of growing old with him. If I'd only known how much I'd hurt him very soon...

So much for dreams. I screwed up royally. Everything had been going so great, and I ended up dead less than a month later. I didn't realize that after you die, you sort of hang around awhile before you get pushed along on your way to the everlasting, whatever the hell that is. I could see Ke, blaming himself, screaming at me, staring at that photograph of us together. You remember: the one I tore out of the magazine and taped on the wall. I'd hurt him so much, and I felt so guilty, that I came back. Just for a few hours, to make my peace with him.

It took me awhile to make him see me. That's why more folks on this side don't come over there: it's HARD! He thought he was just hallucinating first, but I assured him that it was really me, and that I couldn't stay long. He leaped up and threw his arms around me, then pushed me away. "I hate you!" he spat at me. I answered, "I know. But you don't really, do you?" He stopped and looked at me very hard. "No," he replied, quietly, "I love you. I've always loved you." I said, "I know. I love you, too, and I always will." You don't want to hear the whole conversation. He'd yell at me awhile, apologize, hug me, push me away, and the whole cycle would start all over. We both needed that, so I'm glad I came back to say goodbye. We kissed for a very long time, the kind where your heart stops for a minute and your breath catches in your throat, but nothing else happens, because you know nothing else can, and you don't want anything else, anyway. The kind when you're leaving and you don't really want to leave, but you have to go, but one last kiss first. THAT kind. Painful, but necessary.

I've been able to feel him thinking of me a lot since then. I think he found somebody else to love, maybe somebody to take care of HIM for a change. He doesn't deserve any less. He was my whole life for two whole years, and I wouldn't change a thing, especially if it was as important to him as it was to me. Okay, maybe ONE thing, but what's done is done, right? What's that line from that Joni Mitchell song he'd always recite to me? Oh yeah: "No regrets, Coyote". I guess that's the way to go, in the long run.

Thanks for listening. Bye. - River



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