The Raft

Now there was a kind of truce, and everyone got back on board, so that when Nick cruised past he had a view of dangling legs, pinched dicks at funny angles, streaked hair and glistening skin, a floating tableau of men against the sky. Sex made them half conscious, half forgetful of the picture they made; they were sportsmen resting in stunned comaraderie, but some of them wriggled and held hands and breathed lustfully in each other’s faces. They kicked their feet in the water, indolent but purposeful. One of them who was standing behind leant forward, out of the sky and the trees, and Nick reached him a hand and shot up and hopped out streaming as two queens plumped apart to make room for him. He stood breathing and grinning in a loose but curious embrace with the men in the middle. He had a sense of something fleeting and harmonic, longed for and repeated — it was the circling trees, perhaps, and the silver water, the embrace of a solitary childhood, and the need to be pulled up into a waiting circle of men.

— Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty

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