Tuesday, October 13, 2009
BEER SHAPED HEART by Walt Cessna
BEER SHAPED HEART
By Walter Cessna
11-01 / 12-01
There were many days when I was fifteen that were absolutely amazing. Unbelievable moments when the world actually seemed to be working for me, instead of me for it. More often than not however, I lived in a world that I couldn’t share with anyone. Secrets and lies inhabited my life; some of which I had forged so deep there was simply no escape.
My name is Jay and the past three years were something I had never expected and almost didn’t survive. You see I’m gay. Always have been, always will be. I knew since I was five when I had a crush on the Reverend at my Church, The Colonial Church of Bayside. In Queens. Like the Nanny. Only she wasn’t horny for the Preacher, I was.
Anyway, like I was saying. Being fifteen and a closet fag in 1984 was not exactly easy. First off, I was tall and way too skinny. I liked New Wave and Punk and I tended to dress a bit over the top, that is if layered sweatshirts and Hasidic Jew top hats seems a bit much. I was like a walking target in my school, Bayside High, for anyone that was in the mood to start shit and in my school, starting shit was as popular as going to the john. I never understood why homosexuals were referred to as gay. Most of us are more miserable than straight people. At Bayside High, I was miserable on a daily basis.
It was my first year in actual High School. I had gone to this religious school called The Redeemer Lutheran of Bayside before that. It was pretty strict and when I found myself suddenly in public school after years of pampered and private, I truly understood the expression shitting bricks. I was shitting houses on a daily basis. Nobody really knew I was gay but me. In fact, girls came on to me all the time and you know what? I liked it. More girls wanted to make-out with me at that point in my sexual awakening than boys, so I was kind of known as a make-out artist amongst the chicks.
I was pretty good looking for a skinny fourteen-year old boy, but my looks had a knack for getting me into trouble. I had long black hair that I wore shaved on the sides and spiked on top. Kind of like an Apache Mullet punk.
I wore a lot of black and had the obligatory strappy bracelets and fucked up beyond recognition combat boots that I had spray painted silver stripes on the back. In case you don’t know where I’m going with this, I’ll get right to the point. Kids fucked with me constantly. Taunting me, teasing me, calling me punk rock faggot asshole and sometimes even trying to kick the shit out of me.
I always fought back and even if I didn’t win, most of the kids had a silent respect for me because at least I didn’t take it and pussy out. Being the outsider has its advantages. Naughty kids are drawn to you like bees to honey. They always confide in you and tell you their deepest, dark secrets. At least that’s what had been happening to me. About midway through my sophomore year everything changed for me and nothing has ever been the same since. That was when I tried out for the swim team and actually got accepted. No one could believe it, least of all myself. To some it meant triumphant battles to be won in the aqua arena. For me, it meant random glimpses of all the hottest jock’s cocks in the shower and I was getting ready to savor every mother fucking moment of it.
Love, however, was not what I found in the showers. Ewan was the swim team captain and my primal focus of lust since first grade. Of course, he hated me. He was the only one in school that I was certain knew I was gay, most likely because he was getting a blowjob from me on a daily basis. His girlfriend Lacy was my best friend Scott’s sister. She was fourteen and totally hot. She had feathered honey blonde hair and liquid emerald eyes and liked to wear Pat Benatar type clothing and was a complete Police freak. Scott and I had been best friends since nursery school and lately, things had become tense between us. I sensed something was wrong and I had noticed he had become very shy about being undressed in front of me lately. He had been avoiding me at swim and hung away from me after school. Maybe a lot more kids at school think I’m a fag than I thought.
There was something else I was hiding besides my homosexuality. I was an alcoholic. How can a fifteen-year old be an alcoholic you’re wondering? Easy. I started drinking when I was thirteen. My first drunk happened while on a trip to Cape Cod that I had been invited on by my summer employer. An older man, really cute and a total fag, gave me peach daiquiri and then invited me to smoke a joint out on the beach. As I toked on my very first joint and finished the drink, he stuck his hand down my shorts and felt my soft cock.
“Nice,” he said, then laughed and got up, leaving me alone on the sand with a boner as he joined the others.
I was assisting a designer in Manhattan at a Seventh Avenue dress house. I got the job because I had sent my sketches in on a whim and the president of the company was so impressed he offered me a summer job on his design team. I had been sketching clothes since I was five, but never really shared it with anyone except my mom. She was the one who taught me how to draw and the first thing we drew were pretty ladies that looked like her in the most correct clothes we could dream up.
My parents were pleasantly thrilled and allowed me to take the Long Island Railroad every day into the city to go to work. This was when the rest of my life truly began. Going into the city on a daily basis allowed me the luxury of hanging out there everyday after work. I would cruise out of there around five in the evening and walk down Seventh Avenue, not stopping till I hit Christopher Street, the Castro Street of New York City. It was the first time I had ever seen other gay people. It was also the first of many times I got propositioned, usually by much older gentleman, that I was soon to find out practiced some very ungentlemanly sexual habits.
I fucked around for the first time about three weeks into the summer. It was a Saturday after I had gotten out of an illustration class I was taking at the downtown Parsons School of Design. I had been walking around the East Village, tripping out on the stores like Patricia Field and Black Market and wishing I had more than five bucks in my pocket. Especially when I got to Trash & Vaudeville on Saint Marks where you could buy tight black jeans just like Joey Ramone wore, or buy Siouxsie & The Banshee t-shirts with matching pins. The guy I hooked up with and lost my virginity to was a spike haired punk boy named Jessie that worked as a sales clerk in the shop.
He was six feet tall and skinny like me. We did it in the back of the store in a fitting room, where he fucked me up the ass with no lube or anything. Just rammed it the fuck in me and kissed me so hard I though he was gonna extract the gold fillings out of my teeth. When he came, I felt his jiz seep out of my ass as he pulled his cock from me, but when I reached around to kiss him back he was already pulling up his pants. He said thanks and left me there with my dick in my hands and blue balls. Fuck that I thought and jerked off till I came all over the dressing room mirror.
I spent my days learning, living and breathing the world of fashion surrounded by a crew of twenty something gay men and women. They taught me how to really sketch clothes and about the construction of a well-made garment. I was given lessons in pattern making and was taught how to cut out samples. In short, they treated me as an adult, allowing me into their privileged world where things are taken for granted simply because they are used to nothing being less than absolutely fabulous.
I was lucky enough to be taken under their wings, but I was also exposed to a part of their world that a thirteen-year old just isn’t ready to handle. Drugs and booze were a central part in each of their lives and I was often privy to their drug fueled habits. I was also invited to partake of them and after that summer I was a bona-fide cokehead and boozer, able to party with the adults and relishing in my newfound social power and prowess.
Going back to school after that was impossible. I tried to pay attention for the first month, but soon found myself cutting and going into the city. My parents didn’t really bust me until almost seven months into my absence spree. With most of my freshman year gone, all I really got was a royal dose of reprimanding and the threat of not being allowed to work that summer. The thought of me sitting in the house all summer long getting up my mothers ass however broke their momentary delusion of punishment and I was allowed to return for my second summer of employment and personal debauchery.
That summer I actually started having an affair with a man at work from the sales department. He was thirty-three years old and his name was Rodolfo. I actually seduced him, waiting for him after work one day and walking him home, stalling until he invited me up. After a few Screwdrivers we were both suitably loose to get down to the business at hand and all I remember before I blacked out was his pulling down my pants and leading me to his bedroom. When I awoke from my drunken stupor, I was naked in bed with him, one of his arms draped across my chest and his guttural snore snaking into my ears.
I spent the rest of the summer fucking around with him after work and playing sexual hide and seek with him all day at work. All the other designers soon figured out what was going on, but nobody did anything to stop it. Sure, some eyebrows were raised when he gave me an expensive Hermes wallet for my fifteenth birthday, but I had a feeling it was more out of jealousy that none of them had made a move on me first. I was willing and I was able. I liked to have sex and it didn’t really matter how old you were. I was into it for the experience and definitely allowed Rodolfo to give me a fierce education.
When the summer was over he dumped me, cutting me off completely and disavowing any knowledge of our relationship. I had a feeling one of the designer’s squealed on us, because within three days he was gone, his desk left with everything on it. Of course he disappeared. He was fucking the shit out of a minor, moi, and somebody must have threatened him. I found the whole thing incredibly dramatic and hilariously entertaining. As I said good-bye to my co-workers to start my sophomore year I felt as if I had grown a million times. I was sad about Rodolfo; I actually had a thing for the Troll. But I also realized that if I could survive this, the rest of life would be a piece of cake. I guess I was a little off on that one.
So I guess I’ll jump right into the next three years cause that was pretty much the beginning. I found myself in lust with a sixteen-year old raging heterosexual jock freak that hates me with a passion not unlike the most decadent sin. Ewan was six foot four and had shaggy brown locks and a gorgeous hairy bubble butt that he showed off in the shower like a proud naked peacock. It was what happened after everybody else left the showers that was sort of becoming a problem for me. Well, it was certainly a situation that I can’t be accused of not loving, but what I endured for a few seconds of sexual thrill soon became tantamount to torture as I allowed Ewan to degrade me in ways even I didn’t know possible.
He was also a prick to Scott’s sister Lacy. They were always fighting, but then making up just as hard. I had seen him hit her once, well, twice actually. Hard and in the face. Once he busted her lip, another time she got two black eyes at once. I always tried to talk to her about it, but there was always some lame excuse. Oh yeah, right. You fell. Yeah, sure. Talking to Lacy was like talking to a wall. A wall that liked to get hit, because no matter what I said, she always ran right back to Ewan. Anyway, Scott and I had made plans to hang and have one of our classic Friday nights.
We often spent crazy nights out at the clubs in the city, driving our parents crazy by returning home at all hours of the night. We would get as fucked up as possible and I was the main instigator. I was always able to get us hooked up with drugs and drinks since I was sleeping with several of the doormen at the clubs we frequented. Scott had no idea, he just thought we were extremely lucky. Oh well I thought, what he doesn't know won’t kill him.
We took the Long Island Rail Road into Penn Station, then walked down to the village to see what kind of trouble we could get into. I haven’t told anyone about what goes on with Ewan and I after swim practice every day. I want to, but instead I listen in stunned silence as Scott explains to me he knows all about Ewan beating the shit out of Lacy. Finally, a co-patriot. Maybe he’ll understand if I explain to him that I’m gay and still be my best friend. But then he utters a line I’ll never forget.
“At least he’s not some fucking faggot.”
Ah, that phrase again. That word. That feeling. I looked at him and laughed.
“Yeah, at least he’s not some faggot.”
I made myself sick. My fear. My loathing. The inability to truly be me for fear of others opinion and reaction. So instead of spilling my secret, I jump on Lacy’s. “We’ve gotta do something about Lacy. Ewan cannot keep on beating the crap out her. She’s your sister for fucks sake.”
“I know,” Scott said. “But in the meantime, I think we need to do something fun. Right now.”
Finally, the old Scott.
“And then Berlin. If Audrey is bartending were hooked up.”
“Let’s go baby.”
So we walked down Seventh Avenue to Twenty-first Street and turned left. Danceteria was always cool and of course, Haoui was at the door. Instant access, drink tickets and the whole kit and nightlife caboodle. I love that I can get into clubs and I’m so fucking under-age it’s not even funny. But this is the lets take advantage eighties and I excel at the art of sucking it all in. I love this fucking scene and live my life in it as if a movie camera is rolling on me at all times. I am a star in my own mind, but extremely comfortable with playing the weirdo. Scott was a sucker for everything cool and club like as well and on the rare occasion that he was able to drop his defenses, I loved him like the brother I never really had. We had so much fun hanging out, it was like fucking perfect.
Trouble is, I dug him sexually and it was becoming a problem. Lately, as both of us naturally became more interested about sex and shit, he seemed to be shying away from me. I often wondered if I might be subliminally coming on to him, but I couldn’t be. Truth be told, I was into Ewan, even if he never kissed me back. Or sucked me back. Or let me fuck him back. Most would call me the ultimate bottom boy. A full service station of give and no take. Maybe that was why I always felt this deep pit of shame in my stomach after my moments with him. But I chose to trade the few seconds of sexual fulfillment for a teen lifetime of despair.
I turned to Scott and smiled. Thank God he smiled back. We ran to the bar and ordered drinks from Edwige, something called Mothers Milk. She served them to us with a smile and a big helping of perfect downtown attitude. She was fierce with herself and the effect was utterly correct. We downed at least four shots each of her concoction and finally dragged our asses to the dance floor. The music was major, Tom Tom Club followed by Siouxsie and we were drunk on our youth and the feeling that this was how it would be forever.
We ran around the club and got completely out of our heads on Edwige’s Mothers Milk. We said hello to people we didn’t know and ignored the ones we did. We were obnoxious and fabulous and wise beyond our years and totally fucked up. We left at four and decided to take the 7 train back to Queens. We walked through the night to Times Square and hopped on the train, giggling about nothing, dreaming about everything. I felt so open and free when I went out to the clubs, being surrounded by other freaks, faggots and fuck-ups.
The next day in school, Scott was actually cool and we hung out at lunch, something we hadn’t done in ages.
“Last night was so cool dude. I love that fucking club.”
“I know,” I replied. “And now we deal with the true reality of being fifteen, high school. Oy!”
“Yeah, but we can always go out. Three years of this will seem like nothing if we pursue the correct after school curriculum.”
“And what does this curriculum consist of my fellow scholar and good man,” I giggled.
“Of going out to as many clubs as we can get our fifteen-year old asses into and get as fucked up as possible.”
“I like your way of thinking.”
The bell rang and we threw out the remains of our hot lunch jam and got up to leave.
“I’ll see ya at swim. Scott, why don’t you stay after today and hang out? Wait for me in the lockers.”
“OK. I’ll see ya later.”
Was I crazy? Did I just basically tell him to stay after practice so he could catch Ewan getting serviced by me? Was I basically inviting Scott to join in if he liked what he saw? Scott had never given any hint that he might be gay and I wasn’t even featuring him. Maybe I just wanted to cause trouble. Who knows? It was too late now. The ball had been set in motion. Only thing to do now is try and catch it.
I went about the rest of the day trying not to think about it, but couldn’t fucking do it. It seeped into my thoughts at every chance and I found myself swept away into fantasies so beyond that even I was a bit embarrassed by my appetite for lust and titillation. I cut my next three classes and spent the rest of the school day smoking doobs across the street in the park and sipping from a Budweiser tall boy until it’s time for swim practice.
My heart is racing as I enter the locker room. I head right to the back and proceed to fidget with the lock on my locker, my breathing becoming increasingly heavy and labored. I finally got it open, stripped down and pulled on my suit. My dick was sporting a semi and it took a lot of willpower to work it down to a more presentable package. Then I reached for a reserve bottle of Stoli in my locker and took a good drag off it. With everything in check, I headed for the pool.
The usual cast of characters is assembled, all doing their best to look casual and cool, even though they are almost naked and wearing the briefest swimsuit’s public school will allow. Sal, Brett, Jerry, Matt, Kyle. All of them cut from the same straight jock ass mold and letting all their unnecessary testosterone hang out. Scott motioned me over so I walked past the dudes and made my way towards him. A few guys say hi, the rest of them ignore me. With my pale white skin and fucked up black hair, I literally cause them to squirm and run their fingers through their sad attempts at cool haircuts.
Scott and I get lost in conversation, planning our next trip into the city. Ewan walks in and I’m momentarily stunned into silence, totally losing track of what Scott’s saying, my eyes glued to his chest, then his crotch and the bulge that sticks almost obscenely through it. My dick starts to get hard and I notice Scott staring down at it, so I jump in the pool.
“What’s the rush asshole?” Ewan yells at me, but I ignore him, my mind only able to focus on what will happen after practice, if and when Scott walks in on Ewan and I. Scott is still staring at me, only it’s not such a weird look anymore. There’s almost a hint of a smile, like he’s in on the joke. He jumps in the pool and swims over to me. Ewan is talking with the other guys so we just resume our conversation.
“What’s up with you Jay? One minute were talking, next minute your jumping in the fucking pool.”
“I don’t know. I guess I just weirded out...”
“More like bonered out. Dude, you’re fucking popping a woody and your lucky I’m the only one who saw it.”
“What the fuck are you talking about,” I replied, clearly embarrassed.
“Jay, quit bullshitting yourself. And quit bullshitting me. I know your gay. I’ve known for a long time.”
“Like for the past two years. Ever since you started looking at other guys in the locker and not even trying to hide it anymore.”
“Anymore?” I whispered, suddenly feeling the vodka cloud my brain and put a curve in my definition.
“Yeah, anymore. You used to at least be a little less obvious, but you’ve really gotten ballsy lately. To tell you the truth, I’m was wondering when you were gonna tell me. I figured I’d let you take your time and shit.”
I couldn’t believe my ears. In fact, I was strangely surprised to the point I felt as if I had dropped a whole sheet of acid. Scott knew I was a fag and it didn’t sound like he was gonna give me any shit about it. I tried to say something, but couldn’t. He had always made so much fun of faggot’s. Was that his defense shield, the way my lies were mine?
He was smiling at me and looking down at something in the pool. I followed his eyes down to his groin and almost choked on my own saliva. Scott’s cock was pitching a tent in his suit. I was lost in lust and space, tempted to reach out and grab it, but the sound of splashing water snaps me back into reality as I look up and watch the rest of the team hop in the pool and I hear the coaches whistle signal practice to begin.
Ewan was the last one in and I don’t know if it was from fear or shock, but my dick went down and I was able to get through the next two hours of practice without anything embarrassing happen. Every time I snuck a glance at Scott however, he would grin lewdly at me, almost teasing me with his eyes. The way he used to tease me before I knew that he knew I was gay. Only now there’s a hint of mischief to it, almost a come-on and I start to look at him in a way I never have before. I never thought he might be able to deal with my being gay, let alone actually be gay himself. This was all like a dream, but I couldn’t figure out if it was a bad one or simply surreal.
When practice finished, I padded silently from the pool and took my place under one of the nozzles in the shower. The other guys slowly filtered in and I did my best to ignore the flesh parading before my eyes. The only person unaccounted for was Scott. That’s strange I thought. He’s usually the first person out of the pool and into the shower. I finished soaping myself up and managed to ignore the snide remarks being made under the rest of my teammate’s breath as I exited. I headed for my locker and sat down on the bench, killing as much time as possible before the inevitable. Still no sign of Scott though and for some reason it was weirding me out.
The rest of the team tore into the locker room and went through their usual ritual of bullshitting and horsing around. Thankfully, I was all but ignored as I sat there in my underwear, slowly buttoning and unbuttoning my shirt for the tenth time as I tried to appear as occupied as possible. I looked around and when I could tell that no-one was even slightly interested in my existence, I pulled the Stoli out from my locker and drank half the bottle down in one long swig.
Scott finally made his way in and settled on the bench next to me. I screwed the cap back on the bottle and ignored his stare. His hips rubbed against my hips and his body was still wet from the pool. I felt our arms touch and then tried to move away to no avail. Scott just kept creeping closer. Most of the guys had dressed and left and after a few moments we were completely alone. I looked around and when satisfied, leaned my face into his and kissed him on the lips. At first nothing happened, but then he grabbed me and kissed back, slipping his tongue between my lips and putting his hand on my crotch.
My dick is getting hard and the tighter he grips it, the deeper my kisses. I grab his hand and pull him up off the bench. I drag him into the empty showers and then slip as I step onto the slickly tiled floor. Scott starts laughing his fucking ass off and pulls off his bathing suit revealing his hard cock. I just stare at it and tug at my own, then stand up and pull off my underwear, tossing them aside. We struggle under a stream of water and start kissing again, licking the water off each other’s bodies and rubbing at every surface we can possibly touch.
I don’t feel the pain of the whack to the back of my head until almost a moment after it hits me. In that time I’m stunned, stoned, fucked up and surprised. I go down on the floor face first and I can feel the imprint of tile embedding itself against me. Scott just stares at me, stroking his cock as I go down. The scene is surreal, but I know who’s behind it. I asked for this after all. It’s Ewan and he’s walked in on me and Scott instead of Scott walking in on him and I. Only thing is though, I hadn’t planned on getting smacked senseless. Scott finally stopped playing with himself and tried to help me up. Not quick enough if you ask me.
Ewan is standing above me and as my body rises to face him, I realize that I am bleeding from my head and I can taste the blood trickling down my cheek and seeping into the cracked skin of my lips. Scott tries to walk past Ewan, but is stopped with a fist around his throat and a hard slap against his face. Ewan looks down at me and holds my eye as he tosses Scott against the wall.
The last thing I remember before I blacked out was Ewan grabbing Scott by the back of the head and pulling him against his naked body. When I woke up I was alone in the shower, my head aching from the vodka, a pool of blood spooling down the drain around me. I rose slowly, aware that every bone in my body ached and I was seeing double. Then I felt everything go out from under me and I collapsed again. The next time I woke up, it was two days later in a hospital room at Saint Vincent’s.
The only visitor I got was Lacy. She had heard about the whole thing from Scott, who wasn’t available. At least not when I called the almost one hundred times only to get his bullshit answering service asking me to please leave a message. What the fuck happened to me? I had no fucking clue and if Lacy knew anything, she wasn’t exactly sharing it. I got out after a few days, the doctors convinced I hadn’t suffered any brain damage although I did receive twenty-seven lovely stitches to close up my head.
My parents were supposed to pick me up, but they couldn’t due to my Grandpa dying while I was in the hospital. I was excused from the funeral because it was all the way out in Long Island and there was no way I was going to make it. I arranged for Lacy to pick me up with her mother and drive me back to my house where I would await my parents and somehow mourn for my Grandpa with them. At least that was the plan. Didn’t quite work out that way.
Lacy shows up without her mother and wearing a big cheeba grin that is so infectious I start smiling too. She escorts my wobbly ass out of the hospital and I fall asleep in the back of her Mom’s blue Gold Duster black top. I flash to bits of the other day, seeing my face buried in someone’s crotch, while someone fucks me from behind. I don’t see faces; I just feel my asshole throb and my brain twitch. I wake up confused, slightly scared. It all starts coming back and as I look out the window at the people on Northern Boulevard, my vision replaces them with Scott and Ewan, their faces huge as billboards assaulting all my senses at once. They raped me. Ewan led the way and Scott followed, each holding me down for the other.
I shuddered at the thought and started to get turned on. My dick got hard at the thought of them taking turns fucking me and it made me feel ashamed. Like a little boy caught doing something bad even though someone else was doing something bad to me. I look over at Lacy, who has borrowed the car without her mothers permission and is stroking mascara onto her lashes from a hot pink Maybelliene dispenser with one hand while she drives with the other. Cool fucking bitch I thought, then hated myself for being disrespectful. So I mentally take note to change bitch to chick and get on with trying to get Ewan and Scott out of my mind.
I ask Lacy where we’re going and she just smiles. I notice that there are two well packed bags in the back seat and that we have just pulled onto the expressway and are headed for New York City.
“Where the fuck are we going?”
“New York, stupid. I have a surprise for you.” She turns to face me and I notice for the first time the bruise on the side of her face. It’s deep purple and toxic blue and she just smiles, aware that I’m looking at it, but shrinking in embarrassment. We share our wounds through unspoken words and I finally gather the courage to close my eyes and just take this strange trip. It’s almost an hour later when Lacy tells me to open my eyes and we fall out of the car, abandoning it in front of the Port Authority bus terminal. Lacy hands me a bag and I follow her through the station and over to the Greyhound counter. We go to the back of the line where Lacy drops her bag and pulls out some gum from her pocket. She offers me a stick of Big Red, which I happily accept and smiles at me as I pop it into my mouth and let the cinnamon flavor explode on my tongue.
“So where are we going,” I ask through slow chews of gum.
“California, of course.”
For the first time all-day something makes sense. Of course that means it doesn’t actually make sense, because after what I’ve just been through, everything presents itself like some strange movie unfolding before me. I take my seat and settle in for the show. My own performance amazing even me. It isn’t until three hours later as the bus pulls out of the station and I’m sitting in my seat next to Lacy sipping on a grape Slush Puppy and watching the florescent lights explode above me, that I realize I’m not dreaming.
“Where exactly in California?” I ask, a smile spread across my lips and the future unfolding within my mind.
“San Francisco. Where else?”
Lacy pulls a bottle of Seagram’s Seven out of her bag and we both take turns sipping from it. Aided by the certainty of the warm liquor spilling down my throat, I settled back in my chair and started to dream about the future. I was fifteen. This was absurd. This was...heaven and so fucking cool. We were running away from Bayside and I couldn’t be happier. My parents were gonna be so freaked the fuck out, it wasn’t even funny, although I found it hysterical.
The next two days flash by like minutes as I drift in and out of sleep, only waking to piss and eat some mystery meat at whatever fucked up bus stop were at. Lacy keeps coming up with fresh half pints of Seagram’s Seven, which I greedily suck down, staring out the window at the seeming nothingness fly by me. When we pull into Salt Lake City, I’m getting twitchy from sitting so long. Lacy won’t budge from her Seagram’s induced sleep, so I crawl over her and swipe the booze in her hands, then head into the terminal, the bottle of Scotch stuck in my back pocket.
An idea had come to me and I was just drunk enough to put it into action. I pulled out my mini-phonebook and after thumbing a few pages, placed a collect call to the first number. A man picks up and accepts the charges.
“Jay? Is that you? Your parents are very worried about you.”
It was Scott’s father.
“Jay, is Lacy with you?”
Fuck. I hadn’t thought about the fact they would be looking for Lacy too, so I lied.
“No she’s not sir. I have to tell you something about Scott,” I blurted out, followed by a deep belch. Lovely.
“What about Scott?”
“Sir, I’ve been having sex with your son. He’s gay. He’s a faggot. Your son is a fucking faggot. Just ask him.”
The words came out of me, but I felt as if I wasn’t there. I was floating over my own body, smiling at the carnage I was setting in motion. Before Scott’s dad could say anything, I hung up and dialed the second number and basically repeated the previous short conversation. Only this time it was Ewan’s dad and he did get in a last word.
“Who the fuck is this? I’ll kick your ass you fucking fairy faggot...”
As I heard the click of the phone, I realized in the back of my mind that I had just set the wheels of destruction in motion. I just had no idea how deep it would be and whether or not I would be able to live with myself once the final outcome was revealed. I fished the bottle from my back pocket and quickly chugged it away. I walked back to the bus after getting some stale chips out of the vending machine and joined a now loudly snoring Lacy. I closed my eyes and tried not to think about Scott and Ewan. Yeah. Sure.
I sleep all the way to Hollywood. I wake up and look at dying palm trees laced in smog and smile to myself. Pretty. Not! Only seven more hours to Frisco I think. Lacy is gone, so I stretch away my sleepiness and hop off the bus. The driver is warning everybody that we only have ten minutes, so I take mental note and head into the terminal to look for Lacy. I spot her immediately, but hesitate before walking over to her. She’s crying, sobbing, big fat tears rolling down her face, leaving clumpy mascara trails in their wake.
She looks up and sees me, holding out her arms to which I take aim and glide in. We hug for almost five minutes before she utters the words I still have trouble believing.
“Scott’s dead. He hung himself this morning.”
What the fuck? My mind instantly went numb. What the hell happened? Did Scott’s dad freak out on him? Was it because of what happened in the showers with Ewan? I looked at Lacy for an explanation, but I had a feeling that was all she knew. I didn’t dare ask any questions. I didn’t want her to think I had anything to do with it, but my fear was quickly put to rest.
“My mom didn’t even say why. She didn’t even ask me where I was, or if I still had the car. All she said was ‘your brother’s dead, he hung himself’ and then I heard my father cursing at her. Then the phone went dead.”
She wasn’t crying anymore, but she was still in shock. I took a deep breath and then kissed her on the cheek. I wiped a tear from her eye and helped her up from the chair. We walked back to the bus in silence, not speaking another word until we got to the Bay Bridge and the skyline of San Francisco exploded before me. As I traced the buildings with my eye, I thought about Scott and then remembered Ewan. What had happened with him and his dad? I already had one dead friend on my conscience, was I about to add a dead enemy to the list.
Lacy broke the silence and as usual I was amazed that she was only fourteen.
“We made it Jay. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. Are you excited?”
“Yeah, but I can’t get Scott out of my mind.”
“Neither can I, but there’s nothing we can do about it. I didn’t know my brother’s secrets, just like he didn’t know mine. We’re here now and that’s all that matters. Right?”
I thought about how ironic it was that Scott did know her secrets. Did she really know his? I decided not to ask, since I had a few of my own to worry about. Lacy didn’t seem to know how I had gotten my head bashed in or that I was a flaming faggot who had sex with her now dead brother a few days ago. My life had become a soap opera playing on a channel that was only available in my own head. And in a strange way I was starting to like it.
“Right,” I say as the bus pulls into the station and we grab our bags, stumbling off the bus with no destination in mind but straight ahead.
A month in San Francisco can fly by as seamlessly as the pages turn in the latest issue of Vogue. It had been my favorite magazine since I was a little boy and I used to pronounce it Vog-ew, until my mom corrected me. We used to flip through the new issue together when it would come in the mail and get lost in the world of super models like Rosie Vela, Susan Hess, Kelly LeBrock and Iman. The latest collections by Perry, Calvin, Ralph and Bill would be scrutinized until not a single dimple tuck or pressed pleat escaped my notice. That was along time ago. Back when I still had a mom.
I hadn’t called home the entire time Lacy and I had run away. Then one day I woke up and the urge struck me, almost like the need to take a piss, only not quite as intense. I stumbled out of our hotel room and down the hallway to the pay phone. I placed the collect call, amazed I could still remember the number after having not dialed it in so long and spied a can of Bud on the floor. Without even thinking, I picked it up and swigged down somebody else’s lukewarm backwash, wiping the dribble off my chin with my tongue.
My father’s voice harpooned into my head and I found myself unable to say anything.
“Who is this?”
I was frozen. Then a bit of courage came.
“Dad, it’s me.”
“Yeah dad, its Jay. How is everything?”
He didn’t say anything for almost a moment, during which time I sat similarly stoned into silence. Then his soft, whimpering cries carried through the receiver as I fought the urge to hang up.
“What’s wrong dad?”
“Your mom died a few weeks ago. She got drunk and drove her Cordoba into the neighbor’s porch. Ever since you ran away, she took up drinking big-time.”
“I’m sorry dad, but you have no idea why I had to leave in the first place.”
“Yes I do.”
“I know that you were doing all sorts of faggot shit at school and that poor boy hung himself after you outed him to his dad. How could you do that to your best friend Jay?”
“Dad, it wasn’t like that, but I have a feeling there’s no convincing you. Yes, I’m a fag. I’m sorry to fuck up your life, but it’s nothing compared to how fucked up mine was and still is.”
I wanted to ask him if he had heard anything about Ewan, but never got the chance.
“Don’t ever call this house again...faggot!”
The phone went dead in my ear and all I could do was look across the hall for more half empty bottles of bud. None spotted. I race back to my room and change into some suitable street clothes, then headed off for the liquor store downstairs from the hotel.
I jump down the stairs unaware of the tears racing down my cheeks. I rush out of the building not realizing that I am screaming. I explode into the store like a firecracker on overdrive and look over the booze selection behind the counter. Gin? No. Vodka? Too hard on my already fucked up stomach. Tequila? I can’t deal with how aggressive I get when I blackout on Cuervo. I go for the Jaeggermeister and ask for the biggest bottle, producing a crisp hundred-dollar bill as it gets placed on the counter. I could hardly wait to unscrew the cap and chug it down.
The sales clerk hands me my change and offers a look of mild malcontent, which I ignore as I slip out of the store. In a flash, I’m in the hotel lobby, the bottle pressed to my lips and spilling its numbness down my obliging throat. I stumble up the stairs and crash into our room, Lacy still asleep on the single bed we share under our one window. The room is square shaped with high ceilings. Besides our bed, there is a dresser and a small standing closet. Next to that is a dinky, stained porcelain sink and medicine cabinet making a valiant last stand. After a year of living in a shoebox, we had learned to make the most of it and there were several rave posters and colorful club invitations pinned all over the walls in an effort to liven things up.
I jumped on the bed and tried to nudge Lacy awake. She had been doing a ton of Quaaludes last night and I was actually amazed she was even breathing. After almost ten minutes I gave up and finished the bottle of Jaeggermeister, tossing it once empty onto the floor. I noticed a letter next to Lacy, half tucked under her back. I fish it out and hold it close to my face, the alcohol starting to cloud my vision. As I begin to read it, Lacy stir’s, then settles back into sleep. It’s a good thing cause I’ve just gotten to the part where Ewan has told her he’ll be coming to San Francisco in a few days and will meet her at the hotel.
I flip the letter over to the front and check for the date. Just as I feared, it’s from a week ago. Ewan could show up at the door at anytime. My mind was reeling, questions and fear colliding. Had Lacy been in contact with Ewan the entire past month? I didn’t think she knew what had happened with Scott and Ewan and I in the shower. But now I wondered. Did Ewan know I was here? Had he told Lacy about how I called his dad? Was he coming to get me? This shit was fucked up and Lacy had some serious explaining to do.
“Lacy. LACY! Get the fuck up!”
She stirred with twitch like movements, spasms really, until she lifted her head from the pillow and faced me. She was obviously still fucked up from the ludes, but when I held the letter from Ewan in front of her face, she woke up immediately.
“Where’d you get that?”
“I found it on the bed. You were sleeping on it. Lacy?
“Is there something I should know about? Because if there is, then I have some stuff I need to tell you.”
“Jay, I already know everything. I always have. Scott told me while you were in the hospital. He was completely freaked out by what had happened.”
“Did he tell you that he raped me?”
“He told me that if he didn’t follow Ewan’s lead he would have pretty much ended up like you.”
“And you believed that.”
“I have to. He was my brother and no matter what kind of fucked up shit he was involved in, I wanted to support him. Besides, you didn’t see what he was like after the whole thing. He was a walking basket case. Couldn’t eat, sleep, stayed home from school. My parents were totally freaked.”
“Lacy, I know why Scott killed himself.”
“I know about the phone call you made to my dad Jay. I told you, I know everything. Ewan told me that my dad made a scene with Scott and said a lot of horrible things to him. I mean, you know my dad, he’s not big on public displays of affection, especially between men. Next day, they found Scott dead.”
“So if you know all this, how can you still keep in touch with Ewan, much less invite him here to San Francisco? Why did you take me to San Francisco if you knew everything that had gone down?”
“Because I love him Jay. No matter how fucked up he is, I still can’t imagine being without him. I thought I could. That’s why I thought of the two of us running away together after I’d heard that Ewan had beat the shit out of you too. I figured if anyone needed an escape hatch as much as me, it was you. But I’ve missed him so much since we’ve been here. Anyway, I’m the one who should be pissed off. After-all, you’ve been keeping secrets from me too!”
She was right; I was just as guilty. I was also extremely drunk. The room was spinning and it was all I could do to make it over to the sink and puke up a stomach full of Jaegger. I spun around, but everything seemed to spin the opposite direction. I heard Lacy call out my name just as my head collided with the dresser on my downward spiral and blacked out to the final image of her face floating above mine, looking puzzled and smiling wearily. What a fucking spas you’re thinking and I couldn’t agree with you more. Blacking out on a regular basis was certainly not agreeing with me.
I dreamed for almost an hour, looking back at the people, places and events that had lead us here. We had spent most of the past month immersing ourselves in San Francisco club culture. The city was in the grips of a complete punk movement and it was a blast losing ourselves in alter identities brought on by crazy color hair and Vivienne Westwood Haight Street knock-offs.
Turns out, Lacy had stolen a huge wad out of her dads wallet. Still, it only took us about two weeks to go through three hundred dollars. We spent almost every night at a club, listening to bands and becoming experienced alcoholics. Our drinking had become monumental in its scope and pitiful in its debauchery. I had become highly skilled at projectile vomiting, whilst Lacy was falling deeper and deeper into the mass assortment of party favors available.
She had a bit of a coke thing for awhile, but Quaaludes had quickly become her drug of choice. I couldn’t argue with her about it though because it was supporting our lazy asses. Going out all night left us in no condition for an actual McJob, so Lacy took to selling ludes while we were out. Since everyone was a fucking coke freak, we did banner business, supplying the quick come down that so many craved. Thing is Lacy was doing as many as she was selling, leaving her in a constant state of tapioca like flux that made me her constant handler. She simply couldn’t be counted on to make it home after a night of hardcore partying.
The more I had to watch over Lacy’s ass, the less fucked up I could get. This was seriously cramping my style and as I found myself increasingly unable to do my own thing, my resentment towards her began to fester. I guess the reason I was thinking about all this is because the first person I faced upon coming to, was Ewan and I wanted to figure out if I had ever done anything horrible to Lacy as to deserve this unwelcome intrusion.
I was propped up on the bed, with Ewan straddling me. Lacy was nowhere to be seen, so I focused all my attention on Ewan, mustering as much false courage as I could in my clouded and inoculated state. Funny, I had expected him to be as mad as an abused pit-bull, but the smile spread across his face was hardly menacing. He was stroking my chin and it was actually starting to feel good as my growing boner attested. Without even thinking I started to rub my crotch against his ass, slowly dry humping the very person who was most likely about to kill me.
“So you’re finally awake, huh?” Ewan grabbed hold of my mouth and squeezed it hard, forcing driblets of drool to escape my lips before words could. Maybe I was dreaming, but my face felt hot, as if I was blushing through a sunburn and Ewan’s knee shifting into my groin was the wake-up call I wasn’t exactly looking for. He got up off me and walked over to answer the door, which I hadn’t even heard knocking. Lacy was soon in the room, swinging a bottle of Corona from her fingers and a look of discontent from her face.
“How’d you get in here?” she asked as Ewan closed the door behind her.
“I told the guy downstairs I was your boyfriend and that you were expecting me,” answered Ewan as he grabbed the beer from Lacy, took a deep swig and then kissed her hello with a mouthful of backwash. So much for hotel security I thought as I swung my legs off the bed and made a feeble attempt to stand up, promptly falling on my ass in the process.
“Nice move shit licker,” said Ewan as Lacy took my place on the bed and dumped the contents of her purse out on top of the mattress. An avalanche of make-up, candy, movie ticket stubs condoms, loose cigarettes and other assorted sundry spilled out. She sifted through it all, obviously looking for something. Finally she came across her quarry, a small zip-lock baggie full of ludes. Ewan picked me up and deposited me on the bed next to Lacy as if I was so much tissue paper. There was a good full moment of silence until he finally spoke, but it was hardly music to my ears.
“So fag boy, what’s it like to have your best friends dead body on your conscience?” said Ewan as he fished two ludes out of Lacy’s hand and swallowed them dry.
How do you fucking thing it feels asshole? I tried to adjust to everything happening around me. I looked deep down into my heart, my beer shaped heart, which would sooner suck down a fifth than try to salvage anything from my soul and realized I hadn’t thought about Scott until earlier today when I confronted Lacy about Ewan’s letter. I was so busy living inside of my own fucked up shell, hoping that everything would never catch up with me, that his words sliced through me like Drano cutting through a clog.
I looked back at all the lies I had told and the deceit I had indulged in over the past few years. It seems I had become so comfortable within my own tangled web, I had no idea that it had become impossible for me to escape it. The trouble was, I didn’t know if I even wanted to. I had spent the past month with Lacy just kicking back and getting loaded, ignoring the carnage we had left behind and content with whatever new destruction that came our way. Funny, even though I was fucked out of my gourd, I was starting to feel something that hadn’t been present in my sad excuse for a life in a long time. Hope. Pure, simple, unadulterated hope.
I looked at Ewan and forced a smile, more for my benefit than his and noticed that Lacy had pulled out a fresh bottle of Seagram’s that they were passing back and forth. The three of us sat on the bed for almost an hour, them drinking themselves into stupidity and me biding my time. Ewan never started in on me as I expected, so I lost myself in their drunken haze, even accepting a swig from the bottle when he passed it my way. Finally, the moment I had been waiting for arrived. The combination of scotch and Quaaludes kicked into hyper drive, with Lacy being the first to fall victim. As she nodded off, Ewan just chuckled at her, finished the bottle and reached for me. As his hand fell loosely upon my leg, so did the rest of his body, one big unmoving mass of grotesqueness.
I waited a few moments, until I heard his muffled snores and realized he was out like a light. For the first time in my life I thanked God that I hadn’t felt the need to get completely fucked up. I eased myself from under his dead weight and got up from the bed. I gathered the few things I had managed to acquire over the past month and slowly walked to the door. I never even looked back. I had a mental picture already formed in my brain and nothing was going to take that away from me.
The image I left with was of Ewan and Lacy passed out on the bed and not even realizing I was gone once they woke up. Sure, they might look for me, but they would never find me considering where I was planning on going. Whoever would of thought I was about to walk out of one of the worst chapters of my life and into another that will prove to be one of the strangest imaginable. As I got to the hotel lobby I scanned the bulletin board and found what I was looking for. I left the hotel and raced across Market Street. I didn’t have much time. After all, I didn’t want to be late for my first AA meeting.
Have you ever considered getting sober? Well it’s the reality I’ve been trying to live in ever since I left Ewan and Lacy that day in the hotel. I’m eighteen now and have just over sixty completely sober days under my belt. I’m known as the relapse queen. I’ve been in the rooms for almost three years and this is the first time I actually got to sixty days. I must’ve had like fifty relapses, but I knew I would make it eventually. Oh yeah, in all that time, I never ran into Ewan or Lacy. Trippy, huh?
I can remember my first meeting as if it was yesterday. I was so fucking scared to even go in the building; I circled it like nine times. I finally walked in just before it started and was relieved to find it was a gay men’s meeting and hello, there were actually a lot of cute guys in the room. I looked for an available seat and settled into the only one available, next to this really cute guy in the front row. He was smiling at me as I creeped over. It was obvious I was still fucked up from earlier in the day and even I could smell the booze on my breath. Child, I was not pretty.
He was however and I swear to God that if he hadn’t of kept smiling at me I would have gotten scared shitless and ran out of the meeting instead of having to sit in the front row on display for everyone to see at my first AA meeting. Oy! Anyway, I sit down and try to play it cool by completely ignoring him. This is hard because he is majorly fierce. Ultra correct. Turns out he’s not having it. After a few meeting I learned that it’s easy to sniff out the newcomer as most of these get-togethers become rather cliquey. I must have stunk to the high heavens of newcomerness cause he introduces himself to me and grabs my hand in this super firm handshake and says his name is David.
I look at him and smile. He smiles that killer smile back. I’ve got a beyond boner, but he never looks down at my crotch. Instead, he holds my eyes within the grip of his and continues to shake my hand for what must be going on three minutes as he asks me endless questions but never really gets to the point. As far as I’m concerned that is. I want him to lean over and kiss me, but the secretary calls the meeting to order by introducing himself as an alcoholic and drug addict and then gives his first name, which I found really strange at the time. Next, the twelve steps and twelve traditions are read. Then the secretary asks any newcomers in their first thirty days or just out of a treatment program to introduce them-selves.
What kills me is he says it’s not to embarrass us, but to let everyone get to know us. Right. Like I’m actually going to fall for that. I come from the school of they’re all gonna laugh at you, so all this let’s be friends and shit is making me kinda nervous. David leans into me, but instead of that kiss he whispers in my ear that I should introduce myself. Without even thinking I rudely interrupt some other poor blubbering queen and say “Hey, I’m Jay. Oh yeah, I’m totally fucked up.” This draws a few laughs and a couple of rude stares, but who the fuck cares. What really mattered was everyone applauded me. The fucking entire room fucking clapped their hands and say hi Jay. I could have died.
I didn’t even realize I was standing up until David gently tugged me down to my seat by my back pocket. I looked around the room and soaked in the fact that I had just announced to the world that I was a fucking drug addict and it totally blew my mind. I was like, shit, that was way weird, but way cool at the same time. It released this burden from me. It released every single lie and fucked up thing that had happened and it allowed me to start all over again. It reformed my beer shaped heart into something I could actually start to feel again and not try to hide from.
I leaned over and kissed David. It completely surprised him and to my embarrassment he jumped back. Without one word he told me everything I needed to know. I was jumping the gun as usual and I suddenly realized that what lay before me wasn’t about my dick anymore. Or drinking. Or even being fierce. It was time to start the healing and as I mouthed the words I’m sorry to David, he smiled back and whispered that it was OK. I lost myself in the speaker and thought about the future. And now I’m here. Sixty days sober and guess who I’m going on a date with tonight? No, not David. That would be too ironic even for me.
I’m going on a sober date with someone I met out of the rooms who also happens to be on the wagon. Cool, huh? Life’s been funny like that a lot lately. The longer I stay sober, the more correct things keep coming my way. This is my first date since I started going to AA. I had to live on the street for along time, but eventually managed to float my way through enough halfway houses to keep a roof over my head. Now I’m in my own room, albeit not in a sober house, although for the moment I’m handling it all pretty well. All I know is I thank God that I got a second chance and it was so easy for me. Sometimes when you stop fighting everything so hard it all really can work out for you.
All I needed was that one moment of clarity, where I could actually feel hope. My beer shaped heart was now close to normal. Not completely. That might never happen. But at least I’ll never give up trying. And that’s all I can do. That and believe. Believe in what? Everything, but especially love, which is what I try to shower on myself every day now and on everyone I encounter in my life. I don’t always succeed, but that’s not the point. I don’t even care what the point is or if their even fucking is one. Let me just go out by repeating that I believe. In all of you. Every single mother fucking one. Now go get down with your bad self and thanks for listening to my story. over. and out.