I am a creature of cycles. Short term rituals created, followed, broken, started again.
I am nineteen years old and terrified of not being normal.
If I learned anything from my three years at Torpor Heights, it's that I'm a pussy closet case homo. While fooling around with Victor, I'd publicly dated Kate, who I dumped for Beckee because dumping a fat chick for a skinny artist girl with purple hair makes you look straighter. When I dumped Beckee on Valentine's Day, I told everyone I'd gotten back together with Jennifer, but the truth was I was in lust with Victor, and didn't want to be distracted by fake dating. But that got too dangerous, so I stopped talking to Victor without explanation, redated Beckee, redumped her for Jennifer (this time for real). Jennifer, Beckee, Victor, Jennifer, Beckee, Victor, sorry, sorry, sorry.
When Jennifer came back from Europe pregnant with someone else's child, I knew our cycle was broken. But I still used her name as a place holder at college. Jennifer, My Girlfriend Back Home. And now here is Alex. Salvation in sunglasses. Fluid as sulfur water. Of course I am going to do right by him.
I have an appointment with my guidance counselor two days after my horrible Thanksgiving with my grandparents. The plan is to look at next semester's classes and make some minor changes.
"What is this?" I ask my counselor, the head of the Education Department.
"Your schedule for next year."
"These are all English classes. I'm an Education Major."
He blurs his words at me. "excellent grades" "natural ability" "problems in your elementary education class" "try it for a semester"
"I don't want to be an English major here." I say, nearly in tears. "I could have been an English major back at home." You can't fall out a window in Massachusetts without landing in a four year college with an exceptional English department. "I came here to major in Deaf Education."
"Well, we can see how next semester goes and---"
"No. No." Flurry of words "transfer" "paperwork" "so out of here" "sucks"
"¿okay?" Alex asks, when I see him in the dining hall.
"no - college bad - hate everything"
Frog eyed Alex. Fucken bloodshot probably high frog eyes. "slow down - ¿happen?"
"must leave" I say, and pick up my bag.
He probably assumes I just mean the dining hall, which is why he doesn't follow me.
I don't return his e-mails. I make it a point not to be in the room when I think he might stop by. I don't answer the phone ever. My roommate thinks this has something to do with a screaming match I have with my grandfather when I tell my family that I'm not coming back to Sulfur City after New Year's, that I'm transferring to UMass Cranberry Lake. Let him think that.
Matt is the only person I say goodbye to besides my teachers. He is the only person I say goodbye to that I don't sneer at when I say it.
Back in Cranberry Lake, I take a job at a place called Raspberry Records. I take a full course load at UMCL. I get in touch with Saint. I start writing again. My tan fades. My blood thickens. I have mostly forgotten Florida by February when I receive a postcard from Alex. The front of the card has a Brazilain man laying on his back, his huge cock filling out his Speedo, and in white bubble letters it says "An ounce of image is worth a pound of performance." On the back Alex scribbled out a note "Saw this card and thought of you. The biggest cock I know." I know he's not talking about my endowment.