The computer lab where I check my e-mail plays a loop of about ten songs. Usually Eminem’s “Mocking Bird”, Destiny’s Child’s “Soldier”, something by Mariah Carey (sometimes a new one, sometimes a classic...tonight it was “Emotions”), a 50 Cent track, and other assorted hip-pop. Tonight, I heard Aerosmith’s “Don't Want to Miss a Thing” seven times in there. Which is odd enough, but I’d heard the song on my way to work via someone else’s loud headphones, and then again at work, sandwiched between Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” and Nine Inch Nails’s “Only”. Why is BCN playing Aerosmith? I like it, but what the fuck? It doesn’t fit in the playlist.
And the song...in 1998, after my first boyfriend killed himself, after I tried to recuperate by fucking as many strange men as I could meet over The Internet, I got kidney stones. While I was recovering, out of my mind on Demoral, I’d accidentally bought a plane ticket for a strange gay kid in Georgia. And we ended up roommates and sort of lovers, and it had been a huge mess. The thing is, I don’t remember ordering him the plane ticket. I don’t remember the car trip home from the airport. Whether he smelled like cigarettes even then. Whether he smiled. I don’t remember the last thing he said when I put him on a bus back to North Carolina, a month later. But the day I woke up with a Demoral hangover, and a voicemail message reminding me to pick Elvis up at theairport, I heard the song “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” six times between Hyannis and Boston.
I’m not complaining. Sure, it’s pretty bombastic as far as Aerosmith songs go. Yea, it’s by far their most popular song, without actually being one of their best. Still, I like it. It was a guilty pleasure in a summer of guilty pleasures, Elvis, definitely included. But the point is, the song. It was all over the radio that summer. So romantic, so winsome. I was on my way to pick up a complete stranger, a gay complete stranger, a gay complete stranger who was coming specifically to spend time with me, and this horrifically cheesy operatic rock ballad is playing all the time. It should have been our song. We should have been happy, and so in love we couldn’t bear to be apart, especially when the government asked him and my father to fly into space to blow up that meteor coming to destroy the Earth. But it didn’t work out that way. I ended up wanting to hurtle him into space dick first into the meteor. I was afraid his head may actually crack through it.
As soon as the relationship went bad, I stopped listening to the radio. I wasn’t weepy, or violently angry. I was just afraid that if I heard that stupid song that should have been ours, I would have to climb inside the radio, shake Steven Tyler by the frilly things that hung from his sleeves, and say “Love like that doesn’t exist you fucken asshole. And I know you didn’t write that song, but fuck you for singing it and making me believe that sort of love was out there waiting for me.”
By the time the summer ended, the song had completely faded off the playlists of the radio stations I listened to. Mr. Tyler must have known what the consequences of me hearing that song would be. So, for years, I’d banished that song to the part of my brain where Celine Dion and Meatloaf lyrics hibernated. And during those extremely rare times when I smoked a joint or drank to excess, I tried really hard to fry the cells in that particular section of my brain.
Tonight, the song is back with a vengance. During its seventh revolution at the computer lab, I look at the clock, and see it’s about time for me to go catch one of the last buses of the night. I put my notebooks in my bag, and my skin starts to bristle, in a good way. Air conditioner in Miami on an August day bristling. I have this smile, like I know the world loves me for a change. This can only lead to disappointment. I’m thinking of picking up some pizza on the way home for my new roommate. I don’t like her, and I’m fairly certain that she doesn’t like me, but pizza makes friends of almost everyone.
I’m on my way out of the lab when I hear the hottest, most intriguing voice in the world saying “Baby” in a way so sexy, I have to turn to see who God blessed with such a power of inflection, and it’s Ben.
Fuck home, fuck my roommates, I’m an asscat, and Ben’s voice is a can opener. I follow him to a trendy bar down the street called The Anorexic. It’s trendy in that horrid way. A room half-full of mismatched wannabe scenesters drinking their shitty beers and trying to look and talk cool. There’s a lot of people wearing argyle socks on their arms, in place of sleeves.
“Do you serve wine here?” Ben asks.
The bartender points to the wineglass sitting in front of another customer. “No, he brought that in from next door.”
“Is it any good?” Ben asks the guy with the wine glass in front of him.
“The white is ok.” The guy says. “But I wouldn’t drink the red.”
“I guess I’ll have the white then.”
“Sorry, this bar only has one wine glass.” The bartender says.
But his wisecrack is drowned out by the other wine drinker, who says “White wine at a bar? What are you, some kind of homosexual?”
“I’m the best kind of homosexual.” Ben replies.
“Can I take you home and take naked pictures of you?” The other wine drinker asks.
“Sorry,” Ben replies, tilting his head. “I’m gonna be famous soon. Naked pictures would be scandalous.” And he pays for his wine, and we move to the other side of the bar.
We’re about a minute and a half deep into a conversation about Ben’s impending New York trip when Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” clicks on the jukebox.
“¿w-t-f?” I sign. “¿song everywhere ― s-t-e-v-e-n t-y-l-e-r dead?” And I have to be careful, because I made a joke about Nell Carter’s death in 2003, and she had a fatal heart attack that very night. So I attempt to steer the conversation in another direction, but Ben is clearly the coxswain tonight, and he leads me down a different current of conversation, and soon we’re walking out of The Anorexic, headed to a better bar. A guy he knows and is attracted to, who isn’t me, is sitting at the corner table. While Ben and I discuss our various relationships with older men and younger men, his eyes keep darting toward this other guy.
“I don’t want to date an older man.” He says. “They’re always going to go on about achieving my potential. And I already have an internal voice saying that all the time. I don’t need another one.”
I want to say I would never go on and on about your potential. You’re an amazing artist, and sure if you worked a little harde....fuck. but I’m not quite that awkward, and I know his comment wasn’t about me. Maybe it’s the four rum and Cokes I had before I went to the computer lab, or perhaps the Soco and Cokes from the Anorexic, but I’m starting to get jealous of the way he’s looking at this other guy. I make some lame joke about the guy who offered to take naked pictures, and Ben says he needs to take new pictures for his LiveJournal page. “I’ll take your picture.” I say. “I’ll even make sure you keep all your clothes on.”
So we’re back at his house, me with his digital camera in my hand, taking picture after picture after picture. I hate the way I see a perfect shot, and the digital camera waits three seconds, thereby getting a completely different, never as good shot. Every picture is at the wrong angle, in the wrong light. “My face is too fat.” Ben says. “My forehead is gigantic. Like that Pixies song. Gigantic. Gigantic. My big big head.”
“Your head is not gigantic.” I say.
“It is. I’ve totally got that great big gay guy head, where it looks like the guy’s Godzilla sized head is in a battle with the rest of the body for supremacy, and the head is winning.”
“You do not. Your head is fine. It’s your jaw that’s too cleft for your face.” I’m being an asshole. His jaw is cute.
“I don’t want to be cute.” He says, as if I made the last comment out loud. “I want to be hot. My hair is too fuzzy duckling head. Look at it bounce. Why is my head so big?”
And I think, but do not say, because whenever I’m around you, I inflate it. “Your head’s not that big. It’s not like ten years from now I’m going to have to e-mail you from New Zealand, saying ‘Dear Ben, I was in the ocean taking pictures of a pod of dolphins, and somehow your face is in every frame.’”
“I’ll write back ‘Sorry, I’m in the Australian Bush.’”
I was going to say he was in Cleveland, but I let it slide.
“I’m beautiful in motion.” He says. “But I’m ugly in stills.”
“You’re not ugly. You’re hot.”
“Keep telling me that.” He says. “Eventually, I’ll believe it.”
You’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful and I know that you’re going to destroy me you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful you’re beautiful
“I’m tired.” He says. “We’ve taken how many pictures, and only five of them don’t suck. I’ll hate two of them by tomorrow morning.”
Rufus the Asscat hops on the bed. Ben grabs him into a super bearcat hug. “Oh, let’s take a couple of me and Asscat. I love when you’re holding onto a cat, and they know they’re trapped, so they just tense up and wait for you to let them go.” Ben says. “It’s like OW!!! Fucken cat!!! Hsssssssssssssssssssssssst.”
Rufus leaps from the bed and into the kitchen.
“Man, that’s deep.” He says, showing me his sliced finger.
“Hey, Asscat,” I shout at Rufus, who is peeking around the corner, “how would you like to be drumskin?”
“You know he’s thinking, how would you like to be a colander?, right?” Ben asks.
I laugh. My head falls onto Ben’s bed. We scan through the pictures I’ve been taking one more time. I never captured him quite right. He’s so beautiful, and these pictures of him are so pedestrian. I am the older man who wants him to live up to his fucken potential, as though potential were a goal and not a starting point.
I try and figure a way to work I love you into the conversation, but the playlist is high school memories and internet celebrity. Eventually, we wind into a discussion about exes, and he’s talking about his HIV positive ex, and I’m rambling about Ryan, and surely I love you would fit anywhere around here. But it doesn’t. It’s too cumbersome. It doesn’t match the decor. I love you is the perfect couch to sit on, but we’re decorating the kitchen. So I say “Dear Ben, I am in my subconscious, taking pictures of all the men I’ve ever loved, and somehow your face is in every frame.”
Like a pedophile's inappropriate erection at a YMCA pool, Elvis kept popping up. Three years post-Rex, I was living in Burlington in a house full of "creative types" (read: potheads with enough money to buy musical instruments, paintbrushes, and poetry journals). For a couple of months, I was the only person in the house with a computer, so I put it out in the den to make it a public computer. I deleted all the pornography, and wiped the history file clean of anything that could ruin someone's day.
About a week into it being a public computer, I checked the history file to see what people were looking at. I found an assortment of online comics, the complete lyrics and tablatures to Phish and Ween, a how-to guide about Section 8 living, and Gay.Com.
I was not the only out homosexual in the house. There were up to seven of us living together at any given time, and at this particular juncture there was me, one bisexual guy (no, not ever, not if his cock tasted like Smarties, and his ass felt like gelatin...well, maybe if his ass felt like gelatin, but it didn't, so the point is he was gross), and one decidedly dykey lesbian. Oh, and we think the cat was a little fey, too.
At any rate, I had never seen gay.com before. I'd visited the personals on PlanetOut, and seen an assortment of real porn sites, but I'd never stumbled over that infuriating little spike on the information superhighway known as Gay.Com. So of course, I started clicking. Everywhere. Guys here, guys there, looking for this, look at my cock, I want a man who dresses in purple bunny suits and likes to be peed on while reading Martha Stewart Living, etc. I was enthralled. And then...I saw him ByronElvisSeithRex. His hair...his hair was styled EXACTLY like mine, it was my color (it had not been when we were together). He looked like a thinner, better-looking version of me. So much so, that when I showed the website to a friend, she asked if he was my little brother. Ga.
I haven't been back since.
Occasionally, his name would pop in a conversation with someone who knew me back when we were together. I started writing about him in the hopes of exorcising him completely from my life.
I moved from Burlington back to Boston, and spent two years not thinking about him much. Then I moved from Boston to Pieceofshitdeserttown and knew I would never have to see his face again. We were both older, and...why am I trying to build up tension here, you know what's coming.
A couple of weeks after I returned to Boston, I resorted to porn. Well, not exactly resorted, more like camped out at a cheap motel, or hoboed. I put some phrases into Kazaa and started downloading. The first three files were very porny. I found myself more amused than turned on. Began contemplating writing a porno script, so I began to put in common porn theme ideas into the search feature: pizza delivery boy, plumber, behind-the-scenes, poolboy, etc.
The sixth video I successfully downloaded was a plot-porn. The first two "characters" were discussing a third. The two were amazingly hot. I really didn't think I was going to make it to the third character when they showed him: Elvis.
The turtle pulled in his neck, the boys decided it was too cold and went home, someone let the slack off the line...my cock was Droopy the Fucken Dog and it said "Going down, sir. Sub basement level, sir."
It was at least an hour before I looked at porn again.
The little shit had stolen the limited edition U2 CDs I'd been given in Madison. He didn't even like U2. *breathe* *breathe*
A few days after Seith had gone home I got a call from the lovely people at Bowflex. They wanted to reconfirm that the machine I ordered should now be delivered to Southern State, and not my house.
I explained that they had the wrong person, I did not order a Bowflex, and the other person who lived at this number had moved to Southern State, and I had no way to contact him.
I send Seith an e-mail telling him the Bowflex people are looking for him, and that I want my CDs back.
He informs me that he tried to send my CDs back to me, but he accidentally put his address in the to: portion of the envelope. He'd try again in a few days.
I replied that you couldn't fit my CDs in an envelope, and I didn't understand why he would have to wait a few days. He had no job. He wasn't in school. Blah. I also asked him how his grandfather was, and how long he thought he'd be down there.
That pissed him off.
I got an angry e-mail back about how I treated him like he was stupid, and how he had decided to get back together with Poor Boy because Poor Boy always treated him right. He said he'd send me my CDs after I sent him his chinchilla.
If I could go back in time, I would have sent him Que Mal's corpse. I mean, really, had the chinchilla still been alive, how did he expect me to mail it to him? Also, I paid for the future fur coat, I even named it. I had only referred to it as his because it annoyed me, just like him.
We exchanged nasty e-mails for about a week before I blocked his eddress and tried to banish him from my memory. That was when his Dad called looking for him. We had a nice long chat. I told him that Seith had told me he had gone home. I'd even put him on a bus to Southern State. Seith's Dad informed me that Seith's Mom lived in Southern State, but he lived in An Even Southerner State. Seems he and Seith's Mom had gotten divorced a few months ago, and Seith hadn't taken it well.
I told him that Seith told me his dad had died when he was a kid, and that he lived with his mother and a stepfather who molested him. Seith's Dad was not amused. "Stepfather? Eleanor dumped me for a woman, not a man."
That little shit.
A month passed. Bowflex called me back looking for money. I reexplained that the person who ordered the Bowflex didn't live at this number anymore. "Is this insafemode?" "Yes." "You're listed as his credit reference. Should he default payment, it becomes your responsibility."
"I didn't authorize anyone to use me as a credit reference. I think you've made a mistake."
"Is your social security number xxx-xx-xxxx?"
That little piece of fucken shit. "Yes, but I did not agree to be a credit reference for anything. I didn't even know about it until you called to ask me about a change of address. Don't you need my signature or something to use me as a credit reference?"
"No. All we need is your social security number."
"That's bullshit. I didn't sign for anything. I didn't give anyone permission to use me as a reference." I hung up the phone and called Seith's Dad (God bless Caller ID), and began ranting about The Bowflex situation.
He called Bowflex and straightened it out. I made another effort to not let Seith be involved in my life in any manner. I invested myself in school, made some new friends, and began writing again. I tried not to write about Seith, but that was like trying not to inhale during a tour of a sewage treatment plant. You don't want to, but there's not much choice.
Big Gay Tom tried to fix me up with one of his friends, but I was crushing on a friend of my own.
After three months of celibacy, though, I caved. I called Big Gay Tom's Friend and invited him over to watch Good Will Hunting. We met at a nearby bar at around 7:00. He was pretty average looking, kind of shy, out but not proud. We had a few drinks, dinner, and then I gave him directions back to my place. "You live in Cranberry Lake Condos? I've been there before."
"Really? I thought I was the only one there under forty."
He turned rather red. "I've done some things I'm not proud of."
"Yea, me too."
We had a lot in common. Neither of us would ever be on the cover of GQ or Out magazine. We'd both gone through a bit of a whore phase at around the same time. We both knew Big Gay Tom, and we'd both had a huge crush on one of Tom's cute, straight friends.
We had another thing in common.
"Wait. How long have you lived here." he asked when I answered the door (he had stopped to pick up the video on the way).
"Ummm..about two years now."
"So --- you lived here last summer."
"Yea." I was staring at one of those Magic-Eye 3-D pictures. A shape was starting to form, but I couldn't yet make out what it was.
"Do you have a roommate?"
That little shit.
"I had a roommate."
"Yea. Let's pretend that we didn't have this conversation, though, ok?"
I came home to an empty house. No Seith. No Elvis. No Byron. No Mike. No Gina.
There was note on the counter from Mike:
Gina and I figured you might need some time to yourself, what with ElvisSeith being gone. We're going to spend the night at one of Gina's aunts' house.
You forgot to leave the door unlocked when you left, so Gina and I had to break in through the downstairs window. Don't think we did any damage but let me know if we did. You can call us at xxx-xxxx tomorrow morning. If we don't hear from you then, we'll see you at the show tomorrow night. It was so great the other night that we've decided to go again. Also, Big Gay Tom owes us a drink.
Thanks so much for letting us crash at your house for the past few days. It's been great spending time with you.
See you tomorrow night,
Mike & Gina
I sat at the piano and played for about an hour. It was three-thirty AM. I must have woken up a neighbor or two but nobody complained, which was a rarity in my neighboorhood. When I didn't want to play piano anymore I flipped through the TV stations. Nothing I wanted to watch. I went upstairs.
The carpet was beginning to smell. I went into the bathroom, got some carpet cleaner and powdered it up. Then I went into the bedroom.
This is the part of the story that seems contrived. I know this. It's true, though. When I got into my room I walked over to the chinchilla cage and pulled out Spider. The chichillas looked nearly identical, but could easily be told apart by the fact that Que Mal bleated almost constantly when he wasn't sleeping while Spider was hyper, but quiet. I played with Spider for a couple of minutes, letting him freak out and run around the room, and then decided to let Que Mal out.
Que Mal was asleep inside the little hutch thing that they slept in. I almost turned away to just let him sleep when I noticed the blood. Que Mal was not sleeping.
I've told various stories about how/why Que Mal died. They're all true to an extent. I'm just not sure which is the real truth. A couple of days after we I bought the chinchillas, Seith and I noticed them fighting. I was going to go separate them when I noticed that they weren't fighting at all. They were fucking.
Spider and Que Mal were both boys. We were assured of this when we bought them. After we noticed the fucking, I brought them to the pet store to make absolutely sure I hadn't accidentally purchased a chinchilla farm. They were both boys.
"Awwwww." Seith said, "They take after us."
Que Mal was always the fucker in the relationship. Spider, the fuckee. One of the ways I explain Que Mal's death is that he'd been raping Spider, and then on the night Seith left, Spider decided not to take it anymore, and --
It could be true.
There are other things, though. A day or so before Seith left/Que Mal died, I found the cord to my terrarium heater had been chewed almost all the way through. I figured Seith had been playing with the chinchillas, and one of them had chewed through it. It's possible that little Que Mal fried his brain on electricity and had a slow painful death (or a quick one, neither of us paid much attention to them the last two days), and Spider had either finished him off for reasons known only to him, or else -- I don't know. There was blood, something violent happened.
I really thought the Spider/Que Mal relationship was a metaphor for our own. I just don't know how.
In the sexual sense, I guess I was Que Mal the Fucker and Seith was Spider the Fuckee. Maybe this meant that Seith had succeeded in killing the dominant part of my sex life.
But Que Mal was definitely Seith's chinchilla, bratty, noisy, and pushing Spider (me) to his breaking point. I drove Seith out of my life while Spider put an end to Que Mal's.
I suppose it could be that Seith's playing with my temper/Que Mal chewing the cord did them both in.
I just don't know.
A couple of weeks after Seith left I gave Spider to a friend of mine who worked at an animal shelter. I was getting restless. Aching to move out of the house. Everywhere I went I saw Seith. He was in the bed. In the shower. In the fibers of the carpet. My life was every bad made-for-TV movie where the main character sees The One That Left Them's reflection in every surface. It wasn't until I started classes a few weeks later that I met someone who took the ElvisSeithByronRex weight off my mind.
There were officers everywhere. Hundreds of them.
Sleep ebbed away.
Maybe not hundreds. In fact, there were only six. Four cars, six officers. Seith was still passed out in the passenger's seat. I opened the door. Slowly.
If one were to take a picture of me at this point, I'd guess that my eyes comprised about 85% of my face. Until this weekend I had never had a run in with a police officer and now...Well, shit.
"Are you ok, son?" Officer #1 asks.
"Yes. Is something wrong?"
"They're trying to sweep the parking lot." Officer #1 points to a street sweeper vehicle. Officers #5 & 6 sigh and go back to their car and drive off. "They said they tried knocking on your windows but that neither of you would wake up. They thought you were dead."
"No. Definitely not dead. Tired. I was driving to the bus station and I started to fall asleep so I pulled in here to rest."
"Ok. Well, as long as you move the car to the side of the lot that they've already swept, you're welcome to go back to sleep."
"I don't think that's going to be possible for a while."
Officer #2 asked "What's wrong with your friend there? He hasn't moved since we got here."
"Seith?" No answer. "Seith." I leaned in to the car and shook him, sneaking in a pinch that I hope the officers didn't see.
"What the fuck? I'm tired!"
"These officers thought we were dead."
"Dead? What" He finally looked up, and around. "God, where are we? Were we in an accident?"
Officers three and four are now gone.
"No." I thank the officers, answer a few more questions, and fill in Seith as they drive away. Then I start the car and drive the rest of the way to the Big City Bus Station.
I don't remember whether or not I stayed until his bus showed up. I don't think I said or did anything captivating as he left. One moment he was in my car. The next I was on my way home.
I was born a child of rape. Never knew my parents, though I had a close encounter involving phone calls from my biological father when I was fourteen. It's not the sort of thing I think about every day of my life, but when it digs its way out of my subconscious and into my life, it colors every thought I have.
I'm balls deep in a boy who has caused me nothing but frustration for weeks. I don't love him. I don't even like him. At this very moment, I hate him more than I hate anyone else in the world. Is this rape?
While we're fucking in a chair, he has the tub running. Noah is in the bathroom putting two of every type of medication in a candy dish ark when I turn the faucet off. I mop up the floor with assorted types of towels and washcloths. Seith never apologizes. Doesn't help. When everything's dry again he gets in the shower. I have loaded the washing machine, and am in my room actively being frustrated. If I'd had any fingernails left, I'd be biting them. Seith starts "singing" something 'NSyncish. I mockingly yell at him to shut up. He starts "singing" louder. I rush into the bathroom and --
Somewhere between my bedroom and the bathroom, roughly ten feet, I have gone from mock angry to actually seething. Everything I let go of last night is back with a "He flooded the bathroom" cherry on top. I remember how good last night felt. I want that feeling back. Seith is the onlyone who can give that feeling back to me. In a few hours I will be literally driving him away from me. It's now or never. Is this rape?
Rape is "No. No. Oh, God, no." or silent tears or violence or someone not active in the sex. Fucking Seith is "Yes. Yes. Oh, God, yes." with bad porn line commands, his body pushing into mine. This is rough bathroom floor, I can't grip his body because he's soaked from the shower, water is beating against the wall of the empty tub, my heart is playing pinball and the ball is trying to bust out of my skull sex. Five minutes into it Seith says "Don't --" Everything freezes. This is where the camera pans around Matrix-style I see this moment from every possible angle and he says "Don't -- Slow down." But is it Don't. Slow down. or is it Don't slow down? "Don't -- Slow down -- I'm going to cum."
Reality is restored we both explode. The bathroom floor is a mess again, but this time I'll only need one towel.
This isn't Waterloo, but I've sent my personal demons to Elba for a while.
Time speeds up. Seith's bus is at ridiculous o'clock in the morning. Rather than leave it to chance that we'll miss it, I decide to drive us there early. It's roughly an hour from my house to the bus station.
I'm a speeder. I try and keep within ten miles of the speed limit when I think there's cops around, but when I feel safe, and the highway is straight enough, 85 seems like a reasonable speed. That's about how fast I was going when I noticed the flashers. Shit.
"License and registration." While the officer walks back to his car I realize that Seith and seethe are nearly homophonous. Four minutes pass in silence. Seith looks at his nails.
The officer comes back. Laughing.
"Rough night last night?"
I wasn't sure how to respond.
"I think you suffered enough for your sins last night. I'm going to let you off with a little advice: slow down, and get that headlight fixed first thing Monday morning." And he walked away.
Seith looked at me like Jesus had just stopped over the house for some cookies on the way to his second coming. "What was that about?"
"It's a long story."
We drove for about forty-five minutes when I realized I was falling asleep. Seith had been asleep since about five minutes after I was pulled over. I got off on the next exit ramp, pulled into a supermarket parking lot and fell asleep. When I woke up my car was surrounded by police officers.
There is no sex quite like angry sex.
I was pretty keyed up after being pulled over repeatedly on my way to get Seith some cigarettes. He was horny. Quel surprise.
I spent a good hour and a half ripping into him from every possible angle. When the anger over the police incident cleared, I reminded myself that he had lied to me about his dad dying. When I was no longer angry about that, I remembered how he had laughed at my cock. He wasn't laughing now. He was as into it as I was. It was one of those moments I was grateful not to have a headboard because it would have shattered against the wall.
Mike and Gina were in some far off galaxy. I didn't know whether they were home or not. I didn't care. I wanted to be loud, physical and angry. We're talking spanking, hair pulling, all those French Vanilla sex practices that the violent and uncreative get into. I even did a little nibbling. Grrrrrr.
The next thing I knew it was morning. The Last Morning. Seith was already awake and rifling through one of my closets. "Where's yer discman?"
Sometimes I'm a calculating bastard. He had asked about borrowing my discman as soon as he found out he'd be bussing it home. At the time, my discman was in my car, hooked up to my stereo system. Since that time I had removed it to the safety of the theatre. He was not getting my discman.
He tore up the house looking for it. He even went into the attic. He eventually settled for my $10 walkman and a bunch of crappy tapes I didn't want anyway. We had several hours before I had to drive him to Boston, and not a lot to talk about. He told me that he planned on coming back, so I mockingly suggested he leave his Playstation. He balked. We made sure absolutely everything that was his was in the car (while I was checking to make sure absolutely none of my stuff was in his stuff).
He decided to take a much needed bath before his long bus trip. While he was getting ready to bathe, I was chatting with an online friend. This friend said that Seith had been IMing him and talking about hanging out when Seith returned to Southern State. Online Friend was amused because Seith had been spinning his yarns about the model agency to him. Online Friend was a friend of one of my high school friends and he knew I was neither modeling material, nor a modeling agent. Apparently Seith had also told Online Friend that I was the best lay ever. Not bad for someone with a little cock, then, eh? He'd talked me up so much that Online Friend wanted to come up and visit. That never happened.
While I was talking, Seith came in, naked and not yet wet. He wanted one more romp time. I was no longer angry at the world. I had a sort of detached resentment/lust thing going on. So be it. I rolled my chair around and he climbed on top of me, moaning and grunting like the drunkest frat boy on the Tilt-A-Whirl. After about twenty minutes, we were both spent and messy.
We decided to bookmark our relationship by showering together. This time, the purpose would be to get clean. There was a slight snafu, though. Seith had left the water running during our escapades. Intentional? Maybe. Frustrating? Hell yes. The bathroom had about a half inch of standing water, and the hallway carpeting near the bathroom door was drenched. I used up all the towels, sponges, and paper towels in the house getting it dry.
Seith showered alone for about ten minutes before the thought of angry sex pulled me into the bathroom, him out of the shower and onto the floor, and me into him. This fuck was all about me.
Which brings us to the boundary of angry sex and rape. One that I'm not ready to cross just yet.
In the house that I live in now there is a picture above the computer of a naked man resting his hands on a desk. The woman seated behind the desk is coyly checking out his cock (which you can't see due to angle of the painting). I've been told by a few friends that this picture really creeps them out. I've seen that look before. Seith gave it to me on his final evening in the house. I was changing before I left for the play and Seith suggested an intimate warm up exercise. I declined.
The show was a mess that night. It went over really well, but so many odd things were going on backstage that you would have thought we were performing Noises Off and not The Rocky Horror Show.
There's a point in my solo where I have to run out through the audience, down two sets of stairs, through the lobby, through the dressing room, up two more flights of stairs so I can emerge from the stage again. On my way out through the audience, I got the leather jacket I was wearing caught on a railing causing me to flip down both sets of stairs. With no time to worry about my injuries, I ran the rest of the route, emerged from the stage, finished the song, and collapsed back stage in a Coke machine (as is part of the show). I rather fucked up my ankle. Luckily, the rest of the show I was in a wheelchair, anyway.
After the show was over, all I wanted to do was drive home and collapse. Actually, I would have preferred having someone else drive me home so I could collapse, but that wasn't an option. I had to drive Seith out of my life the next night.
Mike and Gina were asleep. Seith was not in his customary couch position, so I assumed correctly that he'd be naked on my bed with that look on his face.
"How'd the show go?"
Seith didn't give a shit about my show. Even before I committed my first Crime Against Seith, he'd made it very apparent that he didn't give a shit about the theatre work I was doing or my job. Both of which were fine by me. I tend to be happier with people who don't moon over what I do. Seith's asking me how my show went meant one thing: he wanted something other than sex. What was it? My car? A kidney? (I'd gladly give him the kidney that had housed the stones in it) The deed to my house? "Can you go get me some smokes?"
Had I not had the previous interior monologue wherein he was asking for a piece of my body, or my material wort, I might have been annoyed by his asking if, after a long day of carting his ass around The Peninsula, and then having to do a show. But a three minute drive didn't seem like an unreasonable request.
So I pulled out of the parking lot, and down to the end of my street. I took a left off my street and saw a cop car flashing its lights. I pulled over and waited for them to pass. They didn't pass.
"License and registration." Check. "Have you been drinking?"
"No. I just got home from work, and I'm going to pick up some groceries."
"At 1:30 AM?"
"Yes. I don't get out of work until 1:00."
"Do you know your left headlight is out?" Oh, right.
"Yes, I have an appointment on Monday to get it fixed."
"And you realize you don't have an inspection sticker."
"Yes, I do. I went to get my car inspected this morning, but because my left headlight was out, they couldn't give me one, so they put the temporary sticker on my car until they can install a new headlight and give me my real sticker."
"Well until then you're driving without an inspection sticker."
"No. I'm driving on a temporary sticker. It's good for 14 days."
"There are no temporary stickers. You either pass your inspection or you fail." At this point, his partner gets out of the car and walke over to the passenger's side. "So you're driving around without an inspection sticker."
Partner: "What are you talking about? He's got a temporary sticker right here." Thank you Good Cop, please get Bad Cop back in the car.
Bad Cop: "There's no such thing as a temporary sticker."
Good Cop: "Sure there is. If you fail your inspection you get fourteen days to fix the problem and get reinspected."
Bad Cop: "How long has it been since you got that sticker?"
"About fourteen hours. I told you, I have an appointment on Monday."
Bad Cop: "I'm going to have to write you a warning." Good Cop shakes his head and walks back to the car.
I toss the warning in my glove compartment and drive very legally down another road and take a right. About a quarter of a mile down the road I see more flashers. I live right around the corner from a police station, so I figure they're on their way to an emergency and I pull over. Wrong again.
"License and registration." Check. I also hand him the warning I received thirty-five seconds previously. He trudges back to his car. Calls in my info, and comes back. "Until you get this fixed, you're going to continue to be pulled over."
"Well, it's Saturday at 1:45 in the morning, I can't get anything done until Monday morning."
He lets me go.
I make it to the 7-11, and notice the cop car in the parking lot. *sigh* I go in, buy the Parliament Lights and some Cherry Coke, and get back in my car. As soon as I turn the key in the ignition, the cop car hits the flashers.
"License and registration." Lather. Rinse. Repeat. He lets me go.
I keep my brights on the whole way home, as the bright portion of my left headlight works fine. Just as I'm pulling back on my street, I see flashers again. It's Fucken Bad Cop again.
"License and registration."
"Again? You just pulled me over ten minutes ago."
"Oh. You. What are you doing back here?"
"I live here. I'm trying to get off the road and go to bed."
Sometimes I wear headphones to block the world out of my head. Other times I wear them to keep the good daydreams in. On the morning of Seith's penultimate day in my life, I was listening to a mix of Matchbox 20 and Third Eye Blind songs. I was directing better videos for them in my head when Seith knocked on the door. I feigned sleep. He went away.
About a half an hour later, Mike knocked on my door. He and Gina were headed out for some more sightseeing. They couldn't stand listening to Seith whine downstairs.
"What is he whining about?"
"Apparently his Mom wants to send him enough money for a bus ticket home, but Seith wants to fly."
"Tragic. I can't wait to see my phone bill."
It wasn't too long after they left that Seith knocked again. This time he would not be fased by my fake coma. "Hey." I did my best statue impersonation. "Hey, insafemode." I rolled over. "I knowwwwwww yer awayik. Wayk uhhhhhhup." I smacked my lips together as if still asleep. This is when the tickling started. I have never been ticklish. I get the tingling sensation that I assume makes other people laugh, but to me it's just a bit of a nuisance. Like a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Seith knew this. After about a minute of failed tickle warfare I felt a rather warm wet sensation near my leg. No, he wasn't peeing on me.
Due to Mike and Gina being in the house, and my playing the part of Asshole Who Won't Give Me Money in "The Sad, Tragic Life of Somebody Hayes," we hadn't had sex in days. I think Seith thought that this was a major factor in why I wouldn't give him money. He was a great lay, and all, but he wasn't that good. The licking of my leg ended up turning into a rather incredible blowjob. My dick, though, was the only part of me that I allowed to flinch. After five minutes or so, the licking stopped. I felt a hand wrap around my cock like a joystick. I made a mental note that if he squeezed even a little too hard, I was going to lift up my leg and slam him right in the nuts. He didn't squeeze. He decided to ride me. I decided this would be a good time to open my eyes and enjoy what I mistakenly figured would be the last time we fucked.
It was an amazingly intense way to spend an hour in the morning. It was the first time I'd ever been with a guy who came without either of us touching his cock. And he came gallons. I'd heard the couch creaking downstairs the past few nights. Just because we hadn't been having sex didn't mean he hadn't been having an intimate affair with his hands.
We took about ten minutes to recover our words, which had been so intimidated by our fucking, they had rushed out the door, eventually catching up to Gina and Mike on their sightseeing adventures.
Mike: "These vintage cars are amazing"
Gina: "Yea, I've never seen a Model A before."
Mike: "It says in this pamphlet that people used to believe that if you drove faster than 35 MPH you'd oh god, I think I'm gonna--"
Gina: "That's fascinating. I've always wondered what cars would look like if please, yes, right there, right--"
Mike "Probably like the Delorean in Back to the Future 3. I have to say you're better than my brother!"
When the words came back to us, they were tired. So was I, but I had a busy Friday ahead of me. It was the last day of August. The last day before the inspection sticker on my car expired. I had an appointment at the gas station at 11 AM. It was 10:30. "Shit. Seith, I've got to shower and take the car down to get a new inspection sticker."
"Ok. How long are you gonna be gone?"
"Ok. We've got to get to a bank at some point. Mom's wiring me money."
My vehicle passed the new emissions test with flying colors. In fact, everything on the car was flawless except the left headlight. I hadn't even noticed that it had gone out. Since they didn't have the type of light I needed in stock (this was the last time I didn't go to my mechanic for an inspection), they told me to come back on Monday. In the meantime, they put a special sticker on my car that was valid for 14 days.
I drove back to the house, picked up Seith, and began MoneyQuest 98. Seith had given his mother the name of the bank where I had my checking account, and, according to him, they were going to issue a bank check to him for the amount his mother wired him.
The people at the bank had no idea what he was talking about. They simply didn't do things like that. Back to the house we went, he called his mother. She was surprised that it hadn't gone through, called the bank, called us back and told us she'd try sending the money to another bank company. Unfortunately, their nearest branch was 45 minutes away. Back in the car, drive drive drive. We get to the bank and are informed that while their particular bank can't do that transaction, the branch down the street a couple of miles can, so we hop in the car and start to drive down the street. There's construction just outside the bank parking lot where a cop is directing traffic. As we drive by him, he motions for me to pull over. I do.
"Where's your inspection sticker?"
"Right there on the windshield."
"It doesn't look like an inspection sticker to me. It says 'temporary sticker good for 14 days.'"
"Fourteen days from when." He asked without a question mark.
There was no date on the sticker. "I just got it done about two hours ago."
"Sure you did. You must have some pretty bad luck then." This was true, but I assumed it was a rhetorical question and didn't answer. "Do you have your insurance, license, and registration?"
I did. I gave them to him. Everything checked out. "I'd advised you to fix whatever is wrong with your car today. If I see you again with that sticker on your car, I'm going to write you a ticket."
We pulled into the parking lot, Seith got out and went into the bank. Ten minutes passed. I got out and went into the bank. Seith was filling out forms, talking to the branch manager. It seemed like an awful lot of work. I interrupted their conversation to ask why it was so complicated just to wire money. He stopped and looked at me. "Wire money? He said he needed a bank check."
"Well, his Mom is wiring him some money. Shouldn't he just have to show his ID or just sign something or --" He had been lying again. There was going to be no money here. He made up some story about a bank check and --
"What's your mother's name?"
"Mother (I forgot her name) Hayes."
Click. Click. Click. Tapping of fingers. "OK, I'll just need you to sign right here, and I can give you the money."
"We could have done that at any bank in the country, couldn't we?"
"Well, any branch of our bank, yes."
I watched Elvis sign his signature. Elvis B. Hayes. My future as a registered sex offender trying to defend myself on Oprah faded into oblivion.
To his credit, he apologized about making me drive all over Cranberry Lake and the rest of Cape Cod. A very forgivable offense. I, too, have misunderstood some very simple directions.
I pulled out of the parking lot, and the cop motioned for me to stop and roll down my window.
"I told you if I saw you without that sticker again, I was going to have to write you a ticket."
"But, I had to go into the bank, I didn't even--"
Stupid deadpan motherfucken police officers.
Night fell like a one-legged hooker in high heel shoes. Que Mal was crying. ElvisRex was downstairs whining to his mother. Gina and Mike had come in, tuned out, and got back in their car for more sightseeing. I was trying to make sense of how I'd gotten myself to this point. I blamed Demerol. I blamed kidney stones. I blamed RexElvisSeith. I blamed myself. I blamed my parents for fucking. I blamed Kool & the Gang. Everyone in the entire world was responsible for me sitting upstairs in my room, trying to read a copy of Tom Robbin's Skinny Legs and All while Whateverthefuckhisnamewas sat down stairs whining to his mother about how he wanted to go home. Not a word about a grandfather.
This is when I got the sinking feeling. It was the last weekend in August and Seith was doing everything he could to get home. School. He'd lied to me about his name, his family history, his sex life, he'd even lied about his father dying. What if he'd lied about his age? What if he was some sixteen year old who'd somehow convinced his mother he was going to spend time with...I don't know anyone who raised this kid would either swallow just about anything or else just didn't care about him. For all I knew the ID was his brother's (not the fictional Stepbrother, but maybe a real one). I'd just assumed that since the his mother asked for Byron, and the ID said Elvis B. Hayes that the B stood for Byron. Maybe Elvis Beauragard Hayes was his older brother, and he was Byron Wizwell Hayes.
I envisioned courtroom melodramas, made-for-tv movies, his mother crying on Montel about how her poor innocent boy had been led astray by a 21 year old pervert who'd used his vast financial resources to fly RexSeithByronElvisWhatever up to Cranberry Lake to be a sex slave.
His profile said he was 18. I had a chatlog where he told me he was 18. I'd seen the ID he brought with him which stated he was 18. Until that moment I had never doubted he was 18. I was a moron. But I was a moron who probably hadn't done anything wrong in the eyes of the law. What was I supposed to do? Fingerprint him and take him to the police office? Ok, in retrospect, that would have been a wonderful thing to do.
I decided to go out for a drive to get away from the sound of his voice and his chinchilla's voice. A drive. A drive would clear my head for the moment.
This is the point in the story where the poor narrator goes out to clear his mind and ends up hitting a deer or running over a small child. Wouldn't that make the story great? Or at least interesting?
No dice. A Mormon casino.
I returned home somewhat calmer than I had been when I left. I didn't even talk to Seithvisronex, I just headed straight to bed. The bad car karma would come the next night. It would not be pretty.