Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
My room, no mater if it's in Burlington, Boston, Cranberry Lake, or Florida, is always an altar to the God of Dirty Laundry. I never bring food into the room, or allow other public health hazards, but laundry be it clean or dirty, nearly always covers the floor. Laundry, notebooks and papers. I'm thinking of having a scavenger hunt: put together a matching outfit AND organize the papers by poetry/novel/miscellaneous unsent letters, and you'll win an autographed copy of The Long Dark Teatime of My Cock.
Though my room looks like it's in complete chaos, I can always tell when something is out of place, or, as is the case on that weird-ass Burlington night, when there's shit that shouldn't be there; Say, for example, Ernie's clothes, and no Ernie.
I envisioned Ernie running naked through the two feet of snow drifts, his feet frostbite blue. I threw on my blue jeans, and a t-shirt, shirt, turtleneck, and sweater, grabbed Ernie's clothes and jacket and piled them by the door. I went upstairs to take a badly needed piss before I left. The shower was running, so I crept into the third floor bathroom, got rid of the Cherry Coke backlog, and headed outside.
There was no Ernie in the park. No Ernie by the lake. No Ernie downtown. I debated checking out the police station, but if he wasn't there, and he wasn't naked but maybe wearing some of my clothes, I didn't want to have to deal with police officers. The last place I checked was The Loop.
When Zach had first told me about The Loop, I had mistakenly thought it was some sort of drug reference. The Loop was actually the place where the gay guys in Burlington met for anonymous sex. Random guys would wander around the block until a car, van, or red pickup truck would pull over and ask if they wanted a ride somewhere.
As a guy who had invited strangers he'd "met" over The Internet into his house to fuck them, I was horrified at the idea of The Loop. But I could see how it had an appeal for someone like Ernie who was "straight" and without Internet access.
Though The Loop was the logical place to find him, he wasn't there. He'd had more than enough time to have already been picked up.
I went home, tossed Ernie's clothes in my room, checking to see if he was back in either my bed or the living room futon. No.
I went upstairs to run some hot water over my cold ass, but it seemed someone had beaten me to the idea. I went downstairs to think and write for a while. Ten minutes later the person was still showering. I wondered if it was the same person who was showering when I'd left for ErnieQuest 2001 over an hour earlier.
I knocked. "Hey who's using all our hot water?"
No answer. I decided to go in anyway, if one of my crack addict roommates was in their fucking one of their hos, I'd take another piss, and walk out. It wouldn't be the first time. But it wasn't one of my cracked out roommates, it was Ernie curled up in the tub with the shower head washing over him.
When Ernie started showing up at the store where I packed fudge in the literal sense, I knew I was in trouble. Potheads in a candy store are only good for business if they leave every once in a while. Ernie had been standing in the same place for so long that I’d actually varnished his shoes.
Around closing time, while I was sanitizing the knives, and weighing the remaining fudge, Ernie mentioned that he’d missed the last bus to Middleboro. At the time, I was living in a commune type house, three floors, seven bedrooms, living room, dining room, three bathrooms, kitchen, laundry room; a poor man’s mansion. I was the poor man. “Well, we have a pretty comfortable futon in the living room if you don’t mind my roommates coming in and out of the house at all hours.”
“You know,” Ernie said, “There was this sketchy guy in my college who used to tell freshman girls about his comfortable futon in order to entice them over to his dorm room where he’d get the drunk and fuck their brains out.”
“I promise I’m not trying to get you drunk and fuck you. I’m trying to get you high and fuck you.” It’s important to note that I was trying to be funny. I was no more attracted to Ernie than I was to VH1. If I happen to be in the room while “Behind the Music” or “I Love the 90s” is on, I’ll watch it, but I don’t set aside time in my day to sit on the couch and watch “The Surreal Life” marathon. I was trying to be friendly and offer him a place to sleep, nothing more. I thought he was looking for an excuse to stay at my house because I lived with five very generous drug dealers, not because he wanted me to fuck his brains out.
As soon as we got back to my place, Ernie wandered into the dining room where two people who lived in the house, and seven people who probably should have been paying rent where sitting at the table, smoking. I headed into my room to change out of my work clothes.
I had just taken my pants off when Ernie opened the door. I regretted going commando. “Uh, hey.” I said.
“I thought you were supposed to get me high before we came in here. Are you so horny you can’t even wait?” I must have looked as uncomfortable as I felt because he added “Just kidding. I didn’t know you were changing. Sorry.” But he didn’t leave the room or stop staring at me.
Four hours later, he had been baked out of his bean, and his eyes had been properly glazed red. The rest of the crew had headed to the basement and plugged in the various instruments. Tonight’s song to be butchered was “Running With The Devil.” Somewhere in Obscurity, Eddie Van Halen started crying.
I had set up the futon for Ernie, said goodnight and headed into my room. I wasn’t as baked as the rest of the household (I’d only inhaled second hand smoke), so I decided to forego my usualpre-sleep ritual. I didn’t want Ernie to think I was decorating my cake for him.
When I woke up at 3 o’clock I knew something was unusual. It wasn’t that the band had stopped playing. The house was eerily silent, but that wasn’t incredibly unusual. There was the inappropriate ratio of smoke to air, and the house didn’t appear to be flooded or on fire, and yet something was decidedly non-status quo. Ahh, yes, someone was sucking my dick.
“Uh, hey.” Ernie said. I chose to ignore the fact that he was infringing on my copyrighted greeting, and chose to focus on the more important issue.
“Uh.” I added more of a pause than usual, “Hey Ernie.” I took a four second hour to figure out what to say. In the grand scheme of things, waking up to a houseguest sucking your dick is better than waking up to find a houseguest sharpening a knife or aiming a gun at your forehead or taking a shit on your toothbrush. But it’s still a tad unsettling. I made a mental note to start locking my bedroom door.
I distinctly remember Gary Coleman's “Say no. Then go. And tell.” campaign. I remember that incredibly disturbing episode of “Different Strokes” where the bicycle store guy asked Gary’s friend to take his shirt off. I remember “No means no.” But at no point in either my exposure to pop culture or my sex ed classes did anyone ever explain to me what one should say when they wake up with their dick in the mouth of someone unexpected.
Had the cock been in the other mouth, so to speak, I could have done the whole biting thing. But, as it was, I was unprepared. I can’t knee him in the jaw because then he is gonna bite down, and I certainly don’t want that They really should hand out pamphlets about situations like this in Boy Scout camp. Hmmm. Maybe a video or DVD directed at the escort and prospective altar boy markets. Not having any of the resources at my disposal, I was forced to take the completely lame “What are you doing?” approach.
Ernie took my dick out of his mouth, and gave me the velociraptor look. The fucker was infringing on all my copyrights. “You’ve never had a blowjob before?”
Touché velocirapist.“I mean, why are you in my room giving me a blowjob?”
“I thought you wanted it.” I checked to see if I was wearing a short skirt and acting in a Lifetime Television for Victims movie. I was not.
I sat up so that the closest thing to suck on was my toes, and prayed he wasn’t a foot fetishist.
“No. What gave you that idea?”
“Well, you're gay right?”
“Yea.” I’m also a Democrat but I don’t want anybody voting for me while I’m asleep. “But, I’m-- I thought you were straight.”
He flashed me the stupid Guy Who Just Bought Me A Drink And Thinks I Now Owe Him Keys To My Apartment smile. “I’m up for a little experimentation. I’ve never sucked a cock before.”
This was glaringly obvious.
“But I like you. And you know, you said that thing about getting me high and taking advantage of me.”
“That was a joke.” I said.
He stood up at the end of my quasi-bed, his rock hard cock pointing at me accusingly. What it was accusing me of, I wasn’t sure. I wasn’t the one who should have been apologizing.
“Look,” I said, “If you wanted to fool around you should have talked to me about it. You can’t just go around wrapping your mouth around random gay guys’ cocks. This isn’t a rest stop bathroom."
Crickets chirped. Tumbleweeds rolled across my floor. In the distance, a truck passed. As the doppler effect faded into the hum of the heating system, I waited for him to apologize. If not for violating my trust and personal space, then for the horrible way his teeth grazed against my cock, the way his stubble chafed my inner thigh.
Because I’m the most unselfish man in all of creation, I could not stand idly by and let Ernie continue to go around giving terrible blowjobs to unsuspecting gay guys. As a member of "The Gay Community" it was my duty to either educate him or else tattoo "shitty sucker" on hisforehead. I was all out of needles and India Ink, and while I'm sure my drug dealer/artist roommates would have been able to loan me some, I decided to go the sex route. That way, I'd not only be able to tell everyone how I'd molded the subpar sucking "straight" boy into the perfect sex toy, I would also be able to engage in some much needed release of sexual tension get my fuck on.
But, Adam, say those of you with more scruples than I have, you said yourself, he practically raped you. Why would you allow him the satisfaction of having your dick in his mouth/ass/nostril? Had Ernie woke me up with his dick in my ass, or with a knife/gun/copy of Dianetics at my throat/head/asshole, then I would have thrown him to the ground and beat him to death with my shitty futon frame. But, however misguided his attempt, he had been trying to pleasure me, not rape me. So, once I allowed my hormones to overrule my better judgment, I let him return to sucking my dick, giving him appropriate criticism: "teeth bad, tongue good"; even threatening him with a demonstration of why grazing cock with teeth was unacceptable. Not only did he learn better tongue technique, I even convinced him to borrow my razor and shave off his stubble.
After about ten minutes of stubble-free, tonguelicious head, Ernie complained that his jaw was hurting. I started to give the old jerk the guy off into your mouth lesson when he interrupted "I don't want to jerk you off, I want you to fuck me."
What is it with "straight" boys that they're so eager to jump from sucking to getting fucked on their first rape date? I understand the wanting to fuck regardless of orientation, but "straight" boys wanting to get fucked have always fascinated me.
As a person who strives to be both tolerant and unselfish, I felt it would be wrong of me not to fuck him. So I unwrapped a Lifestyles and began the "Getting Fucked 101" tutorial. He got about a B- on the final exam. I fell asleep thinking that I'd diffused a potentially horrific situation.
While my friends were fantasizing about being astronauts, doctors, rock stars, or Teen Wolf, I was harboring dreams of my own. I wanted to be a firetruck. Not one of those ladder-climbing masochist firemen. I didn’t want to spend my time hooking up hoses to hydrants or putting on those unfashionable helmets, I wanted to be shiny red with flashing lights and blaring sirens.
When I realized that I was never going to transform, no matter how many Optimus Primes I bought, I settled on a new dream: writing my dirtiest secrets for the entertainment of a few close friends and hundreds of complete strangers. I’d like to thank LiveJournal for making that dream come true.
Apart from the occasional pulling to the side of the road, and a few high school fire drills, I haven’t had a close relationship to fire trucks in years. Police cars on the other hand were becoming routine. So were red trucks.
During a trip from Boston to Burlington with Zuzu, we got into a very minor fender bender. Even the fender escaped unscathed. In the fantasy story that the pseudo-Abe Simpson who’d crashed into us when he wasn’t paying attention told his insurance company, he was driving along minding his own business when a fleet of red trucks swerved around him causing him to crash into him. The insurance company was positively shocked to learn this wasn’t true. Apparently Not-So-Honest Abe had used The Red Truck Defense in previous accidents.
Between that story, and the deja-vu truck, I was developing quite the case of fucuvehicuphobia (fear of red trucks). So the police car at the end of the street was somewhat of a relief. Of course, being having studied myself into oblivion (stupid Anthropology!), there was also an air of foreboding. I made eye contact with the officer in the car, nodded, and walked up a road between the mall and the parking garage. Neither the truck nor the cop car followed.
“You’ve really got to relax a little.” Ryan said. “The world isn’t out to get to you.”
“Shouldn’t you be busy decomposing somewhere.” I muttered.
“That got boring real quick. Serving as your subconscious is much more fun.”
I scanned the road for signs of life. “Go away. It’s not Christmas yet, Jacob Marley.”
“And I’m not indigestion, asshole. You’re so baked you--”
I started singing U2’s “40” until I was safely at the building that passed as home for most of the year that I lived in Burlington. By then, Ryan was buried in the same portion of my brain as Ted’s talking cat.
“Hey Ads,” one of the many people who didn’t live in our house, but was nevertheless always there, said. “Want a hit?”
Hell, yes, I wanted a hit. I wanted a hit like A-Rod during his first month with the Yankees, like J*Lo’s A&R man, like a masochist in the ring with Mike Tyson, like a guy with two deucesplaying blackjack, like a hurricane on unprepared land, I wanted a hit like a paranoid kid coming home high from a party and running into a red pickup truck a cop car and the ghost of his dead boyfriend. God fucken damnit I wanted a hit.
“Do you want a hit?” Zach asked.
Wasn’t he listening to the narrative going on in my head? Yes, I wanted a fucken hit. “Uhhh. Sure.” I sat down at the dining room table, and waited for him to hand me the bubbler.
Again with the questions, what was he, Barbara fucken Walters? “Yea. There was this kind of....intense party at Ted’s...shrooms...pot...a talking cat...an action figure in a an electric chair...and then this truck was following me...and there was a cop car...but the brownies were pretty good.”
Zach was inhaling during the entire seven hours it took me to finish my soliloquy. Actually, it might have only been a second and half. I wasn’t sure whether I was talking ridiculously slow, or insanely fast. All I knew for sure was that my pupils were spinning around my eyes. I was seconds away from “TILT”.
I took another really long drag, sputtered out a “Thanks, I needed that” and retired to my room. But just like Ozzy Osbourne retiring from touring, I was up again five minutes later, taking another hit on the way to the bathroom, and then another on the way back.
I locked the door behind me (mostly to keep things like this from happening), took off my clothes and tried to find a comfortable way to sleep on my god-awful futon frame. After approximately fifteen seconds, I flung the futon on the floor, turned up the Gomez on my CD player and commenced an intense self-loveathon.
I think the reason the masturbation fest lasted so long wasn’t that the various drugs had numbed me, it was that I couldn’t decide who I was fantasizing about. I have a strict no masturbating about people I could theoretically fuck policy. That way, if I ever end up fucking said person, I won’t have ridiculously high standards. There’s little worse than spending months fantasizing about drilling a hole in the tight, toned ass of a screaming in ecstasy coworker only to discover that their nearly non-existent ass can’t even muster a proper moan when you insert your thermometer of love in their rectum. The prospect of another four years of Bush? Worse. The fact that they green lighted a spin-off of Friends? Worse. Mushroom clouds over North Korea? Worse. That’s about it, though.
I flipped through the appropriate celebrities of the moment, then the most attractive of the guys I’d fucked during whore month, then the most attractive guys I wished I’d fucked during high school and college, I had just about settled on Saint when “What about me?” Ryan asked.
“I’m not even” And he wasn’t. I went back through my catalog, and settled on Victor. I don’t mean I settled for Victor like I’ll settle for macaroni and cheese when I’m all out of steak, I mean I settled for Victor like Puritans settled on the North American continent. Actually, there was nothing Puritanical about the way I was settling on Victor, but I was using him as refuge from the tyranny of the First Church of Ryan.
When I woke up, it was either still dark outside or dark again. I checked the answering machine for messages. Took a hit of the bubbler while I listened to my roommate’s psycho bitchgirlfriend’s thirty-seven messages asking him where he was. Then I called Ted and made plans to hang out downtown so I wouldn’t spend any more time in the house getting high and/or jerking off. Not that there’s anything wrong with either of those things.
I was on my way out the door when Zach, James, and an assortment of people I’d never met before in my life bounded in through the back door, prattling on about an upcoming Ween show. :...and if I go as a geisha girl, they’re bound to remember me. Oh hey, Adam, heard you had a little run in on The Loop last night.”
“Huh?” I was new to this whole drug thing. I’d smoked a little pot here and there in Cranberry Lake, but I’d never been up on the lingo. “The loop?”
I said goodbye to no one when I finally moved out of Cranberry Lake. I put in my two weeks notice at Kookaburra Canyon. Told my boss from the fudge store that I needed some extended time off. Then I put all of my non-essential items in storage, and moved to Boston to become a full-time poet and writer.
I moved in with a woman named Zuzu who I’d met at a poetry reading in Cranberry Lake. I’d been slowly moving into her house since we’d met. First spending weekends there, staying up late and making fun of fellow performers that we knew. Eventually, I was there so often that moving there just made sense. In lieu of paying rent, I gave her my grand piano, which her husband used to teach their ten year old son, Lot, how to play.
I stayed there about four months, living the dream, before I nearly came to fisticuffs with the man organizing the Boston poetry scene. I was mentioning this to a poet in Vermont that I’dbefriended, when she suggested I move up to Burlington.
I had no money saved up, no tentative place to live, no job prospects. Moving up to Burlington would be incredibly impulsive and stupid. I moved up the next day. Again, without any goodbyes.
I’d been up there and unemployed for nearly a month when I reached the stage of poor where I was salivating at the prospect of Ramen noodles. Even the mention of the word cheeseburger gave me an erection. After a month of living off popcorn, rice, and charity dinners, I knew I needed a change. More than change, I needed some paper money fast.
My friend got me a job packing fudge. This time there were no costumes, thous, or lesbian looking gay boys involved.
It was during a shift of fudge packing that Ted tap danced into my life. “You’re pretty good at that.” I said.
“Nah.” he said “It’s just real easy to fake on this floor.”
I pretended not to stare too intently at Ted, as he and my female coworker flirted. Cut fudge, wrap in tissue, center in box, fold corner flaps, wrap in bow. Cut fudge, wrap in tissue, center in “You can come, too if you like.” he said.
“Sorry, I was in Chocolate Walnut Land. Come where?”
“My house. I’m having a little shindig. Do you....study?”
One of the uberhippies in Burlington goes by the name of Jesse. Jesse is connected to one of the larger, more successful organic drug dealers this side of Canada...and the other side of Canada (that being, Canada). We’ll call him The Guru. The Guru’s legit job was as a book salesman. Therefore, people like Jesse called Guru at work and ordered textbooks instead of drugs. I don’t remember which subjects corresponded with which drugs, but it was something to the effect of mushrooms being Biology, LSD being Calculus, Ecstasy being Anatomy, and cocaine being “look shithead, I don’t deal cocaine, it’s time for you to get counseling.”
For this particular party, we’d be studying Anthropology. I brought my bubbler.
Do to the vast amount of studying I did at said party, I don’t remember very much of it. Iremember eating some sort of veganesque sandwich. About halfway through, I became incredibly full. Not just full to my stomach, but I could feel my brain pressing against my skull. Memories oozed out my ears. My two month backlog of sperm shot out covering the room with a-- you get the idea.
“I should go.” I told Ted’s cat. “I’m really tired, and I have to work tomorrow.”
“Don’t you think you should crash here, and call in high?” The cat asked.
“No. My boss doesn’t mind me coming in high.” This was true. During my interview, my boss asked me whether I smoked. After a six hour pause where I looked quizzically at my shoes, he said “Don’t worry. I just want to know if I should invite you over to my house for a few weekenders.”
“Suit yourself.” said the cat.
“Bye Ted’s cat.”
I staggered down the stairs of the apartment and out into the freezing fucken cold streets of Burlington. Having only been in town for a few months, and never having been to the section of town where Ted and his cat lived, I was somewhat unsure what was the most expedient way home. I knew the direction, but there was an assortment of annoying buildings and sculptures in my way. Plus a mall. Fucken malls.
I was a bit southeast of the mall when I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of deja vu. Once I had ascertained that there was no gun rack or “I hunt red heads for sport” bumper sticker, I returned to my paranoid about everything but the pickup truck state and walked toward the mall.
About two minutes later, I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of deja vu. Once I had ascertained that there was no gun ruck or “Honk if you love Homocide” bumper stickers, Ireturned to my paranoid about everything but the pickup truck state and walked toward the mall.
I was about fifty yards from the mall when I noticed a pickup truck. I had an intense feeling of What the Fuck I Know I've Seen This Pickup Truck At Least Three Times Now, and broke into a run. That’s when I spotted the police car.