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?”
What I know about the AIDS virus could fit on a gum wrapper. Thankfully, Victor became an expert when he volunteered to run the safe sex drive.
"We're okay." He tells me, after we return to his room to freak out. "You're A Virgin, right?"
No self-respecting seventeen year old boy ever admits to being A Virgin unless he's being asked by an authority figure. When the subject of virginity comes up in a group full of adolescent boys, or worse, a group of adolescent girls, you invent elaborate stories. Mine involved a Canadian girl, You Wouldn't Know Her, who seduced me when I was just a fetus.
"Yes." But "You?"
"I'm A Virgin, too. " He says. "Was A Virgin."
But okay is average and mean, and the next day he starts looking at me too often, his kiss grows too moist, his hands too needy. Soon, he wants to sit next to me at lunch, touch me when my friends are watching, and why don't I stay in bed when we're done fucking?
"What's the deal with Victor?" JBob asks, a couple of weeks later.
I try and focus on beating my record on Minesweeper. "What do you mean?"
"I don't know." He shrugs. "You guys were hanging out all the time, and now...."
"I was doing homework for him. Now I'm kind of busy writing essays for the Korean Mafia kids."
"Oh." He says. This is the last time he mentions Victor's name for months.
Still, every other word someone says to me sounds like Victor. When I brush my teeth, Victor looks forlornly at my reflection in the mirror. Every time class lets out, there's Victor in the hallway.
"I think he likes you." One of the hockey jocks says after Victor walks into the basement, shoots me a pathetic look, and walks away.
"Tough shit for him that I have a" pretend "girlfriend, then, huh?"
"For real." He says, and punches my arm.
And that's thw way it is for the rest of the year: Victor walks into a room, sees me, and walks away. It isn't until the week before graduation, when a couple of the friendlier jocks, JBob and I, are in the boiler room doing tequila shots, that Victor and I spend more than ten seconds in the same room. The yellowjackets make a return appearance. and I'm thinking of leaving the room, but Victor smiles and starts talking to someone else. Everything's okay. There are people between us, and we all share the fear of getting caught by the dormhead. So we laugh stupid and drunk. It's going to be okay. Pass back beers and toss back shots. "Oh, man." I say. "This Sauza is rancid. I'm gonna go get some Cherry Coke. I'll be back in a sec."
I don't realize that Victor is following me until I'm bent over to pick the what is that can out of the machine. His cock presses against my ass. "Admit it, lover, you miss me."
I whip around to punch him, push him, whatever is necessary to save heterosexual face. But his face is bloodshot I'm sorry and puffy. I can't hit him or hate him.
"I love you." He says.
"I'm sorry." is all I can think of to say.
Victor gives the secret knock. I pick up my towel and look at the clock. It's 2:22 AM. My roommate, JBoB, is off campus at this girlfriend's house, running lines for Into The Woods. Most of the jocks are at some lacrosse tournament. "Ready?" He asks.
Some people get butterflies in their stomachs. I have a swarm of yellowjackets in my heart. "Yes." I kiss him, and wonder if he can feel their stingers pushing out of my chest.
He leads me to the bathroom, where I reach for the light switch.
"Leave those off." He says. I feel ugly and secure. "Okay. You turn on the first shower, and I"ll turn on the fourth. If the door opens, you run into the other shower."
I turn on the decoy shower, hang my boxers on the hook next to my stall. Breathe. Breathe.
"Coming?" He asks.
I cross the Rubicon in flipflops. Victor pulls me into his stall, his hands go down to my ass. I mirror his movement. Surely, he knows what he's doing.
"I love you." He says.
He licks his way down to my torso until he is "Oh." He smiles up at me and "Ohhhhh, ohhhhh, ow!"
"It's okay." I say, looking down to make sure it is, in fact, okay. No teeth marks.
Then we are blur of water, mist, fingers, tongue, lubrication, squeaky voices, and then he is leaning forward, palms to the wall like he's under arrest. He says "Please."
I say "Yes."
There is a moment. Everything kissworthy, porn beautiful. I am inside him and groan. He pushes back yes. Wet hair in my fingers. I am thrusting oh. Then he is wow, and I...and I...and I...I am oh God, I forgot to put on a condom.
I wish there was some sort of romantic or dramatic story about how and why Victor and I started fooling around, but it couldn't be that great because I don't remember our first kiss, our first conversation (though I'm sure it was awkward), I do remember our first time we were naked together in his room.
He had barely wrapped his hand around my cock when there was a knock on his door.
While nothing was ever said to either of us, I couldn't shake the feeling that the dormhead knew what we'd been about to do. Victor threw on some boxers, nervously answered the door, and stepped outside into the hallway to talk to her.
"Veektor" (I'm no good at typing Elena's accent. She was Colombian, not Transylvanian. Try to imagine everything she says in a very unsexy South American Catholic Guilt Trip Mother Voice Box, and you'll have a reasonable facsimile of her voice) "You weren't in class this morning, and there was a quiz. I told you if you missed...Are you ok?"
The conversation continues in Spanish. I am was fluent in French and just starting to learn American Sign. Spanish was Greek to me. But without the extra vowels.
The raise in her voice, and the timbre of his led me to believe that she was going to enter the room at any moment. I, too, was skipping a class in the interest of pursuing sex education. I contemplated hiding in the wardrobe or under the bed, but then if she found me she'd know that we were doing something more than just skipping classes, so I sat at Victor's computer and opened up a file that I had written for him, and pretended to proofread. I was shaking and sweating so profusely by the time Elena came in, you'd think I had swallowed a blow up doll full of cocaine.
She said something in Spanish that had my name in it. I gave her the Mr. Spock eyebrow (this was pre-The Rock...I wonder if The Rock chose his name because it rhymed with Spock). "Sorry. Insafemode, what are you doing in here?"
"My computer is down." This was true. "So I asked Victor if I could finish up one of my papers on his and print it out. When it's done I've got to run to class."
"Ah, I see. Well, you'd better hurry, it's nearly fourth period." She left. Victor collapsed on the bed. I melted into the chair.
You couldn't cut the tension with the jaws of fucken life.
Victor and I, limp in every possible way, stared across the room at each other. He pulled off his boxers, and laid on his stomach. I got out of the chair and walked over to his bed. I started caressing his ass. That's when the fire alarm went off.
Before I met Victor, the only things I associated with Colombia were coffee and cocaine, two things I’ve never had much use for. But watching him wiggle down the hallway in nothing but a towel, images of stainless steel suitcases and the word “ese” are replaced with bench pressing and honey-glazed skin. He is the shy, stupid looking surfer kid that every girl (and according to statistics, at least ten percent of the guys) wants to fuck and bring home to mommy. And while everyone who’s ever been to a swim meet has seen him in a speedo, I’m the one he invites into his room, late at night, to hang out and do homework with.
Tonight, I have to finish a particularly complicated essay on my interpretation of gender roles in Shakespearean language. It was due a week ago. While I ponder the significance of Viola’s role in Twelfth Night, I look over to see Victor flipping through a porn mag unlike any other I’ve ever come across.
I grew out of Playboys and Penthouses before I’d turned thirteen. Between the airbrushed beaver and silicone breasts, and the fact that my father had purposefully shared the contents of the joke section before I got the chance to steal the magazines from the top shelf in his closet, I found the concept of American porn duller than a plastic hamster wheel. What Victor is gawking at is Latin American porn. Four incredibly hot guys buried in one hot, innocent looking girl. Well, as innocent as a girl can look with a cock in her mouth, one in her twat, one in her ass, and another in her hand. I make a mental note to borrow it from him some time when he isn’t paying attention. In the nicewhile, I focus on my essay instead of my ese, and making conversation as though he was playing computer solitaire, and not lying on his bed, fondling himself. Buzz buzz.
“You still dating Jennifer?” He asks.
“I don’t know.” I say. “I don’t think so.”
He Spock eyes me. “You don’t think so?”
“I don’t know. Things are pretty weird right now.”
“Yea.” He says. “Yea, they are.”
When I am done typing my paper, I go back to my room, to pick up where I left off with my ceiling staring.
Three hours and no sleep later, I get out of bed and click off my clock before the alarm even rings. Victor is already in the shower when I walk into the bathroom. “Hey, Z?”
“Yea?” I ask.
“Could you do me a favor? I forgot my towel. Could you go into my room and get it for me?”
“Sure. Your room unlocked?” It is. While I am in his room, I open the bottom drawer of his computer desk, and swipe two magazines. I detour into my room, where JBob snores lightly. I hide the magazines under my mattress.
“Took you long enough.” Victor says, stepping out of the shower to meet me. He proceeds to make small talk that I can’t follow because he is toweling himself off, focusing a great deal of time on his my God that thing is huge buzz buzz. Victor smiles. I think we are seconds away from kissing when the bathroom door opens, and Theo comes in to use one of the showers.
Victor motions for me to follow him back to his room. “I hate Theo.” He says, with a venom that surprises me. He is getting such a shame dressed. I am laying across his bed, trying not to watch him getting dressed. “Two weeks before he transfers to some junior stupid college and he comes out at that stupid assembly on cultural tolerance. All those stupid teachers lining up to shake his stupid faggy hands.”
Victor had come out honestly. During a lively debate concerning when, exactly, Saturday Night Live began to suck (my vote was 1989), Victor casually mentioned that he imagined he could suck a pretty mean cock. While the hockey jocks we lived with were busy fake lisping and playing limp-wristed minstrel charades, I was trying to figure out whether or not my cock could be considered mean. Or pretty. I made a mental note to ask him were he ever to be at eye level with it. And now, here I am, alone in his room, laying across his bed, while he pokes ever so slightly out of his boxers. I want to say some clever, nonchalant seduction line. Something suave that we’ll remember when we’re seventy-eight years old, playing chess in a remote village in Spain. Something. Anything. Touch me.