I put my headphones on and play my iPod as loud as it can go. Full blast. I think that if I listen to the music loud enough, it will stop my thoughts from running in circles. My imagination doesn’t hold back. Every flash is as detailed as the next. Naked bodies in the dark. Kissing, rubbing, the taste of sweat on the skin of a stranger. Reckless abandon with not a shred of consideration of anyone else’s feelings but your own.
My heart is hopeful that I’m not even close to the truth. My brain is skeptical. There’s a pit in my chest that seems to steal my breath. I try to breath deeper, filling my chest to the max, but that last little bit, that last hint of air that I think will fill me up, is swallowed by this consuming hurt.
The music is blaring. The thoughts avalanche towards tears. Those on the train around me keep staring. They can probably hear every note played through my headphones. I don’t care. If I could turn the volume up higher, I would.
Jesus. It’s only 8am.
I’ve spent the past two years trying to change the way I look at relationships. Through some very hard work, I’ve gotten to a place where I no longer believe that we’re all just looking out for ourselves, that we all just have our best interest in mind and damn those that get in our way. And then you came along. We made rules and promises that we both agreed on and it all seemed to work so well. I trusted you.
I don’t want to be that guy I was two years ago. I believe we still want the same things. I really do. The worst part about all of this, is that in the past two months, we’ve gotten so close. I’ve told myself, “Fuck…this is it. This is really it.” and I’ve relaxed in to your arms feeling the safest I’ve ever felt. It’s such a hard thing for me to do. I beg that you won’t take that for granted.
I forgive you, but the volume is still at max. For now, it’s the only thing that helps.
You didn’t know I was watching you. I saw you open the drivers side door of the Uhaul. You took your glasses off and put them in your back pocket. You reached up to pet Charle’s big brown head. I imagined his tail wagging furiously, out of my sight. The kind of wag where he’s so excited his whole butt shakes.
He loved riding in the car. Remember when we drove the convertible through the mountains and he jumped right out of the back seat? We weren’t going faster than 20 mph, but it still scared the hell out of both of us. Your face was priceless as you threw the car in park and scooped him up in your arms. We rarely drove with the top down with him in the car after that.
You leaned forward and let him lick your face. Eyes closed. Broad licks from your chin to your cheek bones. His tongue was big, but not big enough to catch every tear. I watched as they fell in slow motion. Raindrops from your chin that fell through the air, bursting as they hit the paved driveway. You pulled your face away, holding his head in your hands, wrinkling his face.
“Good boy. Good puppy.”
You knew I had to leave. You knew I wasn’t happy. You knew before I knew. You were so direct that night. ”Gary, you have to move back to New York. You aren’t happy here, and if you aren’t happy here, we can’t be happy together.” I hated that you were right, yet your words released the pressure that had been building in my chest for months. I appreciated every little thing you did to try and make me happy. To try to make life in Tucson what you had imagined it would be for the both of us. You tried so hard. It just wasn’t enough.
You thought this moment was just yours and his, just for the two of you. Your last chance to forever inscribe this final goodbye in your bank of memories. I watched as you closed the drivers side door, pushing Charles away from you, telling him you loved him and that all will be will. You wiped your tears on your shirt, took a moment to catch your breath, put your glasses back on as you walked back towards the house, running your hand along the side of the truck. One last deep breath, and you came inside.
But I saw it all. And yet I felt so blind.
Only by setting me free was I able to see just how much you truly loved me.
Tired of looking over our backs every five minutes, Dan and Brad and I agreed to invite Jeremiah (Germ, as we more commonly referred to him) in to join our little bike gang. Germ was bat shit crazy. The poster child for ADHD. He had a quick temper and was always looking for trouble. Regardless of the fact he was a loose canon, we knew that if it came down to it, Germ would beat the living shit out of anyone who tried to mess with us. And truth be told, we liked having him around. Being that he was a year older than the three of us, he pushed us to do things we wouldn’t normally have the balls to do on our own.
It was our first ride out to the Paw Paw River as the newly created foursome. Ready for a swim, we stashed our bikes on the side of the road and stripped down to our underwear. But not Germ. Germ insisted on skinny dipping, and teased us for being too ‘chicken shit’. With my head down, I watched as Germ stepped out of his underwear, a bush of dark brown hair surrounding his gigantic cock. He was always showing off. I had barely started growing hair in my armpits. I looked to him like a demi god.
Brad took it as a dare, and never one to let Germ outshine him, pulled his underwear off and started swinging them above his head. ”Yeeeeeee Haaaaaawww Cowboy!!”
Catching me staring, Germ ran over, tackling me to the ground. ”What’s wrong Gar Bear? Afraid the fish are gonna bite your willy?!” he joked as he sat on my chest, tickling me.
He laughed wildly. ”Come on, that willy is just dying to get out Gar Bear!” And with that he grabbed my underwear and in one tug, pulled them clear down to my ankles. Brad and Dan ran to my rescue, knocking Germ off of me and pinning him down. “Get him Gary!!!”
“You want my underwear so bad Germ, why don’t you eat them!!” I stood over him and rubbed my whitey tighty’s all over his face. The four of us laughed until our stomachs hurt, wrestling around naked on the bank of the Paw Paw river. We spent the afternoon wading up the river, and letting the current float us back down. Back and forth, back and forth, enjoying the lazy day.
It became clear pretty quickly that Germ had his own motives for agreeing to be the brute force in our bike gang. Sure, he had very few friends and we were fun to pass the time with, but it also meant he got to join us for sleep over’s at my house on the weekends. Which in turn meant access to my dad’s not-so-hidden Penthouse collection, more than 300 magazines my dad had saved over years of being a subscribing member.
My parents were already in bed. Dan and I were in a heated hurdles match on my nintendo power pad when Germ came running around the corner of our basement playroom, a large stack of magazines held close to his chest.
“Gar Bear, your dad is a PERV!! Look what I fucking found!” Germ had been busy pillaging my dad’s erotic treasures. “You guys have got to see these!” he said as he sprawled the magazines out on the floor.
Dan moved to Hartford sometime during the third grade. I noticed him sitting at the teachers desk when we came in from morning recess. Mrs. Shrumm quieted us as we took our seats, “Class, I’d like you to welcome Daniel, he’s a new student who’s just moved to Hartford. Dan, why don’t you go take a seat at the empty desk in the back behind Gary.”
We were only minutes in to silent reading time when I felt a pencil tapping my shoulder. I turned my head, keeping one eye on Mrs. Shrumm, as Dan leaned forward and whispered in my ear.
“Do you have a bike?” Dan asked.
“Yeah, I have a bike.” I whispered back.
“My mom said I should ask if someone wants to go on a bike ride with me.” He pushed his thick round glasses up his nose. “Do you want to ride bikes with me this weekend?”
“Sure, If my Dad says it’s ok.”
“Ok. Ask him if we can ride together on Saturday.”
“Ok.” I said, and went back to my reading. Another minute passed and I felt Dan tapping on my shoulder again.
“My dad died. That’s why we had to move. I hope your dad says yes.”
I ran straight home after school that day and asked my dad if I could spend Saturday riding with Dan, which he said was fine, as long as I was home by the six o’clock whistle. See, growing up in a small town, schedules were regulated by the whistle that sat a-top the town water tower. It rang at noon and 6pm every day, without fail. It announced tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings with one continuous siren. If I wasn’t home at least fifteen minutes after the whistle, my ass was grass.
Brad and I jumped on our bikes and rode to Dan’s house that Saturday morning. Dan was on the porch begging his mom to not make him wear his bike helmet, while his older brother, Jeremiah, pointed and laughed at him from inside the house.
Today I quit my job. No warning, no two week notice, nothing. Just a clean break. I’ve discussed this with a few of my close friends and family members. Everyone has of course advised against it, but as far as I’m concerned, I’d much rather burn this bridge to the mother fucking ground than put up with 2-4 weeks of my bosses piss poor attitude towards me.
Working as a personal assistant is tough work. It takes a thick skin to manage someone’s business and personal life seamlessly all the while bearing the burden of their emotional baggage. This isn’t the case for all employers, but in my experience it does seem to be the majority. I’m a good candidate for the job. My dad was a military man who was verbally (and sometimes physically) abusive, and we laugh at how he’s conditioned me for the line of work I chose to be in. Or perhaps it chose me. Oh, and there’s the fact I’m meticulously organized with a “yes can do” approach to any task at hand….blah blah blah.
I have to say, I was very diplomatic in my approach….
My blog has suffered this past year because I’ve decided to focus my writing efforts on writing a one man show. Below is a recording of an excerpt written for class. Enjoy!