We were just hanging out, Denny and I; just shooting the bull, looking for something to do that might be fun. He disappeared a few minutes and used a phone. I assumed he was taking up the mask of entertainment co-coordinator, checking on the whereabouts of more troublemakers or the hourly fee at a local billiards hall. When he returned he just said "let's go", and as his cohort, his psychic vampire's familiar, I just went as instructed.
We hitchhiked all the way; not an easy task for two scruffy young teen-men in motorcycle club jackets and assorted lengths of chain accessory. But Minnesota has its rednecks and more than a few fearless do-gooders, so it was only an hour and a handful of cars before we'd traveled eleven miles to within a few blocks of the home of one of his harem. Actually, it was her parent's house as he told me while we walked down the street gutters of the sidewalk less suburb; and her parents were home, didn't like boys, bikers or beards...six strikes between us. So we'd need to slip into her basement room through her basement room window.
"I just want to get something" he said when I began to stutter a question as to what our purpose was, what could be so important that I'd crawl through the grass, drop into an aluminum walled window casement, and wiggle my three foot wide body through a 2.5 foot wide window.
"Well how 'bout you get whatever it is, and I meet you on the corner in a few minutes then. I don't know that I really want to climb in and out of a window so you can talk your girlfriend into loaning you a few bucks."
He stopped, dramatically; the beginning transformation of a psychic vampire. He put on that pouty face I'm sure he learned when silently rebuking his mother for trying to feed him smashed and sieved Brussels sprouts.
"What makes you think I'm going there for money? C'mon man, I want you to come with me, I don't want to climb down there alone. You said you wanted something to do, now here it is. You're my friend right? Besides, it'll take too long for you to wait on the corner, just come with me okay?"
He turned his voice upward on that last line as if a six year old telling Santa he'd just die if the old windbag didn't deliver a Tommy Terrorizes Tokyo Doll like he promised. He'd covered all the bases; guilt, adventure, honor, loyalty, the threat of disapproval and possible rejection, and the threat of sitting my sorry ass on a street curb for hours, waiting for someone that may or may not ever show up.
"Let's go then" I said, as I visualized a spinning color coil in my head and heard the words "you are getting very sleepy".
The climb was forbidding, "His Anemic Majesty" slid inside like any boneless creature might; or slithered if you prefer. For me it was different. Were it not for my love handles I'd have been quicker, but that few extra inches of flesh was squeezed into position as if a butterfly toggle bolt had opened up, firmly securing me to the windowsill. That wasn't the bad part. Now that my center of gravity had passed the point of no return, it was inevitable that my upper reaches would follow suit, even if it had to bring the 2x2 frame along with me.
The bad part was that at full reach I still wasn't touching the floor; a revelation that meant in order to get out I'd have to climb upon some wobbly boxlike structure and presuming it didn't splinter and crash into a million pieces, then pull myself through the hole using only the amazing power stored in my sedentary and nearly useless arms. In reverse the flesh effect would be the same; my slight belly jelly roll would expand under pressure and act as a mushroom anchor caught in the crotch of a submerged tree branch. I wouldn't be able to scream obscenity, a discipline proven to increase strength in short bursts, because mommy and daddy were on the main floor, probably sipping tea and cleaning their gun collection.
It was too late to quibble as I found out, Denny had grabbed my legs and yanked my round peg through the rectangular hole, leaving only an ounce of skin and a few drops of blood for the house spirit to remember me by.
We were in; out would be later. It was time to hang out as it were, with the two of them. Diane was not a pretty girl as girls go. I'm sure it's a taste thing and doesn't really matter save the fact that I could never understand what the attraction was for Denny, beyond her willingness to take the form of a mattress, or a she-dog if that was the preferred pose. In my world that wasn’t enough. In my world even looks weren’t enough, though I did forget that foundational slab from time to time.
It was obvious right away that they had no interest in a verbal threesome, she was stroking his appendage and licking her lips, and he was wide eyed and snorting as if a bull being taunted by a rodeo rider, pre starting horn.
It began to come clear what was happening, what Denny had been stopping by to “get”. What wasn’t clear was why I was along; at least it wasn’t clear until Denny looked at me over his stuffed animal’s shoulder and while sucking on her neck to her stifled squealing glee, repeatedly jerked his eyes toward a door across the room. I stepped to the door open minded for the moment. That would be so open minded that all sentience had leaked out before I could close it.
The door was made of knotty pine car siding, that slatted and grooved wood used in cabins and the insides of boxcars as an inexpensive yet solid surface that even amateur carpenters could make look fashionable. It had a latch on it rather than a knob, a 17th century replica slip latch done in miniature. I imagined what lay behind might be a dungeon cell or a sailing ship’s surgery, or maybe I was in a dream and this was the latch hung on a wooden fence gate, its ward protecting a secret garden beyond where I might pick a few ripe apples and sit on a silvered boulder near a placid pond, whiling away the hours while my ex friend….
It was a closet door. A big closet mind you; a “walk in” that smelled a bit cedar chestish, one overflowing with a certain female’s outerthings and probably some innerthings if I was to search. His intimation that I step into the space would be an amazing offer were I a fetishist and desirous of a few hours alone with a pair of panties and a hundred pounds of rayon dress. But as you can imagine, I was a bit disappointed that he would think that I was so worthless a human specimen that I would actually allow myself to be shunted into a closet while he schtupped his part time lover.
I just stood there, wondering, was this all there was to life? Had I gone through all I had for some 16 long and pain infested years only to perfectly emulate a chimpanzee on a leash? Was I really going to walk into a closet and sit on the floor and wait until this guy ejaculated, a guy whose only possible attraction was the length of time he could hump without ejaculating, making the possibilities of my stay being over any time soon slim indeed?
I could climb out the window. Of course someone would need to help me and I’d get no help from humpy and his humpette. I thought about the time in service to that point, the couple hours I’d now given up, on the premise that Denny and I would be doing something interesting eventually, something that would make the day less simply one more proving suicide was preferable to life. If I left, there would be no interesting thing to have, in fact there’d probably be no Denny at all for at least a few days if not a lifetime. (A cliff in retrospect I wish I’d leapt from.)
It was the choice that sucked, not the chooser. It would take me an hour or two to hitch home, and I’d be humiliated in addition to bored. That would be nearly six hours I’d have spent in the pursuit of nothing, only to wind up in my parents house trying to determine if all the occupants were on the same planet so I could get a long night’s sleep from which I’d never awaken.
By my hesitation the vampire guessed I was debating telling him to go fuck himself, so he put on his pouty face again and started whimpering like a puppy. His girlfriend got the message and joined him, as if there was something cute about a grown woman groveling for an observer to turn his back so she could vacuum the sperm from her favorite spermatron without being noticed. It’d have been less unseemly if I didn’t know her well enough that I was sure she’d rather I stay and watch, if not join in.
It was dark in the closet, so dark that even with a mirror I’d not have been able to see the face of utter degradation. “Just hurry the fuck up” I’d said, making a clever double entendre when a simple grunt would have sufficed. But now I was alone with my thoughts, thoughts bouncing off the inside of my skull in perfect time with each squeak of the rapidly squeaking bedframe.
“Who cares, it’s just sex”, I thought. In fact I could be titillated by the whole thing and as a junior biker it would be well within my rights to mention that I was horny too, and that perhaps Denny should spend a few moments in the closet.
“I gave in again”, I countered. “I let myself be led like a pig with a ring in his nose. For the want of not being totally alone on planet earth I allowed this creep to use me as a personal pinball game, available at a moments notice the second there was nothing more interesting to do. I am nothing more than an outhouse, a get out of boredom free chit, so pathetic a creature that even I can’t stand to be around me.”
And then she made her gurgle noises and the bed springs shook like the snare of a grunge band’s downbeat drum, and it was time to go.
She thanked me of course, kissed me in fact, as if she was answering a healthy thrust with a fully extended tongue, like one of those eye and mouth popper dolls after you squeeze its belly. I didn’t know exactly what to say. Maybe “your closet’s kinda cool, thanks for letting me sit in it for a while; I’ll never forget this moment” would have been good. But all I could muster was “How the fuck am I gonna get out of that window?”
“Oh don’t worry,” Diane said with a grin. “I heard my parents leave a half hour ago, you guys can use the stairs and leave by the back door!”
“Before I went in the closet?”
“Yup, isn’t that funny?”
“Funny? How exactly is it funny?”
“Don’t get upset Dude, I couldn’t let you go upstairs and hang out; if you touched anything they be sure to notice and then my ass would be grass!”
“So instead you let me sit in a closet for 30 minutes?”
"Well, you went in there. You didn't have to!"
She had that right. I didn't have to.
We never did do anything fun that day, the mood was kind of wrecked. He just wanted a nap, and I just wanted to jump off a bridge, or shovel in a handful of mescaline and wash it down with a quart of cheap wine…and then jump off a bridge.
It was the beginning of the end for Denny and I, a nail in the self filled coffin that has become my memory of that time in my life; when I was less a man than a monkey, and less able to recognize the likelihood that I’d never recover from my mistakes, as each nail had taken its preordained place and assured there’d be no escape from my own grave.
I don’t hang out much these days, I don’t let others take me down a gilded path. I take myself. I’ll accept hangers on, and I promise they’ll never have to sit in a closet on my behalf, but I usually just stick to the company of my shadow. It’s never stabbed me in the back; but only because I keep it in front of me at all times.