By Michael Walker Thorsvedtt
I'm through the woods now, I hate walking through that damn bamboo forest with all the vines and undergrowth like some fuckin' jungle or something from an old war movie like the ones they show on tv on weekends my brother watching them 'cause he would rather not talk to her again when he's got a choice about it. I don't think so much about stuff like that anymore, about what mom thinks about me 'cause it's the same old same old every day whether I do think or I don't; I'm bleeding, damn! I thought I got out of there without a scratch but hell, this always happens if I walk in the woods and don't go along the road. No flashlight . . . why don't I think about getting stuff together before I leave the house? It's nearly dark 'cause winter's always this way: dark and wet, I see the trees shadowed off by what light's still around why can't I just make it through half a mile of forest and swamp without getting cut or lost or both? I guess it's good the Marines don't want no fags 'cause they wouldn't find jack for this one to do he'd drop his gun and get splinters and shit in his finger and whatever else. I'm just about there now coming through the row of trees by the back of Tim's backyard now and I see his garage now.
"What were you screwin' around so long for; it's been an hour since I called!"
"Fuck that, if you had gone through the woods to your house from my house you'd be pretty fucked up, too."
"Why the hell didn't you walk along the road, then?"
"And what, get hit by a gravel truck? It's twice as far by the road and every piece of construction machinery known to man is goin' down there comin' home from work right now drivin' like speed maniacs 'cause you can't even leave a dump truck or end-loader out at a site anymore or someone will lift it."
"Hell, nobody gonna lift an end-loader, David."
"Watch 'em, chump, they will take anything not red-hot or nailed down. Someone stole a generator from the new bank building they're putting up down at Second and Earthman streets."
"That's a generator, man, but a fuckin' end-loader . . . like you would stick that sucker under a table-cloth in the back porch when the cops came 'round? What the hell would you do with one anyway?"
'Well, every time I've lifted an end-loader you see I . . . like how the hell would I know, man?"
We can only play this along for a while before I notice it: we're both scared as all to be in love with each other. I won't say it, he won't say it, but that's it, okay? We are fuckin' in love with each other; in ninth grade and messed up with each other. Hell, I always knew there were gay people like that science teacher last year, Mr. Way, but I didn't think I would be like this forever. Like Mr. Way one day . . . did he one day wake up after being drunk in his best friend's tent when camping down by Orange Lake and he just screwed the boy that night but now he's not sure if he did? Is that always how it is? Okay, so I knew I liked boys but I just didn't think . . . and here's Tim talking to me about stealing an end-loader! So he's just as blown away as I am, I know it. He doesn't have a clue, either. But where do we go from here? I mean, yeah, I'll ask him to the prom, like sure I will. Like we're even dating, boyfriends or whatever because we don't talk about shit like that any, we are just like we were last year but now I want to climb all over him.
"Let's get inside before we freeze; my mom just came home so . . ."
"Go in your room?"
Yeah. His room. That's what I need. We walk in through the garage and damn, his sister and that soccer ball I always trip over the thing, like why can't she put it up somewhere? I'd bean her in the head with it but she's . . . hell, I guess she's my boyfriend's sister. Weird. She's the little twerp who's family now, I guess. Something like that.
Damn those cleats she's got on: screw-ins, steel studs, wet ground gear, that's select shit only, can't play youth in those. I guess she's on a travel team now, she's playing select. Tim opens the door and we go in and past the noise of the washing machine so he must have started it so his mom would think he's getting some work done when she got home; hope he remembered to put some clothes in it this time. Last time she's like "if you ran the wash where's the clothes?" Duh. She's in the kitchen, watching something on CNN.
"Hi, Dr. Ghering."
"Hi, David, how are you?"
"Okay, how's work and things?"
"Oh, could be worse. Is your aunt doing better now?"
"Yeah, she's doing real well; she sure liked you, she said you're the best doctor she had."
"That's nice to hear as a radiologist, David, thanks."
Yep, I bet. When the radiologist who saw her for like ten minutes is the best doctor from a two-week hospital stay I guess that tells you something about health care. I thought the Clintons were gonna shape all that up for us? Oh, well, there's bigger problems for 'em to deal with now, like missing generators. The doc didn't even look away from the screen when she was talking to me; I mean she's okay but like two days ago she didn't even know if her kids were around or not she's really good at what she does but she's never around much except when you want her the hell away like now like why can't some old woman fall and not get up and doc has got to run back into the hospital to help so I can get it on with her son? Yeah, she's okay though. His dad is too, because he's an airline pilot so guess where he is: not here. My mom's always around because she's into this real estate appraisal stuff but they never let her go appraise shit she just stays at home and gets to look at houses on the web. They pay her up anyway. But like my brother, she jumps on him and me too if anything's amiss. And it usually is. We walk around the stairs and go up to Tim's room. He's trying to open the door 'cause you know he locks it during the day 'cause he's got who knows what in that mess but I bet his mom wouldn't go in there anyway. She wants to know the laundry's done but that's it and she's gonna say she'll fix supper for 'em and I could stay but she's not gonna have enough but then she'll get a call or watch something on the news and at the last minute she'll look at the clock and get 'em to send over a pizza and ask me to stay anyway. Tim's got the door open now with a little kebab skewer thingy that he just slips into the hole in the door real carefully and pokes it around until it catches that lock thing and lets the door open like that with a little click. His mom --I was over one day and saw her-- tried it once and she slide that skewer all around and never could get the door open; good thing I guess she didn't go into surgery instead of x-ray. You know, his parents could each have an affair and neither would ever know? I wonder in fact if that's what they do. She could have someone in downstairs and he's off in a hotel in Madrid with a blond stewardess and I would be on Tim again. We're in his room and it's darker than outside except the fishtank light.
Every time since that camping trip I've like sat there and we'll talk and maybe kiss and whatever but I'm gonna take my shirt off now and get it on 'cause she'll be getting that pizza in ten minutes I just know it. I grab the tail of my shirt and pull that bitch off knocking over something a trophy or whatever else but damn like I want the light on now? I don't think so! Tim's standing there and hell, I know how he feels because it's like we do but we don't at the same time. I want to grab him or something but I should get on the bed first, no I don't know what's on it so maybe in the floor there's some lotion from Avon from his mom's bathroom cabinet still here because he got the five-finger discount and she couldn't dial the lock like I said. Oh, hell, she's got opera or something on the stereo downstairs and it' like this lady's singing "for you are always there beside me when . . ." damn, it's in English for a change, opera in English? Yeah: "fill my heart with new emotion". Opera that sounds like Mariah Carey lyrics and they say she could sing opera so why not? It's the same everywhere, I guess, nothing really changes and nothing gets better and nothing gets worse so fuck it: that's just the way. Tim's got his shirt off, too, and he looks good, he looks better than before 'cause he's like at that age when you're in early high school and you start to lose your middle school torso and get this better body even if all you do is sit around all day as long as you're not fat or something I guess it's one of the few cool things about being our age other than sex. I mean, with zits breaking out everywhere and all the other fucked-up stuff we go through at least my boy can get a decent chest from the deal. This is where it's always so tough with us both standing here and we're about to be naked pretty soon but I don't wanna talk or anything; what do you say anyway when you're doing this? No one tells you that, no one says "oh, and when you're having sex you need to talk or something so you don't feel like complete morons or something". But only in porn do they talk I think not like I sit around and watch people fucking most of the time but I guess not much gets said anyway.
Tim grabs me, no wait, he just kinda jumps on me and knocks me over on his bed. Yes! I'm glad because this makes it a whole lot easier now. I'm feeling his body on top of mine and then beside mine and then on me again and it's like every time I've wrestled with someone but now I'm reaching down in his pants and he got his arms around me and yes this is yeah! this yeah! just the way it should be; I hope this doesn't end and pray that the doc found something on tv to keep her from getting the damn pizza and calling us back down there I fuckin' love this feeling he's mine yes he is for now and who knows I won't talk about it or anything 'cause he's my friend only when we're in school because that's that but yes this is him and me and him with his arms all over me and his head feeling heavy on chest and his legs wrapped down around my own yeah this is too good.