Part One, Here.
If anyone sought me out first, he was usually the type that absolutely no one else wanted. The tall, overly tanned hillbilly who spoke truthfully about his past crack usage is an example. Crack makes you want to fuck.
You don't say.
I quickly sidestepped those sorts of men. Those who walked around shirtless or nearly shirtless could usually be avoided without much trouble. A few decided to get very familiar very immediately, sticking a hand down my shirt before I could even protest. I usually grabbed a wrist before the attached hand could reach the nether regions.
No, I’d say firmly, indicating my disapproval with my gaze. Not like that.
Apologizing swiftly, they rarely tried it again. Whichever man I was with that night would promise to be anything I liked. He’d be willing to play any part, so long as I was up for it. A person can be rather accommodating if the end results means getting into your pants. If there was something to gain from it, they'd be willing to morph into whichever persona was most to my liking.
I’m not sure I ever knew truthfully what I wanted. In desperation, I’d adopted the old adage of catch as catch can by evening’s end. Acquaintances had set me up more times than I wanted to contemplate. Their suggestions always seemed beneath my standards, but I went along with them because I pitied whoever had been recommended to me. I never turned anyone down, which at the time I assumed was a kind of benevolent sympathy. In the morning, I always left early, said a friendly goodbye, and was never seen or heard from again.
In the early morning light, I’m sure I came across as a really sneaky bastard. If I were more sadistic, I’d probably not have formulated a huge, elaborate scheme for evasion, one that required lots of steps and focused concentration. I was, however, not quite this mean. I know the look upon the face of a man who has just recognized his part in a one-time-only arrangement. One fateful morning the latest he smoothed my cheek compulsively with the back of my mind, while he lay next to me on a couch.
Will I ever see you again? I could never bear to hurt feelings, so I always muttered something inconsequential.
Yeah, sure. Whatever.
Yeah, sure. Whatever.
Eventually I came to permanently pursue other options, but that decision was a few years hence. For a time, I had an interest in the being a card-carrying member of the freak show. However, I never formed friendships with any of the regulars and wouldn’t have wanted to even if I could. My natural habitat was not where I spent most weekends. I did not belong in a venue with young lesbians who taped down their breasts to show maximum skin, just enough to not be arrested for indecent exposure. I was one of those sanctimonious queers who gets easily exasperated for reasons of hypocritical piety.
I crash landed late one night in a trailer park out in the sticks. The army base five miles down the road was offering the local rednecks the ability to try an experimental drug. After one signed the obligatory confidentiality forms, a nondescript looking pill was dispensed to the willing. God knows what it really was. I wasn’t going to be caught dead near anything where I was ignorant of the contents.
At the moment, I was in a room full of people who had dosed an hour or so before. The drug had some kind of hallucinogenic property, as best I could reckon. The three other men in the room were trying to explain the meaning of life to me. One man had drawn a series of small, interconnected boxes on yellow, lined legal paper. Whatever he was trying to illustrate must have been very involved, indeed.
War, what is it good for/absolutely nothing
Someone was singing this in sotto voice, over and over again, leaned against a recliner. I was told that the effects of the drug only lasted three or four hours. Having taken the drug on multiple occasions, three or four of them were convinced they could condense the basic meaning of their lunatic ramblings into a manifesto of a sort. Each time, upon the arrival of sobriety they were always disappointed to find a fresh pile of scribbles.
What was I doing here again? I had been diverted from an evening of self-loathing in another search of the weird. I always found something strange, but at least no one was flagrantly breaking the law. In other evening destinations, this was not always the case. This trailer always smelled incongruously like ranch dressing, which always made me nervous without fail. I’m sure there’s a plausible explanation, but I’m afraid to ask.