Friday, February 20, 2015

Death before Dawn, Part Two

What follows below is a short story in progress. I wrote Part One earlier in the week and have added Part Two today. This is about the best I can do until my medication situation stabilizes.

Part One can be accessed here. Below is Part Two.


A work of fiction.

If it had been me, how would I have responded? I know the secret language of winks and nods, but felt more comfortable where I was reasonably sure my audience was responsive. And I never chased straight boys. I’d run across a few bi-curious types, sure, but they always sought me out first. Midway through, one of them changed his mind and ran to the bathroom to vomit. He’d doped himself up on something or other to quell his nerves, a red flag, but not knowing any better I'd proceeded as though all was well.

What had happened with Jason was different. It was sexual assault, pure and simple. He was the envy of every girl enrolled in art school, and many boys. I saw their eyes as he passed by, full of longing, utterly unsure how to make the first move. I wanted the same sort of attention for myself, but knew I could not compete. I was not a pretty boy like him, the kind of person who could beautifully sketch a model on only two hour’s sleep. One saw evidence of his work displayed outside every classroom, and the mostly un-closeted gay instructors gave him extra time for projects or even inflated grades from time to time.

And he knew it. He used every advantage at his disposal. Attractive people are held to a different standard, male or female. In high school, he’d been the head of his own cult of personality. Jason never liked to be challenged and insisted on getting his way. He preferred to be in charge, but I was one of the few people given the privilege to call him out. Unsurprisingly, the same cult of personality was in force here as well.

I always wanted to be around equals and had little patience for those not as creative and not as intelligent. Jason mostly wanted sycophants who asked no questions. He could be mean and his temper was legendary, but most people gave him the benefit of the doubt. He didn’t deserve to be treated like a demigod but he was. Had the news gotten out about the assault, those who had been privately and publicly insulted might have said that chickens were coming home to roost.

I’m not sure I’d be that callous. He was, after all, a friend. I was not under his sway like so many because, though even I had to concede he was good looking, his anger eviscerated anything more than a cursory sort of attraction. I’d made mistakes before with angry men, my fatal attraction, and I knew I deserved better. My upbringing had been full of confrontation and while I was familiar with it, I knew the man for me would be laid-back and kind. Now I only had to find him.

Jason had a long way to go. If he wasn’t such a good musician (and yes, physically attractive), I wouldn’t have stayed around as long as I had. I’m not made of stone. I didn’t want to like him that way but he could be quite charming when it was to his advantage. But I built some bomb-proof boundaries around myself when in his company. My childhood isolation transformed me from a lonely child to a lonely adult, which is what made me dependent on others, especially those to whom I was attracted.

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