Friday, May 25, 2012

The Family in the Window- Pt. 2 Mark in the Dorm Room

Mark closed the door and set the car alarm.  It was especially important in student parking at the dorms.  They had patrols but cars were still broken into, especially nice cars or ones parked in the back of the lot where there was the least lighting like where he had to park because all of the other spaces were taken.  He tossed the keys in the air and caught them easily as he walked from his car through the lot.  

He had done it.  He had actually fucking dated another guy, someone his own age.  He had picked him up, taken him to dinner, kissed him, felt him up, and they were going to have a second date.  It could be a relationship.

A relationship?  Maybe that wasn’t the best. What if Tristan wasn’t okay with him being in the closet still?  Or what if he gave him the strength to come out?  No one would want that.  Still, it wasn’t fake.  It wasn’t like all the dates with girls where he had to fake it.  This was something else.  This was real.  He knew it.  He felt it.  He was gay.  This is what he had wanted.

When he reached his on-campus apartment he wasn’t surprised to find his roommates, Scott and Glen were still awake in the living room playing Halo multi-player on the Xbox 360.  Two competitive athletes killing time.  Scott was on the soccer team with him but Glen was on the wrestling team.  Each with their own headset they were focused on the game and talking smack:

“Come on faggot,” Scott said.

“Ew, up side your head with that one faggot.”

“Well you’ll like this one in your mouth.  That’s it take it.”

“I’ll smack you with nine inches of limp dick if you come near me.”

Mark breathed deep to keep himself from saying something he would regret.  They were both ordinarily good guys.  They had even mentioned that they didn’t have a problem with gays they just didn’t know any.  Who did, they asked.  It would have been easy to admit it then but Mark couldn’t bring himself to speak.  But what would it have meant?

He didn’t want them to know, he wanted them to know, and he didn’t want to have to ‘come out’ to them because they shouldn’t have assumed.  He didn’t assume anything about them.  Did he? 

He said hello upon passing to the refrigerator where he retrieved a soda and was eager to get to his room.  Ordinarily he might have joined them but this was different, this was special and he still had good memories fresh in his mind despite their words.  He wanted to enjoy it all he could.

“Hot date tonight?”

“Yeah,” Mark said stopping just before leaving the living room.

“You gonna tell us about her?” Scott asked.

Mark turned to them.  He knew all the angles.  Whatever he said they would give him a hard time.  He wanted to say it then, describe his date in full detail.  

“She leave you with a major case of blue balls there?”

Mark smiled.  He didn’t want to have to deal with it though so he shrugged his shoulders.

“Either she did or she didn’t.  Your silence says that you did not get lucky my friend,” Scott said.

“We didn’t go all the way but we got to second to base.”

“We got to second base?  So she felt you up as well?  Why golly young Skywalker you may just be a Jedi yet.”

“Must be,” Mark said before tossing his soda in the air and catching it.  “I’m going back to my room.”

“Yeah to jerk off,” Glen said before mimicking masturbation with his hand.

“Hey at least I had a date tonight instead of playing Halo with my roommate.”

They laughed and he turned his back on them but they continued to call after him as he walked down the hall to his room though it was teasing he ignored.  He unlocked his private room, stepped inside, and closed the door.  There was silence.  

They were such assholes, he thought.  How could he ever have thought about coming out to them?  There was too much to lose.  No one would give up opportunities, the respect for what, for feeling like that, for being in a relationship, or committing sins, going against god and human nature.  His father had said many of the same things, his older brothers had similar feelings.  But Tristan, Tristan knew, he had been on the dating site, he had committed to something, a second date.  

Your being foolish, he thought, and self-centered.  No one knows anything.  You didn’t commit to anything.  Those guys weren’t his friends. Fuck the soccer team, fuck his parents, fuck the church and his brothers.  If it was so wrong then how come it felt so right?  God didn’t make mistakes, except sometimes He did.  Or maybe they weren’t mistakes, maybe they were challenges.  God didn’t make life easy.  God made man and He gave man free will.  Biology, there was biology and nature, whether it was God or not those things did have mistakes.  Fuck it.

He stripped off his clothes and opened the can of soda before sitting on his bed and opening his laptop.  He checked the time on his alarm clock.  It was eight hours before class, plenty of time.  He opened a blank word file and began to type.
No one understands what it is like.  Not for me, not someone who can pass.  Why give it up?  Why do they have to assume anything?  If they weren’t such assholes, such homophobes then it would be different.  But everyone just assumes I’m normal, just another guy.  I have to give my respect to the obvious guys, the ones who used to get picked on in high school.  Man, I saw it all but I barely did anything.  Once I helped a kid with his books but what the hell was that?  I’ve never been on a date with another guy before tonight.  I’ve never done anything.  Just an online chat room, fantasies but what the hell were those?  I can’t believe I lied to Tristan.  Now it’s a fake relationship started with lies.  There is fantasy and then there is real life.  Both are a bunch of lies.  
Am I gay yet?  Does it take a good fuck?  Maybe it’s just the right girl, the right girl who’ll shove a finger up my ass maybe or a dildo.  The rest of my life could be like this.  Get a girl, get married, but always know, maybe have a guy on the side and end up like one of those politicians caught in the men’s room of an airport or hitting on an aid.  More lies.  All of us are on some path of self-destruction
He stopped and looked at what he had just written.  A path of self-destruction?  What the hell did that mean?  His life was about success.  He had done it.  He had gotten to college and succeeded.  He deleted the paragraph then clicked undo so he could see it again.  He was so close so many times but it never amounted to anything.  He always played it safe.  One simple phrase would change his whole world.  But what else did he need from them?  What would they not give him if he told anyone?  

It was all too much so he closed the laptop and turned off the light by his bed.  He lay in the darkness of his room and stared up at the ceiling.  Living was hard, he thought.  Living was hard and dying, death, well that was easy.  Well sort of, it was and it wasn’t.  The human body had endurance, could have endurance.  If he was going to do something it would have to be absolute.  He closed his eyes and wished it all away.  His body, his soul, all of his problems, and a pain snuck up from the back of his skull then he felt it in his feet and he began to cry.  Someone help me.

He only slept four hours and he was up with the sun, a habit his body sometimes regressed to from when he used to run track in high school and had to be up early to train.  He dressed easily, grabbed all his accessories, used the shared bathroom, packed his laptop in his bag along with the book for class and headed for the door but when he saw that Scott was still playing Halo in the living room he stopped and decided to get breakfast.  He moved to the kitchen and noticed Glen was asleep on the couch in an awkward position. 

“You still awake?” Mark asked.

“What time is it?” 

“Almost seven,” Mark said.

“I still have two hours before class.  I can sleep then if I get to the back before everyone else.”

“Nice, yeah I still have to write my paper.”  Mark took out a packet of pop-tarts and walked back to stand beside Scott.   

“Is it hard?”

“No, just a reaction paper but I barely read the assignment.”

“You want to play some?  Glen couldn’t keep up.  The fag passed out two hours ago.  We should fuck with him.  Do some gay shit.  We could probably butt fuck him and he’d never know.”

Something in Mark snapped.  It was one of the times in life he found himself acting out of anger through some voice that couldn’t be reasoned with, some impression that sprang from deep inside of him.  He was doing everything wrong but maybe that was okay, maybe there was something to prove.  Scott was an aggressive player and had a bit of a temper on the field.  It would be easy to bait him.

“Dude you’re an asshole,” he said.


“Do some gay shit?  Butt fuck him?  What’s your problem?”

“I’m just messing around,” Scott said.  “Nobody cares, I mean you should have seen the stuff we did to the freshmen this year.  I wasn’t serious.  You get so bent out of shape about stuff like when that guy grabbed your ass on the field.”  

He knew he was hitting back with a heavy blow.  It was all part of the game to antagonize the opponent so when a guy grabbed Mark’s ass on the field and Mark snapped and began to chase after him all the rest of the team started to laugh until they saw the opposing team start to interfere then they had to back up their man.

“The guy was being a jerk.  He had it coming to him.”

Glen awoke as their voices had begun to rise.  He rubbed at his face and sat up on the couch unsure of what was happening.

“Maybe, but you got all hot and bothered about it.  Maybe you’re the one with the problem.  Maybe you’re a bit insecure.”

“Screw you Scott.”

“Screw me?  You’d like that.  Why don’t you go to class before you get yourself hurt?”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.  I’d kick your ass.”

“Hey cool it man,” Glen said.

“No let him talk,” Scott said before pausing the game.  He set the controller down and stood.  He was a head taller than Mark and slightly more muscled.

“You think I’m scared?”

“I think you’re an idiot.  I think you’re a fag and that guy turned you on.  I think--”

Mark lunged at Scott with his hands out hitting the larger man in the chest and knocking him back two feet.  Each of them stood their ground for a second.

“Let’s just cool off guys,” Glen said.

Scott stepped forward and Mark lunged at him again but this time when he hit Scott didn’t move.  They wrestled for a moment for the advantage.  There was no easy winner.  Mark tried to throw a punch but Scott was too close and his arm was deflected over the other man’s shoulder.  Mark threw a knee and this time Scott was prepared so he grabbed the leg and pulled making him lose his balance and fall backwards.  Scott tried to fall on him to get control but Mark put up his other knee temporarily putting him off balance he fell to the side into the television stand almost knocking it over.

“That was my T.V.,” Scott said.

“Quit it you two,” Glen said as he looked on.

“Not ‘til he apologizes,” Mark said between breaths as he rolled to his knees to continue the struggle.  Scott knew to get back to his feet, or at least to his knees.  He caught Mark and the two rolled together until he had Mark on his back.  

When Mark felt his shoulders hit the floor years of watching UFC had told him to get his guard up making Scott fall between his legs.  Scott threw a punch into Mark’s stomach making him yell out in pain.  

“Come on guys,” Glen said at Scott’s back.  He reached down and grabbed Scott under the arms.  “That’s enough.”

Scott let himself be pulled away but Mark didn’t want it to end so he pushed up from the ground right into both of them knocking them sideways and right into the television.  They went over on top of it breaking it easily under their weight and pulling the Xbox 360 onto its side by the cables.  As soon as he heard the screen snap and the Xbox hit Mark knew that he had gone too far, something had been broken, something he would have to pay for.  

“Damn it,” Scott yelled out.

Mark was on his feet first but he used the time to retreat.  Scott and Glen recovered together and when Scott turned on him ready to attach Glen was at his back holding him.

“Let me go,” Scott said.

“Dude, I’m sorry wait,” Mark said.

“You’re going to be.”

“Cool it man it was just a T.V.”

“He’s paying for it,” Scott demanded.

“Look I’m sorry.  I’ll pay for it.”  He didn’t know how.  Ask his father for the money but what would he say?

Glen still held Scott who bucked at the grip.

“Look just get out of here man so we can all cool down.”

Mark turned on his roommates to find their fourth roommate, Bryan, dazed and scratching at his curly brown hair as he stood in the hallway in a pair of boxer briefs.

“What happened?”

“We had an accident,” Mark said before leaving the apartment with a slam of the door.

Glen let Scott go and they both looked to the television.

“What happened?” Bryan asked again.

“He broke our television,” Glen said.

“He broke my television,” Scott said.

“Dude what an asshole,” Bryan added.

Mark walked with a determined gate.  What had he just done?  What would he tell his father?  An incident like this could get him kicked off or reprimanded by the coach.  What would his teammates say?  A whole chain reaction was going to happen and he wasn’t sure if it was worth it.

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