And His Eyes Be as Blue as the Sea Ch. 04

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(This epilogue is dedicated to Tracy, with deepest thanks)

“Come back to me, girl.
I didn’t mean to hurt you,
But I know I did.
I didn’t mean to,
Yes, I wish you would forgive
Me,
And put me out of my misery,
Girl.
Take my hand, girl,
It’s lonely and sad in my heart,
Cause you’re no longer there,
And I stare at the wall,
Bring back your love, girl.
I can’t wait another minute
For you, girl…”

“Hell,” Aaron said, loudly, as he tossed his guitar on his dorm bed. He couldn’t write music and lyrics and he couldn’t sing worth a damn either. It was one day till morning. Or one second until morning and he would call the teacher or Matthew or the guy at the bar, but he would not call Jo. Jo had no right to treat him like this. They weren’t married. She did not own him. She was just so selfish, she thought of him as a piece of meat at the butcher’s part of the grocery. No, he sighed. He was naked and he stroked his limp penis. She was way better than that. Way kinder. She had given everything to him. But her love was never going to be there again.

Never. And he thought as he pushed back his hair from his eyes, this is what they call the forever-alone thing. Even that guy in the bar last night had forgotten him and Alton had half forgotten him as well; and felt grungy at the things they did. It was Alton, his name. He came from a respectable family. He had great grades. He had been the star everything in high school, and here he was with this noid creeping up the back creaky stairs of his brain and he couldn’t think anymore because said noid was eating his brain alive and there was nothing but emptiness in his soul. And that were too many ands and he would get downgraded if he turned in a paper like that.

Well, so be it. And and and and and. That’s how people thought, that’s how he thought at least. Who thinks in complete correct sentences with the right punctuation at the end? Nobody, a big nobody, that’s who. And that was who Alton, who, dejected, walked to the bathroom and surveyed himself in the wall mirror. He had long hair that still looked good, even after last night, unwashed since then; he had a kind face and a captivating smile. There was openness and sensitive honesty in his cool blue eyes. Jo had said these things about him, when he was making love to her or walking with her and he loved the smell of her perfume, it was, like, Autumn aroma, rich and inviting and full bodied, as was she and he had loved to hold onto her hips as they had sex because he loved the feel of them as they went up and down in concert with his. How could he have been so mad as to lose her? Telling her about Matthew? Just trying to show her what a hot guy she has on her hands, and bragging a little about it, “every they can’t stay away from me.”

Then he thought, what if she thinks I’m gay? What if her world is broken like mine is now. You break me; I break you. Well, that was a damn selfish Escort bayan ten year old attitude, like she said he and Matthew were acting like they were ten years old when they showed each other their things, and he had wanted to slap her for that, but kept the feeling to himself. And she had slammed the door. He tried to tell himself that last night, and with Matt, he had been thinking of her all the time. But he hadn’t. He had just felt good and thought of no one and nothing, but the pleasure.

And he was here and now and he thought of the guy from the bar last night and it all made him more than a little ill. How could he have done it with a guy like that? Wait. How could he have done it with a guy, period? Damn, what’s happening to me? He smiled into the mirror, certainly not because he was happy, but because he wanted to see the very white teeth of his. Teeth were part of the skeleton; thank you Dr. Morton in Science 101, for telling us that and making teeth seem creepy. But his were white and they almost flashed a gleam like on the TV commercials.

He liked his body. Compact. Slim. Long arms and long sturdy legs, though still thin. There were light sun yellow hairs on them, which Jo had liked to stroke with her hand. She said it felt soft and downy like duckling down or rabbit fur. She called him “bunny” sometimes because of that. His skull was a bit long, which made his head not look good in profile, but he had a face to make even girls envious. It looked as though he had added fake eyelashes, but those were real, they were dark and they were sensuous. Jo said she loved to see his eyelashes close and unclose. She said it turned her on. He looked at his hairless chest, and he touched his small orangey nipples, which became immediately hard. The mirror showed a flat stomach, innie navel, and a flat abdomen, V-ing in on his groin, where the mirror stopped right at the top of his wispy faint blonde pubic hair. Again, he tried to make himself hard. But he felt like he wasn’t even human. Like he was a plank or the side of an awning out in the summer sun, feeling and being and thinking nothing.

He turned on the shower, tested the right balance of hot and cold, and stepped in it, and shampooed his hair, turning his face up to the stinging water—thinking-what if I start to lose my hair when I’m older? like the teacher—how can I live without my hair?—God, it was terrifying—let me not look like that teacher, whose name I shall never write or think or say again, ’cause he blew me off when I tried to talk to him about Jo and me, just when I needed someone—hell—he furiously rinsed the shampoo from his hair. Good, maybe teach is gay, maybe he was like me one time when he was young, and maybe that’s gonna be me someday. It doesn’t take a genius to guess the irony of the thing, and he bet that teach was sitting around his lonely house doing whatever gay people do when they are past their prime, and he’s thinking Stupid Escort (not even remembering my name) doesn’t realize I was like him when I was young, and I trusted people, and they let me down or they shunned me, and I will take the loneliness over that bitter set of memories every day. Yeah, teach, he thought as he washed his face and chest and penis and legs, sure, teach, you want me, because I’m hot, because you can’t resist me.

You’ll be remembering me, till Kingdom Come, and I do mean Kingdom COME, and I’m not mean, and I’m not mean, this is not me, this is one something that has come to the habitation of a body that is not Aaron Floyd. Which was when he broke. Which was when he dropped the washcloth and let the soap. Which was when Alton Floyd began to weep. And he pushed his hands through his wet, stringy hair and he leaned the side of his face on the stall wall beside him and he cried his heart out. He cried because he had not had much sadness in his life. He had never been greedy, but he had always had it made. Terror was on the evening news and in the newspapers and it was way over there somewhere, even here, it was still way over there somewhere. And sadness and suicide and drug overdoses and those little lives that are like tiny, smaller than small boxes people have to live in, and they never dare anything, and try to be happy, being alone, or being not alone but with the wrong person, that had never touched him.

He wished he could sing to them. He wished he could buy the world a Coke. Oh great, here is an epiphany, and what comes into his crazed mind? A TV commercial jingle for Coke. And he kept crying hard and hot tears in the hot water as at the same time he was laughing in spite of himself; he had no idea that was possible. It was the weirdest feeling he had ever had in his life. Even weirder than jacking off with Matt. Even weirder than having a man sucking his cock last night, and Alton enjoying it. God, let me call the teacher and Matt and Jo. I can’t call the man from last night, because I have no idea who the hell he was, anymore than he knows who I am—though he does know I live in this dorm, and that was an uneasy feeling for Alton—I want to call them and tell them you don’t owe me anything, you know. And tell them I don’t know what my sexuality is. Jo, I love fucking you and I love it when you give me head. And I loved it when I was jacking off with you, Matt, and to tell you the truth, I was sorry I sent you away. And that guy last night—the Picasso of blowjobs. And I can see more things now. That’s what he would tell them. I can see more things now. I can see more possibilities than I had before. The world just might be opening like a flower, and I might be that flower as well. Opening. And he suddenly felt far less claustrophobic than before.

He had stopped crying and laughing. He turned off the shower and wrapped himself in a huge white terrycloth towel, got another for his head and hair, Bayan escort and a hairbrush; he went to the bed and sat on the side of it. After he had dried himself, after he had brushed his hair, and dried it, he dressed and thought about going out somewhere to get lunch. It was almost eleven. Maybe he would never contact any of them. Well, the teacher, cause he had to take that class, but he could ice him out like the teach had iced Alton out, and that might be fun. He would see Jo on campus, but he would let her make the first move, say the first word, if she did at all. And Matthew the same thing. Maybe all of them are already gone. It saddened him horribly. And yet, maybe they aren’t. Maybe there is still a chance to, at least, be friends with Jo and Matt. But if they are through with him, perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. Maybe I won’t be like the teach. Perhaps I can make it, like he couldn’t. Maybe he could do it in teach’s honor. And Alton thought that would be a kind and good thing to do.

Alton had been working for other people too long. He had been what they expected him to be and he had worked his ass off being just that. Maybe that was where the popularity came in. He was beautiful—he had been told it often; not brag, just what he had come to believe, as he had come to believe his hair was golden colored) and when he was kind to someone, or called out a greeting or asked some average of below-average looking boy or girl to have lunch with him in the high school cafeteria, and made them feel like a million dollars, and the envy of the kids for maybe a whole week or more, well—weren’t they kind of using him to make themselves feel better? Like a prop they posed with? As, of course, had he.

Maybe Alton was gay or straight or bi, or somewhere in a gray area—hell, who knew? He felt better now, for no reason, for every reason. He put on his coat, looked out the window. Still snowing a little. He opened the window onto the hot room and felt the cold blast on his face that felt so enlivening and invigorating. He half ran to the door and then down the corridor and the stairs to the first floor, then out that door to the quad, and the walkway, with the snow sounding and feeling crunchy underfoot, while the wind was blowing hard from the pure North against him, stinging his nose and cheeks, and pushing him backward a little or forcing him to brace himself for trying harder. He remembered, as he started running again, to a diner off campus, the end words of a novel he had loved since childhood, “The Shrinking Man” by Richard Matheson. It had been made into a beautiful movie too. About a man who begins to grow smaller and smaller until he is almost one inch tall, and then he is o inches tall.

He had thought, had Scott Carey, that he would not exist as that point. But he did. Matheson wrote beautifully and breathtakingly, with words of wonder and majesty, of that first awareness; first moment; first step into a new world “into which Scott Carey ran, searching.”

So, filling his lungs with cold cutting air, thinking of life now and life ahead, people now and the ones ahead, himself now and himself ahead, and the future forever, Alton Floyd ran into his new world, searching.

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