Saturday, September 24, 2011

Once Upon A Time In Suburban Connecticut

Once upon a time, in suburban Connecticut, a boy named Sam had to go to the local mall at seven o'clock on a Saturday morning. Charlotte wanted to find me the proper attire for my dance. We argued and screamed. I cursed. She covered her ears. I repeatedly slammed my head into the bathroom door, begging not to go. Charlotte won. She did the whole "watery eye thing", saying "We've never gone shopping before, darling." It's true, Charlotte was always too drunk to shop, even when we really needed it. When she did shop it was never with me. It was always on a whim between binges. Or she'd make a run to go get cigarettes, and notice her malnourished, half clothed children on the way out of the house. I decided I should put the melodrama away for a more important battle.

Reading the license plates on the way to the mall I read "Connecticut the Nutmeg State". I think the plates should read: "Connecticut a place for complacency." We passed a giant billboard. It read: "Connecticut if you lived here, you'd be home now." I felt the billboard should have read:"Connecticut, if you lived here you'd be bored." Or perhaps something more simple and straight to the point: "Connecticut, kill your self!" We past a mushroom farm that smelled like pig shit. And a trailer park which smelled the same. Yes, Charlotte and I saw all the exotic wonders of this native land.

"Do you want to try Sears or JC Pennys first." Charlotte asked as if I had a definite opinion on the matter. Well of course I preferred Sears home ware, but their boys evening ware was lacking; While JC Pennys really catered to the modern lifestyle and fashion of a young man like my self. "Charlotte I really don't care I think they have the same shit." I said with an eye roll. "My word that mouth!" Charlotte really thought she transformed into the Queen of England. My mouth was a matter of genetics, old Mom had it and Christine had it. I'm sure if I ran into my father (who I never met) in a crowded room I'd be able to tell who he was by the words he used before I'd recognize him by our similarity in features.

JC Pennys it was! Yellow lights, sickly faced shoppers, and beige walls filled my eyes. Charlotte picked up five green button downs in various hues of gross. "Those all look the same." I told her, and she assured me they weren't. There were other teens there, all with the same make believe grimace painted on their face, a pinch away from snapping. Plastic sales associates moved threw the racks like a rat maze. There was a sale on kakis that Saturday. The prison like loud speaker told me so. I'm surprised there isn't a sale on kakis every day. Kakis are stiff, almost always pleated, and always unflattering. Upon entering the sales department there was a giant advertisement for kakis. It featured white rich people on a beach somewhere in Cape Cod having the time of their lives giving each other piggy back rides. This was my new life goal: never be these people.

Charlotte grabbed a pair of kakis, which style I would call "dumpy professional" and shoved me in a dressing room. There was four other younger boys already inside, complaining with squishy faces. The youngest of the boys had made an accident in his new off the rack slacks. I was waiting for one of the adults in the dressing room to take notice. They didn't. I stood nervous to make a move, there were no stalls, just a large open space with mirrors all around. Charlotte stood out side the door yelling "How do they fit darling." I thought about trying them on, then the kid with the accident came running at me with shit on his hands. I ran from the dressing room and told Charlotte they were perfect.

The woman checking us out was about sixty, and she was quite the chatty Cathy. "Wow twenty dollars for a whole outfit can you imagine? What a bargain! You're going to be one smartly dressed little fellow!"she said. I don't know if I'd consider my self smartly dressed or that this was a bargain. I could have fashioned a better outfit out of some trash bags, a roll of duct tape, and some baby spit. Charlotte was so please with her self, she blushed and turned to me in celebration "Did you hear that Sam? A great bargain! Your mother is quite the smart shopper!"

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Dirt Bag

In the bathroom, my place of solace, I felt an overwhelming monkish calm, quite like that of sleep. I let my stomach pains escape me and I thought. Perhaps having a real mother is what I wanted? Maybe it just seems strange at the moment, I just need to adjust to this pleasant parenting? I leafed thru an old celebrity gossip magazine, and carelessly guffawed my way through who's dating who and Robert Downing Junior's new mug-shots. During a strain to expel, I could here the phone ring. "I'll get it!" yelled Charlotte in a fury of productivity.

Charlotte picked up the phone:

"Oh hello. Fitzgerald residence."

"No you have the right number."

"This is Samuel's mother. He's busy at the moment, can I leave him a message?"

"The Dance..."

I jumped from the john, and tried to scramble for the door. I tripped over my pants which were around my ankles, smashing my forehead on the door knob.

"Oh don't worry Anne! I'm sure Samuel would love to go with you, in-fact he was talking about it just this morning."

"MOM! CHARLOTTE! MOM!" I screamed. I kicked the door open, still scrambling to pull up my pants.

"Okay Anne, I'll pick you up around seven, I'm sure it will be lovely."

I stood in the doorway fuming. Charlotte hung up the phone. My forehead red and bruising, my fly unzipped, and my newly found compassion for Charlotte went out the window. I don't even remember if I flushed.

I looked back. The brown child of this awful catastrophe was staring at me from the toilet.

"How dare you!" I swear I felt my balls drop with every word spoken.

Charlotte shook her head.

"How could you Charlotte?" determination filled my being.

"Why? Why'd you tell her I'd go? You had no right doing that!"

Charlotte paused and looked down. "Please Samuel, your manhood is staring me in the face, please zip up you trousers." I blushed and took noticed of my appendage. Embarrassment had halted my speech. That was it she had won the battle.

I turned, tucked, zipped, and marched to my room.

At school, things had changed. I had gone three months without the unwarranted attention of my peers. Ever since the "Fag and Whale" incident, I worked vigorously to become unseen. This would all come to a head mid May of that year. I was so close, one month left and I was free.

Damn the Dance! Damn organized social event! How is this part of the educational system? As if liver spotted board members sat around devising schemes to make the socially oblivious more awkward!

Anne told the school of her exploits. Squirming with my locker combo, which never seemed to work, I was ambushed. My head was down fixing my backpack, when the light on the checker board tiled floors was eclipsed by a large circular being. I turned to the sight of a poke-a-dotted disaster. It was Anne.

"Hey I called, I'm glad Charlotte is back!" Anne said looking bashful. She really did have a nice way about her.

"Yeah I guess." with my head to the floor examining the constellations the scuff marks made on the tiles.

"Hey so... you excited about the dance?" Anne's sheepish grin smeared her face, it sat between the breakfast stains on her cheeks.

I wanted to say No and walk away. But, this meant so much to Anne. "Yeah... it should be fun... all the lights and stuff?" I make a horrible lier. Anne exhaled, a weight lifted off of our conversation.

Two dolled up tramps walked by, throwing verbal garbage at our gentle egos. "Hey love birds, can wait for the dance?"

Oh man every thing was harsh. The bell rang and Anne smiled scampering to her next class.

In second period my contempt, for people of my age grew. Trapped the stale surrounds of an eight grade english class room, ridicule was the greatest escape form boredom. Notes, chatter, and spit balls illuminated the room upon my arrival. Randy Dimmleman sat in front of me. He was a quiet outcast, same as I. The mockery didn't even stop with him. "Hey Sam, I was wondering, do think the gym can support a mammal as large as Anne? And how do you dance with a whale?"

Fuck you Randy! I'm amazed he knew a whale was a mammal.

"Randy I think the gym will be fine, but not if I had to bring her into that shitty trailer you live in, with all your inbreed relatives!"

His face turn bright red with embarrassment. His buck toothed smile turned into a sloppy frown as he turned around.

The teacher, Mrs Joiner, entered and proceeded with her lesson plan.

I proceeded to scribble in my diary.


Dear Diary,

How does one dance with a whale, when forced to dance? Does he take it in stride. Will he harpoon the beast? Or will he smile and entertain those who came for the freak show? I suppose I'm married to the sea.


I want a divorce,

Sam


I couldn't take refuge in the bathrooms anymore. That's where they talked, about me. It was my one place of hiding, and Anne ruined it! I was out, walking the battlefield, the halls of discontent. Whispers slithered around me, words that would plague the ears of the weak of heart. The words fat, Anne, fag, and Sam all rattled against the cold steel lockers. I was a marked man.

In gym class Frankie Roseglass approached me, we were changing and his delicate touch grazed my shoulder blade. "Hey Sam, I heard your going with Anne to the dance!"

I fumbled, my tounge became bloated and vomit rose in my esophagus.

He continued "Listen, I just wanted to say I understand."

What? Was this some "Carrie" like joke, I inspected the area for pigs blood.

"Hey, I'm just like you! I also like a big woman. Big sweaty tits, huge ass, all that cushion.."

Frankie continued in spirals of adolescent chubby chaser fantasy. Life paused for me to write a very eloquently spoken letter to God in my mind.

Dear God,

Why?

love,

Sam.

I repeated the hyper sexualized comments which Frankie spoke. I wanted Frankie to think I was just like him. I thought it better for him to believe I had a big girl fetish than the idea that I actually liked Anne. I was doing the male thing to do. Teenage realization: being a man meant being a dirt bag!