We were drinking absinthe Red Bulls, as i expected. Dave (he asked me to call him that) and i had met earlier at one of his shows in a local gymnasium. Why was Bowie playing a gym? Well, it was one of those fancy two-tiered gymnasiums, where you could look down upon the action from the second level and throw things and spit, except everybody was on their best behaviour for Bowie; paper airplanes only. Upon informing us that he’s Afraid of Americans, he twirled and headed for the lobby, his longcoat creating a cool umbrella-ish shape in the motion. I ducked out and spied him chatting up some young girls that were obviously amused by his Labyrinth haircut. He was suave and quite affable, even as the girls didn’t appear to realize who he was. What a gent. I approached him, introduced myself, and mentioned that i was in attendance at his Prague concert where he had the on-stage heart attack, and commended his valiant effort to carry on that show for as long as possible afterwards. I told him that the fellas and i often do imitations of that moment in horrible brit-ish accents - “I’m sorry, i can’t go on. I’m in incredible pain.” He seemed quite taken aback at first, then abruptly threw his head back with maniacal laughter and took me across the street for a slice of pepperoni and double cheese.
Oh what fresh hell is this? It’s about as fresh as an evening-old fart trapped under cover, released upon awakening, like breaking the seal on a can of crushed assholes. I’m shivering, lying on a cot beside the stage where i have just performed, while my boss is loading out my drums and saying i don’t have to be at work in the morning. I haven’t worked for him in a year and a half. I pack up the sweat-soaked cot, climb in the back of the Ford Econoline, and rumble out of the parking lot towards a radiant summer field, where i jump down into a small stream and commando a wooden raft. Paddling towards the towering cliffs now unfolding around me, i marvel at the heights that the indigenous peoples are willing to dive from, even though several limbs floating in the water beside me would suggest it as folly. Further down in the shallows, i part with my new buddy the raft and spy the doe-eyed kid from summer camp ‘83 that i kinda felt sorry for and who looks a bit like my cousin Fraser. We ascend the river bank and talk sheepishly at two girls in braces, and i get the sneaking suspicion that the one on the left becomes my first high school girlfriend. I trace figure eights in the sand with the antenna of my walkie talkie until we’re summoned to participate in the first round of the everfun games. I head off to climb the lookout tower, where i barbecue some burgers up top, and afterwards the grill scraper explodes in my hand like a firecracker. I float down and walk towards the camp lodge, which looks suspiciously like one of the longhouses from the replica Iroquois village in the south end of town. Decked out in my olive-coloured blazer from grade 13 grad, accented with a pair of baby blue New Balance jogging shorts, i proceed to re-organize the list of everfun events, while Mrs. Coupland, my grade 6 teacher with the runner’s legs, trucker’s mouth, and an undying love for Van Halen’s Jump, condones my initiative and then asks me to fuck her. Goddamn NyQuil.
Riley looks up at me from between my legs, her hair pulled back like a sexy Samurai, the tip of my hard cock resting gently on her bottom lip. She continues to stare at me while slowly taking the head into her mouth, rocking her head back and forth slightly, creating a soft in-out motion that is really fucking pleasing. I decide that it’s the hottest blowjob in recent memory due to the combination of eyes and pacing and tell her it’s video worthy. My comment goes unnoticed or ignored. I’m guessing the latter. Riley pulls back and tells me that she could do this all day and i say ‘uh, ok?’, as if any other answer is an option. As she’s looking up i comment that her tits look bigger than the last time we fucked and ask her if she was knocked up at some point during that time and got to keep the pregnancy tits. She rolls her eyes, goes back to work and makes her way down to the underside of my balls and starts licking while stroking my cock with her right hand. My reaction to the balls thing is apparently a bit new for her and she laughs or squeals a bit and says i’m fun. If this is fun for her then i’m about to become the Delta Tau Chi toga party from Animal House.
I’m not there. Rarely am. Persona non grata, as my parents used to say. I’ve been to exactly three family functions in my lifetime; a reunion, my grandfather’s funeral, and my sister’s wedding. Pissing yourself at the reception doesn’t typically elicit many encores. My sister, although clearly mortified, escorted me upstairs to my hotel room and placed me in my reserved seat on the bathroom floor, where i rode out the remainder of her reception horizontally, pulling myself up only to vomit. I was never sure what she saw in me, but she was the only one to ever offer any help in navigating through my putrid existence.
I was there for my sister during her second miscarriage. She never told anybody about the first one. She’d been trying for years to have a kid, and when she was finally successful in creating a new hint of life, her body fucked her over once again. I didn’t think it was possible to feel anything through the complete numbness that i had created for myself, but that crushed me in a way like no other before or since, until now. At that time i’d already paid for two abortions, begrudgingly coughing up booze and motel money quicker than i coughed up blood, only to avoid the absolute disaster that bringing life into this world with those two whores would have been. What a disgusting irony, to be selfishly taking life while my sister was trying so desperately to give it.
During a slightly more sober year, i managed to get it right, or as right as possible at the time. I’d met an incredible blonde firecracker named Julie one night down at the Brunswick Tavern, my local, who was keeping pace with me drink for drink; even lapped me. She was putting herself through school by serving drinks at a pub just down the road, and was in spending some of her hard-earned tips on some post-work gin and tonics. We talked about movies, not politics, and our mutual appreciation of Willie Nelson. She laughed at my awful Bullwinkle impression and even bought the last round. She seemed right at home amongst young drunks like me, which i guess is what made her good at her job. I know i was right at home around her.
She was always just kinda there - a friend of friends, hanging around with the crew. Nice enough, but meek and not initially captivating; adequately cute in a tomboy pixie, always the bridesmaid never the bride kind of way. She had a thing for me that was surely not reciprocated, or so I thought. We partook in the usual slate of post-college pre-job activities, including pot luck dinners, cheap red wine, marijuana cigarettes and mining a Bob Marley box set for the choice nugs. This usually involved our full group, but over several months slowly devolved into a group of two.
I started to really enjoy her company, but it never escalated to anything more intimate than a shared joint. The chill environment allowed her to be a little more open, and we had some engaging conversations about past relationships, future plans and the dismal state of pop music (Savage Garden and NSYNC were charting at the time). Perhaps i should have seen it coming, but honestly thought we were on the same platonic page.
I arrived at her apartment one evening and was promptly handed a card. It wasn’t a typical card-giving occasion, but i was mischievously instructed to open it. The front of the card contained cartoons with cute captions referring to new best buds, and the inside was completely blank save for one handwritten line - “I want to fuck you. Now.” I had just been propositioned via a sex card.