Read My Best Man Online

Authors: Andy Schell

Tags: #General, #Fiction

My Best Man (7 page)

“Faster!” Amity shouts.

“I’m going to get a ticket!” I yell as the little engine pushes harder. We’re on a city street, and I’m nearly up to fifty miles an hour on the speedometer. I check for cops.

“Jerod was a gentleman he never came before I did. Change lanes!” she says.

I swerve over to the next lane, and she squeals with the motion. I’m embarrassed. I wish we were at Cowboy Bill’s so she could just duck into the bathroom or something.

“He did push-ups on the kitchen table! Go back!” she commands

Sitting so close to her, feeling her state of excitement, I realize my face is flushed and my hands are so clammy I can hardly steer the old bug back to the other lane.

She squeals as I make the lane change. “Jerod’s dick was thicker than a buffalo in China,” she screams, throwing herself back in the seat and writhing like a snake on gravel. “Harry, roll the windows down!” she calls out while twisting and jerking herself into an orgasm. “I’m so wet we’re going to drown in this car like Mary Jo Kopechne!”

 

“Darlin’,” she chirps, to the teenage boy at the drive-through window at Cowboy Bill’s Chicken, “do you have any of those moist towelette packets? My fingers are sticky.” She’s leaning me, smiling at the little guy.

We’re stopped inside of a huge recreation of a Stetson hat has a hole in it for cars to drive through. The kid at the window dressed in a red-and-white gingham shirt, bolo tie, and cowboy

“Yes, ma’am. I’ll throw some extras in the sack.”

“You’re a peach, sweetheart.”

We take our roasted chicken and vegetables home, and I Amity to shower off or clean herself up or do whatever girls after they jack off, but I guess the moist towelettes were She simply plops into the wingback chair and picks pieces off the bone while sipping champagne and flipping through D zinc. The cover story of the February issue is “Dallas’s Eligible Men.”

“I’ve got to get me a rich one, Harry. Someone who will us both out. Me and you.”

“We don’t need anyone to help us,” I say, gnawing on a thi “Harry, we’re flight attendants, not financiers. I’m to a certain lifestyle.” Lawfstawl. “And I’m sure, considering family background, you’re accustomed to certain comforts as

I’m sitting on the floor beside her. “Yes, I am. What’s problem?”

Her voice turns soft, her manner gracious. “I just thought, you’re working this job, and driving your car, that maybe on your own, like me.”

“Sort of,” I shrug, putting my chicken down. “But I took job because I wanted to. I was bored with school the last

I wanted to do was keep going. Sure, my family sees the world a certain way, but I thought it would be fun to see the differently. And my car well…” I stare at the wall. “I’ve loved my old VW, and I don’t see why I have to drive a new

 

“I’m embarrassed,” Amity says. “I don’t want you to ever feel you have to justify yourself to me. Listen. I’m up front about it I like money. And I’ve dated plenty of guys because of it.”

Which makes me doubt her family is anything like mine. Unless she’s done something to displease them, there is no reason for her to date guys for money if she can get it from her family.

“But this is different, you and me,” she continues. “You’re my friend, and I don’t give a damn about your family’s name because I would never think of you in that way.”

“I appreciate you saying that. But you know, I do have money.” I’m not exactly lying. I do have money. I’m just not married enough to get my hands on it. Do I tell her? I know what she’ll do. She’ll impetuously say, “Let’s get married!” But as much as I’d like my inheritance, it’s not worth living a lie to get it.

Amity and I peruse the pages of D together, finding the choices laughable. A Budweiser delivery man. A party designer. A wood craftsman. “G’yaw! Whoa, Bubba!” She makes the time-out sign. “Who came up with these jokers? Guys who drive beer trucks are too groovy they use blow-dryers and wear musk cologne.”

“Is there such a thing as a straight party designer?” I ask. “Letitia Baldridge,” Amity answers. “Even though she looks like a big ole drag queen, I’m pretty sure she’ sstraight. She designed

Jacqueline Kennedy’s parties.”

“Men,” I clarify.

“Who cares?” Amity says, forfeiting the question. “Party designers, closet organizers, motivational speakers they should all be shot so we can get on with our lives! Give me a filthy rich, boring-as-rice, trapped-in-suspenders banker any day of the week. Cash money, baby!” Amity falls to the floor on her back and moves her arms and legs over the hardwoods as if she’s trying to make a snow angel.

“Hey,” I laugh, poking her with my foot. “What if you had SOme guy who wasn’t boring as rice and trapped in suspenders, but who still had lots of money? What if the guy with money was fun and made you laugh and had a cute butt?”

“I’d be in heaven, Harry,” she answers, lying on her back,

“And I’d love the hell out of him. Now tell me something.” “Yes, Amity?”

“Do you have a cute butt, Harry?”

“You tell me,” I answer coyly.

“I’d say it’s beyond being a cute butt, Harry,” she “Frankly, you’ve got a great ass.”

That night, at the gym, the car salesman with the glacier eyes, JT, is there pumping up his pecs. He hoists the bar onto bench clips and walks over to me as I’m down on a mat crunches. “How come I haven’t heard from you?”

I continue with the sit-ups. “Maybe you have.” I grin. don’t even know my name.”

“JT Reardon,” he says, putting out his hand to shake. “Harry Ford,” I say, shaking it. “And I’m not in the for a car or I’d definitely call you.”

“I do more than sell cars,” he assures me. Then he goes to his bench presses.

I come home from the gym to find Amity sitting in her room on her bed, painting her nails by the light of her little lamp while listening to Troy crying into the phone machine in sobs. The bottle of champagne is empty, and there’s only a bit left in her glass. “See how loud he is?” she asks. “Can’t tell his balls smell like Brie cheese?”

“Jesus, Amity,” I laugh. “He’s torn up. He’s not talking crying.”

“I know. Those frat boys are such big titty babies. I can’t to this anymore.” She turns the volume off, gulps down the bit of champagne.

 

I toss my gym bag onto the floor. “Isn’t that kind of callous?”

“Well,” she says, “sometimes a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.”

“Would it kill you to talk to him?” I ask, feeling one of my biceps. It’s growing a little, and I like the tight feeling of the engorged muscle.

“Listen, Bubba. Troy was starting to claim squatter’s rights,” she says with narrowed eyes, “and nobody owns me.” She picks up the bottle and tries to pour herself more champagne before she realizes it’s empty. She slowly sets it down. “Nobody can tell me what to do. Not Troy or my family or anyone.”

“Hey, I’m your friend. Remember?”

She jerks as if she’ sswitched gears without using the clutch and laughs. “Be a darling’ and go to the kitchen and get me a can of Raid so I can kill this bug that’s up my ass.” I smile and she goes back to painting her toes, and as I pick up my gym bag and leave her darkened room, I realize she houses another darkened room inside her.

At the end of the month, President Reagan announces his candidacy for reelection. There’s no way I’ll vote for him. He’s just so old.

I am invited by a college friend, Iris, to a Pink Party in New York, and I’m concerned about attending because I don’t have any clothing that is pink. She assures me that it isn’t necessary. I decide to fly to the Cayman Islands first, then up to New York. Amity loves that I am jetting off by myself, and I’m aware that I’ve ascended a notch in her book.

As an airline employee, I fly from Dallas to Grand Cayman for a total of twenty dollars. First class. Who needs family money? Though it is standby. I land at night and check into a moldy American franchise hotel. The turquoise carpet and drapes are sprouting penicillin, the sheets smell like someone’s dirty scalp, and the air

 

conditioner is spewing a damp Legionnaire’s breeze. I just want to get back on the plane and fly around the stratosphere in first class

In the bathroom, I brush my teeth and prepare to wash my face by attempting to unleash the little bar of soap that is trapped in paper. I get so frustrated trying to un case it that I practically pop a blood vessel. Finally I smash it against the counter, rip it open, and take out little chips to wash with. Since the chips are with the oceanic tap water, I get no lather at all.

After brushing my teeth with saltwater and Colgate, I slip into the dirty-scalp sheets and pull the bedspread up to my chin. Traveling is so glamorous.

The next day I lie in the sun to disinfect. After hanging out the sand awhile, I take a walk down the beach. I soon sense I’m being followed, and when I turn around there’s a guy who big muscular legs walking twenty yards behind me in a S After the third time I glance back he says to me in a sexy “The farther you walk, the longer it takes us to get back to hotel room.” How can I resist that?

Our sex together is lingering, tropical, salty as if we’re in the sea. Our bodies meld into a gradual, steady, warm build arcs with the end of the afternoon. It’s weird, but I think of while I’m with him. I fantasize that she’s here on this island me and this hot boy with thick thighs. I know she likes and this is one I’m sure she’d love, so I bring her here in imagination. I’m aware that I’m starting to want to share

I do with her..” as if it’s not valid unless she’s a part of it.

As evening approaches the island, we sit by the pool and en a sunset that is the same pink and orange as the grenadine orange juice in our drinks. Turns out he’s a dancer from the ship anchored in the distance, and he has to return to the ship the nine o’clock show. Before he leaves, I suggest grabbing couple of cocktail napkins and using them to write down our numbers.

 

“I don’t do that,” he says casually.

“Oh, because you’re on a ship?”

“No, I just don’t give my number out. I’m not looking for a relationship.”

 

, “

 

‘ OK, I say, trying to be nonchalant. The truth is, my feelings are hurt, regardless of the fact that he’s a stranger. I suppose I am looking for a relationship. Why do I always have to pretend I’m not? Am I the only gay guy my age who’s looking for a steady thing? It’s not as if I want some boring suburban life in one of those tribe neighborhoods where everyone has the same red-tile roof and two-car garage. Believe me, I have no desire to drive a station wagon and cook casserole recipes that call for truckloads of cream of mushroom soup. I just want a mate who would live in a cool apartment with me, maybe even a house (slate roof), and share his life, his soul, his body. Someone who would make me laugh. Someone who’s smart. Someone who votes. Someone who would let me walk through the door after a long trip and say, “Honey, I’m homo!”

The next two days an island boy with body odor pesters me to let him experiment with his bisexuality. Not the relationship I’m looking for. I decline and depart the warm sands of Cayman for the icy insanity of New York.

New York is frozen. Solid. Iris and her roommates live in Hell’s Kitchen on a street that is famous for its rats the kind of rats that sit on top of the garbage cans and catcall women in high heels. If you carry groceries past them, they ask, “Got anything good?” Rats you could saddle up and ride to the Bronx. I always think I should bring a ham or a plate of enchiladas, which I could throw onto the sidewalk to divert their attention while I make a frenzied dash to the stairs of the building. Arriving from the islands, I have nothing but a half-empty container of Tic-Tacs. I pop the lid, scatter them onto the snowy pavement, and make a run for it before I realize there are no rats in waiting. They must have frozen to death.

 

Iris congratulates me for making it to her door, and though assures me my sunburned skin will qualify me for the soiree, or at the very least I can chew a piece of pink bubble with my mouth open, I return to the streets to buy a pink thinking it will be sufficient for my debut. Of course, arrives at the party in these incredibly pink, incredibly well-thou out ensembles that border on Broadway set design. The party thrown by an actor magician named Aaron, who happens to live Iris’s building, which is actually a funeral parlor on the floor. Aaron is part of the famous drag entertainer Chad entourage, though I have no idea who Chad Barclay is. Chad working on a play titled Theatrica: She’s Hitched with Librium. love the title and try to be as funny. Of course, that never

I’m a bit uncomfortable at the party, because everyone is actor or writer, or painter or something worthy, and I realize journey into the skies is kind of an embarrassment. I stop tellin people I’m a steward and just say, “I travel,” in a way that them not ask further.

Halfway through the party I lose Iris, but decide to find because friendships like hers are what I miss most about my in Dallas, and I’m only in New York for two days. Someone they saw her and Aaron headed for the roof earlier. I scout outside hall and find the steep ladder steps that lead to the in the building’s roof. I climb slowly, because I’m a little and pop my head into the frigid winter night. I hear what like a scuffle. I look to the right and see Iris and Aaron ten feet away on the roof. Aaron is driving her back forcefully. is crying. It’s all very Hitchcock the cool blonde in the dress; the dynamic fellow, a magician by trade, shadowing her a rooftop in New York. Is he trying to kill her?

No. He’s fucking her.

Iris had told me over the phone that she was having a little with Aaron. Iris and I have been tight friends since school,

 

we’ve wondered aloud what it would be like to sleep together, but never really felt the need to find out. I am gay, after all. But then again, so is Aaron.

At the moment, he has her off-the-shoulder 1950’s dress gathered up in his hands, and he’s using it for balance as he rocks into her, steadily, driving her back, until they brace against an air duct. My first thought is, “How’s he maintaining a hard-on? It’s freezing.” My second thought is, “How’s he maintaining a hard-on? He’s gay.” As for my first question: He’s left his pants on, and though his dick is pulled through the fly of his pants, it’s certainly not waving in the midnight air. As for my second question: Iris has her hands around his neck, she’s kissing all over his face, and she’s so excited she’s crying, and he seems to be equally enthralled, meeting her kisses with wild passion. So I guess he’s not that gay. Still, I find this fascinating, and since they’re completely unaware of me, I continue to watch.

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