Outtakes Of A Walking Mistake

BOOK: Outtakes Of A Walking Mistake
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Outtakes of a Walking Mistake

Anthony Paull

Copyright 2011 Feelmagik Productions

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be produced or transmitted in any form or by any means, except with the permission of the publisher.

Cover Photo: T. Cronin Moore

Cover Art: Kyle Cross

For Virginia Lerie and James Stiffler

Meet me in forever.

Scene 1

This is not my life. My life exists in film, scattered across the cutting room floor. But that’s not important. That’s the future. My best friend is a bipolar basket case. That’s important. Well, the term basket case might be a tad severe. She takes the proper pills…sometimes, but I digress.

It’s just another day, just your average Rivershore High day with your average people struggling to be anything but average. And me, I’m no better. Bending over at the water fountain, I’m just as thirsty to be seen. Who cares about algebra or the ups and downs of American history anyway? The halls are where you’re studied. The halls are where you’re tested on an ongoing basis. And as I’m hunched over, lapping up water, I discover the perfect opportunity to begin a morning examination.

“Are you done yet?” a boy asks from behind. Refusing him an answer, I secretly analyze him. Tilting my head, my gaze begins at his feet and slowly slides up his shins. I marvel at his slim-fit khaki pants and the way his legs appear solid, trunk-like underneath. Onward, upward, I gaze at his knees. What will make them jelly? I think. What will make him care that I’m alive?

In an attempt to tease, I seize the moment by performing a silly little dance with my tail-feather. I hope he’ll take notice. Of course, he doesn’t – typical hetero male. “Hey man, finish up,” he urges, ever so rudely. “The bell is about to ring. Are you done yet?”

“I guess. I mean, if you want me to be,” I say, in the most magnificent Marilyn Monroe tone. Before he can reply in disgust or approval, I turn to greet him.

It’s Billy Greske. The Billy “Sir, may I please have some more” Greske: senior class thespian, and according to the student press, future soap opera celebrity. I have to contain myself from entering into applause. It’s not every day that I get a chance to be so up close and personal with him. Most days, theater freaks surround him like a brick wall.

Now technically, I’ve never spoken to Billy before, but I have followed him around from time to time. Not that I’m a psycho stalker or anything, just a devoted fan who happens to know his shoe size, hobbies, and class schedule. Yes, I know, that may sound desperate, but it’s challenging to land a man these days. It’s all about research and attitude. “Come on, quit joking around,” Billy says. His pale, green eyes hold a warm, reserved expression. For some reason, I see my future with him; I picture myself barefoot and pregnant but know I’ll never be that lucky.

“Fine, go ahead. Drink,” I direct him. Moving out of his way, I wipe a few water beads from my chin.

As he bends over, allowing the water to dampen his pink puffy lips, I take the moment to study his form. His body is broader, sturdier than mine. His back has a capital V-shape, whereas I’m shaped more like a capital I.

“What? Are you going to watch?” Billy asks, noticing me giving him the googlies. Two clueless freshman girls wearing school colors, purple and gold, pass by. Their eyes are glued to Billy, but to me, they’re no more than a blur.

“Well yeah, if you don’t mind. Mr. Dolby said I should observe people. You know, for my art.” This is bad, but I’m lying. At this point, I’ve never spoken to the legendary Mr. Dolby, our resident drama coach. I don’t even want to tinkle in his herbal tea yet.

“Your art?” Billy asks, skeptically. Pulling a few strands of shoulder-length blond hair from his eyes, he looks at me intensely.

“You know, drama. I mean, me being an actor and all, observing people is part of the process. You know how it works.”

“Yeah, I know how it works. But you’re not an actor.”

He’s right, even though it’s not a total lie. You see, I had signed up to take Acting for Beginners in the spring. It’s not my fault we’re still in the fall. “True, I’m a novice,” I blush. “But all stars have to start somewhere.”

“Right.” Taking another drink, he wipes his mouth with the edge of his strategically torn black tee. Catching a glimpse of his smooth, tan belly, I think peepshow, peepshow. Then I have a hot flash and begin rambling like a fool. “Um, I really don’t see myself as an actor anyway. I’m more of a performer like my mother.” The word “performer” might be a stretch. Ten years ago, mom ran off to be a clown. “What can I say? I’m a legacy.”

Billy doesn’t seem impressed. And why should he be? I don’t have balloon-size tits or an ass like a bookshelf. I’m just an average gay guy who doesn’t have much to lose.

“Oh Tyler,” my best friend Jenny Whitehorne calls, approaching cat-like down the hall. I try to ignore her. I know what she’s up to. I don’t even have to look. Popular with the sports guys on campus for being a sure thing, she’s always desperate to give me pointers on how to land a man. “Don’t ask for permission. Just kiss them,” she always tells me. Luckily, the bell rings, spoiling her chance to get in the middle of Billy and me.

“Sorry, man. I have to go,” Billy says, straightening his books.

“No, no, no. Wait,” I plead.

“What?”

“Want to know my name?” I say, looking so-so-so cute. Surveying the premises, Billy hesitates as a chubby freshman pom-pom girl zips by us. The poppies, emos, and geeks dip into their overpopulated classrooms. Then the coast is clear, and no one appears to be listening. Well, except for Jenny.

“Why would I want to know your name?” he asks. Above his head, fluorescent lighting reflects in his eyes, and my voice goes kind of girly here.

“Because....”

“Fine,” he sighs, notorious for pleasing his fans. “What’s your name?”

“My god, what kind of boy do you think I am? I don’t just give out my name to anyone.” Baffled, Billy’s green eyes play ping-pong, left to right. “Just kidding,” I laugh. “Tyler Morris.”

“Tyler Morris,” Billy repeats.

“At least, that’s what I’m going by for now, but it’s just so ordinary. I’ll have to change it one day when I’m a star. You know, make it sexy, more provocative.” Blushing, Billy hasn’t a clue what to say next. He’s exactly where I want him: tongue-tied and mortified.

“Let’s go, Bub,” Jenny calls.

“Just a minute,” I answer, as Billy makes his escape. Walking away in a too-masculine-to-be-100% straight manner, his stiff stride makes it seem as if he has too much starch in his khakis. In a final effort, I begin conversing with the lingering citrus contained in his cologne. “We should do lunch sometime,” I suggest. “McDonald’s has this great meal deal now. God, I just love those Big Macs. They’re so BIG!” He vanishes around the corner.

“Yeah, we know you like ‘em big,” Jenny laughs, escorting me to class. On each side of us, banners supporting the Rivershore Tigers football team cover the gold lockers we’re no longer allowed to use because of 9/11.

“Ugh. I had him and I lost him,” I squeal.

“Sorry, you never had him.”

“You don’t think so?”

“He’s long gone, Bub.” Short for Bubbles, Bub is the nickname Jenny gave me freshman year. It’s an inside joke pertaining to my virginity. Once my bubble gets popped, Jenny says she’ll call me something else. I’m not holding my breath, seeing as we’re juniors and I still haven’t kissed a boy.

“Ok, this is random, but do you think Billy would be my valentine?” I ask, tightening the straps on my backpack.

“Are you bonkers?” Jenny replies. “We’re barely in the second week of October.”

“Well, why not beat the rush? We’d make a cute couple.”

“You want to date him?” she sneers. Turning light green, she quickly straightens the gold-speckled belt holding up her black mini-skirt.

“What’s wrong with that? Wouldn’t you?”

“How many times do I have to tell you?” she snaps. “Boys are nothing more than big, stuffed teddy bears. They’re soft, cute, cuddly, and look great on your pillow, but I’ll be damned if I’m seen toting one around campus.” Statements like this have lessened since Jenny was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and began taking a tiny white pill she likes to call ‘Ralph.’ Ralph is Jenny’s other best friend. To this day, Jenny denies her diagnosis, claiming she doesn’t really need Ralph. According to Jenny, she’s not bipolar, she’s bipolar curious.

Whatever the case, Jenny never fails to keep things interesting. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, Jenny always seems to have another sordid adventure to share. Her life parallels those of the famous celebrities you find in magazines near the cash register at the supermarket. To spectators, Jenny has it all: porcelain skin, sparkling teeth, and wavy blonde hair. Plus, a dad that spoils her rotten. Unfortunately, like most stars, you know she’s just one dye-job away from a nervous breakdown. And her self-esteem, well, let’s just say it’s pretty low on the radar. That’s where I come in to save the day!

Placing my arm around Jenny, I pull her in for a ‘Best Friend Forever’ moment. Touchy-feely people are Jenny’s worst nightmare, but I get away with touching her from time to time. Make no mistake though. The love we express for one another is strictly G-rated. My heart must remain pure for my Prince Charming.

“Enough with the hugs!” Jenny complains, jabbing me in the side and pulling a Pop-tart from her red designer handbag. I apologize and let her go to rule the hall alone and keenly observe as her black stilettos puncture each boy along the way. It’s weird. Jenny is so selective when she makes contact with boys she hasn’t slept with. If they’re skinny, they’re girly. If they’re muscular, they’re borderline fat.

Speaking of fat, I think maybe I should have eaten breakfast, but then again, I’m dieting. I recently lost twenty-four pounds. It’s a plan I developed myself. It’s so simple. I call it the “Less Equals More” weight loss system. The less calories I intake, the more boys I take in! Then why am I still single? I wonder. “I mean, how can boys resist?”

“Resist what?” Jenny asks, tossing her half-eaten snack in the trash.

“Oh forget it,” I sigh.

At school, I often feel like I’m living in the walls. Girls look past me, straight guys look through me, and gay guys, wherever they may be hiding, avoid me altogether. My life is like a silent movie playing to an empty house. Lately, I rely on vanity to keep my self-worth from slipping. “It’s hard being beautiful,” I announce. “Don’t you agree?”

“Beats the alternative,” Jenny replies, checking her teeth in a compact mirror. “Not that I should know. Have you seen my stomach? I can’t fit into any of my jeans anymore. It’s disgusting. I squeeze and squeeze but I can’t keep it all in. Seriously, I have a total muffin top.”

“Oh, give me a break. You’re skinny and gorgeous. You just like me to confirm it,” I mumble, as the second bell rings, announcing us late to class.

“Oh goodie!” Jenny says, brightening. A devious smile washes across her face as her heels tap along the gold tile floor. “You know, one more tardy slip and I’ll get detention. Have you seen the boys in detention?”

“No.”

“That’s your problem. You don’t know where the hot spots are.”

“Care to draw me a map?” I ask. We laugh about this when Jenny reaches her first period English class and receives bad news.

BOOK: Outtakes Of A Walking Mistake
10.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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